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Children: The Dimming Future By Victoria Omoghena Edidi - Literature - Nairaland

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Children: The Dimming Future By Victoria Omoghena Edidi by VictoriaOmo: 12:22pm On Jun 13
The children are the future of any nation as they will eventually become adults who will run the affairs of the nation. A child can be likened to a flower in a garden that needs to be provided with the right nutrients and other soil conditions favourable for proper growth. If it turns out that the soil is deficient in one or more nutrients, it will have an adverse effect on the plant, and in severe cases, may lead to its death. The same applies to a child.The character a person imbibes during childhood will determine the type of adult he will turn out to be. There are issues arising seeking to tamper with the glorious future of our nation with the aim of dimming it. This article is meant to create an awareness of the danger ahead and suggest possible ways out.

First, there is an increase in academic apathy among children. It has become commonplace to find children disenchanted with the educational system of the nation. It has been displayed by society over and over again that bookwork is a mere waste of time and resources; and is inadequate to birth success in an individual. This has led to an increase in fraudulent activities overtime due to their desire for quick wealth outside of academics. There is a slang which trended for a while and is always quoted whenever students are faced with educational challenges; it goes "school na scam". This goes a long way to show their mindset towards this and has led to a reduction in performance generally.

Another threat to this nation is the imposition of parents' will on the children. This is observed when children have the dreams of their parents imposed on them without their say. These parents were unable to attain their dreams for certain reasons and believe that their children should be made to pay the price for that. These children end up taking courses for which they have no interest. They might end up becoming successful at it hating themselves and their parents for putting them through the pain; or fail woefully, thereby incurring their parents wrath. The children are meant to live for themselves and not for their parents. They are meant to create their future and not correct their parents' mistakes. This is not to downplay the role of parents in a child's life for they are to act as guides; showing them the path to thread and correcting them when they do err. They are to help them achieve their goals and fully harness their potentials. What every parent should know is that every child is unique and should be appreciated for who they are.

Parental influence or the lack of it has been found to go a long way in determining how a child turns out or perceives life. No parent should ever become so busy as to not be able to create time for their children. Every child thrives on the love and attention of their parents and need it for a rounded development. Child care should not be given over to a third party. If done, this might expose the children to negative habits and also put them at risk of child abuse.

The atmosphere in a home also affects the well-being of a child. If a child grows up in an abusive environment, daily witnessing the fights between his parents and is also subjected to emotional, physical and verbal abuse, it puts them at a higher risk for health problems as adults. These can include mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. They may also include diabetes, obesity, heart disease, poor self-esteem, and other problems. Efforts should be made to make the home a conducive place for chid upbringing.

Furthermore, the media, majorly the television and social media plays a role in child upbringing. The television airs programs and/or movies which portray scenes of violence and sexuality. The music videos shot by artistes portray scenes of smoking, indecent exposure of the body, drug use and acts of violence as the norm. They are shown as morally accepted and are appraised by society. This results in children picking up social vices like smoking and alcohol consumption, indecent dressing, sexual perversions amongst others. This in turn increases the crime rate in society and also damages the global image of the nation.

In addition, certain religions have a way of promoting practices which are harmful to the well-being of a child. The Islamic religion promotes child marriage among its adherents. It is permitted for a mature man to get involved sexually with a minor with no fear of prosecution and is prominent in the northern parts of Nigeria. The victims are the female gender. This poses health risks to the victims in the form of obstetric fistula, increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer, malaria and death during childbirth.

Finally, the Almajiri movement is a practice promoted among the Muslims. It is a cultural norm in northern Nigeria to see children roaming the streets. They are called Almajiris which means a learned scholar propagating the peaceful message of Islam. Unfortunately, Almajiri culture has become a breeding ground for child begging and in the extreme cases, potential materials for recruitment into terrorist groups. The pupils who were meant to be trained to become Islamic scholars have now had to struggle to cater for themselves, begging rather than learning under the watch and supervision of some semi-literate Quranic teachers. This puts their lives at risk as they are exposed to the dangers of society.

These are some of the challenges that child upbringing encounters in the nation. Measures have to be put in place to checkmate these practices and create a conducive environment for the children.

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