Updated: Apr 9
While there is little we can do about our ancestors, there is always something that we can do about our descendants and as parents, it’s good to take an active role in promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of our children right from infancy to adulthood. In the current era where radicalization, suicide, murder, robbery and drug abuse are the order of the day, parents have no other option than to give their best in raising their children as poor parenting is a key factor behind the recruitment of the youth into radical and violent extremist gangs. Jack’s parents’ constant fights triggered by their fathers’ drunkenness led to a psychological torture to both him and his siblings. This negatively affected his studies and he could no longer concentrate in class. Her mother who could not stand being battered each day later left for her parents’ home leaving Jack and siblings with their father who had become addicted to alcohol. Jack’s father spent all his money on a drinking spree, and nothing was left to pay school fees and fend for his children. Lack of parental love and support eventually resulted in the children dropping out of school and later joined a criminal gang that terrorized people in their home area. The community could not take the gangs brutality any longer and they reported to the authorities. Police launched a mission to patrol the area and in the process Jack and his brother Mwash got arrested, charged for robbery with violence and sentenced three years in prison.
If you invest in your child, you don’t have to invest for your child. Children require presence not presents.
It is evident that the concept of family as a social institution is under a threat of extinction. Today, it is commonly recognized that roughly 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Notably, many family units which are focal points for mentoring the next generation into adulthood are disintegrating, leaving youth with no role models. Due to economic hardships, parents work round the clock to fend for their families. They are hardly at home and when they get home, they are too consumed to pay attention to their teenagers. With such a vacuum to be filled up, the youth fall into the wrong hands. Social disruptions in families make them feel humiliated, threatened and helpless. To be in your children’s’ memory tomorrow, one ought to be in their lives’ today. Having children doesn’t make anyone a parent but having time with them is the true definition of a parent. The influence of a father goes to the fourth generation after him. Jack’s parents’ constant domestic violence are perfect examples of how kids can be ruined by those that brought them to existence. Their father could insult and even beat their mother in the presence of the children. Great careers and more importantly, great lives lost due to irresponsible fatherhood. There are many of us who were raised up in unstable families, but we don’t have to pass it on to our children. We don’t have to fight in the presence of our children. We should shield their emotions from our disputes as adults. To a large extent, we are a product of our early relationships. Unstable families create insecure children while Stable parents raise stable children. Children need love, attention and affirmation, every day. When a man loves his wife, it creates security and stability. The best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother. Children learn how to handle feelings, rejection, failure, and conflicts at home. Regrettably, parenting can neither be delegated nor suspended for a while even if we work for the ring of fame and fortune. The growth of children is irreversible. Like a young tree, it takes the bends directed by the gardener, so is the life of a child. You can’t shape it in adulthood; you can’t pick it from where you left after you reach the top in your career pursuits. It’s always easier to model young children than to rehabilitate adults. If you invest in your child, you don’t have to invest for your child. Children require presence not presents. No number of gifts and meeting financial obligations can replace our personal presence as parents. Any written will can be torn within a few years and the wealth that was created by the deceased in four decades squandered in a blink of an eye. The only sure inheritance that we can leave behind is the investment we make in our children through quality education and praying for them against peer pressure or external influence.