CHILD UPBRINGING: THE DILEMMA OF WORKING PARENTS
From the moment of conception, parenting is demanding, exhausting, ennobling. It brings out the best in every being; it highlights the worst. It is the love for the child that makes both parents strong as well as vulnerable.
Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social and intellectual developments of a child from infancy to adulthood. It entails providing safety, shelter, clothes, nourishment, protection and physical development by introducing the child to exercise thereby inculcating good health habits in him.
On intellectual security, the parents also provide the conditions in which a child’s mind can develop thus providing an atmosphere of peace, justice, respect to one’s dignity, an environment without fear, threat and abuse.
It is also a parental task to support and provide school related learning, teach social skills and etiquette and give moral and spiritual development, as well as creating ethical value systems with social norms that contribute to the child’s beliefs, culture, and customs.
On emotional security, parents help protect the child’s psyche by providing a safe environment which guarantees love and acceptance, giving emotional support and encouragement by caressing, hugging, touching, etc. Parents also have the task of developing the child’s ability to love, care, and help others by showing empathy and compassion. Parents ought to provide good space for the child to play which helps with physical, emotional and intellectual development.
It is also part of the task of the parents to bring up a child with the religious principles especially through exemplary lifestyle. Since every child has positive and negative qualities, parents are expected to help develop the positive and “weed out” or “prune” the negative. Children’s talents are developed through organized leisure activities, thereby challenging their children to think critically and to speak properly and frequently especially with the adults.
Traditionally, parents had enough time to take care of their child in an atmosphere of love, concern, care, structure and peace but we don’t live in an ideal society anymore because our society has developed to the point where if the family is going to obtain the things it needs, then both will have to work to be able to meet up.
Traditionally, parents in times past, spent more time with their child but in the present age the reverse is the case. This lack of care by parents is really telling on the society in that it is not difficult to see who are not well behaved. They exhibit such acts as dropping out of school, armed robbery, kidnapping, militancy, prostitution and teenage pregnancy among others. Working parents always grapple over issues of fairness when it comes to child care. It is never easy for full time working parents to give all it would take to keep the family running smoothly.
Child rearing is complicated, no doubt. Parents struggle with what to do with their children when they return home from school.
The challenge of getting ready early in the morning leads to unhealthy breakfast choices or worse, none at all for parents. They have lots on their minds about their child’s welfare. Working parents no longer have time to bring up their child morally and they leave their child at the mercy of Day-Care-Services or house helps.
Parenting is a high stake venture. The ruin of a child often begins when parents ignore a young toddler’s disobedient look or rebellious words because it is inconvenient to administer correction.
Parents should be able to provide a conducive environment free from fighting/quarrelling in the presence of the children. Parents should create time out of their working tight schedule to spend with their children, check their school books and assist with their homework, take time to visit their school to find out how they are faring. Working parents should be careful not to take stress out on their children.
They may not understand why you are stressed, but they can sense your moods. Be aware that many children especially teenagers are under stress too. So working parents should plan time to talk with their kids. Ask them about school and any problems they are having. And make sure they have plenty of time for just being with other kids and having fun. Check out who their friends are.
On the society, there is a proverb that says that “A child is not owned by one person”. With the above it could be seen that a child is owned by the society so one cannot see a child going astray and let him because if one lets a child go a wrong way and the child turns out a bad fellow in future, it all falls on the society. So the society on its part plays a big role in the upbringing of a child.
Finally, as a parent, you are responsible for correcting and guiding your kid in line with the popular saying that “We should train a child he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.