Children are inheritance from God. The little baby born grows into an adult, a parent and nation builder tomorrow. However, many parents are guilty of the crime of abandoning their children thereby neglecting the fountain of life.
The Nigerian child is physically, emotionally, socially and sexually assaulted and abused. Many of them also suffer from child labour. These lead to a waste of their youth and the ruin of their future.
If children’s needs as outlined on the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as well as the various stages of growth and development of the child from infancy to later adolescent are examined, it becomes necessary to attribute children’s behavioural problems to biological, socio-cultural and psycho-social causes. What, then should parents do to avert or proffer solutions to the problems?
Every parent must possess a noble character, tender heart and an enduring disposition to be able to identify and cope with the children’s behaviour. They should possess the skills for caring and nurturing the child for responsible living in the following ways:
A family who prays together stays together. Parents should hold Bible study and devotion to God with their children, regularly expose them to participate in church activities and teach the children Bible concepts and fear of the Lord and satisfy their spiritual needs.
Parents should teach their children how to apply a critical, moderate and wise approach to the use of the media in the home; try to discourage them from watching pornographic films, reading corrupt magazines, enjoying provocative music and dance that can stimulate sexual intercourse.
Parents should set firm limits and provide guidelines for their children in order to avoid disgrace.
Parents ought to encourage their children when they are hurt, hopeless or depressed, praise them when they do good things, correct them with love when them do wrong and absolve them when they display a contrite mood.
You should not over-pamper your children nor should you be over-strict on them because an unsound discipline ends up in criminality.
You should not humiliate or scold your children in public places because it robs them of their individual worth. Moreover, try to avoid the habit of comparing your child unfavourably with another because if you do, it would create a feeling of rejection and the child will become hurt and hostile. Instead, set goals for him, monitor his progress and address any weakness.
Parents should watch their tongues as cruel and dehumanizing remarks cause great emotional damage. When your curious infant child asks you questions on sex issues, use proper vocabulary and very simple, general explanation to answer them instead of fabricating fable stories to mislead them.
Parents should discern and care for the needs of their children and supply them with nutritious physical food.
Some parents handle children cruelly by flogging them mercilessly to damage some parts of the body, starving them for some hours or days, making them go late to bed or work for long on the farm. It is important to find the correct balance between discipline and love.
You should train your children to keep their bodies fit and clean, assign chores to them, allow to engage in wholesome recreation, teach them table etiquette and proper sitting postures especially in public.
Do you heap rules on your children until they become burdensome and discouraging?
Parents should ensure that their children (especially the adolescent) are occupied always. When they are idle, they should not be lonely; and when lonely, not idle. Parents should help children to know that the use of illicit drugs damages them physically, emotionally and spiritually and so they should shun it.
Parents should teach their children how to love and enjoy reading, do their school assignments and engage in research to find answers to questions, you should be friends to your children’s school teachers and work hand-in-hand with them to train them because the family alone cannot teach all the knowledge and skills to the children.
Some parents overload their children with academic work; too much devotion to studies is wearisome to the flesh.
You should not impose your preferences on your children but allow them to specialize in their areas of interest, ability and capability.
Sex education is ideal and should be introduced to your children gradually and tactfully.
Parents should teach their children to be self-reliant/independent in their school work. Any parent who aids and abets her child in examination malpractices is ruining the future career ignorantly.
Parents need to maintain close, regular and meaningful communication with their children; keep lines of communication open and always ask yourself whether what you say get through to your children and whether you really understand what they are trying to tell you. You ought to be true friends and companion to your children, create time for bedtime stories, entertainment, plan activities with them, hold one-on-one counselling, family discussions and go on outing with them.
Monitor the kind of friends your children keep and their movement. In this era when lesbianism, homosexuality, cultism, armed robbery etc. are on the increase, parents should be on the alert.
Every parent is a teacher and the most important person in the life of the child. Parents are accorded the privilege of fulfilling the noblest cause of raising the future generation of the human family. Therefore, teach your child how he should live and he will remember it all his life.