Best and not so good in our children

WHEN a baby is born, he or she is given the best care he deserves by his parents. Growing up, his parents will, or should, ensure the child has good moral values as everything should begin at home.

Apart from wanting the best care given for their children, they will also want the words — best, good and well — to be associated with their offspring; a good child, a well-mannered child, good manners and so on.

Children, for the most part, will reflect their upbringing wherever they go.

Sadly, not every child’s name can be mentioned in a sentence with the words best, good and well.

It is sad to note that some young people nowadays, teenagers and youths, have however, failed to take with them the values instilled in them from home.

The attitude of young children in Fiji nowadays is something that has changed a lot compared with yesteryears.

Who should be responsible? Should it be their own parents, should it be their Sunday school) teachers, should it be their community elders?

A frank response would be — it all begins, or should begin, from the comfort of our own home taught by our very own parents and elders

In a bus travelling to the Capital City just a few days ago, a woman who would have been in her sixties, had to stand while young men and women, some of them high school students chatted away.

It came down to an Year 2 student to offer her seat to the woman who had been standing for quite some time in the crowded bus.

In another incident, a middle-aged man had to tell off some secondary school students because they kept shouting and laughing in a crowded bus despite an earlier warning from a teacher who was also inside the bus.

There are so many other related incidents we encounter daily, especially in public places.

Children fail to respect elders, by stepping aside, when walking past them on the footpath or when among them in public.

Rosy Akbar at an event she attended as the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, reminded those who were there that a child must be given moral education from a very early stage.

In an earlier publication, Ms Akbar had said moral values were necessary for developing healthy and friendly relations with everyone and its absence was a loss to a country.

“A child must be taught the importance of moral, ethical and family values. I earnestly request the students to enrich their moral vision by putting these values into practice,” she said. It doesn’t tax one’s pocket to use them but it increases love, affection and mutual understanding between people.”

She said it was through moral, ethical and family values that one became an exemplary leader and a good Fijian citizen.

“These moral values are not one-sided but give immense content to those who exercise them and those for whom they are exercised. This shows the manners and also the quality of our background.”

The then women’s minister encouraged children to live for others and increase their love and respect for those around them

A letter from regular contributor, Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa on August 7, 2016, said it would be interesting to know which textbook students would use for a course in ethics and moral values.

From a Christian perspective, Mr Vakaliwaliwa noted that to have moral values meant moral law existed, given by a moral Creator.

“But if our education system teaches our children that we are here by accident, the result of a big bang, then what would be the basis of the ethics and moral values that the students are to learn?” he said.

“With all due respect, I believe that the Bible is the Word of God and it has the power to transform the lives of not only our children, but adults as well to live ethically with moral values.

“If the family puts into practise the words of the song: Read your Bible, pray every day and you will grow, grow, and grow; teaching ethics and moral values in school is just an appetiser.”

Now, that does not hold true for only the Bible but all sacred scriptures of the world’s major religions.

It is time parents, guardians and elders look at their core responsibilities, against the background of the times we live in, and ask themselves while talking with their children what they can do better so children will more often be associated with the words; best, good and well.

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