Waywardness Among Youths: Parental Obligations

BY BENSON OKOBI-ALLANAH
WHILE some children are known to be urbane in character, God-fearing, morally up-right, up and doing, and have respect for their parents, majority of them are wayward, disrespectful, unnecessarily arrogant, stubborn, exhibit puffed impunity, and abnormally-infested with ego that will lead them to nowhere.
In the olden days when moral values and respect for one’s parents was held in high esteem by children, some few parents whose children were morally loosed and disrespectful were seen as not being able to hold their own side of their parental responsibilities.
Then a child known to be academically brilliant and desirously in need of furthering his or her education but unfortunately happened to be denied such privilege perhaps because their parents were poor, never drew rain on them. Some that did, had their actions on their parents condemned even when they were known to have been denied a genuine ambition as it was in those good days seen as abominable act, a taboo to exchange words with their parents or curse them in the process even when it was obvious that what led to such act of wanton disrespect was fighting to get your parental responsibility towards the child, fulfilled.
Then in those good old days there were few wayward children. There was respect, deep-seated respect for one’s parents. The few wayward ones never ended up well as some because of their extreme disrespect were pomaded with curses by their parents instead of getting their blessings. Any child then who dared curse their parents who do not tolerate, and are crotchety by nature, got the bitter side of their parent’s tongues; not to talk of when such child upped the ante of their waywardness by attempting to beat them or beat them up.
Nowadays, the behavior of majority of them being bred in the name of children leaves very much to be desired. When a child being advised to tread on the right path sees such advice as toxic, poisonous and venomous, the best option left, therefore, is to let go of the child so that he or she chooses to live their lives the way they deem fit.
Some of the parents interviewed bemoaned the attitude of most youths whose attitudes they said paint a good picture of moral decadence in the society, and tried to change the maxim that youths are future leaders of tomorrow. Their uncontrollable nature and their unwholesome behavior, they pointed out, is no longer anything worthy to be proud of.
Mrs. Faith Elunor, a banker with a First generation bank in Asaba, said children of nowadays, particularly those of them that are heady and see no reason why they should be advised to tread softly, live in illusion and are consumed by the fire of quick wealth as they always go with the impression that the grass is greener on the other side. “Some of the youths feel ideas of their parents are archaic, out of tune and fashion, and far-flung from the present day realities. Some of them do not believe in the philosophy that you have to start from somewhere in order to get to somewhere. They are intransigent, ever ready to remain intrepid, engaging in bad things instead of doing what the society will not frown at. They see those doing something legitimate to earn a living as wasting their time. They do not see the need to do anything worthwhile other than gambling, wanting to travel abroad, to sell their kidneys, to kidnap, and involve themselves in heinous crimes that are capable of landing them in jail. They do not like being role models, rather, they embark on internet scams, get their claws into others that would have liked to be role models to others. They go smoking Indian hemps, sniffing cocaine and doing things not expected of them. And you know once a habit is formed, it is always very difficult to leave.As parents cannot be here and be there at the same time, it becomes absolutely impossible to keep a good watch on them. Teachers who everyone sees as character moulders and role models are despised by students who even go as far as having them beaten up in their attempt to correct them.There is nothing as bad as seeing your child who ought to be doing something worthy, back-sliding from them and pursuing things likely to put him or her behind bars if caught.Teachers as molders of characters are not spared the abuses and curses some of them pour on their parents at times whenever any argument arises.
They forget, or they know and tend to be stubborn over it, that as the words of our fathers are words of wisdom so any curse from their mouths lay on the wayward child stands to be potently effective. It is my candid advice that anybody in a position to counsel these children should not fail to do. Parents should not stop in their duty to continue to do their best in trying to make them tread on the right path. Whatever thing perceived as wrong they are doing, should beimmediately admonished even if such child refuses to listen to the voice of reason. That is my candid submission.”
Mr. David Akpokwu, a bank director, said it is unfortunate what many parents are producing as their children nowadays are no longer heart-warming. He lamented the rate many youths are chasing after money even to the detriment of their lives. He recalled how a graduate of Chemistry was offered employment in a brewery in Onitsha, but rejected the offer, saying when would he work, save the money to buy not just anyhow jeep, but the most exotic of all brands of jeep and live in the type of mansion he desire, the types he sees in Lekki, Abuja and in GRAs of state capitals. Four years down the line he rejected the employment that placed him on a salary of N85, 000 permonth; he is still roving the streets of Onitsha, partaking in things that are untoward, things society frowns at. While admitting that most of the youths get involved in things that are criminally-mind as a result of bad influence either from their school mates or peer groups in the various environments they are domiciled, he said it was not a good reason for them to be susceptible to crimes or be engaged in them, arguing “while is it that some of them despite the whole crimes prevalent in the society do not get themselves involved.
We still have some of them that are disciplined, who cannot be associated in any way with any criminality. Though they are few, we at least have them. Parents should not relent in their efforts to talk to their children even when they are being embarrassed, harassed, threatened, cursed and even beaten up, for such children will come to realize one day that what he thought was hatred from either of the parents or both, is for his own good and the love they have for them.
Though some of the youths keep being insensitive to rational reasoning and unwilling to change from their bad ways, to work even when the jobs are available, government should try to encourage those willing to work by providing jobs for them and not making it exclusive to only those that are privileged to have people in the corridors of power. This supposed to be an egalitarian society where everybody has equal rights and privileges, but here some of us are being discriminated against, treated as second hand citizens in our own country. It is not the best for a country that practices democracy.It is not in the interest of best practices.” David Apokwu said unequivocally.
When a child is cautioned and advised over what you feel will not add value to his life and he chooses to remain recalcitrant, then the best option left for you is to leave him to voyage in the sea of his chosen life-style, let him be the vagrant he chooses, don’t feel miffed over his action; let him stew in his juice. And may be in the near future he will get to realize that you were only trying to make him relevant.
The prayer of any good parent is for his/her children to be greater than them. If a young man or woman that is supposed to make better use of their youthfulness for something worthwhile fails and feels there is no need for that simply because they have parents that give them food and attend to their other needs, what you do after much attempt without success, is to leave him or her alone so that they will not include you among those disturbing them. Mrs. Appolonia Oputa-Otutu (neeAllanah) posited.