2 days ago, i was privileged to speak at the popular New Estate Baptist Church; it was their Parents/Teens forum. Prior to then, the week before, two women, much older than I am, who were representatives of the church came to meet me in the office on the recommendation of a mentor, to invite me to speak in their church. They waited at the reception for me for a little while i went to meet with them a short while after which i went to meet with them. When i greeted them, they responded and appeared to want to hear that i was the PA to “Tope Akinyemi”. When i told them i was the one, they expressed serious surprise. They said they never expected someone that young.
Anyways, we spoke and locked down that date for the program. I had mixed feelings about that meeting because i was going to be speaking to an audience of much older people about parenting.
The day came and I attended the program. It was a good and different meeting from what i’ve been used to. Contrary to what i’ve seen in times past, teenagers spoke openly about issues they had been having with their parents. It’s a close knit family church. I’d like to highlight a few of the things i spoke about briefly:
There are good parents and there are great parents. What differentiates both is the information they have, and their approach to parenting in this information age.
For example, a good parent is a 19th Century parent while a great parent is a 21st Century parent. Conventional parenting cannot achieve effective results these days. Creativity, innovation and a lot of wit, while retaining core values are essential in parenting in these times.
There are two points i’ll like to address. One is the fact that when people become parents, they forget the challenges they had as children and deal with the children as if they never passed through that phase. I’m not talking indulgence or laxity, am talking empathy. Take for example the teenage period which is a very difficult phase for the children, a lot of love, support and listening ear are required. Let’s be firm, show love and answer all their questions; let’s be there for them.
The second point addresses what characterizes the 21st Century – the internet. Any parent who doesn’t know how to use the internet in this age is courting trouble in wholesale quantity. To make sense and be relevant today, we need to understand the prevalent language. We need to understand the internet sufficiently to know what’s fraudulent and what’s legit. I heard a few weeks ago about a young boy who wanted to do a legit internet business and because his mother was not computer literate, she thought he was going into yahooyahoo and so used all kinds of ways to make him discontinue the business (blackmail, pleading…etc) I like the saying “every man’s mountain is his ignorance”
“Any parent who doesn’t know how to use the internet in this age is courting trouble in wholesale quantity.”
For young parents, there’s a lot to be done at the foundation level, in building values and principles, godly lifestyle, etc. This has to be done intentionally and painstakingly one day at a time. More importantly, let our lives reflect those same things that we teach. Let’s be examples indeed. It suffices to say that God will hold us accountable for how they turn out. Their future and destinies, alive or dead is in our hands; it’s scary but true!
Have a nice week…..