Lagos: Many workers, in their quest to ensure needs are met and more importantly homes catered for, put in everything.
The hustle and bustle in cities like Lagos, sees many battling with the daily ritual of leaving home early, for some as early as 5a.m., and returning late, for some as late as 9p.m. or even later.
Parents who face such challenging schedules go for helps to fill gaps in the home front, especially where young children being brought up cannot be left all alone.
Others opt for boarding schools to avoid such gaps and ensure the children are in good hands.
Some experts, however, believe that beyond such options, such parents need to do more as these may not be adequate to close gaps created in homes by tight working schedules.
To them, close relationship of parents with their children is essential in ensuring proper parental upbringing and attendant reduction in children deviant behavior.
Many highlight the need for closer child care, especially in the face of such unacceptable behavior of some children which shook the airwaves in the recent past.
Mr Yomi Otubela, National President, Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) believes that effective collaboration between the school and the home is needed to bring out a morally rich child.
He says said that lack of such collaboration between parents and the school could create gaps in proper child upbringing, which societal pressure often tends to fill.
“Some parents are not usually present to monitor their children at home due to pressure and unending heavy vehicular traffic, especially in the city.
“This makes many parents leave home as early as 5 a.m., and return home from 9 p.m, which result to no quality time with the children.
“Given the gross reduction in moral values, parents are advised to pay special attention to the emotional needs of their children.
“Also, we are aware of the fact that we are in an era where the use of technological devices has become imperative to advance the course of mankind.
“Parents must ensure that they devise a means to monitor what their children watch, to restrict them from accessing adult sites at home,” he said.
Otubela said that moral decadence had eaten deep into the moral fabrics of the society and all hands should be on deck to make things better.
“Most studies show that parents are to take the larger portion of the blame for children’s behaviour.
“Parents must take a greater role in shaping their children’s future, by inculcating morally acceptable behaviour in them,” he said.
An educationist, Mr Collins Nnadozie, an educationist, also believes that proper parenting is key and plays a significant role in the upbringing of any child.
He says that parents need to live up to their responsibility in that regard as charity begins from home.
“Well, with my little knowledge and experience as a child growing up, I will say that proper parenting plays a pivotal role to creating a wholesome society,” Nnadozie said.
To him, the family and environment are the first agent of learning and are essential in preventing indecent lifestyles and delinquency in children.
A parent and citizenship coach, Mr Moses Obuba-Kalu, on his part, says parents should not transfer the obligation of training their children to school teachers.
Teachers, he said, hardly have time to attend to everyone personally during the short period of school teaching and learning.
He said the onus was on parents to ensure children have good moral upbringing to aid them become responsible adults in future.
“Parents should be role models to their children by letting them imbibe norms of the society at formative stage for such to simmer-down in them before they become adults.
“Be sincere with the training of the children in all ramifications to avoid them toeing a strange line that can make them become nuisance to the society in the later years.
“Give them hard training and entrepreneurship skill in order for them to understand the rudiments of life and ways to effectively manage it when they stay alone as adults.
“Do not make too much money available to children so they don’t indulge in luxury instead of their studies.
“Efforts should be geared toward monitoring their conducts in the social media to avoid their exposure with corruptive materials and persons,” he said.
Obuda-Kalu chided parents who treat children with kids gloves and said that such children would grow up to be a burden on the family.
He advised parents to listen to and make friends with their children in order to find out their troubles and proffer solutions for them, instead of them taking wrong solutions from their peers.
To Mr Akintoye Hassan, Chairman, Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Lagos State chapter, there is need to promote morals and right values in the society, as part of ways to enhance proper upbringing.
Hassan said that teachers, on their own, must ensure they do not lose focus in the promotion of good values, as the children were learning and acquiring knowledge in schools to solve human challenges.
He, however, identified some challenges.
“Nowadays, we believe money can buy everything, parents now dictate to teachers what values should be impacted in their children.
“Today, under the influence of the western world and child right, some parents now use money to buy morals and responsibilities of taking care of their children.
“Parents are kept at their various workplaces for too long, which affect their home challenges.
“This issue is about taking sincere decision on how we want the future of this country to be and how we invest in this younger generation,” he said.
Hassan said that the concept of education was about knowledge, skill acquisition and getting values, but currently, people view education as knowledge and skill acquisition alone.
“Without using the three concepts in education, it is useless.
“The essence of having school in place is to correct anomalies, face challenges and find ways on how to correct any child involved immoral acts,” he said.
According to him, when issues arise, as did in some Lagos schools recently, what needs to be done is to register the occurrence, get the facts on how it happened and prevent such occurrence in the future.
Dr Charles Umeh, Chairman, Nigeria Association of Clinical Psychologists, Lagos State, says parents must step up efforts in entrenching core values in their homes as this is the foundation of character formation.
Umeh, who is also a lecturer at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos notes that stakeholders in general have derailed in their parenting role as they rather go after other things that would bring them financial rewards.
He said there was an urgent need to redefine the country’s reorientation value.
“Parenting could be defined from effective parenting perspective and that means achieving the much needed result. Children could be molded to be what they want to be
“There are two determinant factors to achieve this and this has to do with with genetics and nurture.
“Both the genetic and nurture or environmental influence, make up the upbringing of a child, which constitutes of home, family, society, community, which is the environment, and this includes what they see and hear.
“Genetics alone cannot do it, just like nurture. There must be an interplay. It takes a child’s interaction with the outside world for the character trait to form,” he said.
According to him, a case study of identical twins that are raised in different environment, has clearly shown difference in their behaviour.
“For instance, if you raise one of the twins in Ajegunle and the other in Banana Island, the home, environment, who they interact with, will greatly shape their value orientation and that is why I say both genetic and nurture must have an interplay.
“Some of the parents do not see their children in the greater part of the day. They are out chasing money while they abdicate their roles to the house helps.
“They are hardly there to see these children grow, the kind of persons they come in contact with, the kind of things they have access to, such as television, phones, and others.
“They start learning vicariously, with no one to play the effective supervision and monitoring role.
“This affects or shapes their growth. Teachers can only complement the roles of parents by applying rules and regulations to put children under check.
“They already have the primary and have too many other academic matters as well as the children who come from various background to contend with,” he said.
He noted that no child would stray if given the required training at home, noting that should the parents fail to provide the emotional support the children need, they get it outside and that by then, they were already misguided.
Umeh urged not just the parents, but also stakeholders to retrace their steps, sit back and reflect to find where they had gotten it all wrong.
He warned that it was time the society too stopped shunning uprightness, hard work, perseverance, and dignity of labour.
Mrs Violet Ubah, Consultant, True Teachers Organisation, an NGO, notes that proper guidance and parenting could be applied as corrective measure when parents begin to create and spend quality time with their children.
Ubah said that some parents spent money on their children but failed to understudy them.
“I see parenting as spending time to know your child, because by so doing, you will be able to know when he or she is going astray, or exhibiting funny acts,” she said.
Mrs Adeola Ekini, Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Lagos chapter, supports her.
She says parents should always try to be friends and close to their children to know the challenges they are going through to be able to guide them.
According to her, mothers should share their internet-enabled phones with their secondary school children when they need them for home work, in order to be able to properly monitor them.
“If it becomes necessary to leave phones with them for sake of calls, it should be button phones that are not internet-enabled.
“For me, the right time to give children phones is when they are done with secondary school and are going to the university. By then, they are mature enough,” she said.
The General Overseer of the Vineyard Christian Mission, Osolo way, Lagos, Archbishop John Osa-Oni, however, believes that proper parenting cannot be complete without putting God in the picture.
He said that parents should introduce godliness to their children early to enable them grow in the fear of God and love for others.
“Teach them to read the scriptures regularly to enable them to internalise it and put its teachings in practice,” the cleric said.
Osa-Oni, chided parents that treat children’s misbehaviour with levity, warning that the scriptures prescribe sanction for wrongdoing and commendation for good conduct.(NAN)