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nairaland.net • View topic - War Against Poor Parenting (WAPP)

War Against Poor Parenting (WAPP)

War Against Poor Parenting (WAPP)

Postby Richard Akindele » Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:00 pm

Ordinarily, it will not be the concern of a columnist or anybody else for that matter if some parents choose to neglect their responsibilities to their children. We have to take up this task nevertheless because the negligence of some parents affects us either directly or indirectly. The first angle we wish to approach in this whole issue of poor parenting is the case of some highly-placed fathers who get married to their work and abandon their wives and children.

In some cases, their wives also become too busy and abandon the children to the care of nannies and maigadis. In our country today, it has become something of a status symbol for men and women who are elevated to some high positions in the social, political or economic ladder to start complaining that they no longer have time for themselves, their spouses and their children.

Elevation in the career or profession of a patter familias, which ought to be a thing of joy to his immediate family, is, ironically, becoming a curse in our society no thanks to some people who create the impression that they have become slaves to their work. Such men and women leave their homes very early in the morning and come back very late in the evenings.

Our main concern in this instalment is with the men. It is true to some extent that the higher one grows in one's career or profession, the higher the responsibilities one has to bear. Does this however justify the alienation of one's family by some high flyers in the name of work? In any case, is it really true that those in high public or private offices are actually engaged in useful work all the time? Are they intelligent in the management of their time? There are three possible reasons why many of our big men in big offices stay late in offices.

The first is that some of them do not know about delegation of duties to some competent subordinates. Two, those who do know about delegation of responsibilities a re afraid of doing so especially if the portfolio they head is 'lucrative' in a manner only a Nigerian can understand. Three, the truth also is that very many busy executives merely use the excuse of work as a convenient cover to indulge in sexual escapades. Even if some of them are engaged in genuine hard work, any man who fails to realise that there is a time for work, a time for rest, a time for offering parental care to his children and a time to offer companionship to his wife, is a failed man no matter the status he has attained in the eyes of the society. He is not a balanced or judicious man.

Men ought to realise that God is not stupid in deciding that a man and a woman are both needed to collectively bring up children to form the society. No one can clap with one hand. The presence and contribution of both husband and wife are necessary to bring up well-adjusted children. Practical experience has shown very convincingly that some children, especially male ones, are better behaved when their fathers are around to correct them. They do often fear their dads more than they do their mums. They more readily obey instruction from their dads more than when it is from their mums.

This of course suggests that children of absentee fathers are more likely to become more delinquent than those whose fathers find time to be around to correct them. Parenting is one of the most important responsibilities of any adult. Any successful civilpublic servant or business mogul who is a failed father, brother, lover or husband has not quite succeeded, because he has failed the core course of life. It is said that the greatest gift which any father can give to his children is to love their mother. One major aspect of loving their mother is to provide her companionship and to put it more bluntly, to give her sexual fulfilment. Many of our so-called busy men neglect their wives in that area and allow the poor women to burn with passion. This is unfair, more so when it is realised that they spend their so-called busy time chasing other women.

Their wives become no more than conquered and kept artefacts. Permit me this vulgarity if it appears so to you, but I have to say it the way I heard it in order to dramatise the point. A sexually-frustrated housewife was overheard by her neighbours complaining angrily thus: "Papa James, do you not think that I deserve to be fucked more than twice a month?" This, certainly, is the plaintive cry of a faithful woman who has been starved of affection and has been left burning with passion by an insensitive absentee husband. Why is the behaviour, or rather the misbehaviour, of absentee husbands or fathers of any concern to us? The reason is simple: their failings create chain reactions which affect other innocent members of the society. For instance, an unfulfilled wife may be tempted to go after other women's husbands and in the process destabilise some good homes.

It has been established that som e of the armed robbers who terrorise us today, drug addicts, lesbians, homosexuals, prostitutes and cult boys and girls on our university campuses are products of broken homes. The thought that because society is so intricately interrelated and that our little failings in our small corner of the world can have such a destabilising effect on the rest of the society should humble us to become more alive to our responsibilities to our wives, children and parents. I am not very competent in talking about what Islam says about the role of a father but Christianity makes it very clear that apart from anything else, a father is the head and priest of the household. It is his business to provide food, clothes, accommodation and love for his wife and children. While some fathers do try their best to fulfil the material aspect of these responsibilities, they sometimes tend to neglect the spiritual aspect of it. Yet, that one is very crucial.

I wish to share a secret that has worked fo r me with some fathers who believe. And it has to do with the role of a father as a priest of his household. Each morning when I rise up and each evening when I am about to retire to bed, I say this prayer: "Mighty father, the creator of heaven and earth, I wish to acknowledge your over-lordship over my life and the lives of members of my household. I commit this day, my life and the lives of my family members into your able hands. I ask for your blessing upon our lives. Keep far away from us anything that would bring pain, shame or reproach upon our lives. "I especially commit into your able hands the lives of my children. Let none be kidnapped or abducted. Let none of them be initiated into witchcraft. Let none be lured into a secret cult. Let no man take advantage of my daughters and let no woman take advantage of my sons. Let none of my daughters be a victim of rape and none of my sons a perpetrator of rape. Let none of my children be victims of foolish peer pressure.

Let them be the ones who exercise positive influence on their peers. "Because we live in a devious world full of temptation, if for any reason a child of mine is tempted to undress for illicit sex, Lord, whisper into the ears of such a one to rise up, put on his or her dress and flee from such devious environment and never again to be found in a compromising position. "Lord, let your protective shield cover us forever that there will be no cause for us to go to hospital, a law court or a police station or to be found in any situation that would devour our health, our finances and our peace of mind."

I have exercised this priestly responsibility towards my family for years and I am happy to report that my household and me are not contributing to the vices that have made our nation prostrate today. Perhaps, other fathers need to wake up to their fatherly roles! To be continued next week.

Daily Trust.
Richard Akindele
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