Parenting is the backbone of every family; good parenting will produce good children and family. However, it appears good parenting has been redefined. I can speak of my home country, Nigeria.
In the 80’s, I grew up listening to radio and television programmes that taught good morals. There were a series of programmes and music that discouraged stealing, drug abuse and the likes. This upbringing shaped and moulded me into what I have grown up to become.
My parents complemented the media effort of making sure that their children grew up placing a premium on good morals of the society. Despite these commendable efforts, there were of course still many children with defiant behaviours though not as high as what it is today.
In most of the cases I witnessed, the fault could still be traced to the parents — that is the lifestyle of the parents. No matter how we attempt to pay a lip service to the fact that parents have a great role in determining what becomes of the children’s future, it is expedient to realise that God gifted the children to parents not the society.
As the last child, I remember how I could have anything I ever wanted especially from dad. He ensured that I got what I wanted yet he still drew the line. I could have things only when he thought I should, same with my mom. They never tolerated a bad behaviour.
I could remember how on my street, a couple who ran a hotel cum brothel were technically alienated in the community. I also remember how their children who were our peers turned out even as teenagers before becoming adults. How most parents would warn their children not to go near the children. The first two sons began stealing and smoking quite early — one of them was my age mate while the other attended my secondary school for a while. Their parents fought every other week. Violence broke out almost every night among their clients — they lived in the same hotel building.
Next to the hotel building was a tenement. A family of four lived there among other tenants. I do not know if it were just a coincidence: two sons of the single parent were notorious for stealing; their father would be caught stealing sometimes later.
There was a series called Feyi Kogban (literally means Wisdom Source). Tales By The Moonlight was one of the most memorable to me. The theme song remains my favourite ever. (The baseline Kizz Daniel used in his song titled ‘No Do’). That song was my phone ring tone for over a year.
Our parents must have done a lot of work on our oldest male sibling. He served as a good model. I may be wrong but check very well, 7 out of 10 adults who exhibit certain behaviors learned such from home as children. However, there are exceptions to this hypothesis.
Now that I am a parent, I am fighting tooth and nail to ensure our toddler and our unborn children are well trained to be well behaved both at home and in the society. You will agree that it is more difficult to raise a well-behaved child due to technology advancement.
In our days, we did not have the Internet, let alone a computer system. Our exposure was well controlled. Our influence was limited to our friends and the immediate community. Things are different now, there is proliferation of social media and the Internet. Anybody can access anything with just a click of a button.
The larger class of parents are the Generation X, born between 1965-1980. They raised most of the youths of today, followed by the Millennials (Born 1981-1996), These two, unlike the Baby Boomers born between 1946-1964, form most of the parents who raised the current children.
The children born between 1997-2012 who are regarded as Generation Z are likely to be worse than their forerunners. They largely have no regard for morals. This is nothing but failed parenting and the reasons are not far-fetched – you cannot give what you do not have.
Every parent should see it as their duty to raise children with good morals. It is possible to come out well in a depraved society. It all boils down to the time and resources the parents are willing to invest in their children.