I have spoken to many parents who complained bitterly about the way their children have abandoned them after graduation from university. Many of them complained that even while living in the same town, the children find it extremely difficult to visit, opting most times to communicate on the phone. In cases like this, it is clear that the children are running away from something.

While this is extremely insensitive on the part of children, it is important to mention that the parents contribute more than 90% to what happens to them in old age. So many parents erroneously believe that merely paying school fees and providing the many luxuries of life is enough to make children yearn for family. While it is necessary to provide academic and material luxuries for the children, it is more important to create a conducive living environment free from bitterness, rancour and hatred for them. Spoiling them with the latest fashion and gadgets only provide temporary succour to their emotional needs, what they need is to experience love, respect and unity at home.

No human being is attracted to an environment bereft of genuine love and affection, for so many of these children, moving away after graduation from college is a welcome relief from the pain of watching the parents turn their home into a theatre of hatred and bitterness. Most of these children will experience genuine love and affection for the first time in their lives from friends and even total strangers. It is only natural that they gravitate toward those in whose company the love shines through.

As parents, it is important we consider the emotional welfare of the children before engaging in useless bitter quarrels, most of them may not survive the consequential emotional trauma which arises from a hostile living environment. The rampant cases of drug abuse, waywardness, stealing, violence involving even the children of the rich and powerful despite the lofty privileges they enjoy are rebellious behaviours exhibited in protest of the parents inability to genuinely love one another.

Loving the the children in isolation is an exercise in futility if you do not love and show affection to one another, they will always question your love for them if they notice you have no love for the vessel, male or female through which they came into this world. For the love to take root in their young hearts, they must experience first hand the genuine love and care of the parents for one another. This love more than anything else is the most important lesson your child will learn from you. If love lives in your home, it will become for them a haven of peace where they must visit regularly to rejuvenate.

Bonding in an environment of peace, unity and love ensures that an everlasting beacon of love is erected to call the children back home wherever they go. I know it is expected that children will grow up and chart their own course in life, it is also expected that the love and providence expended on them will one day yield the desired result of love and care for the parents in the evening of their journey through life. Let us start today to reassess our relationship with our spouse as an investment in our future wellbeing, let us remove all traces of hatred and bitterness because even when it doesn’t appear so, the children are watching attentively, they learn more from what we do than what we say, genuine love and respect for each other is necessary to ensure you create for your children, a family they will gladly and willingly return to wherever they go- Sir Stanley Ekezie.