A Child is a White Canvas – Parents Decide the Colours

Whose fault is it when it comes to children falling short of what is expected of them in, for example not making the grades expected in exams, getting into relationships at an early age or indulging in bad habits such as smoking or drugs?

To tell the truth, we know that parents play the biggest role in determining how their children turn up especially in the earlier stages of life for example, in teens. This is because parents are 100% responsible in moulding their children’s habits, practices and character. Mothers in particular, by the bond and closeness they share from pregnancy to birth and the early nursing years, can really influence their children.

The mother determines her children’s nutrition intake, play, rest and learning because she chooses what they eat, when they sleep, what and how they play and what and how they learn. All these decisions influence the child’s own outlook on life, on society, on seeking knowledge, on respecting others, on appreciating nature etc. If a child is not provided the nutrition and care they need, the child will not be able to focus. If a child is not adequately rested, the child will be cranky and will demand more attention. If a child is put in chaotic environments, moved often from one household to another, put in the care of unqualified persons, often left alone, then the child will develop a sense of insecurity which disables them from being creative and productive. If a child is asked to bear the burden of adults by being exposed to tragedies, calamities, complications such as divorce, illness of family members, deaths and other unpleasant situations, they will be forced to learn means of finding refuge in unhealthy practices such as excessive video gaming, smoking or hanging out with friends for extended periods of time.

The mother we say holds the key to her child’s performance in all aspects of life because she has all the power to determine a child’s beginning and has such strong influence in creating an environment that is loving, safe and healthy for her child. This is because the decision to have a child is hers. The decision to choose a man to have a baby with is also hers. It is also her decision to ensure that she is ready, money-wise, health-wise and qualification-wise to raise a child. This is the 21st century and women in most societies, and definitely ours, have the freedom to continue learning, educating themselves, finding a job that is able to pay their bills and are making all the crucial decisions on when and how they want to have babies, raise them and support them.

The man unfortunately, has to seek a woman’s consensus on all decisions relating to bearing and raising a child. Law grants the mother the full rights over her children for she bears them, and fathers come only second. The father of course, plays the next most important role by complementing the mother in all her endeavours. He too, before proposing to a woman, before tying the knot, before having a child, has to ensure that his finances are in order and that he is able to stand up for his wife and children in any situation. And when he becomes a parent, he has to set the right examples for his children by being loving and respectful towards their mother, by being strong and confident in himself, by being diligent and responsible, and by showing his children ways of the world so that the children grow up as strong and loving individuals. Together, the mother and father are 100% responsible in creating a home that is able to provide for the children in many ways, and this is the most important factor in ensures their success at every stage of their life.

What about society, you may ask? The answer is simple. All matters pertaining society, imposed by society and enforced by society cease to be relevant the moment we step into our homes. The home where we spend hours and hours with our children is where all the moulding and nurturing takes place and this is where great people are made. The society is merely a backdrop, and most of us know very well that it is us who make up the society. Parents who have no time to attend to their children will find society, with all its glories and all its ills taking the child in its embrace, influencing his/her ways and rewriting his/her fate. For that, the mother and the father – the two people who brought the child to the world – are wholly responsible. The child, if strong, can fight against all odds to emerge a winner. Others falter and wither away. Either way, children do suffer when parents leave parenting to others. Their children’s failure is their failure, although most parents will never admit that.

So what can children do? Learn their lessons from their parents’ failure and put a stop to the vicious cycle of bad decisions creating more bad decisions by trying to do well in life. And to think very well before making key decisions in life like choosing a girlfriend/boyfriend or getting married. A lot of people from poor backgrounds turn their fate around by making the right decisions, by being patient and trusting that effort will eventually pay off. So, to the question of children not making the grades or failing to achieve what’s expected, it’s time parents take a good look at themselves and take the responsibility to make amends so that it is not too late. Blaming others – school, teachers, each other – will just distract them from setting things right while they can.

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