Parents’ role in good upbringing

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

“Good parenting is not giving your child everything they want. Parenting is not being your child’s friend. Parenting is about preparing your child to be a useful and respectful person in society”. It is an undisputable fact that parents are essential in a child’s life as they devote themselves to feeding, teaching, supplying, cleaning, correcting and comforting. Most parents spend so much money and time trying to give their children the best possible upbringing.

An effective parent or parents must teach the child love, intellectual and social skills, and provide guidance in appropriate behaviour, attitudes and values. This would help them a great deal not only in homes but the society as whole. They cannot expect teachers to fix up mistakes made at home.

A parent’s fundamental responsibility is to provide unconditional love and guidance. Studies have shown that parents are very likely to raise a child who has opportunity for success and lifelong happiness.

A recent article on a local paper reported that one Karamo Saidy Fatajo, has had his 11 year-old daughter taken away from him by police and all effort to have access to her prove futile. This news is not only displeasing but worrying as well.

We all know the love that exists between a father and daughter. The Gambia has child friendly laws and legislation which are all geared towards making the country safe for all minors. Beside, The Gambia is commended for harmonizing the child-related domestic legislations with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which has been domesticated in the Children’s Act 2005. The promulgation of the Act is a giant step towards the protection of the rights of children in The Gambia. The Ministry of Social Welfare (DSW) and the Ministry of Justice are the most critical of all the state agencies with a mandate to ensure and safeguards children’s rights and protection, but these laws should try to protect our values and cultures. They should not make us leave our kids without disciplinary measures in our houses because otherwise, it would be self-defeating and loss of values to Western norms. 

However, the police have a child welfare unit and any child they suspected of being abused are given protection but with respect to our values.

On the other hand, let parents understand that teaching of manners and appropriate conduct should not be the responsibility of the school. The school could and should help, but that specific responsibility belongs to parents.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Frederick Douglass