This has nothing to do with politics. It is a not an APC-SLPP issue and so I hope nobody brings any politics into it. It is just the truth about something I have noticed . I have noticed that many christian parents are reluctant to train their children , especially in the U.S.
We have more responsible and efficient parenting in our countries, e.g. Sierra Leone and Liberia, than in the U.S. Though the economic situation and the decline of the traditional family in Africa are eroding family values , still parents in the Third World are doing a better job than many parents in the U.S.
We blame the kids for juvenile and adult delinquencies, for disrespect to elders and their very parents and of rebellion to social mores and values . Some of these blames are in place. Kids do things today that we did not dare do when we were growing up .Let us face reality , Sierra Leoneans. We have our political , regional and tribal differences today, but let us face reality .We have one thing in common. When we were growing up in Sierra Leone, we were products of strict, firm and efficient parenting.
We may be SLPP or APC today and spewing invectives at one another but one thing we can all agree with is that when we were growing up in Sierra Leone, our parents did a great job on us . Everyone of us can write volumes about how our parents fought to give us the right training. They disciplined us strongly if we disrespected our elders. They disciplined us strongly if we did not do our chores. They punished us when we took part in vices in the society they did not want us to commit. Our mothers were particularly more proactive in training and disciplining us. As a result of that , though we have our political divisions today, we can say one thing in common —we are doing well in society and we stay away from trouble. Why do we say “Salone man fraid trouble”. It is because of the upbringing we received . We take care of our nuclear families and support members of our extended families in Africa. We work diligently. We stay away from things that will bring shame and trouble. We are not perfect .There can never be perfect parents but one thing that is certain is that we are doing well. We are more committed to our families here and Sierra Leone. Will the children growing up today emulate us when they get to our positions ? This is a question we must ponder seriously .
My answer to that question is YES. Some of the kids growing up today are very good and if given the right training will emulate us or do even better .But we the parents have to train them. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 King James Version (KJV)
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It is a biblical admonition given to parents .God wants us to do it. He is looking up to us to do it. We cannot shirk that responsibility . Training them means we must teach them to respect their parents .The Bible a says in Exodus 20:12 King James Version (KJV) “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. ” Any child who does not honour his/her mother or father is in serious danger . By honor, it means that children treat with respect, consideration and reverence those that are their parents on this earth. Their parents may not be perfect .There is no perfect parent. Our parents were not perfect.They made mistakes. At times, they took decisions that we did not understand.Some of them played favorites , but still we respected them. We loved them. We shared our meagre resources with them. If they ask us to do something and we did not have the means, we spoke to them respectfully and kindly. This was all because of our upbringing.
I know many parents are handicapped in today’s world. In America, for instance, the state and the Federal Government have some laws in place that deter parents from training their children the way our parents did. The materialistic society is also a hinderance. In our days our parents and families were the only means of sustenance. I used to love reading the SIERRA LEONE DAILY MAIL, but I had no means to buy the newspaper except from the one or two shillings I got from my mother or father. Today, the material society provides everything for the kids and they often need little from their parents and guardians. They can live on their own, feed themselves and sustain their high-profile lives, especially in America .
In Africa, the social and economic system is now such that it is the children who are the bread-winners . Some fathers in America complain that because the mothers make more money than them, they stand in the way of the disciplining of the kids. If this is true, it is a shame to the mothers. These anomalies undermine the power of the parents to exert influence over their kids .It should therefore be seen that I am not bashing parents at all . I understand their constraints in today’s world , but still we must do what we know to do best to train our children to respect their elders and the laws and values of the land.
When our children go wrong , let us be frank with them and tell them where they have gone wrong. We do not love our children if we do not tell them where they are going wrong. And the Bible too says so . Proverbs 13:24 KJV King James Version “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes “. The rod here is not just talking about the whip. Corporal punishment has been outlawed. But there are more effective ways of training children than beating them. Telling them that they are wrong and showing them what is the right thing to do helps a lot. Let the kid know that he or she is wrong. This many parents refuse to do and God will hold them responsible for it. Blindly supporting our kids is unchristian and an anathema to true christianity . It erodes your credibility. It is our responsibility to train our kids .Let God see us doing our best , despite our constraints. You cannot be a permissive parent and call yourself a christian. I am not talking about chastising them in public. You cannot change anybody by chastising him in public. But in that secret, inner chamber, what you tell somebody in truth works far better .
The onus is especially on christian parents and guardians.If you are a christian parent and you are not doing anything to train your children, your religion is hollow. You have to control your own household first before you try to control other people’s households.
As I said earlier, this article has nothing to do with politics or APC Vs SLPP. I am just concerned about the permissive parenting I see around.