Charity begins at home, as it is often said that parents are the very first teacher of a child.
The English dictionary describes parenting as the process of teaching and educating a child from birth until adulthood. This depicts that whatsoever a child becomes at adulthood is as a result of the raising and education he/she got from his/her parents right from birth.
As parents, especially mothers, you start training your child at the point of conception, even before birth, by saying positive words into the life of that fetus, talk to it even in the womb. Say words like good morning how are you? Sorry and sometimes, words of prayer. You can also correct actions right from the womb, don’t be a waiting mother that curses, do the same thing at birth. Many women curse their husbands while in labor, why? What are you teaching that child at that moment? Don’t destroy the life of that innocent child because of labour pain. Be positive always so that the child can at least have a promising future that is better than yours.
After birth, the training and education continues with more attention and effectiveness from both parents. Some fathers leave the training of a child to the mothers only, which shouldn’t be so since the child exists through both parent, parenting should be joint effort. Whenever a baby does something wrong, even when we know that the child has not reached the age of accountability, don’t just fold your arms and say he’s still a child, give the necessary correction mildly in such a way that as they grow up, he/she will know the right from wrong. It becomes difficult to start giving training to a child when he or she grows into adulthood.
The word of God says ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is grown, he will not depart from it’. Spiritually, teach them how to reverence God, behave in places of worship/prayer and represent well his faith anywhere he finds himself, irrespective of religion.
Academically, be their teacher. Don’t be too busy for your child. Take enough time to tutor him/her at home after school work, don’t just leave everything to the school teacher, they can’t give all they needs to know, I tell you. Hiring extra lesson teacher is good, but it’s not the best. Be their extra lesson teacher, there you will know his/her weakness and strength.
Morally, as a mother, when the father corrects a child, don’t take side with them even if what he or she has done is not bad, don’t take side with him. Many parents are guilty of this. When he or she sees that his/her parent do not support such act, the child will draw back. It helps to build them because every child wants to be the parents’ favourite. Teach them how to behave in the society, manner of approach to fellow counterparts, elderly ones and even younger ones. Educate them on how to greet, show appreciation, make request in a polite manner and other necessary things that makes a child recommendable in the society. Let them learn cultures and traditions.
In Health, be your child’s personal nurse. Every parent should always be concerned with their child’s health, what he or she eats, drinks, wears and plays with. Check for any bruise or scratch on their body whenever they are back from school, ask them questions pertaining to their health and whenever you discover a change in any child as regards health issue, rise to it, give the appropriate medication if you can and if not, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.
Most importantly, as good parents, give your children a listening ear. Don’t just shut them up whenever they try to express themselves, either they are right or wrong. Listen to them, be their confidant, be their friend, build a very close relationship with them in so much that they will hardly take any step without informing you. Be their best friend and pray effectively and effortlessly for them. With that, you will be able to know if things are going wrong or right with them and in case, things are going wrong, immediate attention should be given to it.
If every parent gives maximum attention to effective parenting, the society at large will be a place of pride.
Written by OLUWAPELUMI AYENI
Serving corps member (National Youth Service Corps),Ministry of Communication, Information services, kwara State.