Raising children for the next generation

Editorial

Children in this part of the world are highly cherished as precious gifts from God. They are regarded as the fruit of marriage and a blessing from the Creator. There are many reasons why children are valued. One is to act as successors to parents. In reality children are needed to replace the ageing population. The children are weaned, groomed and primed to take over from those ahead of them.
Drawing from the above the importance of growing the children in an efficient and effective manner cannot be over emphasized. The question therefore is to what extent has parents been able to discharge this all important duty. It is the expectation of many parents to have their offspring attain greater height and make remarkable progress in their chosen area of endeavor more than themselves.
We are living in a competitive world. We are faced with an age where things change with the speed of light and what adults learnt yesterday are becoming obsolete with each passing day. We come from an environment that is tagged under developed and sometimes developing nation. The kids grow to mature to become youths. The youths we all claim and chorus to be the leaders of tomorrow. But how well equipped are they to function as future leaders.
The foundation of any structure is key to the achievement of any level of significance. Similarly, the preparation or grooming we provide the kids is significant in shaping their future performance. It is important we pay attention to some important issues which are generally taken for granted in a child’s development but which significantly account to a large extent for the productivity of the nation.
Today’s adult population may not have fared well and should take steps to protect the next generation. We can secure our future through proper feeding of the children with balanced diets that can foster their growth and provide good health. Poor nutrition has been reported to have adversely affected the growth of Nigerian children as experts have disclosed that 43% of Nigerian children have stunted growth.
Last year according to reports of the CS SUNN, (Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria) Imo state ranks among the states that has high rate of malnourished children and women. It stated that children under five in Nigeria has an infant mortality rate of 66 per 1000 live births and an under 5, mortality rate of 96 deaths per 1000 live birth.
It noted that “Imo State government investment in the key nutrition intervention have been very poor between 2015 and 2018” and therefore urged the Imo state government to pay adequate attention to issues of nutrition so as to avert the consequence that accrues from negligence which includes high infant and maternal mortality rate.
The Federal government school feeding program may be an attempt to bridge the gap but observers note that it is grossly abused and sees it as an opportunity through which government officials line their pockets through corrupt practices.
Again, we need to incorporate in the children education such critical issues as empathy and critical thinking. Experts have pointed out that the reason we have a largely violent society is that the children are not taught empathy at school. Parents feel good and take pride even to the extent of boasting that their children can bully their mates. They see it as an achievement by encouraging children to hit back and harder at the slightest provocation in order not show any sign of weakness.
Modern society has come to the realization that so many issues can be resolved through the process of dialogue. Children should at very early age be taught critical thinking. They should be encouraged to ask questions rather than shut them up when they become inquisitive. The modern time do not require children who will swallow the unworkable processes rammed down their throat by their parents.
Sports are another factor that can contribute to their overall physical development. Sadly, the schools we have in most places are housed in tight spaces with no sporting facilities. Through sports the children learn the spirit of competition, how to strive to win and how to handle failures as well as successes.
Edge Express notes with concern that many parents have abdicated the primary roles they should play towards their children from whom they expect wonderful performances. We are all concerned about the troubling negative tendencies manifested by our children. We call on all hands to be on deck to reverse this trend. It is in our hands to build the tomorrow of our choice.

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