National Character Parenting Summit is here once again. A brief history to enlighten everyone about what NCPS is all about.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE INAUGURAL NATIONAL CHARACTER-PARENTS SUMMIT, 2015
THEME: ‘CHARACTER-PARENTING AND NATION BUILDING’
I wish to begin by saying that my team and I are not the most competent people to convene this Summit; judging by years of experience.
We are however driven by the passion that we don’t eventually fail the generations after us, even if we believe that those before us have failed us.
This Summit keeps sensitising the public to make character development a deliberate aspect of training children. It is RCV’s way of addressing the widening character gap at source – The Home. Why does there seem to be a growing number of fathers and mothers in the world today but fewer parents?
- Winston Churchill said: “There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.”
On the national outlook of this discussion: remove every family from an existing nation and all you have left is a geographical space. This is because families are made up of people and nations made up of family units. One can therefore safety conclude that the quality of the people is the quality of the nation. Quality speaks mainly about values, virtue, principles, character.
How Does Parenting Come in?
Parenting must now be seen as a national service because the effects of how parents raise their children is never private; it always has implications on the society.
- By the law of procreation, parents are the primary foundation of family units. Children arrive into the hands of their parents with natural deposits, but rely on the parents for nurture (upbringing, home training, values integration, character development and management).
- Every parent owes it to the general well-being of the nation to train their children into socially-fit young adults. That is their basic, most important volunteer contribution to nation building – to raise them to become an advantage and not a disadvantage to the society.
- The fact is that parents determine the ultimate fate of a nation through the quality of adults (in nature and nurture) that they ‘contribute’ to the nation through their families.
- Viewing nations building from this angle creates a sense of urgency on the need to initiate a campaign and a national discourse on deliberate parenting policy.
- Although many parents recognise the role of bringing life forth, they seem to fail to complete the process through nurturing or unwittingly transfer the responsibility to other people.
- No nation may be able to preserve her legacy without a deliberate parenting policy with emphasis on character development. Even the economic power of a nation is at the risk of the strength or weakness of her citizens’ social capital.
- No parent is qualified to complain about the lopsided position of things in the country, except you have taken your own responsibility. You owe it to your nation to contribute or inject ‘positive blood’ into the system.
- Quote by Archbishop Edward Gilbert of the Catholic Commission for Social Change said: “The nature of the family is to form people, to train them to learn values, help them to learn virtues so they know how to live their lives…I ask the grandparents to teach the grandchildren if you see the parents not teaching them. Parent, teach your children, if you do not teach them how are they going to learn?”
- Billy Graham said, “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”
Some Hard Truth
No child was born already nurtured, but with nature’s raw deposits. Nothing in its crude state offers the best value, so a role model or ‘refinery’, a parent is someone who should have the earliest, positive, most consistent and strongest influence on a child’s life.
- Parenting does flow to the ‘whatever will be, will be’ view. It is possible for your children to turn out the way you want them to, especially if you start the work early. Remember, there is shorter time for parenting now.
- No one can improve on the parenting process you didn’t initiate – good schools, church etc. Parents are in the best position to raise their children.
- Trends have shown that luxury is not the greatest need of today’s children; it is attention. They need help to live above peculiar challenges of their times – stressors such as the internet, computer games, exposure to violence, the emergence of non-traditional families due to separation and overseas migration, job transfers, challenging school and workload, and even heavy traffic! Please BE THERE!
- You can place a 50 per cent limit on your child’s prospect by failing to give him proper home training (He has nature, give him nurture).
- It will be difficult to convince the world that you are good and you produce bad fruits, your children are your extensions
- For people who profess one faith or the other, note that failure in parenting can stop your eternal peace with your maker.
- It is better to train children than to repair men. A child left to himself, untrained is a destiny lost, the sophistication in their generation, requires guidance.
- Deliberate parenting yields better fruits than assumed parenting.
- “To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.” Anonymous
- James E. Faust said, “To be a good father and mother requires that the parents defer many of their own needs and desires in favor of the needs of their children. As a consequence of this sacrifice, conscientious parents develop a nobility of character and learn to put into practice the selfless truths taught by the Savior Himself.”
On government side, the Royal Character & Values Limited wishes to recommend to the Federal Government of Nigeria thus:
- That the executive works with the legislative arms of government to promote a national policy on deliberate parenting with focus on nation building and raising a new breed of future leaders.
- To legislate that working-class mothers in public and private organisations (with newborn to primary school-age children), should be allowed to close from work earlier in order to gain some time to build the future of the nation. This should not affect their earnings negatively. It is because home training takes about 60 per cent in a parenting curriculum and for the best result; it must be exhausted from cradle to the teenage years.
- That based on this policy, this category of working class mothers should be granted the privilege of working in branches of their companies closer to where they reside.
- That their companies should exempt them from out of station transfers, and granted automatic right to reunite with their transferred husbands (if they so wish).
- That all working parents must observe annual leave, a time to be invested into family re-integration, encouraging well-raised adults.
- That the government, through relevant agencies, establishes centres to create awareness about the vital roles of parents to nation building.
On parents’ side, before the children born, they should have parenting goals with a deliberate policy on character development so as to produce their desired brand of children. This way, they won’t add to existing social problems.
- Parents should show commitment to the demands of this goal through living by examples, designing a sacrificial schedule to be available during the children’s first few and crucial years. Don’t sell your future to buy today.
- David Bly said, “Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.”
- C. Everett Koop said, “Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”
- Parents (biological and foster), should invest towards their expected parenting result (by searching for requisite and adequate knowledge etc). Don’t be rigid and no guess work as you cannot give what you don’t have.
- As the children arrive, let them see there’s a blue print that’s mutually beneficial so they can cooperate with you.
- Marriage counselors must now serve would-be couples a training diet on deliberate and effective parenting, preparatory to their wedding.
- Parents would however need to be consistent and tireless in this responsibility. Put your trust in God and expect the best.
Delivered By Bosede Olusola-Obasa,
Chief Executive Officer,
Royal Character & Values Limited,
Saturday, Aug 29, 2015