December 14, (THEWILL) – Child rights and child education experts at a roundtable session organized by the United Action for Change (UAC) in Lagos, decried the dearth of good parenting in today’s society as well as the general decline in societal values.
The roundtable session, which held last weekend, with the topic, “Parental Failure and Decline in Societal Values,” was attended by Yetunde Fashakin, a Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinician, Researcher, Teacher, and Addiction Specialist; Aameenah Oluwatosin Yunus-Ali, a certified Performance Consultant and a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP); Taiwo Akinlami, co-founder and CEO, Power Parenting Company LLC; Children’s Human Rights/Protection and Family Strengthening Expert/Advocate and Saadat Ogunbote, an educationist, Child Advocate, Teen Coach, and Counsellor, in their respective presentations, they agreed that it is high time that the stakeholders at different levels came together to proffer solutions to the lingering crisis of parental failure and dearth of societal values in the contemporary age.
Welcoming participants to the event, the Convener of United Action for Change and the moderator of the session, Muiz Banire, former Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, said: “The organization is very concerned about the ugly trend in the society, which was as a result of bad parenting and lackadaisical attitude of contemporary parents to the proper upbringing of their children. Hence, the need for the organization to call on everyone to come, reason together, and look at formidable ways to save the society.”
According to a statement by the secretary, Michqel Popoola Ajayi, Yetunde Fashakin, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/Managing Director (MD), Amazing Health Care Clinic, said: “The problem in the society is that we are less concerned about the future of our young ones. Meanwhile, we have forgotten that, when there are too many children out there without good parental care, those with two parentage are not even safe.
“Parental failure is the inability of the parent to do the needful. You haven’t become a parent until you teach your child the right path. We must teach the children how to have vision, contentment, fear of God, and fear of the country.
“Parents have the responsibility of guilding and guarding the children to adulthood. And we must inculcate godly conscience in the lives of the children. If you fail to scold your child when he or she is wrong is a sign of parental failure. Spare the rod and spoil the child.”
Fashakin who is also a member, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatrist, declared that every child should be given specific attention, saying, “a parent will be making a mistake if he or she is trying to fit all the children in the same mould. Every child is unique and they must be trained uniquely. Be deliberate about parenting, don’t leave your child’s upbringing to chance.”
In her presentation, Aameenah Oluwatosin Yunus-Ali decried the reality of today’s world. According to her, “the reality has changed drastically, the sophistication of information technology has made the world to be overloaded with information that has adverse effects on the children. And it is saddening that we can only instructor condemn so many things they are exposed to but we aren’t providing alternatives.”
Yunus-Ali, who is also an associate practitioner with the Institute of Family Systems Engineering and Development and a member of Family Systems Engineering Professionals however suggested that; “We need to recreate the society we want. And this starts with the family. We need to start having a vision statement for the family. And also the school your child attends must share the same value system you want to build for the child. Special attention must be placed on schooling. You must have a specific purpose of sending your child to a particular school. The school must have a vision and core values that are in accordance with your family value system and the future you aspire for your child.”
Speaking on the effective raising of a child; Akinlami highlighted family, community, state, and the international community as four institutions that are responsible for raising a child saying in these; “the family remains the bedrock of the society and the number one rule is to inculcate positive value system into the children. On the other hand, the community, which includes, the school, the religious organizations, NGOs, the media among others have the role to validate the family value system. It is sacrosanct that a child needs to be hearing the same voice from all of them. When a child begins to hear diverse messages from these institutions, a big problem sets in.”
Still emphasizing the place of “school” in raising a child; the fourth discussant, Saadat Ogunbote, who is also the initiator of Pearls Of Wisdom, a platform comprising parents, teachers, school owners, and educational enthusiasts with the mission to inspire and sustain academic excellence in young minds said; “a school can make or mar a child. A parent must have a clear idea of the type of school he or she wants for his or her child. The family value system must determine such school. A lot of sanitization must begin in our schools. The government must regulate the establishment of private schools. We must begin to ask; Of what specific purpose are these schools? Who are the people establishing the schools? What is their vision?”
Lamenting the decadence in the society, Ogunbote said, “the society today is celebrating vices over virtues. Today, to the children, vices are the right things while virtues are the wrong ones. In this regard, the media needs to be sanitized, because it is having a great influence on our today’s world. The media pushes a lot at us, and these are the things dominating the world right now. The media should promote good content for the sake of the children and their future.”
In his closing remarks, the Secretary of the organization, Michael Popoola Ajayi, appreciated all the participants at the very interactive and highly resourceful event. He promised that the organization will ensure that everything discussed, as its tradition, would be presented to the appropriate stakeholders.