Poor -Parenting Should Be Blamed For Our Messed-Up Society
WE’RE IN THE MIDST of crisis with our children because Ghanaian parents are either not paying attention to what is going on or not doing their work. If they are, they would realize that most children today barely read, write (except with their thumbs on their cell phones), and are not well-behaved or respectful. They have selective memories and not generous with their time, energies or courtesy.
Yes, being a parent is the toughest job in the world, especially with increasing number of negative influences, pitfalls and out-of-control, time- zapping choices facing our kids today. However, we can’t throw in the towel because the nation is counting on us to deliver it from the doldrums. How did we get into this mess?
The Ghanaian children are confused as hell because what we do as adults (parents) are different from what we tell them. Parents are not taking responsibility for teaching their kids the principles of successful, productive and responsible life.
There is a school in my area with an inscription,”the end depends on the beginning”. Yes, if we want a better country we have to pay attention to how our kids are raised and ‘pampered’—and what we say and do around them.
Why am I saying that?
Too many parents are ‘lazy’ or otherwise not involved with matters of import that properly raising their offspring. They often don’t want to get up off their butts to show as well as tell, and some of them don’t want to interrupt the viewing of their favorite television shows, long enough to enforce the ‘rules’. Unfortunately, this bad parenting is socio-economic blind—it affects every member of the society---rich or poor!
And, I’m not talking about people who should never have had kids to begin with. We all know those folks are everywhere. I’m talking about those parents who take no interest in their kids and have zero ‘values’, worthy of passing on.
For the most part, the problems (politically, socially and economically) we have in this nation exist because of lousy training from mama and daddy.”Not my kids!” “This is a blanket statement”. Oh ..Really? I recognize that there are always exceptions to every point so don’t bother pointing that out to me. However, my statements apply to most parents in most situations. Just look around your neighborhood. What do you see during funeral celebrations and Easter at Kwahu?
You don’t agree? Then you’re not paying attention. These days, well-behaved, respectful and level headed kids are exception, not the rule, and for the most part their parents are to be blamed.
Just look around. Our kids are a mess. They are over-intoxicated, overindulged in instant gratification, overweighed, over-entertained, over-doped, undereducated, underachieving, under-disciplined, disrespectful, illiterate brats with sense of entitlement syndrome and hooked on synthetic drugs to numb their frustrations.
How do I know that our young people are such a mess and the country is going down the tube because of lousy parental duties?
Take a quick trip to our SHS campuses, you will definitely throw up. And come down to our Malls. You will see rude teens with their pants sagging on their butts and advertising their body parts, and smoking outside the front door. You will also see young, professional “sakawa millionaires” with their “gold diggers” in tow, buying craps they don’t need but just to satisfy and massage their deflated egos and impress people who don’t give a crap about them.
While you’re there I want you to buy something from one of the fast food joints.You will be lucky to get a young person working in the shop to look you in the eye and say “thank you!”,or much more than grunt at you. Yet they wonder why customers don’t give them tip.
After that walk into a retail store .You will be lucky if you can get the employees to stop talking to one another long enough to notice you’re in the store or put down their cell phones long enough to speak to you— they’re chatting with their virtual friends so you don’t count!
When you leave the mall, go home and turn on your television and watch the news for a while. You will see that it’s full of stories of people who either want to over throw the government—because things don’t go their way-- or want to cheat the system to acquire more worldly toys. And, armed robbery or homicide news is just the norm.
Don’t stop there. Flip the channel to any one of the evangelical- charismatic stations, which have turned Christianity outside down, all in the name of making tons of money on the backs of the wounded souls. Oh Lordy!
Flip the channel again and watch the entertainment shows and videos. Look at how the young celebrities are cursing, drunk, without underwear, filming and showing off their cars, women, body parts and million dollar mansions. Yes, these are the role models for your kids. Kids model the behaviors that are perceived to be “acceptable” by parents or society.
It still goes back to the fact that children learn or don’t learn their values and what is and isn’t acceptable behavior from their parents. Those teens will grow into adults and practice that behavior in their personal and professional lives, creating a society that reflects the cumulative result of parental training. Look at the behaviors of our politicians and community leaderships---do you need more proof than that?
Do you think some of our politicians and community leaderships just woke up one day and their supposedly ,superb integrity and empathy impulses got robbed by a creature from outer space? They picked everything up from their parents. Blame their parents!
Our children are not learning anymore because most parents don’t want to be bothered with schools that enforce strict academic discipline .They rather prefer taking their children to where examination malpractices are rampant with ‘great BECE’ result, regardless of how the child obtains the desirable grade. Why should they learn when their parents always pay their way out? The end justifies the means—you got it? By the way, who said the three -year system for JHS and SHS is yielding any positive dividend for the nation?
Watch how they speak and write. How come our school system has become a manufacturing assembly line?
Now, before anyone gets the opinion I ‘m hard as a parent, they can disabuse themselves from that notion. Yes, I’m a fairly disciplinarian—not abusive—especially during the early formative years of the child, when it really matters. I always took time out that required and necessary to do my job of parenting. I also want to go the by book and don’t want easy-way- out of everything. I believe lines should be drawn in the sand in terms of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. When those lines are crossed by the kids , some acceptable consequences must be carried out, whether you’re busy or preoccupied with other things—whether it’s not convenient or your heart isn’t in it.
Now let’s look at the dangerous effects of bad -parenting in Ghana:
1. Lousy customer service.
3. Lousy education system.
5. Teenage pregnancy.
6. Teen alcoholism/juvenile delinquency .
7. Bad driving.
8. Sense of entitlement syndrome.
12. Childhood obesity
14. Wacky materialistic impulses and excessive addiction to electronic gadgets.
15. Addiction to India hemp and hard drugs.
16. Deadly and lousy medical delivery system with its hostile nurses.
17. Lack of money management and investment skills, etc
Have I been clear or should I keep adding more to the list?
The bottom line is societal problems could pretty much be prevented or solved through better parenting—not any other way. Got it?
Stay Tuned for more!
Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi (voice of reason)
*The author is a social commentator.
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