Nowadays, the prevalence of acts of violence in every corner of the world is rampant. Crimes happen everywhere at no time. Various acts of violence against humanity and the devastation of environment, man-made and natural disasters alike, atrocities such as mass shooting, hate crimes and extra–judicial killings exist. Syndicated crimes like human trafficking, drug trafficking, other smuggling activities and armed conflicts are enormous trades that earn billions of dollars at the cost of human life and dignity. Global warming and climate change, poverty and corruptions in governments are alarming signs of social and environmental disparity where immediate attention and appropriate actions are necessary. With all these, life in this world seems hopeless and uncertain, and at the verge of total collapse. This is the present world in a huge picture, where solutions to social problems are based on the gravity and sphere of their effects, solutions dictated by powerful and influential nations.
The world is really changing differently. Discoveries of modern technologies are highly contributory to these changes. Anyone could observe its revolutionary effects to the world’s physical and social environment particularly to humanity. The humankind reacts to it in diverse ways forming new cultures and civilization. It could be deciphered that good things happen technologically, like the advancement of transportation and communications and in different fields of sciences, making great impacts to human existence. These things are interwoven in today’s digital world, an innovative civilization, a generation of “instants”. Still, no one could conceal the fact that its adverse effects deteriorate the core values and noble purpose of humanity as good stewards of creation.
My greatest concern, at this point, is the family, whose part in this hasty change is inseparable, and the youths who would engineer the fate of the next generation. Parents and their children and every individuals are directly and greatly affected by this wave of transformation.
Let us deductively track where those massive glitches of the society started from. Why do these problems evolve in a spiral way? Those social problems were magnified by political gimmicks in every government. Politicians are the game-changers in this given arena. Most political figures, government leaders and anti-government players were creams of the crop of prestigious academic institutions. Perhaps, even high profile criminals and syndicate leaders were intellectuals in their own crafts of greed and selfishness. These individuals are definitely have something in common. They belong to a social group, big or small. Certainly, they came from a family, the basic unit of our society, and went through the stages of human development like anybody else. To what path they choose as they grow older, it is a test of reverence and character. Moreover, a question of values and discipline instilled at home, a resilient foundation expected from and enthused by their parents.
As anyone could see, significant number of youths today are involved in different crimes. These youths are said to be the hope of the nation, however, it is perceived that they are the ballooning fraction of today’s social problems. It is distressing to witness our youths becoming criminals and scoundrels instead of becoming heroes and heroines of tomorrow. They are one of the vulnerable sectors of our society targeted by the villains, crooked-minded insurgents, and armed groups against the government. Many of them are scholars, who supposed to be future leaders, instead brainwashed with perverted ideologies and compelled to fight against the same government who gave them study grants. What a waste of scholarship funds!
“Our youths are the hope of the nation.” This is a famous quotation century ago, from Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero. Indeed, they are, if and only if they are well-mannered and well-raised by their parents. More so, if their parents instilled right conduct and patriotism. Nonetheless, education was the vibrant vision of Dr. Rizal for the youths during his time. Considering the reality of today’s generation, I would say, the hope of the nation lays in the hands of the good parents. Neither unheard nor ignored, this is the echoing call of our present-day, an undeniable challenge that every parents must get involved.
The culpability speared towards the schools and the government regarding ill-mannered youths. Putting things into the right perspective, the role of education is to guide students discover their abilities and broaden their knowledge, to cull out the values in the process and encourage them to apply those values through life. Teachers serve as mentors in nurturing the values and good manners inculcated at home. This is the reason why we call our schools as second homes while teachers are our second parents.
Parents, then, have the critical role in nation-building entrenched in their absolute mission as pro-creators, to raise their children to be humane and God-fearing individuals. Parents are role models, counselors and their offspring’s first teachers. Above all these, parents are the first authority in person to establish respect and to teach what is right from wrong.
Parents, as first teachers of their children, are great influencers. The outside environment, their peers and the clashes of values outside their homes, might deviate them to wrong turns in their lives. But, if parents founded the solid cornerstone of character and discipline, they could surpass the deceptive game of our society. Outdoor, children are in the test of their values and discipline taught by their parents. As they grow older, it is a test of their integrity and character.
In his speech, “Grow and Be Like the Molave”, Manuel Luis Quezon emphasized that “national strength can only be built on character.” Furthermore, he stressed that “it is the people that make up the nation and therefore a nation cannot be stronger than its component parts”. It is categorically true, but then again, parents were overlooked as strong partners to establish such character to attain national strength.
Molding one’s character and values formation are sensible and subtle processes from childhood to teen-age years, the most critical stage to comprehend life experiences. By some means, digging the whole where they landed and got hooked by harsh situations, youths are also victims of peculiar life circumstances, prisoned by the influence of media and other undesirable and detrimental contents of the world-wide-web. Conceivably, countless youths are not guided appropriately and compassionately when they needed the most. This is the undeniable role of the parents yet neglected by them.
In public, a good-mannered child is branded as disciplined. Discipline is a reflection of respect to authorities and other people. Above all, discipline is advocating social norms and adherence to the laws. Discipline is a sustainable means in nation-building and the entire social development processes.
At home, it is a must to clarify the house rules and abide by them. Spend quality time with the children to strengthen compassion and get them engross in doing household chores to develop sense of responsibility. These simple actual life training have lasting impact that could be transferred to generations. It is not just giving command to children, both parents and children must engaged in the life-learning activities. Children are keen observers, they copy their parents as role models.
Consistency in words and actions gain respect, and enrich the lessons parents aspire to teach their children. Show them how to do simple tasks like fixing their bed in the morning, doing regular personal hygiene, preparing and cooking simple foods, washing the dishes, laundry tasks and folding clothes, organizing the bedroom, returning stuffs in place, cleaning the house, garbage segregation and others. These duties develop children’s other skills, initiative, helpfulness, discipline, confidence, the value of hard works, patience, benevolence, and following simple rules and standards among other things.
Teach the children, the value of time by not getting late in school. When they become adults, they will always on time at work and other personal appointments. Never give monetary rewards for the good things they have done or favor they have rendered. If parents do, bribery and corruption are the underlying consequences of such practice. Instead, provide them with what they need to understand the value of saving. Children should do good deeds because that is the right thing to do. Correct their wrongdoings straightaway and guide them towards the right perspective.
No one else except the parents are the first and right persons to correct and castigate them. When children commit mistakes, teach them to say sorry. Even parents must apologize to their children when they experience shortcomings. By these, parents are teaching them humility by accepting their faults and by taking responsibility for their actions. Let them play with other children and let them clean their mess after playing to develop resourcefulness, problem solving skills and teamwork. Those undertakings would make them ready and equipped against all odds when they have the life of their own. Most likely, they would become productive and good citizens whose sound decisions would be based on moral values, integrity and justice with compassion. As the Holy Scripture says about rearing a child, Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Implicitly, parents are the lead partners, untapped assets of the government towards a transformative and progressive society. Government and the parents are the closest cohorts in nation-building. The government provides the development blueprint whilst the parents develop productive workers, the citizenry with strong moral fiber and great sense of responsibility, to engineer its vision of an advanced nation. Therefore, the best thing parents could contribute to national progress is to raise their children to be a good and productive individuals. Whereas, government must help them become better persons and proud citizens of their country.
When children or teenagers show bad attitude and an unacceptable manner, instantly, the public would be asking who the parents of those children are. Reflectively, it is a question of children’s upbringing by their parents. Grounding from that point, social problems are actually questions of character and values of every citizens, every individuals comprising a family. Families must be founded and be headed by virtuous and responsible, prolific, compassionate and mindful parents, leading by example. Undoubtedly, the challenges and complexities of today’s evolving family system must be acknowledged by the competent government to reconnect familial gaps.
Parenting is the toughest life course. A complex duty not only to parents and to those who act as parents but importantly to government leaders to promote and uphold quality family life. In doing so, the family as the basic unit of the society is a building block in nation-building. Governments must value the role of the parents and recognize their potentials as the primary agents of social change.
Recalling your childhood and teenage years, you probably hate your parents for their reprimands and discipline. The lessons and pains of disciplinary actions imposed by your parents were vividly registered in your memory. Now that you are an adult and possibly a parent, do you still feel the same way? I supposed you do not. Certainly, such feeling of guilt was cleansed to a feeling of gratitude. As you witness the youths of today, I am assured, you are grateful to your parents for the priceless legacy of discipline.