The harmful indulgent love
How are children to be brought up and what is the limit of obligations of the parents to them? What should be the relationship between parents and their children? These are questions which must agitate every parent who can just think a little. What do parents do right and what do they do wrong with regard to the upbringing of their wards?
During the week a post was forwarded to me which I consider should be a subject of contemplation more so in view of the direction in which the world is headed. Who has not seen or read about child-soldiers? And who has not read about little girls tying bombs around their waists on errands of a suicide bombing in which they blow themselves up and cause deaths and destruction in communities? There are children and there are children. The same can be said about parents! The post titled “Letter to Nigerian Parents” with the rider “Dear All—Let’s be real” reads:
“I wish to start by adding the benefit of my time as a student and then resident in the UK. Living in Abuja now. The first thing I discovered about UK-born white English undergraduates was that all of them did holiday or weekend jobs to support themselves—including the children of millionaires amongst them. It is the norm over there regardless of how wealthy their parents are.
“And I soon discovered that virtually all other foreign students did the same—except status-conscious Nigerians. “I also watched Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Airline) speaking on Biography Channel. To my amazement, he said that his young children travel in the economy class—even when the parents (he and his wife) are in the upper class. Branson is a billionaire in Pound Sterling.
“A quick survey would show you that only children from Nigeria fly business or upper class to commence their studies in the UK. No other foreign students do this. There is no aircraft attached to the office of the Prime Minister in the UK. She travels on BA. And the same goes for the Royals. The Queen does not have an aircraft for her exclusive use.
“These practices simply become the culture which the next generation carries forward. Have you seen the car Kate Middleton (the wife of Prince William) drives? VW Golf or something close to it. But there’s one core difference between them and us (generally speaking), they work for their money, most of us steal ours.
“If we want our children to bring about the desired change we have been praying for on behalf of our dear country, then please, please. Let’s begin now and teach them to work hard so they can stand alone and most importantly be content and not having to ‘steal’ which seems to be the norm these days.
“We have Nigerian children who have never worked for five minutes in their lives insisting on flying ‘only’ first or business class and using the latest cars fully paid for by their ‘loving’ parents.“I often get calls from anxious parents, ‘my son graduated two years ago and is still looking for a job, can you please assist?’
“Oh. Really! So, where exactly is ‘This Child?’ is my usual question. ‘Why are you the one making this call, dad/mum?’ I am yet to get a satisfactory answer, but between you and I, chances are that the big boy is cruising around Abuja with a babe dressed to nines, in his dad’s sparkling new SUV with enough ‘pocket money’ to put salary to shame. It is not at all strange to hear a 28-year-old who has never worked for a day in his or her life in Nigeria but ‘earns’ a six-figure ‘salary’ from parents for doing absolutely nothing.
“I see them in my office once in a while, 26-years-old with absolutely no skill to sell apart from a shining CV, written by his dad’s secretary in the office. Of course, he has a driver at his beck and call and he is driven to the job interview. We have a fairly decent conversation and we get to the inevitable question—so, what salary are you looking at to earn? The answer comes straight—N250,000.00. I ask if that is per month or per annum.
“ ‘Of course, it is per month.’
“ ‘Oh, why do you think you should be earning that much on your first job?’
“ ‘Well, because my current pocket money is N200,000.00 and I feel my employer should be able to pay me more than my parents.’
“No wonder corruption continues to thrive. We have a society of young people who have been brought up to expect something for nothing as if it were a birthright. Even though the examples I have given above are from parents of considerable affluence, similar patterns can be observed from one end of the country to the other.
“Wake up, Mum! Wake up Dad! This syndrome—’My children will not suffer what I suffered’ is destroying your tomorrow. You are practically loving your child to death….
“Henry Ford said, ‘Hard work does not kill.’ We are getting everything wrong in Nigeria now, including family setting. It is time to prepare the children for tomorrow; the way the world is going, only those that are rugged, hardworking and smart that will survive…”
The post is no doubt food for thought. It is instructive. The question that is to necessarily follow is: How are children to be brought up? There are other questions which are germane to this all-important subject. What, for example, should be the relationship between parents and their children? The standard guide should be how the upbringing is seen from Above. Is it in accordance with the Will of the Creator? Who are children? Where are they from? Why are they on earth? Will the way they are raised facilitate the fulfillment of the purpose of their earthly sojourn? What rights do parents have over them and what claims can the children make of their parents? The post is urging Nigerians to put an end to the syndrome that everything must be done to ensure that children do not suffer what the parents had gone through; they should not be made to go through the experiences, the struggles parents had gone through to have a breakthrough in life.
The contention of the parents regarding this is borne out of the widely held belief, shared more by the children, that the parents are after all responsible for bringing them to this world; that they did not ask to be born. The parents must, therefore, sacrifice their all to make life comfortable for them.
Children are no doubt blessings and delight and joy to have around out of the Grace of the Creator. There is an inexplicable tie and love that flows from parent to child and from child to the parent. The truth, however, is that every child is on earth at his own request—to atone and to mature spiritually. Being born is, therefore, so much grace that must be cherished and for which every child must be thankful regardless of the circumstances of his birth—the circumstances of its parent and the environment into which he is born. There are no accidents of birth. Each person pre-natally chooses his parents and the environment into which he is born and raised.
Every human being is a spirit, a child or an adult. Since each child it is who becomes an adult, it follows that the purpose of each person on earth is spiritual. Each child sought an opportunity of earth life to make spiritual progress. If he suffers as the father has done or even worse, it is a gift to lovingly serve as a spur for him if he has the right attitude to the suffering. It is meant for him to invite himself into deep contemplation to seek the truth of life and existence. It is for him to ask: Who am I? Why am I on earth at this time? The deep reflection, if he earnestly seeks, will lead him to find—to find the purpose of life on earth and existence in the Beyond from whence he came.
In the beyond, there are thousands of souls seeking an opportunity of another life on earth called re-incarnation. Such souls lookout for where procreation has taken place. Out of many, one that is compatible with inhomogeneity with the prospective mother is able to attach itself to her through radiations. The radiations so spun between mother and child form the bridge through which the child enters the womb at a particular stage of pregnancy, which is about five months, by which time the pregnancy has gone half-way. The souls could be two, three or four or more as we witness from time to time especially in these times. There is a stampede in the beyond for many a soul to have the opportunity of reincarnation to balance accounts and make progress. We are in the End-Time and he who does not make it will be swept into perdition. It is now either-or, salvation or damnation in the light of the higher knowledge now spreading on earth!
The world is a school and like the earthly school system, if a person has a carry-over, he has to re-sit his exams before he can move to the next level or the next class. The earthly school is, indeed, patterned after the school of life. Didn’t the Lord Christ say in answer to an inquiry: Elias has come but they did whatever they liked with him. Although the Lord was not referring to John the Baptist, the crowd dispersed believing he was referring to him! Whatever proof of re-incarnation can we ask for?
From the foregoing, we can see that every child is no more than a guest of its parents. The parents only provide him an opportunity of incarnation. They provide him the vessel, the physical body which he needs for his sojourn on earth; through what the mother eats the radiations of which are woven into the child’s physical body. As a guest, it is not expected that he will disarrange the order of the home and bring disquietude to the family. What the parents owe the child is the care of the physical body, education and the guidance of the inhabiting spirit until that child is mature enough to go his own way to look after himself and face the struggle of life which is for his own spiritual profit. It is in personal struggles that the unfolding of a person’s ability and talents lie.
No child is helped if the father or mother takes away struggle from his life. Placing obscene comfort at the disposal of a child cannot facilitate his spiritual development. Doing so can be likened to a father helping his child to write his exams. Of what benefit would that be to his son? The skills of the father are not transferrable to the child nor is his knowledge. The child cannot be an engineer, a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer if he does not by himself acquire the knowledge and the attendant skills. Every child acquires the knowledge of fire when he touches it. Fire is beautiful, it is attractive to every child; the child wants to grab it! It soon learns an unforgettable lesson when it grabs it. When the child attains adulthood, the responsibility of the parents to watch over every step, over every move comes to attend. The responsibility of the child looking after himself and to chart his own path of development in pursuit of his dreams and the purpose of life is his alone. No obstacle should be placed on his way by preventing him from taking risks either.
As the parents have no claim on their children beyond the responsibility to look after them until they are old enough to take over the responsibility themselves so are the children precluded from claiming rights and making demands on their parents. Either party can be taken away without consultation. Inheritance of a parent’s property is right and beneficial only if it flows out of love and not as an obligation. If both parties have developed to the point of friendship and there is mutual love and respect, it will follow without much ado that a sense of voluntary assistance will ensue and the father or mother would give what they have labored to acquire to their children without pressure. It is in this way they would not burden themselves with the guilt of indulgent love which hampers and does not uplift nor does it facilitate the attainment of the purpose of life in accordance with the Will of the Creator. The developed world may have to some extent come to the right recognition in this regard, the recognition of the relationship between the child and its parents. The child is made to believe it has to lead an independent life upon attainment of a certain age, usually 18. The hold of the parents is gradually relaxed and the child is free to even leave home to look after himself and chart its own path. It is how it should be.
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