By Yusuf Yusuf Abubakar
Home as the name implies, refers to one’s own dwelling place; the house in which a child lives with his or her family. Every family consists of father and mother or someone who looks after a person in the same way a parent does. Parent is either the progenitor of a child or in humans, it can refers to a caregiver or legal guardian.
The roles of parents do not stop at providing food and shelter for their children alone. The proper upbringing (inculcation of moral) is their core Responsibility. This makes home the first school of a child. You have been the cause of their birth and world recognizes them as your offspring. It is your responsibility that you teach them good manners and guide them toward the recognition and obedience of their creator. Your behavior towards your children must be a person who believes that a good deed shall get a suitable reward and ill treatment shall call for retribution.
Burton white of Harvard University writes: ”the informal education that the family provides for their children makes more of an impact on a child’s total education than the formal education system. If a family does its job well, the professional (teacher) can then provide effective training. If not, there may be little a professional can do.” As a child’s first teachers, you as parents are in a unique position to influence early learning in a variety of ways. No amount of formal teaching can compare to the influence of parents, who teach every day by words and examples. Your role as a parent is far more vital than mine. As a teacher, I care for your children at school, and I can give them my knowledge and experience in a controlled environment, however, it is you who aids them through life. As we talk about the’ prepared environment’ of school, so should your prepared environment at home be just as important. When a child is in the process of adopting a way of life which can make him either virtuous or wicked, he can be metamorphosed into a perfect human being or a degraded wild animal. The virtue or wickedness of a person will depend on the upbringing he receives and this responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the parents.
However, most of the parents nowadays have failed in their duty to regulate the activities of their children. It is not uncommon to find home where the television is on during the entire working hours of the family. Children are left by parents to watch everything from cartoons to films with graphic scenes of pornography and raw violence. Pope Johnpaul 11, in his papal message for the 28th world communication day, celebrated on 15th may, 1994, with the theme “Television and the Family Guidelines for Good Viewing” pointed out that parents have the responsibility to regulate their children’s viewing and should express their legitimate concerns on the quality of television programs to media managers and producers. There is no doubt that the moral and spiritual renewal of the human family as a whole is rooted in the authentic renewal of individual families. God has entrusted parents with the responsibility of helping their children to seek the truth from their earliest years, and to live in conformity with the truth; to seek the truth, the good and promote it. It is therefore, the duty of parents to lead their children to appreciate whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and gracious. For instance, parents should teach their children to be wise and safe internet users. They should teach and educate their children about online safety, including the possibility of encountering pedophiles who can lure them into sex. Lack in these areas of parental care, is the sole culprit for more decadence in the society today. Parents are the role model to their children. Children are the windows through which parents’ lives are mirrored. What children see and observe make long impression in their minds. Most parents quarrel in front of their children, use abusive and vulgar words before them, play truancy, and worst of all, show signs of unfaithfulness to each partner even in the presence of their children. Beware, your behavior might render your family and your relatives part of the ill fated people. Moreover, some parents do not pay sufficient attention to the quality and background of house helps employed in their home. Some have loose morals such as dishonesty, sexual laxity, disobedience etc. the children are not morally safe in the hands of such helpers. It is common to find a family where the father is hardly seen in the home for weeks and even months and the mother leaves the house daily, early in the morning before the children wake up, and returns late when the children are drowsy or even already asleep. The children are passed on from some inexperienced or sometimes malicious hands to some uninterested class teachers who may have up to 60 pupils in a class, and back again to the home with similar circumstances and the influence of peer groups. It is a vicious circle that culminates in moral decadence as the human, moral, religious and intellectual formation of children are the duty of parents. Parents are the first and best teachers of their children; not the school teachers, and this education is best imparted at home. It is a thing of lament to know that most parents have no moral courage to teach their children the dangers of premarital sex which is also a sin before God. Premarital sex can ruin someone’s life. If a girl becomes Pregnant while in school, she can no longer continue with her education. If she tries to abort the baby, she may lose her life. For the boy who puts a girl in a family way, may be forced to marry her when he is not yet ready for marriage. He too may stop schooling and go for odd and petty jobs to maintain his young family.
Conclusively, parents are instruments of shaping a human being good or bad, from the child. The greatest service which the parents can render to their children is that they train them to be good mannered, kind, friends of humans, freedom loving, bold, just, wise, righteous, noble, faithful, dutiful, hardworking, educated. The parents must mould their children in such a way that they are successful both in the world and hereafter. Only such people are those who are endowed with the exalted status of parenthood, and not those who in fulfillment of their carnal desire caused the birth of children and left the children to fend for themselves and rendering then likely to fall into evil ways.
Written by: Yusuf Yusuf Abubakar