In West Africa, Nigeria in particular, Yoruba land to be precise, parenting and home training are important subjects in the society; their importance cannot be overemphasized.
The kind of parenting a child gets, especially in the aspect of discipline, is believed to go a long way in influencing the type of man or woman such a child becomes.
On a highly generalized level, the traditional and institutionalized idea of discipline ranges from corporal punishments (e.g. flogging), rebuking e.t.c.; some parents do make extra efforts in inhibiting their children from making friends with kids they do not approve.
In fairness to this ideology, it has had a high level of success; in fact, _"spare the rod and spoil the child"_ they say.
Nonetheless, it needs to be noted that modernization reshapes every aspect of human life. Hence, the level of the effectiveness of this traditional forms of discipline has dwindled.
This is as a result of the fact that the world today is quite complex than it used to be.
In a world where societies are now overridden by the use of social media, sexually suggestive concepts, pornography, drug use and alcoholism, it will take more than mere beating and rebuking to mould a disciplined child.
In the 21st century, it seems to be an impossible task to successfully home-train children.
To change the tides, we need to admit and accept the fact that our ideology of parenting and home training needs to be "updated".
From a personal perspective, these are some of the ways in which parenting children in the present generation can be improved;
-Encouragement & Reward
A wise man once said something, he said _"spare the rod and spoil the child. But beside the rod, keep an apple for him anytime he does a good deed"_.
Quite true, isn't it?
Children need to be encouraged when they behave well. When you reward children for behaving well, they most likely tend to develop a propensity towards maintaining such good behaviour(s).
One thing I've noticed in many homes is that the place of communication- father-son conversation, heart-to-heart talks, family conversations- is nowhere to be found.
Communication between parents and children helps to note changes (if any) in their attitude.
Giving them attention helps them to open up whenever they have bothering issues to discuss.
Moreover, it helps instill a sense of confidence into them. And it makes children feel free to express themselves.
-The Role of Fathers
Parenthood was never designed to be meant for mothers alone. It was never meant to be a "mother-thing".
It is quite unfortunate that, in Nigeria, especially Yoruba land, blames are heaped on the mother, when the child brings shame upon the family.
Whereas, the father has equal share of the blame.
Researches show that most of the children who commit crime did not have fathers to look up to; they were not there when they needed them.
Fathers, apart from providing for the family, have roles to play in the upbringing of their children.
There are certain things that can only be properly imparted into children by the father; such as the values of sense of responsibility, self esteem and confidence, integrity, decision-making e.t.c.
Unfortunately, many fathers have failed in this respect.
This needs to be corrected.
When kids begin to reach the age of puberty, and coming-of-age, it is very sacrosanct to educate them on the intricacies of sex.
If this is not done, they will learn about it the wrong way, and they may end up having a wrong mentality of sex.
-Being Good Role Models
Children need someone to look up to. A parent's life should be exemplary, and worthy of emulation.
-Make Them Realize Their Mistakes
Yes, they are children. But they are not animals!!
Sometimes, what children need is to be sat down and made to know the implications and consequences of their actions.
They should be corrected, so as to prevent such from repeating itself.
-The Good and Bad of the Internet and Social Media
It's very important to educate kids on the demerits of the internet and social media. They need to be educated on how not be victimized, corrupted, mesmerized or obsessed with what they may see on these platforms.
These, and many more, are ways in which our traditional ideologies of parenting can be overhauled, and "updated".
N.B.: Comments, suggestions, corrections and criticisms are warmly welcome.
Adojutelegan Oluwatosin "Adoo"