By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
In the past, the father was the undisputably head of the family, bread winner and the mothers a homemaker. Women had traditional roles in the home and that is to keep the home, undertake domestic chores, take care of the husband by cooking delicious meals and train the children.
The change in this traditional role has a great impact on the lives of men and children today.
Society’s recognition of the diversity of family types must be seen and appreciated in the evolving and changing roles engaged in by women and men. Women liberation have dramatically changed the way women plan their lives in terms of how they will invest their time in career, family, or other activities.
Nowadays, there is a general call for men to share in the domestic responsibilities to allow women that are desirous to achieve their careers, family and goals, without stress overload.
Most homes are run on three shifts where the father take turns with the wife and sometimes men will have no other choice than to stay with househelp or neighbours. This is because the job demands attention. This is nothing but chasing after the wind.
It is a well-known fact that family values have been debased. Parents no longer play their roles and children are disobedient and act flagrantly against social norms and duties. The attributes of old family values which include honesty, respect, purity, caring, and commitment have all been thrown into the garbage.
For a decade, families have been shattered by divorce and truth has been thrown out of homes. Parents lack integrity and children are more criminally prone than being obedient. There is no respect for family roles any more. Each family member is more interested in what is in there for him or her.
Children are at home alone while parents are at work, now truth is relative, and the focus is more on self-interest than family interest. There is no longer respect for lives, especially nowadays that children are exposed to video and computer games that glorify killing, rituals and nudity. The internet now expose the future generation to more crimes. No wonder there is no respect for life anymore. Family values have been debased. Parents no longer lives in the fear of God, children no longer respect their parents. Corruption is the password as marital beds are daily defiled. Pre-marital sex is celebrated, and modeled as the norm. Lust is mixed with love. The centre can no longer hold, as it is falling apart. Those who hold on to the truth are castigated and regarded as outcasts.
Our families themselves must share responsibility for the woeful state of our society today. Fathers and mothers in their homes have allowed the society around them to dictate our values and standards. Parents have left undone the things required of them. Children are depending on the parents to guide them in the right direction, but most parents have failed in this onerous duty.
Change is the only thing that is constant in life. Each of us must be determined to make a difference in our own lives, in our homes, and then a positive change will come to our society.
Time and love is what children want most today from their mothers and fathers. Doing routine tasks together are highly appreciated by children; such as reading the Holy Scriptures together, playing together, reading with them stories, going on picnics, doing dishes together, working in the garden, cutting firewood, going camping or just being there for them. A family must stay close as a knit family, spending time together.
Children want order in the home. It may mean some tough love and discipline at times. Discipline is a risky form of love because the child often rejects the one administering it. However, when discipline is given fairly and in love, children do not complain. There is a saying that discipline is one of the most durable gifts we can give our children.
Definite limits are not for children alone. Parents must also set limits for themselves. Husbands must know their limits and lovingly keep to them, just as wives must know their limits and respectfully keep them.
Parents must be role models to their children. Parents must live what they believe and say. Be genuine because children have a way of spotting hypocrisy immediately, and they do not like it. The best thing mothers can do for their children is to be submissive to their husbands. Showing affection and love openly to your spouse is a sure way of getting your children to understand love and appreciate it.
Parents must consistently demonstrate love and respect. This involves being a good listener, speaking in respectful tones, expressing appreciation for something well done, showing affection (appropriate touching on regular basis).
Do not be overzealous and over domineering, but make sure your children understand that each choice has consequences, good or bad. They must learn to accept the responsibility for their choices. It is not always the loving thing to do when we shield them from suffering brought on by their own choices.
Marital conflict has nothing to do with strong religious and moral commitments, but lies in the power of basic emotional needs. You can only keep true to your marital vows by being realistic about meeting each other’s important emotional needs. Pleasurable interactions cause deposits and painful interactions cause withdrawals.
All marriages can be saved from divorce. Extra marital affairs are bad, hence the need for couples to be careful for family and marriages not to sink. Commitment and trust are vital bonding links in marriage, but are easily thrown overboard when spouse’s basic emotional needs are unmet. Spouse becomes vulnerable to the temptation of an affair. Couples that commit themselves to each other’s needs lay foundation for lifelong happiness in a marriage that will be more satisfying than they ever deemed possible. Couples must express love to each other and devotion to their offsprings. Wipe off the slate of wrongdoings daily before you sleep.
Chronic behavioral problems are usually an indication of a failure in parenting, generally centering on the father’s failure to lead his family in a Godly manner.
Create time for prayers in your home. Always pray for your spouse, children and for yourself. There is power of life and death in the tongue; so parents must control the words they utter or say to their children.
You need God’s help to make sure you do and say the right thing at the right time. And your children need God’s protection from the temptations that Satan puts across them constantly. Let them know the efficacy of prayer and teach them to pray at all times in all circumstances with thanksgiving to God.