GUEST COLUMNIST

A MESSAGE TO NOWADAYS PARENTS By Isaac Ochegbudu

I a’m yet to be a parent but I hope to be one in the nearest future. Even though I’m yet to be one and have a “first hand” experience in parenting, my little life experiences and happenings around me inform and equip me to be able to an extent be able talk to parents.

My abuse experience is one of the things that exposed me to many parental mistakes/short comings, some other happenings around me did too. Another experience which exposed me to many things about the family and parenting in particular is my current interactions with adolescents I’m currently teaching.

Interacting with these students is a serious eye opener, Thanks to NYSC. During and after my family life and sex education class with them, a lot was revealed to me. Most of these children know a lot more than we do and think and also engage in terrible unspeakable things. One of the lacuna I’ve discovered is that parenting play a crucial role in determining what children do.

After my class today where I was talking on drug abuse, I got a shocker, a very small girl (I teach in an all girls boarding school) asked me a question, she asked if those who use “man power ” are also abusing drugs. Shocked by her question, I asked her how old is she and she replied “12 years” , I was so shocked, how did she know what “Man power” drug is and what it’s used for?

That is just a fragment of my experience with these adolescents so far. Time and space will not permit me to say some other things, terrible things I’ve discovered about them but what is my point here? Am I just telling a story? No!

The sole reason for me penning this piece down this evening is to tell parents to tighten their belts. The world has changed and gone rouge, it isn’t as before. Please guide your children aright, bring them up In a Godly way (some Parent are directly responsible for the immoral life of their children, by praising and supporting them in some immoral things from tender age ) . Teach them those things you think they are too small to know. If you refuse to teach them because you fear they are too small, they will learn it from their inexperienced or bad peers, internet or school.

Answer those questions you think they are not supposed to ask. Sometimes, it is the refusal of parent to answer some questions they thinks the children are to young to know and understand that push them into terrible thing cos they go on their own to find answers and get it from terrible sources.
Many parents today don’t still support sex education, it is very important! Teach them sex education at home!
Don’t allow them learn it from others in the wrong way. Be truthful and open about it.

Don’t be too strict with your kids, make then your friends. We have gone past the era of “military regime parenting”.
Listen to your kids, believe them on what they say ( some parents believe some particular persons can’t abuse or do harm to their children, very wrong!).
Many children have resort to suicide because of their parents neglect and not paying attention to them.
Know what boderr your kids, when there is a change in mood or behavior, try to know what’s wrong instead of scolding then, don’t push your kids away, educate them right, openly and truthfully.

Have time for your kids, some parents don’t have time for their kids at all. It is very bad! Let your kids know you and feel safe with you.

May God help all parents guide their children aright (Amen)

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