By Ruth Gbaka
When it comes to parenting and the impact it has on an overall being from childhood to adulthood, it can never be over overemphasised. Researches over the years have proven that that children with proper parental presence, love and care are children who do better in school, exhibit fewer behavioural problems, and stronger mental health.
Neuroscientists discovered that positive parenting contributes to better functioning in the brain regions associated with emotions and cognition during the teen years.
Progressively adults who exhibit maturity and a better sense of emotional stability are said to have a history of proper parenting and guidance in their lives.
The role and duty of every parent to a child is, but not limited to nurturing, educating, disciplining, informing, and guiding. Parents are expected to give their children love, acceptance, appreciation, encouragement, and guidance.
They provide the most intimate context for the nurturing and protection of children as they develop their personalities and identities and also as they mature physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. The presence of a parent in a child’s life can never be underestimated.
A parent’s love, presence and guidance influences the child in every way even until adulthood. The lack of presence, support, on the other hand, affects the child in so many unimaginable negative ways.
A look at one of the emotional moments in a just commenced reality Tv show called theBb Titans where the young housemates shared really deep and personal pains from their childhood resulting from the roles their parents played in their individual lives.
A discussion that left 90 percent of the young adults in tears as each sadly recounted the unavailability and roles of their parents in each of their lives and the impact it had on them as adults.
22 years old Nana, one of the 10 Nigerians in the BBTitans house recounted how her father labelled her a mistake and how this affected her self esteem and decisions she made in life.
In her words” I don’t owe my mum anything because I was in the street way too early, bringing things home, she never asked me how or where I got them from. My father has never been proud of me. Uttering a statement like “I’m a mistake.”
“I was six months pregnant and didn’t know. I didn’t go for antenatal. The baby died and was decaying in me. My aunt took me to the hospital and lied that I had an infection. I was relaxed, my mom said I passed out five times. I don’t know how the doctors did it so that my womb is still intact. I have to do a lot of dirty and nasty things because of my parents’ negligence. I dropped out from school at 300 level because there was no one to train me.”
“Because I want money I’ve met a lot of men in different sizes”, so even if you’re what, I’ve met your size, so just do the f#ck and stand up”.
Some responded to her story by saying she should be blamed for her actions and not her parents. As much as she can be blamed for the decisions she took, train a child in a way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.
Genuine love, care, support from a parent to a child can never go wrong, the child will always remember.
The role of the parent is to genuinely love and nurture a child. To bring out the best in your child, every parent must understand that love covers a multitude of sins. Through their imperfections, through their confusion, bad choices and like the prodigal son, every child who knows parental love will always find their way back home no matter how far they have gone.
In our society today, the need to cater, provide and take care of a child or children as the case may have become very demanding with a traumatic economy.
In some large cities like Lagos, parents are seen leaving the homes early before the children are awake in order to make the traffic jungle, only to return late when the children are fast asleep.
On the increasing hardship and the impact it has on raising children, A psychologist at faculty of social science, Lagos State University (LASU), Dr. Gandonu Babatunde, said recession would automatically affect children because their parents’ income is affected.
“In that sense what they are earning before the recession is still the same thing they are earning during recession. What you are buying for N5000 before recession, you can buy it for N8,000 during recession. Yet there is no increase in salary.
“It implies that some whose income cannot take care of the cost of the children’s education will have to do a sort of adjustment. That will affect the quality of education the children are going to get and the kind of food they will eat. It will affect their physiological needs because what comes in cannot be enough for parents to cater for the family.”
Sadly while the bills compete with the children for our affection, each and every parent most realise that its easier to build a broken child than to repair a broken adult. Negligence today will manifest tomorrow.