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Foundation tasks parents on upbringing

By Maria Diamond
09 July 2022   |   3:31 am
With growing trend of youthful exuberance, parents have been warned to create time for their children intentionally and consciously.

With growing trend of youthful exuberance, parents have been warned to create time for their children intentionally and consciously. This is critical to raising well-rounded children that will further impact the society.

This was the thrust at a parent’s forum event organised by I Need To Know (INTK) foundation with the theme, ‘Redefining Parenting’.

Speaking to The Guardian, founder, INTK Vivian Kayode –Yusuf said the foundation in its second edition is poised to bridge the gap between parents and children. “We discovered that there are a lot of absentee parents; while some are just physically present, others are not there at all.”

With increased teenage vices and the role of parents in curbing the menace, Kayode-Yusuf said that the primary mentors of children are their parents; hence the responsibility cannot be left for teachers in school, as the background of the tutor is unknown. “Asides academics, there are certain things that parents should teach their children – this is why they say charity begins at home. Of course we have other section of the society that will help in forming certain aspects of the child but the core will be from the parents in the home.”

She further informed that when there is a breakdown in the family system, it becomes obvious in the society; hence basic family values are imbibed from the home.

“We discovered that sometimes after counseling teenagers and mentoring them, if there is no continuity or follow up at home there will be a problem hence the need to awaken parents to their responsibilities. The truth is, some parents don’t even know what their responsibilities are towards their wards”

She continued: “We discovered that some parents are the major problem for these teenagers. You have a parent that is modeling a wrong lifestyle; automatically that child is going to pick up that wrong lifestyle because teenagers follow the ‘do as I do’ steps not ‘do as I say’. They are very smart and sensitive to everything happening around them. The kind of teenagers we have now would even challenge you – they will ask you why you’re doing something you asked them not to do. This is why we saw the need to bring parents together and discuss these issues as we have discovered that a lot of parents also need to be parented. Parenting is not a title but a responsibility.”

Kayode- Yusuf further said in this 21st century you can’t parent a child the way you were parented as the season and times are different, these children are more exposed, they have more information, you will be amazed at the kind of things that these children know and you as the parent would think they don’t know but they do. Some they are confused about, and they really want to know. This is where the name of the foundation emanated ‘I Need To Know’. Teenagers are very inquisitive, they will tell you “I need to know, I want to know.”

On the ideology behind the forum, Kayode-Yusuf said: “the theme emanated from the recent happenings in our society today, we’ve come to realise that what a lot of parents term to be parenting is not. For instance, some parents just believe that since they provide for their children, send them to good schools, provide everything they need and want – that is the perfect definition of good parenting but it goes beyond all that. So we wanted parents to know that parenting goes beyond meeting their children’s needs. They are supposed to have a responsibility in the lives of these children, guide them, have a value system in the family that should be explained to these children and make them understand why they can’t flout this value system. So parents have to know that they really need to take time out to know who their children are at all stages of their lives.

The truth is, a lot of parents are living in denial – they keep saying God forbid, my child is not this or that and atrocities are happening right under their nose, even in their homes without them knowing. So the idea is to build a relationship between parents and their children – a situation where a child needs answers to certain things, they should be free to walk up to you to ask these questions and as parents ensure to have the right answers to all of their questions. But unfortunately these children take these questions outside to friends and others, and most times they get the wrong answers.”

She however noted that while it is very important for parents to work in order to provide for the family, there should be a balance. “This is not even about saying a woman should not work. I am an advocate of working women, you can’t just sit down there and expect the man to do everything, but there should be a balance – parenting should be intentional.

“We need to find a balance and ensure that you consciously and intentionally create time for your children even in your busy schedules; you should make time for your children. If you have to find a day that works for you even if it’s the weekend – spend the entire day to know your children’s challenges however little and bond with them.

“Dare to step into their world and understand the children. If not working is okay for you, fine, but for some others, one parent income might not be sufficient so both parents have to work. But the bottom line is to train these children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it. Do not leave the training of your children to school or home teachers. The primary mentors of children are their parents.

“When a child does not believe in his or her parents, it’s a problem. Agreed that as humans we have phases and sections of our lives where we get training from; however, the nuclear family is the first and basic point of training. You cannot leave your responsibility as a parent to the teachers in school as you don’t even know the kind of home or background the teacher is coming from. Aside from the academic part of the training, there are certain things that parents should teach their children – this is why they say charity begins at home. It is easier to train a child than an adult.”

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