Guest Author - Chinedum Ify Obikili
Heroin and cocaine are not the only stuff our children get addicted to. Our kids are being drawn to different harmful vices, and they get enticed either by what they see on TV, or the friends they hang out with. Being insensitive or indifferent to the needs of our kids/wards is neglect and this has pushed so many children into wrong crowds. Caring for and about the children under our care, is the surest way to keep them straight and off harm's way. Paying a closer attention also helps you notice weird or unusual changes in your kids, and early enough too. I've seen cases where decent kids from descent homes get into drugs and other harmful behaviors. In two these cases, the kids involved were bullied into doing drugs. And like this isn't bad enough, there is a steady increase in the rate of teenage pregnancy in our society. We must as parents begin to take proactive measures to help our kids turn out right. This is where setting reasonable boundaries in our homes come into play. Here are some boundaries you could set around the home.
1. Respect for discipline: I used to know a family where the kids get to choose what kind of punishment they should be given when they err, I mean, seriously, whoever raises a decent kid like that? You do not discipline your children because you love them less or because you have no respect for them as human beings. On the contrary, you discipline them because you care about them greatly and you want them to be the best they can possibly be. What method of discipline you chose to adopt is really your prerogative, but you forfeit the purpose of such discipline if your child gets to say what punishment he prefers.
2. Respect for time: Setting curfews for our kids is one good way of teaching them to be responsible. While you are not restricting them from visiting with their best friends, especially friends you are comfortable with, there should be a clear restriction on how long they stay out and it is our duty as parents to ensure that they respect this curfew, and keep to the be-back-home time. you can't have your kids prowling around into the night and expect him or her not to fall into the wrong hands.
3. Restriction on allowance: while there is nothing wrong with rewarding your kids or giving them weekly, bi-weekly or monthly allowance, you have to watch that you donít put them in harm's way by giving them too much spending money. They will have more respect for money and hard work if there is a limit to what they get as allowance.