I was with my lovely daughter two days ago and I really wished that I had more time to always spend with her, but I just ensure that even if I have just a minute to spend with her I make it worth remembering.
While with her, I saw some inscriptions on the wall, in the room. They were written boldly with pencil.
Almost everything on the wall was about my daddy is this, my father is that.
Two of the things read, " My daddy is a sweetheart because anything I want he buy for me", another was "My father, I love you because you are my friend". I raised eyebrows when I saw that. I first asked the aunty if she knew the one who wrote those things. She said it was Sally. I then asked her for confirmation.
Truth is that, I have never been able to provide everything she wants or needs, all I do is to make an effort towards them. Those I can provide, I do, those I can't, I tell her genuinely and sometimes with the promise to get them for her anytime the resources are available (and I keep my promises). Never will I shut her up without explaining to her why she must not take certain actions. I know she doesn't just deserve the right to know but has the right to know why, when, how and where certain actions can be taken or cannot be taken.
We speak like two adults and play like two kids.
I have vowed to always show that love for her and never let anyone or anything take her position in my life.
In a world where over a million children are abused on daily basis there will be the need to pay critical attention to the subject of bringing up children.
According to the United Nations International Children & Educational Fund (UNICEF, 2006), 133 million - 275 million children are subjected to child abuse each year.
The WHO also reports based on studies from many countries in all regions of the world that 80-98% of children suffer physical punishment in their homes, with a 3rd or more experiencing severe punishment resulting from the use of implements.
Here in Ghana, despite the efforts of Government and NGOs to protect children, several things remain undone. One of such is enforcement of child protection laws which to a large extent remains weak, encouraging impunity among perpetrators.
According to UNICEF, violence and abuse of children, including sexual abuse remains very high in Ghana with over 90% of children reporting having experienced physical violence, both at home & in the school environment. Child labour & child trafficking are giving Government and its partners serious headache despite the efforts in addressing them.
Physical violence is often accompanied by other forms of abuse including insults, name-calling, isolation, rejection, threats, emotional indifference and belittling. These are not good ways to raise children into responsible adults and they are more harmful when the abusers happen to be adults that they respect such as parents and guardians.
There are other non physical forms of punishment which are cruel and degrading and these punishments belittle, humiliate, threaten, scare, denigrate or ridicule the child and must be discouraged.
As a parent, I know that emotional abuse may be more devastating than physical abuse. A child's physical cuts and bruises may heal quickly even though sometimes difficult to forget, but the emotional cuts & bruises take a long time to heal.
That word spoken to that child, that hate speech, that word that denigrates him or her, that word that belittles him or her in front of the friends may never be forgotten.
Moving forward, can we resolve that as part of our 2016 resolutions, we will show love to every child regardless of the status, sex, creed, family background, level of education, parents or tribe?
I think this is not too much for us. Let's resolve to do this together for the peace of the World we are creating for ourselves & the future generation knowing very well that every child deserves unconditional love regardless of the gender, class, status, geographical location, parents, creed or family background; knowing very well that they are the future of the World; Knowing that the Love we show them today, they will replicate it to the world tomorrow.
Above are the things to avoid. What are the things to do in raising children?
I have realized that most often than not we don't need all the money we wish to have in order to be the best parents/guardians. All we need to do is to understand our children and make them understand us. We should try and be honest with them, teach them how to love and appreciate other people's opinion, teach them the way of God. And there is no better way to do these than show by example.
If we raise our children this way, they will always be proud of us and become the best in society.
Ghana's Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth,
CEO, Institute of Mentorship & Leadership Training (IMLT),
Immediate past NUGS President.