THE EDITOR: Have you ever tried to correct a child only for their parents to reprimand you for it? Ever seen a child display irrational behaviour in public and the parents can’t control them? What about parents who encourage their children to disrespect others and show no regard for authority?
Parents continue to set poor examples by not instilling good values in their children; by displaying their own disregard for law and authority; and by showing a lack of responsibility in their child’s education and development.
While in the waiting room of a private medical centre in the South, I observed a woman who clearly had a severe headache and was not in the best of health. A teenaged girl nearby was on her cellphone which was much louder than it should have been.
Seeing the pain of that woman and the annoyance of others, I was about to politely ask if the volume could be turned down when the woman approached them, stating how much the noise was affecting her.
Instead of simply doing the right and considerate thing – which was to remind her daughter that she was in a medical centre surrounded by people who were sick – the girl’s mother started arguing with the woman, stating that she cannot tell her how to raise her child, and an unnecessary argument began.
In another incident, a mother was walking along the crowded main road in Chaguanas with her young daughter. Since illegal vendors always occupy the pavements, pedestrians are forced to “squeeze” through. As pedestrians slowed down a bit, the mother instructed her daughter, who was not more than seven years old, to, “Push them aside and walk through! Don’t stop for them!”
Most parents also refuse to take responsibility for the upbringing of their children. Invitations to PTA meetings are met with, “I not going because they will only ask me for money.” But in a country where we should appreciate that education is practically free at the essential stages, is it so terrible to make a contribution every now and then towards the benefit of your own child? If not you, then who should do it?
If parents are training their children to be inconsiderate and disrespectful to others, then it’s no wonder we are heading down a road where there’ll be no turning back. If we are to move forward as a society, then we are to be forward-thinking as well. In fact, a child who is taught empathy can never hurt another; physically or emotionally.
As parents, we have a role to play in our children’s lives as they will dress as we do, say what we say and behave in the same manner that we do – whether good or bad. We are the ones they look to for guidance and it’s our responsibility to teach them right from wrong. Or, when they become adults, you just might be the ones facing the brunt of the monster you created.
So please, parents, take responsibility for your children’s upbringing and instil good values in them, nurture them with love and compassion, because it will be the deciding factor in how they turn out. It’s all up to you.