Rev Prof Daniel Agyapong Nyarko, Rector of Nduom School of Business and Technology (NSBT) and an elder of the Pentecost International Worship Center (PIWC) in Takoradi has lamented that many forces exist to influence our children in today’s world.
He was of the view that technological advancements that should enhance the quality of life of the children rather tend to break or destroy it when left unchecked.
He noted that children today do not only have access to television but also own gadgets like smart phones, laptops, tablets, iPads, and game consoles among others and even where they don’t own them, they may still have access through friends and peers.
Rev Nyarko who was speaking at a church service on the theme, “equipping the child through effective Christian parenting” indicated that parents were the first and best role model for their children and that their lives and conduct must both please and honour God in every way.
“Today’s children are bombarded with all kinds of programme contents, both good and bad. Secondly, our cultural heritage which we adore has spiritual overtones that fight against abiding faith in the living God. How can we raise our children to love and fear God despite these negative influences?” He quizzed.
he opined that parents were expected to love, impart knowledge, guide growth, set boundaries or limits, develop skills, intercede, pray with, be available and spend quality time with their children.
“It is the relationship that you develop and nurture with your children that will build the bridge to their hearts so that they adopt for themselves the beliefs you hold dear from which they derive the values and which in turn will drive their behaviour”, he emphasized.
He defined Christian parenting as engaging your children in a way that most accurately reflects the life and words of Jesus and added that to be an effective Christian parent, one must seek God, depend on Him, and live through Christ.
According to him, the kind of children you raise today will determine the kind of adult tomorrow hence the need to channel all attention, resources and love in shaping the lives of children today, not ignoring godly discipline.
He mentioned three general parenting styles as the coercive, permissive and authoritative and said coercive parenting involved the use of physical or psychological control to achieve the desired behaviour in children.
He added that permissive parenting overindulges children and allows them relatively free reign while authoritative parenting involves consistently connecting with children in a loving way, setting reasonable limits, and allowing children an appropriate measure of autonomy.
He also defined single parenting as a situation where only the mother or father was available in bringing up a child or children and said several factors may lead to single parenting including death of a spouse, divorce or separation, re-location, job constraints, travel, education and personal choice.
Rev Prof Nyarko who is also a former Rector of the Takoradi Polytechnic now Takoradi Technical University indicated that being a single parent presents greater responsibility, but it must be handled tactfully since it was challenging but doable.
He enlightened that the first five years of a child’s life were the most critical in that influence starts from the womb and as such parents should be careful what they communicate to the unborn child.