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Removing Pressure On Kids …Roles Of Parents, Guardians

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In a clime like ours, where many people are ignorant of the child’s right act and children’s opinions are not sought for, even while deciding issues concerning them, everybody thinks childhood is simply a care-free era.

Although many children may not initiate a conversation on what bothers them, they surely do go through one form of pressure or the other. Things like school demands, their social life and coping with house chores, in no mean measure, most times create pressures that can be quite overwhelming for them.

Unique Amadi, a basic 9 student of St Scholarstica Secondary School here in Port Harcourt explains that she wakes up every 4.00 am on week days to prepare for school, closes at 3pm and resumes preparatory classes for her junior WAEC immediately and closes at 4pm. She arrives home about 6.00pm and is faced with plates to wash in addition to her school’s assignment that she must submit the next day.

Unique is also an active member of the children department of her church, a chorister in that regard.                   Unique is just one among millions of children who go through similar experience on daily basis, some even play the role of bread winners in the home due to unfavourable economic experience.

In the face of these enumerated demands, the onus lies on the poor little child to deliver in every side; be it from the home front, the school or the church, the child is expected to prove him/her self a faithful steward.

Sometimes some parents seem not to know what to do to assist their children cope with these pressures but they surely do want you to reach out and help them cope with their troubles. Even though it may be practically impossible to avert pressures on children, you can, as a parent help them develop healthy ways to cope with pressures.

Resorting to the choice of the child as a money-making venture for the family has exposed most of its victims to the other harsh and ugly side of life many live daily hunted by the dangers incurred in the process of trying to cushion the effect of the harsh economy on families.

Ofcourse, the current economic downturn in Nigeria, and around the world, has refocused attention on the process through which families assist themselves. The harsh economic realities have pushed many parents, the original family bread winners out of their jobs, leaving many family tables to go for days without food.

Many of the parents, guardians and other household authorities,  lack entrepreneurial skills to fall back on in such scotching situation. This situation has not only created great pressure on the children and teens in the homes, but has put upon them, the burden of lending support towards the family’s upkeep to avoid eventual collapse.

Most tender-hearted students on their own volition decide to help provide for their parents, siblings and themselves if they have the grace to do so.

Visits to grassroot communities in Rivers State in particular, and Nigeria at large, revealed that many tweens and teens who would have actually preferred to be in classroom studying or be in school uniforms and be found in school environments having fun with teachers and fellow pupils or students, colleagues, are rather hawking goods on the streets and high ways while some baby-sit in various homes.

The reason is simply to aid their respective families earn income with which to make ends meet. These school drop outs, are most times used as sacrificial lamb for others to be schooled or to provide food on the family table. Many no doubt, are economically viable hence responsible for their family’s financial stability.

It is a pitiable situation, as it is obvious that many of these teens are neither frustrated, unstable, uninterested in school nor are they guilty of any academic or behavioural misconduct. “They surely do want to be in school, but their families may need their financial help to make ends meet” says molly scott, co-author of Dropping out and clocking in: A portrait of Teens who leave school early and work.

Scott was quick to point out that in some cases, children hand over their pay cheques to parents, while others notice a need in their families and decide to pay for utilities, groceries, school supplies and clothes for themselves and siblings. There also abound cases where youth essentially support themselves within their families or move out on their own.

For the ones who cannot work and school, it is indeed a matter of trading their future to address their family’s financial problems. On yearly basis, the oldest children are found stopping their education to help out with family financial situation. These students never get a chance to go back to school.

However, must children trade their future for their family’s good? Ofcourse, this cycle can be stopped similar economic hardship was witnessed sometimes in the 70’s and 80’s, there was provision for evening schools where children who worked in the day had the privilege to school in the evening and vice versa.

Again, one pressure starring the child on the face as he/she grows up, is that brought on him/her by the peers; friends and course mates. A child once stopped attending maths class simply because his friend advised him against doing so. They rather chose to be going out for lunch during maths period.

As children grow up, they are faced with some challenging decisions of which some don’t actually have a clear right or wrong answer and others involve serious moral questions. Even adults sometimes are faced with this kind of challenge-where a friends tries to influence each other’s action.

It is important to learn to say ‘No’ to offers from peers when they are not useful, this the parents must let them know.

Use an excuse for not wanting to accept such offer and proffer an alternative instead, most importantly, avoid the people who pressure you. This is so because, by mere spending time with you. You learn from them and they also learn from you. It is quite human to listen to and learn.

“It may be quite tough to be the only one who says “No” to peer pressure, but you can do it. Paying attention to your own feelings and beliefs about what is right and wrong can help you know the right thing to do.

Inner strength and confidence can help you stand firm, walk away and resist doing something when you know better” so said Dr D’Arcy Lyness yet their limited capacity for self-regulation and susceptibility to peer pressure, place them at risk as they navigate and experiment with various social media sites. Akpa (2014) explains that the numerous benefits of the social media can also constitute threats to their health and safety if unmonitored and uncensored with all the risks of insecurity arising from: social networking to the detriment of other productive educational endeavours

-Exposure to pornography and moral depravity

-Access to online gambling sites, detrimental to mental health and youth development and

–Internet risky behavior such as socialising online with unknown persons; as well as

-Depression, occasioned by addiction which results in time wasting as over indulgence leaves less time for more serious activities.

However in as much as the computer is an incredibly useful tool that can help one get a lot done, we can hardly rule out the possibility of children spending so much time on it and an addiction to gaming and chatting is not in any way lesser to drug addiction and can be quite injurious to the child’s mental health.

 

Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

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For The Record

Some of the most beautiful horse racing tracks in the world!

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A visit to a horse racing track is exhilarating, fun and also feels like an adventure. It is a great way to spend a day with your family. Horse racing is an ancient form of spectator sports. There are a lot of countries that have a tradition of horse racing, and there are many legendary horse racing tracks that are part of national lore. Some tracks are so beautiful that they almost attain mythic qualities. In this article, you will be learning about some of the world’s most beautiful racing tracks.

  1. Santa Anita: Santa Anita is located in Arcadia in the United States of America. It was opened in 1934. Some of the most famous races that took place in this race track are the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap. This racing track is also called the most sublime track in the universe. The reason for this is that the Santa Anita race track has the San Gabriel Mountains of California in the background. The scenery around the ground is wonderful.

The seating capacity is twenty-six thousand strong, and the track infield also contains beautifully manicured trees and spots for a picnic and a mile-long dirt track. This track has held the Breeders’ Cup for nine times which is also a kind of a record. This park is quite significant also because it was here that the first use of electrical gadgets like finishing line cameras and also electronic timers got used for the first time.

  1. Aintree Race Park:Aintree Race Park is located in Liverpool in the United Kingdom. It was opened back in 1829. Some of the most famous races to have taken place at this venue include the Grand National Race. The steeplechase obstacles at this venue are also quite renowned like the Canal Turn, the Becher’s Brooks, and the Chair. This venue hosts the most challenging form of steeplechases called the Grand National.

This race course has almost two hundred years of history and has held a number of legendary races like the Grand National of 1928 where more than forty horses had initially participated, but only three could cross the finish line. The fences which bar the jumps over the water pits have a covering of over a hundred tons of wild spruce here.

  1. Flemington Race Track: The Flemington Race Track is located at Melbourne in Australia. It was opened way back in 1840. Some of the most famous races that were held at this venue include the Victoria Derby and the Melbourne Cup. The River Maribyrnong situates this race track. It is shaped like a pear and is a huge race track. IT has a two-mile race track for handicapped races and hosts the Melbourne Cup race.You can visit RillitoPark to see amazing horse races and have a good time with your family.

Horse race tracks are beautiful venues and the ones mentioned in this article are some of the gorgeous places in the entire world.

 

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Sports

Cheltenham 2019: Gold Cup Favourites

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Cheltenham Festival 2019 is only weeks away and the meeting’s showpiece, the Gold Cup, is shaping up nicely to be the most competitive in years. Last year’s winner Native Winner isn’t the bookies’ favourite to make it back-to-back wins (a feat that last occurred in 2002-4 with Best Mate), with Presenting Percy the leader at this stage. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at this year’s leading contenders for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Presenting Percy – 3/1

The Irish front-runner will be looking to make it a hattrick of wins at Cheltenham Festival, with a first in the Gold Cup the main agenda. However, should Presenting Percy not race at Fairyhouse, he’d become the first horse to ever be successful without turning out for any races this season. Owner Philip Reynolds and trainer Pat Kelly have denied there are any problems:

“Presenting Percy is absolutely fine,” said Reynolds.

Continuing: “I’m not sure how many more opportunities Pat’s going to have to have a horse go to the Gold Cup. I certainly doubt I’m going to have many more. So, we just decided to be ultra, ultra-careful, that’s all. Nothing wrong with the horse.”

 

 

Clan des Obeaux – 4/1

Trainer Paul Nicholls will be looking to make it a fifth success in the Gold Cup with this season’s most-improved chaser,Clan des Obeaux. An impressive win in the King George VI Chase at Ascot cemented his claims for a win in next month’s cup.

Native River – 5/1

Who could forget Native River’s win in last year’s Gold Cup? Him and Might Bite were head and shoulders above the rest of the field and made for an epic encounter in the closing minutes. The equine flu outbreak ensured Native River was unable to complete his pre-competition training; however, he didn’t look too bad in the two run-outs at the end of last year.

via ytCropper

Kemboy – 9/1

The odds of Kemboycontinue to shorten and expect them to shorten further if Ruby Walsh decides to ride. The winner of his last four chases, Kemboyis in decent form and is one of Ireland’s best offerings (barring the favourite, of course). However, Willie Mullins is looking to break his Cheltenham hoodoo as runner-up on six occasions, and he’s certainly going big this year with no fewer than four horses in the race.

“There’s Al Boum Photo, Invitation Only, Kemboy and Bellshill — and I’ll probably run as many as I can. Those four can run there, anyway,” Mullins said.

‘It would be nice to win the Gold Cup and we have as good a chance this year as any. You can make cases for them all”.

Bellshill – 10/1

Bellshill won the Irish Gold Cup earlier this month, beating favourite Road to Respect and shouldn’t be underestimated. This form has shortened his odds from the 20s and put the horse ahead of his Irish Gold Cup rival, while strengthening Willie Mullins’ strong hand of racers.

Might Bite – 12/1

Last year’s runner-up, Might Bite has looked a shadow of his former self in the two runs this season, hence only featuring sixth with the bookies. Finishing last at the Chase at Haydock, he came up short in the King George VI Chase at Ascot. Trainer Nicky Henderson believes he can make a timely return to form – and maybe even go one better than 12 months ago.

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NGO Takes ‘Keep Rivers Clean’ Campaign To Markets, Grassroots

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A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Association of Better Health Environment (ABHEN), Port Harcourt, has organised a rally across major markets and roads in Port Harcourt metropolis to raise awareness among residents on the need to stop the indiscriminate dumping of waste in the State. It also mobilised support for the “Keep Rivers Clean Project” awareness campaign of the State government.
Speaking at Creek Road Market, Coordinator of the group, Dr Emilia Amadi, advised traders to shun the habit of dumping refuse in drains and disposing waste around the market.
She explained that the sensitisation rally became imperative in order to promote a new culture among residents in which they are expected to imbibe the culture of cleanliness and embrace the use of government accredited waste managers for proper waste disposal.
She said Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration was in a hurry to make the state one among the cleanest states in Nigeria, and urged traders in the market to key into the initiative.
According to her, “ABHEN is carrying out this rally in collaboration with local government officials and the members of the civil society as well as International Women Organisation (IWO)”.
As she put it, “we want people to report defaulters to the appropriate government agencies so that legal action will be taken against them to serve as deterrent to would-be offenders”.
Amadi further disclosed that a sanitation taskforce had been created by the group to monitor indiscriminate dumping of waste and report same to appropriate government machinery for apprehension of offenders and prosecution. She urged the traders and road users to be law-abiding.
The group went through New Layout Market, Mile I, Mile III, Rumuomasi Market, Oil Mill Market and Okro Market at Iriebe among others, calling on the public to report waste managers who fail in their duties to the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) for necessary action.
The group leader used the opportunity to commend the Rivers State Government’s (RSG) initiative of restoring Port Harcourt to its ‘garden-city ‘status. She admonished stakeholders to support the government in its quest to reposition the state to greater heights.
Dr Amadi enjoined the people of the State to queue behind Governor Wike to deliver democratic dividends by not destroying the governor’s plan to do the needful in making the State an envy of others especially in cleanliness which, she said, is next to godliness.
Meanwhile, traders at the various markets and motor-parks visited by the group, appealed to RIWAMA to ensure speedy evacuation of waste generated in the markets and parks by apprehending people who dump refuse indiscriminately.

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