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If you walk into a pet shop and get for yourself a pet and take home, that pet becomes your responsibility henceforth. You don’t only make sure it is healthy and fit. You also make sure it doesn’t go wreaking havoc in other people’s homes. Just as raising a responsible pet is your responsibility, so is raising responsible children.
We live in times where many parents are busier with their careers than they are with their children. They prioritize their jobs over whether their children are exposed to the right content or not. What profits a parent if they gain the whole world yet lose their children!?
Being a parent in this age comes with a lot more challenges than it did many years ago. As a parent, if you wake up every morning, know that there are so many other agents of socialization competing with you for the attention of your child— peers, social media, internet, traditional media, etc. You either beat these competitors or they beat your child.
Our children are exposed to so many ills today and we can’t afford to overlook such. Parenting in this age should be very intentional. We should be intentional about how our children think, especially what they are exposed to. We can’t afford to leave them to be socialized by the media. We can’t afford to let their peers or TVs show them what is right or not. It is our responsibility to. Parenting is a fulltime job we should not outsource to anyone.
Every parent has an unquestionable duty to raise responsible adults out of their children. Once we didn’t seek their permission to bring them to Earth, we owe them a responsibility to make them responsible. We owe them a responsibility to raise them to be a mirror of our image.
It is dangerous to give a child privileges when they are yet to understand responsibilities. If you give your children too much freedom, you make them slaves of their choices.
It is common to find many parents today give their wards a lot of independence just because they don’t want them to go through the hell they went through at their age. Freedom is great but not until these children know the consequences of the choices and decisions they use their freedom to make.
Some parents leave the will of their children to them in the name of modernity. Little do they know that giving a child too much liberty is like handing over a loaded gun to them. They may one day blow up your head into pieces unintentionally!
Children make silly choices because all they can see is today. It takes an adult who can see the future to direct them. That is why they need parents and not necessarily freedom.
Before you hand over a gun to anyone, you let them know where they may spend the rest of their lives if they pull the trigger at the wrong place and time. Before you give your children freedom, teach them to be responsible first.
A badly raised child becomes a debt parents pay till death does them apart. How you raise your children today will make them an investment or debt tomorrow. Be intentional about raising an investment, not debt.
Today, if you don’t care about how your children turn out, you will pay the price tomorrow. If you are too busy today to straighten them when they bend in life, you may have to watch on tomorrow as the law tries to straighten them. Intentionally raise children today you will be proud of tomorrow!
We do our future selves a great service when we raise responsible children. When we leave our children to go their own way, we spend our adulthood paying the price of their choices. We spend our retirement at rehab centers, prisons, etc. These children become a burden on our heads because we pay for the price of a debt we failed to pay in the yesteryears!
If you want to have a restful adulthood, first make sure you are raising responsible children today. When they are old, they will not depart from it. Who our children become when adults is a clear reflection of the values they were taught when they were young. How we raise our children is a seed. When they become adults, we reap the fruits; whether good or bad.
The manner of adults your children turn out to be should be your matter. You should be conscious and intentional about it. If you see any parent with responsible children, it didn’t just happen. Someone was intentional about it. Having a child is a privilege. Raising a responsible adult out of them is a responsibility. We all must be responsible about our privileges.
Not everyone would bear children no matter how healthy they are. Try much as we can, we all can’t be biological parents. This makes the ability to have children to be a great privilege. With every privilege comes a responsibility. With the privilege of being a parent comes a responsibility of raising responsible adults out of these children.
Parenting should be a conscious effort to be responsible about our privileges. It should be a calculated effort to make sure we are raising children today who will not be a disgrace to us tomorrow. Parenting is like caring for grass. If you are not intentional about watering it each day, it would die!
Having biological children is not what makes one a parent. Raising responsible adults out of them is what does!
By Kobina Ansah
The writer is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm. His new play, “Emergency Wedding”, happens on Saturday, 25th & Sunday, 26th April, 2020 at National Theatre.