Do you wonder how to be a 21st century parent? Sometime last year, my 11 year old son walked up to my room and said to me “Mummy, I am really scared.” Shocked and scared myself, I asked him – “Why are you scared”? He then sat down very close to and said, “Why do people kidnapped, abuse and kill children”? “But this is not fair”. He had apparently been watching the news. I knew there and then that my child just needed assurance that he is safe even in the midst of turmoil. This then got me thinking that these are really challenging times for all parents.
Bringing a new human being (child) into the world and raising these precious gifts for me is an honour and privilege God has given every parent. However, it comes with enormous responsibility which requires wisdom and intelligence.
“All the children being born today are being born into warfare” – Charles Stanley
Situations around the world today points to the fact that we are in difficult times! Parenting is becoming very challenging. No matter how effective your parenting skills are, you will admit that threats to child safety is on the increase.
Our children are facing challenges in different aspects of their lives. Knowing these challenges will help parents develop appropriate parenting skills. Parents need to be aware that in the 21st century, there are two worlds posing risks to Child Safety – The Real World and The Virtual World.
THE REAL WORLD
I remember back then during my childhood years, my mum was a stay at home parent, although she kept herself busy by baking and sewing. While my dad did the 8 – 5 job alongside his Pastoral assignment. We never had help. That was then!
We are in the 21st Century! Times have changed. But what is obtainable now? Due to the ever-increasing financial obligations and the fact that women empowerment is now the norm, both mother and father have to work. They have no choice but to delegate their parental roles to domestic staff, relatives, Teachers, Celebrities etc. These are people parents trust and love.
Unfortunately, these “trusted people” take advantage of the vulnerability of our children. Many children are abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. The effects of these forms of abuse have robbed them of their God-given childhood experience. The real-world – people children look up to for protection have become threats to their safety. Sadly many parents are ignorant of the fact that parenting in the 21st c requires that they become aware of the risk of delegating their roles to the real world.
The family itself has become a threat to the moral values of children. Not with the increase in divorce and domestic violence happening in a lot of homes. Growing up in such an unsettled environment will definitely have an adverse effect on a child’s future. Our children also face the challenges of being influenced by laws enacted by the world leaders etc. the Gay rights law in the USA and other countries. Are you equipped to parent children in the 21st century?
THE VIRTUAL WORLD
Have you observed lately that it’s becoming difficult for children, especially teenagers to have one on one conversations with parents and people generally? They are more comfortable pinging, texting, tweeting and “what-supping”. Welcome to the Virtual World! Welcome to the Technological Age!
Television, Video, Music, the Internet, Social Media, Video Games, Pornography etc are all part of the virtual world. As Christian parents, you will agree with me that this is one of the greatest challenges of our times. Our children are now influenced by a world full of sexual perversion and immorality through these mediums.
Are You equipped as a 21st Century Parent?
Get information about the trend of things…
“Intelligent people are always ready to learn, their ears are open for knowledge”.
- Seek knowledge
- Attend Seminars/Workshops
- Get materials (CDs, books etc)
- Know the language your children speak (online and offline)
- Share/convey vital information to your children
“Your children need your presence more than your presents”– Jesse Jackson
- Deliberately create time for your children
- Have discussions with them
One of the most important things we adults can do for our children is to MODEL the kind of person we would like them to be…Carol Hillman.
- Be a good example to your children in every aspect of life
- Model the way you want them to be.
“Parents have a God-given role of teaching their children every day what it means to respond to God”.
It is our duty as parents to guide our children in the right spiritual part. Make sure they know that there is a God they can look up to in times of want and need. They also need to know the importance of communicating with the Almighty God.
On A Final Note
Parenting is like banking, you need to make deposits in order to make a withdrawal! It is possible to raise godly children in the 21st Century
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children” – Charles Swindoll
Family Safety Advocate/Neuro-Linguistic Practioner
Mrs Christianah Akindolie is the Founder and Executive Director of Christianah Fate Foundation, a non-governmental organization tasked with a vision to see children enjoy their childhood free of any form of abuse. She is also a Founding Partner of Family Safety Consult, a training set-up to highlight the need for family safety in a challenging society.