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Role of parents in youth empowerment and employment

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Rev. Fr. John Damian


June 1, 2019 was observed as Global Day of Parents. A day set aside to honour and appreciate parents for their selfless commitment and sacrifice towards their children.  I want to use this medium to remind our parents of the role they have to urgently play to empower our youths.

Parents should Create Space for their Children: Most parents are finding it very difficult to handover. They are even occupying the space that is meant for their children. A good number of them who are old enough to retire are still finding it very difficult to let go. I still pray that the governor of Edo State should succeed in retiring all the civil servants who have served for more than 35 years. This will definitely create more space for youth employment. I also pray that other states follow suit. As you create space for youths, they will in turn take care of you in your old age.

Parents should expose their Children to Skill Acquisition: The Boy Jesus was an apprentice under His foster Father, Joseph. It was through Joseph He learnt His famous skill as a Carpenter. He was even called the Son of a Carpenter. Narandra Modi describes Skill Acquisition as a means of putting an end to the problem of unemployment: “We need to give importance to skill development because this way we can end unemployment.” A child that is skilfully trained can never be unemployed.

Parents should train their Children: The book of Proverbs declares, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). In one of his general audience, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, declares, “If family education regains its prominence, many things will change for the better. It’s time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile – they have exiled themselves from educating their children – and slowly reassume their educative role,” the Pope said May 20. Education is the foundation of youth empowerment.

Parents should Inspire and Motivate their Children: Youths cannot survive without motivation, especially from their parents. When our Lord Jesus Christ performed His first miracle, it was His Mother, Mary that motivated Him. Even at that Jesus told His mother, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” With this, Jesus was able to perform His first miracle. The first miracle of every child is in the hands of their parents. Parents need to push their children into action. This first push takes away fear of failure and fear of the unknown.

Parents should connect with their Children: Connection is very important in the life of every youth. Without connection or recommendation, one can hardly make it. A tree cannot make a forest! The Mother of James and John was the one that recommended her two children to Jesus (Matthew 20:20-21). Responsible parents will not only train their children, they will also try their best to connect their children to their desired destiny.

Parents Should encourage their Children: Encouragement is a force that propels one into action. Without encouragement, youths can easily be discouraged and when they are discouraged, they cannot achieve much. In his letter to the Colossians, St. Paul wrote, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21). If you are a responsible parent, you must encourage your children and not discourage them. The more you encourage your children, the more they are likely to succeed.

Parents should Instruct their Children: Every child requires instruction. A child cannot develop without instruction. The book of Proverbs declares, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; 9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck. (Proverbs 1:8-9). Parental instruction is the foundation of youth empowerment.

Parents should provide for the basic Needs of their Children: In his letter to Timothy, St. Paul wrote, “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8).If the parents could apply these principles, I assure you, the problem of unemployment will be a thing of the past. I wish all our hardworking and responsible parents, Happy Global Day of Parents!


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John Damian
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