With so many things coming back in style, I can’t wait until morals, respect and intelligence become a trend again – Denzel Washington

The modern day parents have abandoned the many lessons learnt from their own parents who brought them up in a strict and controlled environment, a system which proved very successful judging by how well they turned out. I believe that our generation produced more respectful and better behaved children than what we have today. Our parents were strict and instilled a very high level of discipline in us. There were very serious consequences for even the minor offences. We had compulsory afternoon siesta, prep time and observed very strict bed times. We went to Sunday schools and catechism instead of malls, games arcade and the cinemas, we read books not instagram Facebook or Snapchat, we played together outside and actually bonded better with our siblings, friends and cousins. There were no friendship apps, phones or internet to distract us, Our excellent interpersonal skill was developed through direct physical communication with each other.

One might argue that the new threat of exposure to the internet makes it easy for kids to learn bad habits early in life, in as much as this is true, it is the responsibility of the parents to control their children’s access to such distracting and often catastrophic exposure to negative content online. We must and educate them because most of what they share online unlike during our time will be on record and may come to hunt them in future. Every generation has its threats to children, we had ours which was mostly drug addiction, cultism and truancy, some of us would have lost our way but our parents were hands on in their approach, they believed and practiced the concept of spoiling the rod to spare the child. I am sure if the internet was available when we were kids, our parents would have found a way to control our exposure to it. I remember our television watching routine back in the days, kids were hardly allowed unrestricted access to the television, we were only allowed to watch cartoons and other age appropriate materials at the child friendly times.

Many parents hide under the guise of giving to their kids luxuries they didn’t have themselves growing up. Some of the parents back in the days could afford the equivalent of these luxuries but in their wisdom chose not to expose their children to vanity and the terrible consequences of the greed which usually follows, according to the Holy Father Pope Francis, “if you give your heart to greed all other vices will follow”. I fear for this generation, Families now rely on phones and Whatsapp groups to keep in touch with each other, children enjoy freedoms and own expensive toys that are mostly not age appropriate. Even the dressing and appearance of these children show a dearth of decency and discipline at home, kids have been destroyed in an attempt for parents to be seen as modern and trendy. In the crazy pursuit of career and money parents have abandoned the children for nannies, cooks and drivers. With the very impersonal and mechanical bonding today, we may all end up in old people’s home where the children will abandon us in the pursuit of their careers and money.

These children are getting married everyday, the unusually high level of separations and divorce show clearly that the type of foundation they had at home lacks compassion and real natural bonding. The voices of the many wrong role models that abound today have replaced the persistent echo of our mothers voice in our heads perpetually guiding and directing us. The almost constant ear phones with its ear bursting jargonic music has completely reset their brains and erased the fear of fathers and their punitive reaction to our misdemeanours. Even in churches and mosques which should be a back up citadel of learning, morality and virtue, the message has changed from salvation to vanity, they have become clearing houses for miracle merchants and their naive customers who no longer place any value on hard work and gradual progression in life. A visit to some of these churches will reveal the presence of an disturbing number of young people who have not come to seek salvation, but for the spiritual push to fame and wealth.

I fear for this generation, the greed and get rich quick attitude have sent a good number of them to their early graves, either as victims or villains. More children want a sudden flight from zero to millions, this greed has been made worse by the stamp of approval appended by a society which no longer questions anything. A twenty year old undergraduate comes home in a multi Million Naira car, the parents celebrate the blessings with him without questioning the source, parents turn a blind eye as their daughters entertain men at home just to be posh, trendy and modern. We are digging our own graves by not speaking out and reclaiming our society, parents must begin to instil discipline and sound morals in their children, the old values must be restored if we must survive as a people. – Sir Stanley Ekezie