The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, has advised parents to assume full responsibility for the upbringing of their children.
Giving the advice in a speech read on her behalf by a representative from the ministry at the fourth graduation ceremony of the Akona School of Counselling (ASOC) Ghana, a specialised institution for training professional counsellors, in Accra, Nana Oye emphasised the need for parents to set rules and regulations in the home in order to control behaviours of their children as they grew.
Her speech was on the theme ,“The need for good parenting in the 21st century governance.”
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In all, 144 professionals from the various security agencies, medical and teaching professions, traditional authorities, politicians, civil servants and pastors graduated with certificates in marriage and psychosocial counselling.
She also advised parents not to replace true love for their children with showering them with gifts.
While acknowledging that it was good for parents to shower gifts on their children, she expressed concern about the fact that a number of parents were replacing that with the true love they needed to exhibit towards their children.
That, she said, was worrying, since that was on the ascendancy in many homes in Ghana, stressing, “Parents have to bear in mind that there is the need to show true love to their children or wards, and not just shower them with presents, which is only a small aspect of true love.”
Don’t neglect children
Nana Oye further admonished parents and caregivers not to neglect their responsibilities, but give the needed care and attention to their children “for they are the reason for which you are always working”.
She said, “The effect of parental neglect affects not only the children but communities and the entire nation who are at risk if children are left on their own.”
According to her, the ministry had put in place various policies to ensure that children received the best of care as citizens of the nation, in order to grow as responsible adults.
Parenting a challenging task
The Executive Director of the ASOC, Dr Abraham Konotey Ahulu, spoke about the difficulties involved in raising children in the home, but added that parents interested in the upbringing of their children should be peaceful and loving.
Some attributes of good parenting in the 21st Century, he said, were responsibility, accountability, transparency, rule of law, and effective and efficient use of time.
“Parents and government should see children as philosophers, idealists, pragmatists, liberals, conservatives, artists, poets and activists and endeavour to hone their talents,” he said.
Dr Ahulu also called on parents to imbibe in their children the teachings of the Holy Bible, noting that it had a lot of lessons for them.