In my opinion bringing a child into this world in the capacity of a biological father or mother doesn’t naturally bestow you with the natural grace for being a parent.
Parenting is a responsibility that one can assume without even having to be the biological cause of the existence of a child.
So, if parenting is a responsibility what does this responsibility portend for the one who has the work of raising a child?
Parenting requires that you raise a child who is physically, socially, mentally, emotionally and spiritually balanced and able to function effectively as an individual in this world.
Physical Development: Is your child physically fit within his or her capacity for physical activities. Does he or she know the importance of eating right, exercising, and keeping fit so your body can stay healthy and alert for your daily activities in life? Teach your child to eat to eat food in the right quantities. Make sure she understands the importance of a balanced diet. Make him see the value of exercising as a lifestyle and not a one-off event that occurs occasionally. Encourage her to drink lots of water and eat fruits. Teach them to build endurance and strength as this will help them to function optimally even when faced with physically challenging activities at work or play.
Social Development: How well does your child relate with people who are older or younger. With their peers, their siblings. Teach them to respect everyone and to understand and embrace diversity. Help them to see that though we are all different and unique, we are all human with feelings, hopes, dreams, and emotions just like theirs and we all deserve to be treated fairly. A child who grows up in this way will not have a difficult time adapting to any environment they find themselves no matter how diverse the cultures and differences of the people in that environment.
Mental Development: This has to do with your child intellectual capabilities. Pay attention to how they are coping with academic work. Help them to pick interest in learning and sharing knowledge with others. In sharing they learn even more. Get them to read books that stretch their imagination and task them to think beyond what is familiar. Let them travel the world and see different cultures and people. If you can’t travel, then books, movies, and documentaries can suffice. Expose them to important historical events and how they shaped our existence. Grow and stretch their mind’s with puzzles, games, and other such activities that task our brains to think, question, and infer.
Emotional Development: Is your child emotionally stable. Does he or she know that in this life, we all face challenges and that they must be able to effectively manage successes and setbacks to lead happy and well-balanced lives.
Do your children understand that their happiness is dependent solely on them and not on external factors or persons and so they owe themselves the responsibility to look beyond hurts and failures to rise up above negativity and keep their head high never giving up on themselves and their ability to overcome.
Spiritual Development: Does your child believe in God? Do they believe in the tenets of your faith and realise that we are spiritual beings living in a body and operating in this world with our mind which is able to judge good and evil, and separate right from wrong. Teach your children to lead lives that will leave a legacy for generations to come and make an indelible mark in the sands of time. Let them know that after all is said and done, they will give account to their Creator and so they should make they should always uphold right values and eschew vices.
You will agree that a child who is raised with these 5 pillars standing tall and strong in his or her life will be a person who is not only outstanding but a valuable asset first to herself, then to her family, community, nation, and world. I encourage you today to parent deliberately and let’s raise boys and girls who will change their corner of the world and be influencers for good wherever they go.