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Where are the mothers AND fathers?

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Fri, Nov 18. 2011

Editor, Improper parenting and the absence of parents in the home contribute to the problem of delinquent and undisciplined children in our society. Some parents seem to think that it is another person’s duty to train and take care of their children.{{more}} Grandmothers and siblings usually have to take on such responsibility, sometimes without any support from the parents.

After a grandmother has spent years bringing up her own children, she now has to spend her old age ‘stressing and worrying-up herself’ with disobedient grandchildren. This is just not fair! After working hard, making many sacrifices… why should grandparents be ‘bound down’ with grandchildren? Where are the fathers and mothers of these children?

Neither is it the responsibility of siblings to take on parental duties. They must be given the chance to be children. They should not to be burdened with ‘big man and big woman’ duties.

We have heard cases of children being burnt in homes while parents were out having a ‘nice time’. We have heard grandmothers pleading to delinquent grandchildren to return to their homes. We hear of children running away from siblings. We hear of teenagers living alone- abandoned by their parents. We hear of children being subjected to abuse (sexual, physical etc) by stepfathers/stepmothers. Many are afraid to seek redress because they receive threats from their biological mother or father. They are forced to keep their abuse a secret.

The abovementioned parents need parenting themselves. As a society we have to educate them and do all within our power by God’s grace to help them. Parents who continue to shirk their responsibilities must be dealt with firmly as well. When we consider some of the cases ( e.g. mother allows partner to use her teenage daughter), these parents should be charged for gross neglect and abuse! It should not be normal for a child to be out of his parents’ house for days or even hours without concern. Children should not be spending time with unfamiliar friends and family members. These seemingly little things should be addressed to help with the discipline of children. It is for their own good!

It is important to note that a number of parents take their parenting role seriously. I know of many mothers in particular who refuse opportunities to further academics abroad for example and deny themselves pleasures just to remain with their children and play an active part in their upbringing. God will bless you as you fulfil your roles. Your children will call you blessed and society will be a safer, happier and more productive place.

Mothers, fathers…you have a God-given duty to bring up your child in the right way. You have a duty to nurture, protect, provide for, correct, control, teach, train and love their children. Children readily recognise and appreciate these beautiful parental qualities manifested towards them and they would normally respond favourably. They would honour and respect their parents and parental authority. The well-known Bible text reminds us to ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Ann-Marie Ballantyne
[email protected]

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