By Deborah Phillips
It is a thing of joy and respect to be called a parent but it also comes with its responsibilities and these responsibilities are very enormous. Be it biological, adoptive or foster parents, they are all saddled with the responsibility of good parenting. From the moment of conception to the time a child is born, adequate preparations must be put in place for the arrival of the child to avoid any embarrassment. These includes: the mother’s antenatal visit to the doctor for check-ups to make sure the mother and child are healthy and getting clothes and other personal belongings for the child. After the child is born, he/she is being taken care of in different ways and some of which are: Making sure the child is happy and healthy, teaching them the things of God, taking care of their school fees, holding them accountable, help them to be independent and responsible, discipline them when the need arises and so many others.
A parent is the caretaker of a child and the art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children. Many parents complain that their children do not obey them. Most time however, the parents are to blame. Children can see and hear more than we know; they absorb information from their homes both consciously and subconsciously. When there is a difference between words and actions of a parent, the children become confused and will most likely follow the actions of their parents since “actions speak louder than words”. Whatever you would have your children become, strive to exhibit in your own lives and conversation. Remember, parents are like mirrors to the children, what they see and hear they do so, be a good reflection for them.
As a child grows into adulthood, the parents are expected to direct the child and not control the child. Also, they should provide an environment that is safe for the child because the safety of a child should be a parent utmost priority. In addition, they should develop mutual respect with the child as that will make the child to be free and open with the parents and that will further increase the child’s self esteem. Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it. Most importantly, morals and values must be inculcated on the children and as a parent you cannot do that effectively if you don’t have it. As it is widely said “You can’t give what you don’t have”. A responsible parent must know his/her child in and out and that entails knowing the child’s friends, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, educational capacity so as to help correct some irregularities.
Apparently, it is imperative that parents know that parenting is a stage of life’s journey where the milestones come about every fifty feet. Children are the future generation and it is how they are molded that the future becomes. It is time for parents to teach young people that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. Parents must strive hard to make the world a better place and a safe haven for the future generation.
Deborah Phillips wrote in from the department of mass communication Bayero University, Kano.