Parenting is one of the most powerful tools for changing societies and nations. It is the ability to disciple the next generation. Parenting is influence. It is the opportunity to influence the values, paradigms and lives of another, particularly a toddler, a child or a teenager. Every child is born with a plain mind, a mind devoid of preconceived notions and ideas – a state called ‘Tabula Rasa’, the clean slate. This implies that to a large extent, who children become will be determined by the predominant thoughts and ideas they absorb from their environment. Some will argue that heredity also plays a role in the outcome, but for the purpose of this write up, we would be focusing on the impact of the environment. In as much as every plant has been encoded with a gene that determines its outcome, we can’t rule out the fact that the type and content of the soil where it is planted would also determine its outcome.
Having said that, every guardian and parent must ensure that he/she is deliberate about the environment his/her children are exposed to. Who looks after your child? Who teaches your child in school, church or at home? What programmes do they watch? Who designed their favourite TV programme? The fact here is not to make parents paranoid, but to point out a key fact. Effective parenting is an active role, not a passive one. Every toy, TV programme, children books, etc., was designed with a specific purpose in mind. Therefore, as parents, our job is to review and select those which align with our parenting ideology and philosophy. Failure to achieve this will result in chaotic parenting.
Be deliberate about the materials and ideas your children are exposed to, whoever influences their thoughts and choices will influence their life.
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Chidi & Victor Akunna
Connected Hearts Daily Devotional (C) 2016
Parenting Dynamics Series 069
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