By TAIRE OKUDOLO
Unarguably, poor parenting contributes in no small way to formation of behaviours among the youth which they will exhibit later in life.
Bad attitudes among the youth have, in several occasions, resulted in their eagerness to participate in cultist activities, militancy and ritual killings, among other vices.
Ranging from soliciting good grade among students, indecent dressing, cultism, rape, examination malpractice, teenage pregnancy, prostitution and sexual harassment to drug abuse, observers note that poor parenting has a lot to do in checking the youth on these behaviours.
Similarly, sociologists note that Nigerian parents are failing in their duties as guardians, instructors and supervisors of the moral upgrading and rectitude of the youth.
According to them, more often than not, these parents proffer excuses for their failures to meet their responsibilities such as fending to put food on the table and having no time to monitor these young people.
So, when the young ones do not receive the right instructions from the parents and guardians, the children are prone to taking up unconventional or strange behaviours from anywhere, they argue.
In an attempt to avoid public criticism of their children for strange behaviours, the derelict parents or guardians are always part of the fallout emanating from their ineptitude.
Moralists insist that parents ought to be responsible for the training of their children by teaching them the acceptable societal values devoid of over-pampering.
They note that the desire to give child things parents never had turns the youth to become self-centered, unmotivated, jealous, angry or depressed and more dangerous, they are at risk for drugs, alcohol and risky sexual activities.
But psychologists note that children who face disappointment and overcome challenges learn to take initiative, set and work toward goals and earn rewards.
The National Parents-Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) believes that many parents willfully support examination malpractices; and most times sponsor malpractices, even they can bribe through their way to get school admission for their wards.
NAPTAN’s Deputy National President Adeolu Ogunbanjo notes that “many parents prefer registering their up-coming adult children in fraudulent examination centres and pay for unmerited success.
“Emphasis to discourage parents from sponsoring examination malpractice should be intensified by way of prosecution of those in the practice’’.
Similarly, a technician in Ikorodu in Lagos, Mr Segun Oni, says many parents dampen the moral rectitude of children by undue interference in the training of their wards.
“I always get parents who dictate to me when I am to certify their children undergoing apprenticeship under me even when the apprentice has not learnt the basis of the trade.
According to Oni, parents are becoming less interested in knowledge of their children who are on an apprenticeship programme in a technical skill.
“It is typical to see young people involved in fraud popularly known as yahoo or 419 and their parents who deliberately look the other way and condone them and even enjoy the proceeds of this crime.
“Some parents even celebrate their children who are king-pin cultists by giving them cover from police prosecution and protect them from opposition cult groups, a policeman who preferred anonymity said.
Critics have then been asking what could be done to reverse the level of moral decadence among the youth in the country.
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel-Mary Enaemeka of Archangel Catholic Church, Ikorodu, says religious leaders have a great role to play by speaking truth to parents that support decadent behaviour of their children.
The priest notes that rejection of the contributions from ill-gotten proceeds of youths’ criminality by the religious institutions would bring shame to parents and caution others not to toy with the moral upbringing of their children.
“A church’s pastor and a mosque’s Imam should not give any position or attention to parents in their congregations whose young adult children are suspected to be into yahoo, cultism or militancy.
“Religious leaders must maintain a kind of outright excommunication of parents of well-known youths who are into various illegalities in the community.
“Such excommunication will go a long way to curb parents’ recalcitrant behaviour of promoting the immorality of their children and this will have reverberating effect throughout the country,’’ Enaemeka, the priest says.
In the view of NAPTAN, increasing the spate of prosecution of parents culpable of underperforming their duty in the aspect of moral rejuvenation of their God-given children will stop immoralities among Nigerian youths.
NAPTAN believes that the performance of the Nigeria Police in the aspect of arrest and prosecution of parents that sponsor, cover and conspire to promote the notorious criminality of their children is disabling moral rejuvenation of the youth.
According to the association, a toxic environment with high rate of poverty, frustration, mental demoralisation and traumatised masses will encourage parental delinquency.
“It is for this reason that governments must take the issue of who can become a parent seriously’’, the association suggests.
All in all, sociologists advise against pampering of the young ones; noting that although it is natural to want your children to be happy, giving them everything they ask for can cause long-term problems.
They plead with government and parents to disapprove child marriage but to invest more in public enlightenment on the duties and obligations of parents to the society to overcome youth immoralities.(NAN)