So i got to my office earlier than usual this morning as I had lots of works to do. My boss came in too and said he was going to attend a naming ceremony, then he paused and asked if I would like to go along? Even though I had a whole lot to do to, and stepping out for anything wasn’t part of my agenda, my mind said YES. So I went with him. Oh my, but was I glad I did? Absolutely YES. Professor Tayo was the appointed Pastor for the occasion and I got just the needed inspiration to write this children’s day celebration article. I think we can all agree that bringing up a child in the Lord’s way today is quite difficult and interesting, Prof. Tayo indicates that there are so many external evil forces waiting and plotting to snatch a child from his/her parents today. External forces being the media. He further adds that most children today know a gun when they see one, they even know where to pull the trigger despite the fact that they haven’t been to any military school, they know about sex, pornography and a whole lot of other inappropriate things.
He then asked all of us present, when does the training of a child begin? Someone said from birth, but he says, it should begin right from the womb. I feel it should begin way before conception, parents should be prepared, parenting is definitely not an easy task, and it is a full-time job that needs lots of research, yes, research!! Prospective parents should invest in books, journals, and articles about parenting in today’s world. Gone are the days when children play with sand and in the outdoors, nowadays, children play indoors with tablets, mobile phones, watch TV, disney world, jimjam, cartoon network, etc. Therefore it is paramount for parents and prospective parents to be prepared. I understand it’s not easy as well for parents, because they are trying to make a good living for their children too, and in the midst of it all, so much time is lost, not adequately spending enough time with the kids, no adequate monitoring of the kids and not enough time is spent to bring up these kids.
Prof. Tayo suggested that, parents when undertaking mundane tasks in the house, should incorporate God’s teachings into these simple tasks. Our children are watching us fervently, but we are unaware, their actions and behaviour are a reflection of the adults around, and the environment they are growing up in. Do we want them growing up to be disciplined, honest and God-fearing or we want them growing up as liars, touts, ruffians, and unscrupulous beings? Kids are innocent, we should not allow their minds to be corrupted at such a young age when their ability to discern right from wrong or reason appropriately is very plain. Kids take things as it comes their way.
I was talking to a friend of mine recently who is a single parent and wants to marry a single parent because he says, only a single parent can understand what it feels like to be a single parent. Even though I didn’t totally agree with his premise and we argued back and forth a little, at the end of it, I said this prayer; “God help and bless single parents a lot because it is not a good feeling in the heart of the child/children, until they are very much older and can understand why life happens!!” On this point, we were totally in agreement. I say the same prayer for married parents as well who for one reason or the other are not able to make out enough time to spend with their kids. Kids cannot understand why their parents are not around until they are older. I recommend watching the movie by #TylerPerry, “single moms club” for any parent that needs inspiration and encouragement in the task of raising a child.
Now for all parents out there trying to bring up children that they can be proud of, in today’s rotten world, whether you are a married couple, single parent, grandmother, grandfather, mother or father-in law, guardian, step-parents, surrogate parent, foster parent, etc. So long as you have a child you are raising, please I want you to understand that children, no matter how they come, are precious and priceless gifts from our creator and should be treated with so much love, respect, attention and care while also wielding a firm hand when necessary lest they become spoilt brats (we sure don’t want that).
Here are some of Professor Tayo’s recommendations, to engage in, which I totally agree with, in the task of bringing up a child:
- When you sleep, eat, stand, walk, lie down; saturate your children in the word of God, teach them the world of God.
- Be involved in every aspect of their life, socially, emotionally, physically, amongst others.
- Speak to your children while doing mundane things around the house, engage them in healthy conversations, and let them be at the front-line of your eyes.
- Let God’s teaching and words be instilled in their cognitive, in the psychomotor part of their brain.
- Make it a habit to take meals together and pray together.
- Let the words that are coming out of your mouth influence your kids positively. For those with babies and toddlers, when your kid is crying in the middle of the night and you want to rock him or her to sleep, sing inspiring songs, not skelewu and dorobuchi, or o fon ka si be and the likes of them.(I got no beef with those songs, but then again, they are not for kids.
- Lastly, “teach the word of God diligently”. Bring up honest, disciplined, and God-fearing children that you would be proud of tomorrow.