Why You Need a Family Vision

Why You Need a Family Vision

Today is the International Day of Families. A day set aside to celebrate families and to discuss the challenges that families face. In recognition of this day, Africa Family Life Delegate conference the initiative of Praise Fowowe which held today May 15th 2018 brought top speakers and delegates together to deliberate.
Do you have a family vision? You might ask yourself why you need one?
If you don’t have one then it is more likely that anything goes.

Family VIsion

After the first panel, Kunle Soriyan one of the speakers shared his frustrations that at conferences and gatherings we are very good at pointing out the problems. However, he shared that pointing out the problems does not take us to the next critical stage which is  “how (to fix) and what next”. He advised that this is where we need to spend more time.

Ronald D. Kayanja, Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, Nigeria shared that the International Day of Families is not meant to solve all the problems today but rather to raise awareness and identify the problems that families are facing. This comment was necessary following the mountain of challenges raised about what families in Nigeria are facing.

As he continued he mentioned that the family is facing a lot of pressures. He stressed that peace cannot exist if it not led by the family; it is only through the family we can build peaceful communities.

From Hate To Love

He shared his personal story, being from the South in Rwanda his parents told him that people from a different part of Rwanda would want to kill him just because he was from the South. As a result he grew up with a sense of suspicion about these people. However, he started to meet these supposedly dangerous people in school and they became his friends. He soon realised that there was really no reason to hate or fear them and decided that he did not have to continue in his parents path.
In some parts of the world, right from the stage of being breastfed some mothers are already telling their babies that they have enemies and should hate people from certain places. Adults who hate people were raised to hate people. He reiterated that the International Day of Families realizes that the family is critical for peace and development. The goal is to raise children who are accommodating and tolerant.
As all the speakers shared, in addition to identifying the problems with families, we need to move to the how and what next.
Family Life

What are the Problems with the Family Today?

1. No time – Many parents are struggling with the issue of no time. The demands of a dual income family among other pressures of the modern day leaves very little quality time for the parents to spend with their children. Children can only learn the right values if their parents share and teach the right values.
2. Social media raises kids – Social media has infiltrated all parts of the world. Children are measuring their lives according to what social media offers
3. Need more legislation – There needs to be more laws to protect children and their mothers. Lagos state has made some strides with the child’s right act and domestic violence laws.
4. No Preparation – Most people get married and assume they are ready to be parents. This is one of the biggest challenges because there is no preparation to be a parent and ill-equipped and ill-prepared parents do not raise well rounded children.

What can we do?

1. Education: We need more education when it comes to parenting. This could include a family curriculum that can be taught before intending parents become parents. Parenting by the very nature of it is learned on the go, however we can reduce the errors by ensuring there is the right information available to parents.
2. Parents Need a Family Vision – more families need to have a family vision. What are your values? what kind of children (and adults) are you trying to raise. Everyone in the family needs to be held to the same standards. Children do what you do not what you say – give them a good example to follow. “One of the first things someone learns from the family is a sense of value”. – Pastor Wale Adefarasin
3. Media and Entertainment. Kate Henshaw was asked what parents can do about the negative influence of media and entertainment on children. I absolutely loved her reply!  “shut it down”. She also advised parents not to play inappropriate content at home. For example, science student is a recent song about drugs and yet some parents play it and let their children dance to it. On social media she advised that you keep your children off till they are old enough to navigate the world of social media.
There was so much more food for thought and rich discussions about parenting and family life issues. For more information and to follow the chat you can follow the #AfricaFamilyLife on twitter.

 

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