BusinessDay

Treat children right

Children are a beautiful gift from God, and unfortunately in our world today, for some people, children are being seen as a burden than a gift. You might disagree with me but our attitude oftentimes suggests that they have become a huge inconvenience to us, and most times are used as appendages for our ego.

It is an established fact that children do require a lot of time, resources, patience, and love because they are worth every bit of it, if indeed we understand the reason for birthing a child.

There’s so much anxiety in bringing forth a child to this world, to be called a parent, to put a claim and also be honoured with the privilege of someone carrying on in my name.

What’s the use of a name if the carrier has no identity?

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them”

Children are arrows in the hands of a warrior. The archer uses his/her arrow in battle, no archer is born with the tools to aim, constant training and practice makes the unskilled archer perfect. These arrows are the most cherished possessions. Every parent is an archer, and you should have all it requires to shoot right.

Over the years, we have released premature arrows into society, and the gift of a child has become a burden to society at large. What value do you place on your children? Are you able to fully envision the beauty of your child and the important role they will play in society? If you do, then you will intentionally raise this gift just as you pursue your career.

Over the years, I have interacted with hundreds of children and parents. I have come to understand that what we offer as love is giving them the best education, all the things we never had, unconsciously creating an alternate universe for them, shielding them from the truth and protecting them from making mistakes. We allow these situations happen because as parents, we do not know any better and so many times do not even realise that we lack the relevant information that our children require to thrive. We unconsciously say we will give our children what we never had, and begin to make them feel the weight of the burden when our constant conversations with them are “I work hard because of you.” Gradually, that child begins to see themselves as the burden of your pain as opposed to being the gift.

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The foundation of any great country, nation or state is hinged on childhood, and how we raise our children determines how our society is shaped. We live in very chaotic, uncertain and volatile times, where we must rethink and reappraise our parenting. Are we raising gifts or we are rearing burdens to destroy society?

Society has no choice but to absorb the arrows that parents shoot, but the grave mistake parents make is to fold our arms and say “We have done all we can, let’s see how they turn out.”

We all have investments that we nurture so intentionally and through the day, we are constantly checking on these investments to see how they are faring and how best we can protect them to disallow them from falling through the cracks. We must maintain this same energy with our children.

This journey cannot be done alone. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is beyond being a cliche, and just before you scream and say “No, we cannot trust anyone with our children”, the choice is on you to choose your ‘villagers’ wisely.

The joy and hope of your investment is knowing that at the end of the day, you have done something phenomenal with and for your child and society.

QUEENETTE ITSEMHE ENILAMA is an education consultant with over 10 years of tutoring and grooming students and teachers. She is an emotional intelligence and life coach from The Pause Factory. She is a child protection practitioner from Taiwo Akinlami Academy.