The family is the smallest unit of the society. Every society is made up of products of families. We can safely say that if there were no families, there would be no societies.
Robert Sandifer was already stealing cars and breaking into houses by the age of eight. He was a killer by the time he was eleven years old and was himself murdered by members of his gang shortly afterwards in 1994. His mother, Lorina Sandifer was arrested over 30 times while prostituting, a number of which were drug-related. Robert Akins (Sandifer’s father) was absent throughout his life.
This looks like a very extreme example of what could go wrong in a child’s life but there is every possibility that things could have been different if both parents were present and responsible. The troubles and crisis we have in society today are not caused by spirits but humans raised in our societies. So if members of the society are brought up as responsible citizens with decent moral standards, we may have a healthier society.
There is an African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Loosely interpreted, it means the whole community is involved in the upbringing of a child.
But these days, it appears the village doesn’t really know how to raise a child.
The village doesn’t know when children are old enough to be exposed to media with adult content.
The village thinks if it is called a children’s TV program then children of all ages can watch.
The village thinks it’s cool to buy grades for children.
The village thinks effrontery trumps honour and respect for elders in the village square.
The village is confused about what age children should be exposed to tech gadgets.
The village is not sure if it is to raise the child to be a man or a woman.
The village doesn’t know what is true about God and what isn’t.
The village thinks money must be gotten at any cost and that everything including love can be bought with money.
The village thinks we should celebrate people irrespective of how they have earned their status.
The village does not know how not to raise rapists, racists, con men, kidnappers or terrorists.
The village doesn’t know the difference between excellence and mediocrity.
The village doesn’t know what love, fairness and equity means.
The village does not know what is wrong with jungle justice
The village does not know…
So, should we leave our children to be trained by the clueless village? Or should we create a new village? Or should we train OUR children in the way they should GO?
Parents today are concerned about protecting their children from rapists, racists and bandits. But parents should also check that they themselves are not raising rapists, racists and bandits in their homes.
Parenting must be deliberate, particularly in this age.
We must model the right behaviour because children learn by example and observation. We must instruct, guide, mold and correct in love.
Food for thought: What is your contribution to grooming the future of the society?