I once read somewhere that children are the messages we send to the future, I find it profound. So it got me thinking, what exactly are we sending to the future. You can choose to think about it in a global context but for my message, I will narrow it to the immediate context of the clime where we are; Nigeria, Africa.
How are we raising our children? How are we really preparing them for tomorrow? What problems are we grooming them to solve? What values are we inculcating in them? are we as parents, guardians, caregivers, adults modeling the right moral values and life perspective to them? Sincerely what really can we see tomorrow?
Oh, pardon me too many questions right? Well don’t mind me, these are questions that engulf my thoughts when I see the level of moral decadence and loss of values in our children and how most of us as parents and guardians excuse these shortcomings.
Could it even be that it is a way to defend our irresponsibility or failures? It appears that we have successfully raised arrogant and proud children and we call it confidence. We have underplayed respect and tagged it old school, we are raising a spoon-fed generation of children and we deceive ourselves and say we don’t want them to suffer what we suffered.
Today’s society has evolved to a point where we are so consumed with working hard to provide our children all comfort and the best of what money can buy. To this effect, many parents no longer have time to cater to their children and see to their proper upbringing.
We rely on schools, churches, mosques, and chief of all -the media, to fill the vacuum.
When we are home with the children after stressing ourselves out with work, we keep them distracted/engaged with gadgets; phones, video games, television. After spending so much time away from home, when we are home we are still not present in the lives of our children. We want to keep them occupied so we allow them unlimited access to the media.
The truth is children are largely influenced by media; music, movies, and other entertainment. They tend to copy what they see on the screen. Our children want to emulate what they see: the young musician with bling, fame, money, and indecent lifestyle. They want quick, easy money, fame, accolades and as portrayed in the media our children want to go into movies or music to find expression in politics. They have seen and heard of the flamboyant and luxurious lifestyle our political class is living.
They even want to become pastors because they are rich influential and famous, gone are those days when pastoral work was modest and noble.
Please don’t get me wrong, I do not mean that there are no reputable, hard-working, and decent musicians, actors, politicians, and spirit-filled pastors. I do not at all intend to undermine the efforts, hard work these sets of people put into their work. I honestly appreciate the creativity and doggedness.
I am simply highlighting the negative impact of leaving our children to be parented by the media. We need to be more deliberate in inculcating the right values and morals in them. More importantly, we need to consciously take time to model exemplary behaviours to our children. They need us to be present in their lives, they need us to show them the way and to lead them in the way they should go.
We shouldn’t just entrust them to schools or the media, our children require our consistent presence, guidance, and leading.
Our duty as parents is not only limited to providing quality education, comfortable shelter, clothing, or nourishing food. Although catering to these needs is a daunting task in itself for parents, they still need more.
What kind of children do you envision? How do you hope they would turn out? What are you really doing to make this vision a reality?
Beyond providing all forms of comfort, are you imbibing in them the character, habits, mindset, and skillset that would position them for success?
Development of character and values such as integrity, modesty, respect, and compassion is important. You else need to help them discover, develop and maximize their talents and gifting, equip them with the right mindset which will give them a positive perspective to life.
These attributes will almost take the first 20 to 22 years of our children’s lives for them to be fully formed and mature into their life’s purpose.
Even at the community and national level, a lot needs to be done. When we look at Nigeria’s budgetary allocation for critical sectors such as; education, science, and technology, health, it becomes apparent that we are only paying lip service to securing our future.
Asides from the infrastructural deficit in these sectors, what about the quality of staff being engaged? Are they competent for their assigned roles? Have we put in place an environment for children that would encourage innovations and inventions?
With the current situation, we can only expect total failure. No wonder the search for leaders in all spheres across the globe is on the increase.
There is an indirect communication our children are demanding of us to lead them, role model them, consistently guide and guard them holding their hand and helping them to see the light they carry. let’s not pay lip service to raising our children, let’s provide for them strong values high moral standards and a sense of purpose for living.
Love is all I have,
Transformational Growth Catalyst