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Raising a child is one of the biggest and toughest jobs on earth, if not the biggest and even the toughest. Raising children can be taxing. No exaggeration here. An African saying goes, “it takes a community to raise a child.” This native aphorism should inform you that raising a child as a parent takes the energy of a community. In this world of the internet where our children live most of their lives, raising a child has never been this tougher and more delicate. 
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Daily we see teenagers and young adults jailed for committing crimes or even becoming victims of drug abuse. It is now common to see teenagers confined to psychiatric hospitals or rehab over issues associated with drug abuse. Some even die. At some point, we can state that there is some element of parental failure. This has been made complicated by issues of peer pressure and the busyness associated with our present-day professional life. These days, parents spend little time with their children. Also, our children spend the formative years of their lives with their peers. Studies have shown that peers have a greater influence on children than their parents.  Here below, I highlight four ways parents can raise a responsible child.
  • Lead By Example

Studies have shown that children emulate their parents. In fact, as a parent, you have a huge influence on your child. If there is a character or habit you want to see in your child, start displaying it. Exhibit what you want your kids to do and become.
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For example, if you don’t want your child to exhibit violent behaviours, as a parent you must not display fits of anger or use violence as a means to address problems. Watch what you do or say in the presence of your children.
  • Be Their Teacher

You are your child’s first teacher. Raising a child takes deliberate efforts. If you want to raise a responsible child teach and imbibe in their teachings that would formulate his/her mindset. Shaping the mindset of your child is critical to development. Hence, this teaching should take three forms: academic, skills, and character-building. Apart from their schoolwork, you must teach your child life skills such as money-saving culture,  using the web wisely, doing the laundry, effective communication, writing letter, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, comparative shopping, etc. Also, it is essential to teach them other life skills like coding, horticulture, and so on, which are very important. If you can’t provide these skills, you can sign them up for a class. Gratefully, there are various online classes today.
  •  Create Room For Communication

Good children can be raised effectively in an environment where there is communication between child and parent.
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If you want to raise a good child, ensure you are deliberate with closing every communication gap. Engage them in healthy conversations that also encourage two-way conversations. For instance, you can ask them what their career choices are. You can tell them the merits and demerits of their choices. Apart from having serious conversations with them, you can engage them in fun activities that create conversations. You can use storytelling to engage your child. These stories should help them converse better.
  • Respect Their Opinion

Avoid being a dictator. Being a dictator or hardnosed on your opinion without consulting your children, whether it is in their career choices or what meal should be prepared can scare them away. Respecting your children’s opinions will make them confide in you. Studies have shown that children, who end up as respectful adults, come from homes where their opinions are respected.  Featured Image Source: Verywell Mind
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This article was first published on 26th May 2022

nnaemeka-emmanuel

Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.


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