THE 2014 Children’s Day celebration comes up on Tuesday, May 27. The annual celebration is in conformity with the United Nations mandate which set aside a day as children’s day. The day is celebrated on different days by member-countries. But why must the children have a special day set aside for them? The answer is simple. The aim was to encourage all member- countries to set aside a day firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly, to always remind governments the world over to initiate actions that would benefit and promote the welfare of children. Apart from the usual parades and march-past by school children and frolicking at parties thereafter, the day does not seem to mean much in Nigeria. Ordinarily, it should be a day that activities are organized to train the children on how to be good global citizens. Public and private organizations, non-governmental organizations, parents and the media should have special roles to play on this day by focusing on the plights of children and how to make them better citizens.
Unfortunately, the children of these days are not making the world a better place to live in. Advancement in science and technology, which should have made today’s world better, has produced unintended consequences. For instance, the internet, the television and home videos among other gadgets, which should have made life comfortable for all citizens of the world, is promoting criminal behaviours among youths. Through them, the youths learn a lot about pornography, how to use guns for violent activities such as robbery, assassination, kidnapping; how to make and plant bombs, defraud unsuspecting victims, hack into people’s accounts and mails as well as commit other kinds of atrocities. There is a pathetic story of a mother who made it a habit to be watching pornographic films on home video with a teenage son. At the end of every film, they always tried to put into practice what they had watched whenever the head of the family was away. Maybe, the mother never reckoned on the fact that the practice could produce something else until the unexpected happened. The cat was eventually let out of the bag when her husband and father of her son, noticed that she was pregnant and wondered who could have been responsible for it since he has had no sexual intercourse with her for a long time. The abomination brought about the collapse of the marriage after the man got to know that his son was having sexual relationship with his mother. Both the son and the mother were disowned by the man and sent packing. That has been the unintended consequence of modern technology and permissiveness on the part of the parents.
All over the world, there are horrible stories about the activities of today’s youths. As sociologist Steven Alumona has said, the 21st century has brought with it a set of challenges for parents. In his words: “The world has changed from what we knew in the seventies and eighties and even more so for our parents, grandparents and great grandparents.” These changes explain a lot about why the youths of today differ very much from people of older generations. According to Alumona, knowing this will help in understanding them better and the effective ways to deal with and discipline them. For us in Realnews, this year’s Children’s Day Celebration, has thrown up an opportunity to critically examine the modern day parenting challenges. Anayo Ezugwu, one of our tested reporters, was given the assignment which he has discharged dutifully. He has turned in a comprehensive story which we are using as our cover for this week entitled “21st Century Parenting: The Challenges, the Failures”. It provides food for thought for parents and governments. Happy reading.
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— Jun. 2, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT