It was a fulfilling independent’s day celebration yesterday for me. I had the opportunity of being part of two key nation building initiatives. I was at Spring Forte Montessori School, Magodo G.R.A to speak to parents on the very important issue of Child Protection and awesome responsibility of parenting. Later in the day, I was at the Power Parenting program of The Olakunle Soriyan Company to anchor the second stream of the program, aimed at empowering parents in the delicate responsibility of parenting.
I think the whole idea of focusing on the family is critical to nation building. The nation Nigeria is first of all typified by individuals. If individual will get it right, then our nation will get it right, one nation will be on the path to enviable transformation. The family unit becomes an inevitable focus in a realistic nation building agenda as every individual passes through the family unit. It has in fact been concluded that the state of the family is the state of the nation.
It is in this same spirit that I will continue my discussion of the issue of single parenting. As I said last week the responsibility of parenting has been delegated by the father to the mother and from the mother to house help or nannies. If I must take it further parenting has been further delegated to the schools. Fathers pride themselves in the fact that they pay school fees. They believe that once they pay school fees they have performed their responsibility. The question I ask is that does awarding a child a scholarship to go to school qualify the philanthropist to refer to himself/herself as the parents of the child? Therefore payment of school fees is not necessarily a parental role. Payment of school fees must be done, without neglecting a higher responsibility of being available for our children.
In conclusion, please note that children are not designed to be brought up by single parents or brought up in institutional homes. Single parenting and institutional homes are makeshift arrangements to do the best for the child under a difficult circumstance. It is pathetic when children are supposed to be living with both parents and the responsibilities are abandoned to one party.
My charge today is that it is time for both parents to take responsibility for the destiny of their children. It is time for individual families to convoke as Sovereign Family Conference (SFC) with the main agenda of drawing up a credible parenting plan, which assigns responsibilities to daddies and mummies. I will like to round up with the words of Dr. Mike Murdock to fathers: ‘your absence diminishes your influence.’ Have an INSPIRED Day.