The human ascent to different levels in life often comes in different magnitudes and styles. Sometimes, it finds us ready and prepared, and other times naive and totally unprepared. Parenthood is that one thing that rests the parental challenge on the bare shoulders of parents. Call that challenge “parenting” if you want to regard formality, but it’s undoubtedly a demanding responsibility of overt zenith.
For the fact that it encompasses varied challenges and exclusive expectations, not many people succeed in the undertaking. Notwithstanding, many other people rebuff that avoidable failure and defy the very potential challenges along the way. It all depends on the style and approach one takes, the persistence one employs, and the degree of patience one observes.
At times, humans are such that, they readily want a great deal of uninterrupted freedom and liberty, even if it’d cost them later on in their lives. And this is true for both the young and elderly. That’s why it’s probably very essential to have people around who walk us past egocentric predicaments.
Being a parent asks for a lot of important factors which we readily disregard most of the times. Mental readiness, physical strength, emotional stability, sexual potency, financial balance and all the required indicators of responsibility; by and large, have to be there, essentially marriage. Notwithstanding, good demeanor and strong social connections serve a potent catalyst.
Who’d not agree that the time one spends with their family, particularly their children, is second to none on vitality measures? That bond, that parent-child bond is mostly cemented and consolidated by the time and attention given to them, aside taking care of their needs. And there’s this unique trait among kids: they’re so corruption-devoid that, they tend to be connected with those that give them attention, listen to them, understand them and take care of their needs. Those are the ones they normally run to and prioritize provided all other factors remain constant. Read Physics, it’d tell you this is the case at standard pressure and temperature.
Despite forming a very good parent-child relationship with one’s children, one must also not forget to protect them against the evils of the world. Their freedom and liberty ought to be monitored, coordinated and calibrated of course to repel them from misbehaving. There has to be a limitation to the things they like, want and do. That’d mean that – you as a parent shouldn’t spoil your children, or condone what can spoil them. That’d go with a witty Mandinka adage which translates to, “If you make your son a king, you’ll be the first person he’ll start collecting tax from.”
Sadly, parenting has evolved to not be the priority for some parents now. Pardon me if that sounds satirical, but calling a spade a spade is truly virtue-coherent. In nuanced Wollof, they’d say, “Bo nyemeh akara, danga nyemeh kaani,” which would subtly satisfy the translated context of, “If you decide to be a parent, you should take all the responsibilities it comes along with.” To anew my apology, disregard my Wollof if you find it sick or malnourished. There are no proteins in my Wollof. Haha, I lived in Brikama, if you’re interested. I presume that’s fine. Fine and dandy. So don’t ask me nakala buddy. Not yet a daddy?
Do you want to see the unruly?
Have a stroll along coastal Gambia around late evenings or thereabouts, you’d be stunned at what you’d see. Kids, minors who are supposedly under custody would be there or thereabouts, doing this and that, at will and at large. As a parent, disregarding things like that would be an evident definition of guided failure. Again, do most of them even care? But if we don’t want to think that most people see themselves in the demanding parental institution without any plans or expectations, preparations or composure, then every parent ought to take outright responsibility of their kids as expected and required of them.
It might sometimes be very easy to be a parent, courtesy of nature that doesn’t discriminate, but going ahead to justify one’s parent-dom would truly enlist one as a responsible parent. And responsibility entails a lot, not only the provision of basic necessities, proper education, good health care et cetera, but also proper and decent upbringing. And when we say education, we don’t extinguish reading in the name of one’s Lord.
A sans-responsibility parent has a lot of similar traits with bachelors. Irresponsible parents, parents that ignore cognizance and employ negligence, call them “the oncogenes of parenting” if you like, but parenting as a whole is a fulfilling and rewarding institution. For that, we’d just acknowledge that, sugarcane is sweetest at its joints – for we also know that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.
Batou Saidy holds a degree in Public and Environmental Health. Aside from his profession, he is a writer. His writing extends to current affairs, contemporary life issues, politics, sports, and health.