Train up a child in the way he should grow…

There are a lot of uncertainties in this world. Most times we get carried away by our emotions and do things that we may regret in later years. You see, while I was growing up, it was not all rosey because I had the thorns that came with it. They were not funny at all.

It was the norm that children should take after their father’s or parent’s profession as the case may be. This resulted in parents deciding professions for their children. Although this worked out in some families, in others it was a total failure and the worst part – the children were to blame for it.

There are a lot of things we need to let go of for our country to move forward. It all boils down to our value and belief system. These are the elements that shape our culture. They build the fence that defines who we are. It would be catastrophic to yeild a culture that is backwards in a spontaneously evolving society. Most of our beliefs and values should be brought to the table and deeply assessed to know whether they are still relevant in this 21st century.

I go with the ideology that “the family is the country“. Where the country is in crisis, the family is in crisis. And taking a closer look, just as you cannot kill a tree by cutting its branches. Similarly, you cannot fix a country by trying to fix the government or making more laws that address the country as a whole. Get to the roots, the families.

Thorns are very painful, the longer they pierce you, the deeper the scar. I faced a lot of challenges. I could perceive a lot of irregularities in the pattern of my upbringing which caused me to ask some daunting questions. Unfortunately, I was a child. And, like most children in our society, I was disregarded.

Not all characters or habits and genetic. Most are formed according to the pattern of a person’s upbringing. This is why our relationship with people should be founded on background information about that person and not first impressions.

Children pick habits from what they see, what they hear and how they are treated. These are done subconsciously. Parents, guardians and teachers need to know this. That’s how I learnt most things. When instructors do not know this, they mess up the child by exposing him to sensitive images, saying sensitive words and expressing careless actions before the child.

There are two essential needs of every child: care and provision. You can provide even when you don’t care, you do it out of obligation. But to care would take a lot more than that. You need to make yourself available most of the time. One might be ill not because of a disease but because the parents are not there. It’s not about the money. It’s about the attention.

There is an extent to which parents are allowed to make decisions on behalf of their children. Especially when this would have a long term effect. Teaching a child to make decisions in life is very crucial. Learning always starts from easy to hard. When every decision is made for a growing child, it would look like Mission Impossible to make a simple decision in the later years.

This boils down to allowing a child define his future. All the parents are needed to do is to guide them and ensure they make good decisions. You can see this in Nigeria today where law graduates become fashion designers, musicians, hair stylists and the likes.

I feel the responsibility of every parent is to acquaint their child with the basic survival skills for life. Exposing children to other parents who have come out with positive results despite their ugly past is also necessary so the child knows what to expect in life.

The future of your child is largely dependent on the way you raise him up. In the wise words of King Solomon, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he would not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


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