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Ariyike Writes: Naughty? Disrespectful? Lazy? No! Don’t Give Up on Nigerian Children

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Growing up in a country like Nigeria has a way of making you stronger than you even know. The strength to wake up everyday in our blessed country and hope for the best is one that comes from God. I often ask myself this question, “What is the future of the Nigerian Child”?

Some of these children go to bed each night and pray not to wake up the next day because they are unhappy. They have to walk long distances every morning to fetch several buckets of water, some are barely 5years old and have to take care of their younger ones. Others are even molested everyday by family members they trust, and the sad part is that they have no one to tell. On the other hand, we have the kids from the average family who get to eat three square meals a day while their parents struggle to keep them in decent schools. We also have the “lucky” ones otherwise known as the rich kids who are chauffeur-driven to school, can afford to buy anything they want and just generally get to live the “good” life.

In spite of all these challenges and enjoyment respectively, the Nigerian child is a survivor. They are usually very smart, strong, independent, loving, caring and intelligent. We, as parents, have a larger role to play in this development. If you want your child to be successful, you can help shape their formative years.

If children wake up every morning to watch their mothers get thoroughly beaten by their fathers, it will surely have an adverse effect on them. Such children could be traumatised and as such, may not find it easy to blend in properly at school. They may even exhibit violent tendencies towards their peers.

On the other hand, a child who’s brought up in a loving home is usually more outspoken, confident, happy and generally a jolly good fellow. Such children tend to have great dreams and aspirations, they believe in themselves and know that anything is attainable.

We all understand that the hustle is real and parents have to work hard so that their children can get to enjoy the things they didn’t enjoy while growing up; things like swimming lessons, violin sessions, ballet classes, piano sessions, voice coaching, tennis, golf, squash and badminton training lessons. It’s good if you can afford these things for your kids, but don’t ever neglect your duties as parents just because you believe you’re providing your kids with the best of everything “materially”. It’s good to give your children the best but you also need to spend time with these kids. A little bonding session with your children always goes a long way. So many parents complain that they are too busy with work that they don’t even get to spend quality time with their children yet they always make out time to attend “every” society event wearing the “aso ebi”. Sometimes these kids just want to spend time with mummy or daddy or even both, that’s not too much to ask.

As parents, we should endeavour to show love to our children and try as much as possible to shield them from the many dangers of this world. It’s important to care for them and give them the necessary attention. Let them know their rights from an early stage. Also, pray fervently for your children.

Being successful or making it in life doesn’t depend on your family name or your Parent’s wealth, it depends solely on your ability to push through, in order to make it in life despite the obstacles you come across. Life’s journey is not an easy one but with determination, you embark on the journey and hope for the best.

A lot of children have no shoes, lunch packs, school bag or uniforms. Some don’t even get to eat as much as two meals a day, others have no food at all yet they still go to school so that they can make something out of their lives. Hope is what the Nigerian child needs to survive. Even when the situation seems bleak, remember the stories of people who have made it to the top and learn from them.

In Michelle Obama’s recent speech at the Democratic national convention (DNC) in North Carolina, she revealed how her husband’s only pair of decent shoes before he became President of the United States of America were half size small. Did it limit or stop him from becoming the first black President of the United States of America? No.

In a hopeless looking situation, a little bit of hope should keep you going. Never let your situation limit you. On the other hand, you should let your situation become an inspirational story for the future. I wish our children are told this more often “The future of the Nigerian child can and will be bright if only you can believe that there is hope for a better tomorrow”.

Photo credit: punchng.com
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Ariyike Akinbobola is a TV Presenter/ Producer with Spice TV, a Fashion and Lifestyle Channel. (Content provider for ONTV, AIT and NTA). She studied Law at the University of Lagos, graduated from the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Bar in 2007. She also holds a Diploma in TV Presenting from the London Academy of Media, Film and Television. She aspires to have her own Talk show that would reach out to people from all walks of life especially women. Ariyike supports numerous charitable organizations and is a  member of the Lagoon Leo Club (The younger members of the Lekki Lions Club). She’s married and blessed with children. Follow her on twitter @LadyAriyike to find out more.

Ariyike Akinbobola is a lawyer turned media personality. She is an associate producer/TV presenter for Spice TV's talk show "On the Couch" and Spice Toys. You can also watch her on her Youtube channel Ariyike Weekly. She is married with children. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @LadyAriyike. She blogs at www.reflectionswithariyike.blogspot.com

13 Comments

  1. Oloriseun

    September 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Hope ke? We av always heard dat we r d leaders of tom, even @ old age we stil hear dat.

  2. Chocolate

    September 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Word!!!

  3. NNEKA

    September 25, 2012 at 10:15 am

    WELL WRITTEN. I ONLY WISH PARENTS WOULD MAKE OUT TIME TO KNOW WHO THEIR CHILDREN REALLY ARE. TRUST ME, IT PAYS TO BE YOUR CHILD’S BEST FRIEND. THIS WAY THEY WILL BE ABLE TO OPEN UP TO YOU WITH MUCH MUCH EASE. THANKS AGAIN ARIYIKE FOR THIS EDUCATING PIECE.

  4. Kemi

    September 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I luv this post! I think most people don’t consider all these things before having children in the first place. Children are such a huge responsibility, they should only be brought to life if certain preparations have been made for them especially in a society like ours where the government is almost non-existent
    http://journeyofthechosen.wordpress.com/

  5. ucylo

    September 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

    The future will speak soon!

  6. Oly

    September 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Thank u 4 ds write up, really inspiring. l see how my elder sister try 2 combine work n raising kids as she gave born 2 3 kids under4-5 yrs, is not easy. l now pray 4 jobs that l can leave by 4pm so that l will be a good mother to my kids cos when l was small, my mum was the only one that l love as my dad was neva there so wen she died, l wish that it was my dad that died. Children really needs attention, care n support to be able to have normal upbringing just hope that pple don’t bring kids to the world while they are not ready to nurture them as nannies are now used to raise kids.

  7. Chattyzee

    September 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Amen! I’m a living testimony. I think I didn’t turn out badly after all… all thanks to God!
    http://dprodigalchild.wordpress.com

  8. zionbabe says...

    September 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    well spoken… very touching”” Ariyike sure there’s hope for the Nigeria child’ GEJ is an example” lolz went to sch witout a shoe

  9. Habeeb Alagbe

    September 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Hmmm. LadyAriyike this article is really touching, educating, motivating and makes me wanna start having children. Hope is what nigeria child needs to survive

  10. idara

    September 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Nicely put,however we must look at a lot of indices here. its easier said than done. You said,Being successful or making it in life doesn’t depend on your family name or your Parent’s wealth, it depends solely on your ability to push through, in order to make it in life despite the obstacles you come across. Life’s journey is not an easy one but with determination, you embark on the journey and hope for the best.

    You may need to proffer more specific solutions.

  11. iamfascinating

    September 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    nice piece, nice necklace.
    http://www.thestunninglady.blogspot.com

  12. mama nony

    September 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    well said alot of us would have turned out differently only if our parents took time to understand us.

  13. Tokunbo

    September 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Good piece. With more hope, opportunities and quality care the skyis the limit for Nigeria’s children.

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