Nigeria loses gifted brains due to reckless parenting

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Millions of Nigerians have brain-drained to foreign countries, to a great disadvantage of the nation’s educational and professional progress, caused by reckless, ineffective parenting. Making this contention recently at a Parents’ forum Seminar in Queensland Academy, Isolo, Lagos, Venerable Professor Dapo Asaju, Director, Centre for General Studies and Chairman, PTA, Staff School, Lagos State University, gave reasons why parenting today is a daunting tasks. These include that:

*Life is changing

*Society no longer operates along shared values or projected sequences of life

*The future is so bleak for coming generations because of the heartless recklessness of the older and corrupt generation of leaders who have wasted the country’s resources.

“This generation did not witness when we had a good Nigeria and they cannot guarantee their place and opportunity in the country. Many are forced to flee to other countries. There are millions of Nigerians who have brain-drained to foreign nations, to a great disadvantage of Nigeria’s educational and professional progress.

Government has virtually collapsed, jobs are rare, conflicts and insecurity such as robbery, assassinations, kidnaping, fraud, corruption with impunity is rife. Children are now into cultism and armed robbery.”
He noted that this generation is fast becoming less respectful, in some cases lacking etiquette, because their parents did not teach them.

“Charity begins at home. How many parents share meals at the table with their children or entire family? With parents who rush out early to work and come back late at night, tired what time of parenting is available? Absent parents expose their children to external albeit negative parenting or self-parenting.”

He told the seminar, attended by about 1,000 parents from different professions and various walks of life, that the young generation has a tendency to be impatient to learn, to be disciplined, rise through the rank and gain experience. They are anxious to make it big in position and wealth. They aim at the big money spinning jobs in oil and banking sector. They love the fast life.

“A class gap has emerged in society between children of the rich who can afford to send their children to expensive private schools, and thousands of children from poor homes who either had no formal education, or attended decrepit and strike-ridden public schools.”

Asaju added that, “the consequence is a lash back by the disadvantage and the jobless youths against society through various criminal activities which promote witchcraft, sorcery, immorality. Many parents do not care to investigate what films their children watch secretly.”

He drew attention to the selling of cheap pornographic CDs on the streets and the availability of these on the internet also changes attitude of youths to sexuality. It encourages rape, sexual harassment in schools and work places.

“Parents need to address their children about these, otherwise their children may unlearn in schools and society, the good values learned at home. Parents should ask questions about dangers, threats and harassments faced by their children. Many children suffer in silence.”

Also mentioned was participation of youths in ethnic militias (e.g OPC, Bakassi, Niger Delta militias) with emergent recourse to charms, Satanism and syncretism. Locally produced home videos play negative role.
Problems associated with parenting were identified. These are:

*Godlessness by parents and families, lack of daily prayer and counselling session.
*Bad examples by parents, which children pick up by observation.

*Working parents having no time for their children.
*Polygamous families and politics.

*Single parents caused by divorce or loss of one of the parents.
*Parenting orphans and foster children.

*Neglect of shared values, philosophies and moral values.
*Injustice and favouritism among children in a family.

*Attitude towards dressing.
*Influence of worldly music and dance, e.g. Rap culture – arrogance, violence, immorality, satanic symbols.

*Indiscipline due to indulgence, excessive freedom and liberty granted children.
*Schools and peer pressures.

*Lack of moral instructions in schools.
*Influence of the mass media and foreign culture.

*Foreign government policy against the power of parents
to discipline their children.

*Satanic games and gadgets: Harry Potter and exposure witchcraft.
*The Internet

*Sports and Entertainments
*Violence and oppression.


The Professor of Theology went on to suggest ways towards effective parenting. That parents should pray for their children regularly and prophecy their good future. “Power of life … is in the Tongue.” Never curse them. Do not get too familiar with children to the point that they have no fear or respect for their parents. Let them know that if they honour their father and mother, their days will be long on earth. They should also be made to know that what they do to their parents, their own children in future will do to them. “What goes round comes round.”

Love your children and do not provoke them. govern them as a test of your leadership ability. Any one who cannot govern well his home is not qualified to be a religious or even political leader.

Parents should be willing to invest in books and resource materials that can guide them in the art of parenting. Provide for the maintenance of the home and pay the fees and bills.

A father who cannot provide for his family si worse than an infidel. Monitor the company being kept by our children and break such if evil. Bad company corrupts manners. Role modeling and mentoring. Recognizing children’s choice of studies, career and marriage partner. Dialogue on a regular basis. Exposure to place of worship and active engagement with fellow peer worshipers.

Keeping children exposed and grounded in their family history, culture, moral values, home town and speaking the local language.

Training children in wisdom of the Africans: Philosophical sayings. e.g. Ise logun ise, proverbs, fairy tales, moonlight stories, etc. The goals is to give our children a sense of African identity.

Discipline them by rebuke, admonition, corporal punishments, denial of pleasure, etc. Boost the high hopes and potentials of children to aspire to any height like the case of Barak Obama.

Asaju asserted in his presentation titled — “God and Parenting: Responsibilities of Families,” that God is the super parent.

He is the creator of man. He parented Adam and Eve. He introduced marriage and family. He has given guidelines and examples on how to parent. Man therefore acts on behalf of God in parenting. Religion has a major role to play in parenting because man is a tripartite being with body, spirit and soul each of which should be harnessed and developed.

He pointed out that parenting is a skill naturally acquired or learned.

“Parenting perpetuates the genetic lineage. It secures future generations. Everyone is born into a family and brought up by parents and the community at large. The parentage may be biological, foster or adopted. A child is the product of his parents. A good name is better than silver and gold. The home is the first school for a child. It is the foundation for formation of a child’s character.”

Among those present were Mrs. Adenike Okudoh, Education Development Director, Queensland Academy; Chief V.I. Afilaka, Chairman, Parents’s Forum; Mr. Ayeni Joseph, Vice Principal, Administration and Ofulue Esther, Head of School (Primary).

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