Olaitan Oye-Adeitan in this piece writes on indulgence as a breeding ground for incorrigibility among children.
Perhaps, we should ask, how did we get to this point? How did all these begin, that a child will have the effrontry to frame up a teacher just because the teacher scolded him for a misbehaviour in school?
The child was only asked to stand up in class for disturbing, as a minor punishment, only for him to complain to his mother that his body was seriously aching because he claimed the teacher canned and insulted him.
In anger, the mother stormed the school and vented her anger on the teacher, raging profusely.
The experience of another teacher also comes to mind, as a student lied against her just because she enforced discipline. It was discovered that the student had a chat book, where she wrote all manners of unbelievable things whenever the teacher was in the class. Rather than listen in class, she conversed with her book of ‘mischief’, until the teacher caught her one day.
Should we also talk about the experience of a primary school teacher, who was assaulted to the point of death by the parents of a Primary One pupil at a school in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for canning the pupil who was found to have written answers on his laps during exams? But for the saving grace of God, the teacher would have lost her life in the hands of these parents.
Recently, there was the report of a school teacher at a secondary school at Agbor, in Delta State, who was attacked on the school premises by the father of a student, disciplined for misconduct. Eventually, the teacher died.
Numerous are the examples of high level of indiscipline among children and culpability of parents taking sides with their wards over actions they should have been well scolded for.
It is a dangerous thing for a child in her formative years to be made to see the immoral, abnormal as acceptable and normal way of life.
Dangling the carrot and sparing the rod is not in any way ideal for child training and development.
We are now in a society where some parents are controlled by their kids, with the parents even defending what shouldn’t be defended at all. There are some actions that are to the detriment of the child’s health.
For instance, a woman once took her ill daughter to hospital. After consultations, the doctor recommended some drugs to be administered to the child. But , the mother said the child would not take the particular tablet from her, and declined giving the child the prescribed drug despite the doctor’s suggestion, not until her husband told her that he would know how to ensure their daughter took the drug.
I have also heard, some parents, especially mothers utter statements such as ” I can’t allow anyone to cain my child oo.I knew what I faced on the day of delivery.
Such mindset is the reason some parents fight or abuse their children’s teachers or anyone who tries to scold them for their misbehaviour, forgetting that sparing the rod bakes a spoilt brat who in turn would become a trouble to the home and society.
Some mothers are equally in the habit of indulging their kids when being punished for an offence by their fathers rather than speaking with one voice to correct that child.
This among other factors accounts for increasing level of moral decadence, youthful exhuberance and juvenile delinquency.
Parents who are guilty of this should realise that loving a child is not in pampering and providing all material needs but also requires enforcing appropriate discipline when the child errs, in love.
A child that is left to go away with what he should be punished for will grow up believing, that is the normal way of life .And like the Yoruba adage, ” Ati kekere lati peka iroko, to ba dagba tan, ebo ni yio gba lowo eni, meaning .a stitch in time saves nine.
Birth pains, struggles encountered while raising a child, the soft spot you have or special instructions attached to the destiny of that child should not debar parents from inculcating discipline in a child.
One unarguable truth we must remember is that, children are gifts of God to families and a such, they are divine assignments in the hands of custodians. Like the Holy Scriptures instructs, “Train your child in the way of the Lord, when he grows up, he will not depart from it”.
If this instruction is neglected, then the child is vulnerable to being trained by the ‘World.’