At the beginning of this year, I began to talk and write copiously about the subject matter of PARENTING ACCORDING TO SOCIAL PROTECTION and organised a program to deepen the conversation. It was as if I knew the world would be hit by a pandemic and the Third World countries like Nigeria will need to face the subject matter in the raw reality of it.
My passion and commitment to studying childhood stems from the fact that I never experienced one.
Childhood refers to the foundation of the personhood of the child, acknowledging without any iota of doubt that a child is a person and he/she is neither a minor nor a lesser human because he/she is a child.
Recognizing that parenting has an inevitable role to play in the acknowledgement of my childhood and preserving my personhood, I have also been deeply fascinated and Interested in studying parenting.
Since 1997, I have been interested in discovering and discussing what my primary and secondary parents did not know that made them to deny me of the blissful, transient and irreparable opportunity to experience childhood and preserve my personhood.
I find the word of George Santayana instructive that ‘those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’ I am interested in not repeating the errors of my primary and secondary parents. More importantly, I am interested in ridding the world of thier errors and the foundation thereof.
It is in the course of my study that I found that parenting is a four-dimensional responsibility. There are four institutions responsible for raising children, namely, the family, community, state and international community.
I found that in the developed world all of these institutions are recognised as the village, which raises the child and they are deliberately empowered and funded to do so.
I discovered that the reason why they have continued to be a developed world is that the institutions I refer to above are empowered to prepare their precious children for the future and prepare the future for their precious children.
Each of these institutions know their responsibilities and boundaries. The primary role of the family is to inculcate the right value in their precious children; the community supports the family and provides an enabling environment for the family to play it’s primary roles; the state supports the family and the community in socially, politically and economically, empowering and partnering with them to envision, design, plan and provide care according to universal standards; the international community ensures adherence to global standards as the state carries out its responsibilities.
The case is completely different in the Third World. The institutions I refer to above abandon their responsibilities, leaving same to only one institution, known as the family. The family, which does not know better accepts same as it’s responsibilities to play the roles being played by four institutions in the developed clime.
The non-existence and collapse of these other institutions and the collosal ignorance of the Third World families as to what their primary roles put them under intense pressure. It becomes impossible to bring the best out of their precious children.
It is my irresistible conclusion from my studies that my secondary parents set the stage for the failure of my primary parents to acknowledge my childhood and preserve my personhood.
The nations of the future focus on the welfare of their future, their precious children; the nations of the past focus on no one.
In this COVID-19 era, the nations of the future have a social and economic infrastructure that are designed with fortified shock absorbers to rise and respond to the situation. Nothing is afterthought, because they have envisioned, designed, plan the provision of care for their precious children well before the situation arose.
The failure that we see today in Nigeria in the areas of education, shelter, healthcare, food shortage and the rest is not because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic only came to reveal an epidemic known as the neglect of Social Protection. The real pandemic for the Third World countries is our lack of preparedness to care for our precious children in the time of peace, not to talk of the time of crisis like this.
The precious children from the First World countries, whose institutions are working to capacity are in the front burner of social, economic and technological advancements. The precious children of the Third World countries are playing second, third or no fiddle at all in the scheme of things.
The the future of a nation, bright or bleak is predictable by the way it treats its children. I guess that is why Nelson Mandela said, ‘there can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.’
Except families in Nigeria sees itself as primary parents and begin to insist that the secondary parents play their roles, they will continue to operate under pressure and continue to deny their precious children the best that was divinely installed by their creator.
Do have an INSPIRED day.
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI and I remain Sober on My Knees this LORD’s day as I do SOCIAL PROTECTION ADVOCACY now and forevermore.
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