Many a time, parents, teachers, the clergy and other members of the society debate over the right way to bring up a child. Raising a child is one of the most arduous tasks to take up, however, when the pain has been taken, and success story is told, everybody loves to identify with this success. In this article, I will be talking, not as a certified psychologist, but as an educator who has a background knowledge of psychology, and has worked (with keen observations), with/and in the midst of babies, children and adolescents.
It takes nine good months for a human being to form, and when the foetus finally leaves the womb out into the world, its identity changes; it becomes a baby. At this point, learning begins to take place. Factors such as the psychological makeup of the child, parental care/guidance and environmental influence play important roles in the upbringing of that child. Every normal human being has the physiological, psychological and the spiritual makeup which enable them to live; the reason why babies survive amidst pollution, inclement weather, trauma, etc.
Since I’m not a certified psychologist, I’ll be dwelling more on two other factors mentioned above: parental guidance and environmental influence. These two factors, coincidentally, cannot be talked about separately because one handles a part of the other. Parental guidance is the most important factor to be considered in child upbringing. No child should be left to train himself, and that is why God made it that a child should be under his/her parents’ care. In reality, most children who are brought up under keen and faithful watch of their parents turn out to become assets to the society. One would ask how best a child should be trained so that he/she becomes well trained, and my response is, “there is no formula for that”. Two children trained under the same condition cannot possess the same qualities, behavioural traits and the likes, they are obviously different individuals and should be trained individually. The first step to achieving this is understanding that child, and this is where psychology plays a very important role. A child who has erred could be flogged and he takes corrections, never going back to that which led to the flogging, on the other hand, another child who committed the same offence, could be given the same number of strokes by the same person, but he goes back to commit that same offence that led to him being punished. So, that is why I mentioned that there is no formula. On thing I’ll advise here is that, one should take out time to study the child, understand his/her temperament, and most importantly, make the child his friend. Working with the younglings has made me realize that the best way to train a child is to make that child see you as a friend. This is the secret to achieving success in child upbringing! Being your friend makes the child confide in you. Believe me, he/she will always open up to you, and that is the only opportunity to know and understand him. (Be reminded that this works better if begun at the early stage of child growth). With that you’ve got that child in your palm. Trust me; you will train him well then if in addition, you are responsible, mature in mind and have presence of mind always.
The environment will influence the child negatively if the child is not under keen and faithful parental guidance. Witty the reason why two children trained in the same environment by different calibre of parents possess different behavioural traits. Whether we cage the child, confine him to a mansion, or let him to move freely in the street, once that parental care and guidance is missing, nothing else works. Jesus Christ wasn’t confined to a mansion or a room, he was allowed to move freely in the street, mingling with other members of the society even in his young age, though God, but as human, he didn’t lose focus. His upbringing made it possible.
Finally, bringing up a child is a privilege. It is beautiful, interesting and rewarding. Let us pay more attention to the younger ones; babies, kids and adolescents. That’s what matters the most in bringing them up. Attention, yes! That is all that matters. A situation concerning a child which you can handle now, don’t suspend it, handle it as it comes. It makes the problem less complicated and easier to resolve. If we all appreciate our children and give them the best training, we will be glad we did because our society will become more productive, safer and more peaceful.
I learnt more from writing this article as well.