Child’s Rights and Discipline: The UNCOMMON Theory (18)

Opening Charge

‘The truth of the matter is that that people are your neighbours does not mean their children should automatically become your children’s friends. Please note that compatibility of values is the foundation for true friendship. It is also important to note that we understand that when we are in a situation, we either know what to do or who to call.’

Dear friends please join me as I share with you the 13th core habit of a purposeful, disciplined and effective disciplinarian: Watch the Company of Your Children

‘Do not be deceived, evil communication corrupts good manner,’ says the Holy Writ. A Yoruba adage says, ‘a sheep, who keeps company with a dog, will end of eating faeces.’

The message is very clear. It is not enough to train our children in good manners or discipline them to bring out the best in them. We must be interested in their relationships. Here relationship refers to living and non-living things. By living, I refer to friends and peers and by non-living, I refer most importantly to the print, electronic and new media.

It is important that we teach our children how to handle interpersonal relationships. We need to teach them the meaning of relationships depending on their level of understanding. We must teach them the benefits and sacrifice, which genuine relationships demands. We must teach them who they need to be to strike and maintain meaningful relationships. We must not hold back from them the law of boundaries. I think one of the ways to achieve this is to demonstrate all the foregoing in our relationships. Custodians, who do not have meaningful relationships, cannot teach the children to enter and maintain same. Custodians, who do not know in practical terms, the benefits and sacrifices of relationships will not be in a position to teach their children same.

We must not take for granted the fact that our children will mix with others and that we need to equip them. Please note that good friends are hardly found by default. They are found deliberately. It is important to also note that bad friends are in most cases found by default. It means our children do not need to go out of their way to look for bad friends. Bad friends are actually on the prowl looking for whom to first influence and then devour. It is a common saying that if a man does not know where is going every bus stop looks attractive.

The truth of the matter is that that people are your neighbours does not mean their children should automatically become your children’s friends. Please note that compatibility of values is the foundation for true friendship. It is also important to note that we understand that when we are in a situation, we either know what to do or who to call. It means whatever difficulty we face isn’t a closed case when we do not know what to do. The case may only be closed if we do not have reliable people to call. Here lies the beauty of every relationship both for old and young.

Besides we must monitor their relationship with the new media, print and electronic media. Parental control is very important in this matter. Consider the story of Ben Carson, who was the bottom of his class. His life changed for the better when his mother changed his company with the television. He was addicted to endless viewing of the Television before the mother intervened and said, ‘in addition…to doing your homework, you have to read two book from the library each week, every single week…When you finish reading them, you must write me a book report just like you do in school.’

Shortly after he stood by his mother’s instruction, he answered a question asked by his teacher in class, which the child considered the smartest in the class could not even answer…He got the name of an obscure stone right and went further to described it: ‘That is obsidian, I said, ‘and it is formed by the supercooling of lava when it hits the water.’  ‘You are absolutely correct,’ Mr. Jaeck said and smiled at me.’

On a final note when we do not equip our children with the skill to keep meaningful relationship, they will keep meaningless and harmful relationships. The meaningless and harmful relationships are formidable enough to snuff out whatever qualities and values we have developed in our children. On the other hands if we pay attention to our children’s company, the company will become a formidable force of reinforcement of the values, we have painstakingly inculcated in them. Also when our children are wooed by the wrong friends, they will not consent.

I beg to take a bow. Thank you and have an INSPIRED Day.

On the final note, I invite you all to join us as we pray for the peace of our children on the Day of the African Child, June 16, 2012 at Chrisland School, Ladipo Oluwole, off Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos from 9.30 AM.

POINT 2 PONDER:

The message is very clear. It is not enough to train our children in good manners or discipline them to bring out the best in them. We must be interested in their relationships.

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