Restoring Family Values

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The global community, penultimate Wednesday, celebrated the International Day of Families in line with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/237 which proclaimed May 15 every year as a day to foster and strengthen family units to function effectively and efficiently for societal development and advancement.
The annual ritual which began in 1994 was primarily aimed at attracting global attention and interest towards supporting and strengthening families, as a vital and critical component of societal growth. The observance is majorly to sensitise and equip families to properly nurture the young, particularly the infants and adolescents, care and respect for the old and, indeed, foster strong communities built on tolerance, love and dignity for all.
The 2019 theme: “Family and Climate Change” is most apt, timely and appropriate in many respects, especially against the backdrop of globalisation philosophy which tends to make the world and, infact, humanity a common arena where Internet, telecommunication and technology hold sway.
Climate change and other threats and challenges plaguing mankind has come to stay and, except conscious efforts are made to mitigate some of these challenges, the world may pay dearly for it.
Aside climate change with its inherent effects on the global community, Nigeria as a developing country has its peculiar challenges as they affect the family and except there are conscious and proactive measures aimed at correcting these anomalies, the society suffers.
As the nucleus for character building and moral upbringing of the child, the family must, as a matter of obligation, play its fundamental roles to encourage love, tolerance, understanding of one another, peaceful co-existence, among other virtues, despite our social, religious, political and cultural differences.
As the critical and basic unit of the society and the bedrock for societal development, the family has a sacred role to mould the child’s early life and character into such moral strength and rectitude that enables him to resist negative tendencies which would be detrimental and injurious to the larger society or global peace, security, co-existence, cohesion and integration. The family should and must strive to always ensure that the child abhors negative peer-group influence and other anti-social vices that retard progress and societal advancement.
Regrettably, however, most parents have abandoned their parental obligations to their wards and children in search of wealth, affluence and power. They have, for too long, reneged on this critical role in child upbringing and fallen short of society’s expectations, resulting in deviant behaviour of the child with the society paying dearly for it. This must not be the case!
The Internet, telecommunication, films and video, among other modern appliances, have eroded our family and societal values in Africa, especially Nigeria where such values have virtually paved way for Western values. While we are not against Western education, there are basic values and norms which are, indeed, peculiar to specific or certain societies. Such must be respected as they constitute the way of life for them.
This is where government and non-governmental agencies, as well as stakeholders, must come in to make the family function optimally towards ensuring societal good. Functional education system, technical knowledge, basic health needs and housing, and other social amenities must, therefore, be affordable for the wellbeing of the family.
Government and stakeholders should also strive to correct glaring anomalies of weak family structures. They must show sufficient political will and commitment to strengthen family units to enable them play the much-desired roles ascribed to them by nature and by the society, especially in these times of insecurity, terrorism, armed robbery, kidnapping and other economic realities facing the family.
The Tide strongly believes that if the families are incorporated in policy formulation and execution, the society will be better off. The socio-economic exclusion of families has, no doubt, posed a clear and present danger to our national development. It has, indeed, occasioned a disequilibrium with its attendant negative consequences like increasing criminality, violence and other societal vices.
It is, therefore, important that all mankind understand and appreciate the unique challenges that the Nigerian family faces so as to fashion out policies and programmes which will enable it function efficiently especially in the face of alarming poverty among the various families that live below the poverty line.
So, beyond the International Family Day, we must inculcate the fear of God, love for one another and love for the Nigerian state to our children in order for them to grow and become good and patriotic citizens.