CHILDREN ARE THE greatest gift God has blessed mankind with, especially after marriage. They are like flowers that beautify the garden. They are inbuilt with insatiable curiosity and passion for discovery and knowledge, thereby turning their world into a laboratory in their quest to understand and experience their environment. The Holy bible gives condition for entering into the kingdom as being like these little children (Matt. 18:1-5).

There is a popular saying that children of today will be the adults of tomorrow. Therefore, they are future leaders. Thus, how a society turns out when these children take over will depend on how much the society invested in them when they were young. However, a well-trained child is like a treasure to the family and a source of joy to the society at large. When we neglect or out of ignorance do not give our children the desired training, our children suffer, parents suffer too because of their Child’s bad behaviour and the society suffers the most (1Sam3:11-13). It is our duty then to teach, shape and balance their understanding in the right and acceptable way. Not simply as a duty but gladly, because God wants it (1 Peter 5:2).

Furthermore, there is a belief that some children are born with evil. This uninformed judgment has provided justification for violence, coercion, withdrawal of love, isolation, threats, and humiliation under the guise of discipline. It has produced generations of adults who are burdened with feelings of guilt, fear, and shame. It has caused children’s real needs to go unmet, producing adults who go through life trying desperately and unsuccessfully to fill their early needs, looking for someone who can love, accept, and understand them.

His Holiness John Paul II has a special place for children. On one of his birthday, 18th May, 1997, On the occasion of his visit to the Parish of San Atanasio, Rome. During the interview, a little child asked the Holy Father; ‘‘what would you like to get as a present for your birthday?’’. The Pope answered; ‘‘your presence is enough for me’’. He went on to say, ‘‘the next millennium, the future and tomorrow, which is in God’s hands, shines in children’s faces.’’ More so, in his second world meeting with Families, at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in October 4, 1997, he said, ‘‘Children have the right for love, protection, and healthy development of mind and body.’’ He however lamented that any society’s indifference to children is inhuman, irresponsible and a serious injustice which they will have to give account before the judgment seat of God.

However, habits are routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and sometimes tends to occur unconsciously. Some bad habits when early are sometimes called common, but they later develop and attack most people later in life. When bad habits are noticed in the formation of a child, it is our duty as parents or guardians to acknowledge the fact that the child needs help or guidance. Wishing the bad habit away would not help and ignoring them will not get rid of the behaviour. Hence, do not try to make them change at once. Always take a step at a time. We can do this through a variety of positive training activities, such as encouragement, support, dialogue, and setting good examples for them. These shall be elucidated below.

Training in action: Parents need to be watchful and observant. Encourage children, and don’t praise them too much. Allow your child to experience the inward joy that comes from putting others first. Gentle reminders will help them stay on track. However, this training also entails loving and teaching both genders equally. For example, some women say ‘‘what a man can do, we can do better.’’ It is unfortunate that some men are not challenged with this statement. Thus, its time men take up that challenge and begin to say, that ‘‘what a woman can do we can also do better.’’ Parents can help their children, by encouraging them to prove themselves without hurting others, to be polite, hardworking, know their rights, maintain and have values for themselves.

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