Media or Biological Parenting?


                                   Photo: Google Images.

"Evaluate your parenting pattern and see if you or the media are responsible for bringing up your children.”
This was how a guest speaker at a child development forum tasked parents to check their ‘scorecard’ on the kind of values that they allow their children have access to.

Discussions at the forum x-rayed practical realities on ground in the lives of families and the corresponding effect of parenting patterns on society. Even if some parents choose to live in deceit and denial, the truth remains that ‘you cannot eat your cake and have it.’

The choice to be a biological parent to your children demands your time and bond with them. It is understandable that financial demands push parents out to the fields, but such efforts become futile if the children for who you claim to be doing it turn out to be a pain because they couldn’t get proper upbringing.

Making reference to how parents brought up their children in ‘70s and 80s, it was clear that one of both parents took up jobs that ensured they were home same time that the children got back from school.

In most cases, the mothers who were known to be home-makers took up jobs that allowed them to have time for their children. During those periods, children enjoyed food cooked with love by their mothers for them, not just something to manage from the housemaids as is experienced today.

Children observed their siesta under the watchful eyes of their mothers who also helped them with home-works from school. At that time, television programmes followed strictly, time- belts for children and adult programmes. Children were entertained and educated progressively according to their ages.

When a child erred, the first thing was to ask whose child he was. But today, the issue of family identity is lost. In very many cases where both parents work late outside the home the children are left in the care of the housemaid who has no idea of what it takes to bring up a child.

For many children, they have learned everything (good and bad) from the media.  A maid’s responsibility is to do domestic chores and not to bring up a child, so no one teaches the child or censors what the child has access to in the media.

Parents who get back home late hardly have time to look through their children’s academic work. They erroneously believe that since the teacher has been paid to teach the child, the teacher should play both the role of a teacher and that of a parent to the child.   It is totally wrong.  A parent is first responsible to his/her child before the teacher takes up the responsibility to teach the child.

Many parents would agree that a teacher would only put in as much effort in teaching a child as a parent demands, through dedication to seeing how the child fares in his academic work.

On the issue of bonding, it is only a child with whom a parent creates a relationship that will talk to the parent about challenges of either peer pressure or threats and dangerous advances from a sexual molester. It is only when a child has access to quality and benefiting information that he can make the right choices about every situation that comes across.

The theory of ‘selectivity’ has shown that with parental guidance, children can make healthy choices of media and contents they can be exposed. And it is only parents who make their physical presence available for their children that can help the children.

A remarkable conclusion at the child development forum was that, ‘society is only a reflection of how children are being raised by their families.’