By Olaitan Oye-Adeitan

We are now in the age and times when we may really need to unmask the truth of whose responsibility is the child, Government, Society or Parents.

Today, some parents blame the teacher for every one of their children’s failures. Society also shares part of it and the government is not exempted.

Statements such as “that teacher is not performing his/her duty very well, see what the society has turned our children to, our government is not helping our children at all ” are now freely and commonly expressed by some parents due to the shortcomings in their children’s academic performance or behavioural pattern.

We may however need to counter these statements with the following questions; Who is to blame when the child refuses to do his homework ( a work that is expected to be done at home), and which keeps piling up? Must the teacher be blamed when a mother decides to do the assignment for her child rather than to guide him/ her through it?

Also, who is to blame when a child watches sensual films with his parents? Then when the boy attempts to have carnal knowledge of a mate, who is of the opposite sex, is the teacher also responsible?

Oh, we may as well ask, if it is the government that teaches a child to be unruly and bully other mates in school, dress in tattered uniform, wear crazy haircuts, with vulgar expressions gushing out of the lips without caution.

While we do not deny the fact that the teacher, society or environment, and government fall under secondary influencers when it comes to child development, parents still remain the major stakeholders in terms of child care, training and overall development.

From infancy, a child is welcomed into the hands of a father and mother and grows under their tutelage until maturity.
Even a child born outside wedlock has a father and mother.

However, someone may argue that what about children who are orphans? The truth is even an orphan is handed over to a caregiver in a family or orphanage. The case of a set of twin brothers comes to mind. Their mother died during their birth and the father took to heels realising they were twins. Perhaps, for fear of responsibility, only God knows. These twin brothers were raised by their maternal grandmother and today, one is a successful lawyer and the other a doctor.

Children who are used for rituals, abandoned at birth either under the bridge, beside the river, on refuse dumps or in most unimaginable places as reported in the news, have the hands of one or both parents.

Psychologist, Sigmund Freud posited that personality forms during the first few years of life and that how parents and other caregivers interact with children has a long-lasting impact on children’s emotional state.

Another research corroborated this by saying that a personality formed by the age of six or seven is not likely to deviate from its core.

Therefore, parents must realise that the formative years of a child must not be joked with and it begins from the home, just like the age-long proverb, “Charity begins at home”.
At this early stage, all the senses of the child imbibe consciously or unconsciously from elements around him, of which the parents are key.
As the child grows, all he has absorbed begins to manifest and the picture gets bigger by the day.

If there is no solid foundation for that child during his formative years, he or she will be swayed by the wind of abnormalities in his environment. It is like building a house on a shaky foundation
Such will easily crumble amid storms.

This is not to exempt other stakeholders who are the teachers and government. As a teacher, you are to make and not mar them through impactful teachings. So, a case where a teacher is found defiling his/her pupil is appalling and highly unacceptable.

Government, on its part, must be seen to uphold the Child Rights Act(2023). 24 out of 36 states of Nigeria have adopted the CRA as a state law. Therefore, twelve (12) states in Nigeria have yet to adopt the CRA in their laws of the 36 states of the federation.

Needlessly is, therefore, trading blame when it comes to whose responsibility is the child’s. The truth be told; you carry the major responsibility as a parent because you are given the child directly by God.

And to whom much is given, much is expected!


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