Opinion: Communal parenting

By Káyòdé Oyèró

Whatever happened to the adage, “four eyes sire a child, thousands eyes train a child,” I don’t know.

Around me here somewhere in the rowdily interesting city of Lagos, South-West Nigeria are daily occurrences of wives who throw tantrums at each other because woman A mildly “corrected” woman B’s pikin who had done something wrong and then the chided child goes home to tell his mother, woman B what happened. On hearing, woman B wouldn’t even care that the correction is necessary and in the right direction. Her eyes is blinded by rage. She goes to woman A to offer stern warning: “Mind your own business o! I did not hand-over the correction rod of my pikin to you. Shey you hear me? Common busybody. Shior!”

The scenario takes a mocking turn if woman A is not yet blessed with a child. You’ll hear woman B snigger something like “If you want to correct children, why not born your own? Abi? Answer me. Shameless woman. Don’t kill my own for me like you did to all your unborn children in your wicked coven.”

Woman A is left sorely depressed and withdrawn afterwards. She sees woman B’s pikin indulge in another immoral act and she turns her head away not wanting to stir the hornets’ nest of woman B. Hence, the every child to his or her parents and God for us all syndrome. Pathetic.

The result is what we have today: a society saturated with ill-bred youths and teenagers with little or no moral commonsense.

Then I ask myself why, even if the reason is obvious. The truth is: no matter how careful and devoted you are to your wards, your eyes can’t see all they do that needs a little advice, correction, direction and suggestion but the society sees them. Parents around see them. Elders around see them. Give them the liberty to talk to them and parent other people’s children and young ones when the opportunity arises. That one minute advice can change their lives altogether differently. That one minute censure can save them from joining the bad eggs of the society. Please.

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Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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