The decision to take on this subject matter came very late as I had prepared to publish something else entirely, but I thought to sort of commemorate the children’s day celebration (never mind that this is coming a day after) by doing a piece on our children and the huge responsibility we have towards them, whether we are already parents or hope to be. I also decided to this piece because of the terror we are currently battling as a country. A reader of this blog requested that I write on Boko Haram and the menace they are unleashing and I made mental note of that, but I am taking it from a different angle.
I was discussing with a friend last week, and the conversation found its way to the issue of the deadly sect called Boko Haram who are holding not just the northern part of the country, but the whole of Nigeria by the jugular at the moment. And I can remember that my focus concerning this matter was that these evil ones called Boko Haram have parents or at least had at one time! Abubarkar Shekau the leader of this group did not fall from the sky! He was born by a man and a woman just like the rest of us! Now, the question is…how was he brought up? How did he turn out to be such a monster? Who are his parents? Where did they go wrong in bringing him up?
The truth is that Shekau was once an innocent child. Something went wrong along the line. Having children is not exactly a tea party and should be taken with utmost seriousness. This may sound cliche but it has to be reiterated from to time. I watched the video of the 12 year old girl who was being beaten by her mother for posting semi-nude pictures of herself on Facebook and my first reaction was, what’s a 12 year old doing on Facebook? The video went viral and sparked various reactions from different people. While some believed her mother did the right thing by trying to beat some sense into her, others were upset and angry that corporal punishment was applied calling it child abuse. Child abuse my foot! I thought her mum did the right thing as I don’t even want to imagine what I would do in that kind of situation, though it would have been far better had it not occurred at all.
The fad nowadays is to have “tush” children which often translates to spoilt, ill-mannered kids who are not useful to themselves talkless of the society at large. We have been brain washed that our children will be tagged “ajebutters” when they can’t do anything for themselves. You who was flogged several times as a kid to keep you on the straight and narrow path and are now the better for it, think that your parents didn’t know what they were doing and spanking a child now is archaic. Someone scolds your child for doing something wrong and you take offense. Your child comes home with a strange possession, and you don’t bother asking where they got it. You are told that your child is a bully in school, and you wave it off as a phase that will pass. Well, you are only postponing the doomsday! Let me say that I don’t believe that children should be spanked at the slightest offense, I believe that you can actually talk to a child and make him realise what he is doing wrong, that being said, I am not against corporal punishment for kids either as long as it doesn’t border on abuse or sadism.
Children’s day should not only be about buying chocolates and ice-cream for our children. We can make a renewed commitment to be better parents and guardians as the way a society will turn out depends largely on the quality of upbringing provided by the family unit. Let’s take heed to these little ones while we can to forestall raising other Shekaus in the near future.