Children are one of the most precious gifts that we can receive. Whenever I see a new born baby in its totally dependent state, I often consider the divine responsibility of parenthood. There is this instinctual drive to love, provide for and nurture our little ones. It goes without saying that the majority of us strive to do our very best. We try to instil principles that will preserve and guide our children even in our absence.
As a parent and grandparent, I am conscious that the children under my charge are not just little people that I admire and enjoy but coupled with this is the awesome responsibility of raising individuals who will not just age but develop into human beings who will make a positive impact on society. I have often implanted in my son and my grandson, that a number of university degrees, good job… accomplishments, however great they are, will always be wanting, when placed on a scale with sound values on the opposite side of the balance.
As a matter of fact, my mother and father were believers that values such as honesty, respect, self-discipline, love…unselfishness were products of good parenting. I am ever so grateful to them for the impartation of their religious beliefs and moral values. Family devotions were always a focal part of our day, something I think might ne sadly lacking in today’s modern families. It was in these gatherings we understood that there was a supreme being called GOD whom we must honour and respect- who encourages us to live in harmony. This type of upbringing continues to influence the manner in which I go about parenting.
I don’t know if you have noticed how the majority of children tend to ask, ‘Why?’ when given instructions. I think that this is a very positive thing. After all we ourselves as adults are more enthusiastic about doing things when we understand why we are doing them. I think that there is the need to take time to talk, to explain, as I am often amazed at the positive responses that dialogue with our children and young people can bring. Needless to say, personally, I am keen to detect the difference between an invitation for dialogue and blatant or subtle confrontations.
When it comes to schooling, I believe that I have the responsibility of acquiring a working knowledge of how children learn. I need to understand the education system under which my child or grandchild is being taught so I can work in partnership with schools.
Also in a world that is being torn apart by selfishness, greed and intolerance, there is a sense of urgency to inculcate in our children, sound moral values, the desire to positively settle differences while one simultaneously encourages higher levels of creativity and self- expectations.