Family Living Today

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Weddings are spectacular events in our society today. Not even recession has reduced the glamour of a typical Nigerian wedding. Social media platforms make it more glaring and enviable as colourful pictures of marriage proposals, engagements and wedding ceremonies flood timelines daily. Invited and uninvited family members and friends grace the occasions in uniformed attires popularly known as ‘aso-ebi.’ Beginning from the wedding day, subtle pressure is put on the couple to raise children as prayers such as ‘we shall come for naming ceremony in the next 9 months’ is heralded with a chorused ‘Amen’ at the nuptial event.

The economic situation of the country is a reason why many couples work hard so as to live a comfortable life.  Some juggle between two to three jobs hence have less time for family engagements. A three months old is taken to daycare Center once the mother resumes work after her maternity leave. The way children kept in some of such facilities are handled is story for another day.

At home, they are left in the care of the nanny, housekeeper, driver and gatemen. Many kids have become victims of molestation and sexual abuse by domestic staff employed by their parents. Some get to see their parents once in a while as they are asleep when the parents get back at night and leave home early the next morning. Some parents send their wards to good schools, get a lesson teacher to keep the child busy at home and provide toys and gadgets to engage the child forgetting that these devices cannot build a child’s confidence and character the way your physical presence, reinforcement and mentoring will mould the child’s character. Many underage have fallen victims of cyber bullying, stalkers and kidnappers owing to unmonitored exposure to the internet.

Weekends are spent at one party or the other; a way to relieve work stress. Sundays are meant for  worship or rest, followed by visitations to family and friends. Work begins on Monday and the cycle continues. Kudos to teachers who work tirelessly to engage children and develop their potential abilities in school. You only need to have three kids in your care to understand what teachers go through in  keeping a class of 20 ubiquitous kids in order. Unfortunately, most teachers are poorly remunerated. Many private school teachers are underpaid while those employed by the government keep embarking from one industrial strike to another in a bid to get their salaries and entitlements paid.

The quality of a child’s character is not only based on the school system but on the family values inculcated in the child. Having children that soil the name and reputation you spent your life building will haunt you to your grave. I encourage mothers and fathers to be available for their kids and train them properly. As the Good Book says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  

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