There is a tendency by most parents to abdicate or shirk their responsibility to raise children the right way.
This comes to light whenever parents are called to attend school meetings. Only a few would rock up. The rest would find every excuse in the book, as pretext for not attending.
And those who do not attend these important gatherings are the first to point fingers when things go pear-shaped.
These days, parents have allowed children to lead them around by the nose. And the Constitution has allowed this trend to continue unabated.
Lawmakers have drafted legislations that invade our homes and usurped our parenting rights. As such, these laws have put childhood development under serious threat.
Our Constitution has also succeeded in ruthlessly running roughshod over parents whose only concern is to implement their God-given right to raise focused, humble, respectful and well-behaved children.
Today, youngsters have every right at their disposal. Some render parents hapless and nowhere to turn to. They just fold their arms and hang their heads in shame and watch as young ones rule the roost.
We have seen this in schools, where teachers have to deal with unruly pupils, some are raised well, but succumb to peer pressure and other negative influences that waylay them.
These days, teachers often find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place as government and teacher unions compound the problem – of how to handle misbehaving children – by declaring some of the key school rules, including corporal punishment, as a definite no-no.
This has led our children to go rogue. They disrespect teachers and elders in the community as well as at home. Within the confines of the schoolyard, we often see video footage of these schoolchildren drinking booze and smoking weed and other drug substances with no shame at all.
These are some of the difficulties principals and teachers are faced with on any given school day.
Back home, a parent would try to reprimand a child for wrongdoing or misbehaving, the next thing the rascal runs to the police station to open a case of abuse. The men and women in blue would waste no time and come banging on your door to arrest you, the so-called offending parent.
This is a typical case of the tail wagging the dog. Cry the beloved country.
Another case in point, the recent incident of at least 21 children – some of them as young as 13 – died a gruesome death at the Enyobeni Tavern in East London. This is another blight on our societal moral values.
Who do you blame in this case, the tavern owner or the deceased children’s parents for letting them loose to go out and embibe?
As a parent, what goes through your mind when you realise that your child is not home in the middle of the night?
I think this was not the first time these children visited that tavern of death.
I still maintain that parents should watch over their children like hawks. You should, at all times, know your child’s whereabouts, the company they keep or what they may be up to. Indlovu ayisindwa umboko wayo (loosely translated, your child is your responsibility).
Granted, children should be given space to be children and make choices. However, they need to be guided in that process [of becoming young adults, ultimately fully fledged adults and making right choices].
Parents should also take the rap for their children’s misdemeanours. For far too long, we have spared the rod and subsequently spoiled the child.
Each to his own.