The Arduous Task Of Parenting In The 21st Century

It is the dream of every responsible man or woman to, some day, get married and have a happy family of their own. It is even biblical that a man and woman will leave their parents and get married someday. After marriage, the next thing would be to start having children. However, coping with parental responsibilities could really make parenting a great deal of work; and in extreme cases, it could be an uneviable position. In the 21st century as we have it today, parenting could really be an arduous task.

I came into the world when parenting was relatively easy. There were fewer external influences “re-teaching” children what their parents have thought them. The kind of music videos, movies, songs, education, fashion and the internet were virtually insignificant in my early childhood days.

I remember vividly, what I used to see on TV and on the streets back in the seventies through to the eighties. I can’t recall hearing of the internet back then. Sex was relatively “unpopular.” I can’t recall hearing about condoms back then. There was so much decency. Education was the main status symbol. Thus, it was so easy to listen to and follow my parents’ guidance because of the very minimal contrary “lessons” from external factors. Even the so-called peer influence was not so pronounced as friends had so liitle to teach then.

Today, its a different ball game altogether. Undoubtedlly, there is so much “failed parenting” !!!

I see two types of failure here – those who have failed because they have knowingly abandoned their responsibilities as parents – they simply don’t care – and secondly, those who have been overpowered by the times that you and I are operating today.

Parenting in the 21st century can make a Reverend to appear as a “failed parent.” Infact, I have seen and heard of sons and daughters of “men of God” portray themselves as children without any moral education – in terms of dressing, utterances, comportment and much more.

The 21st century has brought with it “sophisticated external influences” that has made parenting very challenging. There has been a serious revolution in virtually everything which influence on us was almost insignificant during our growing up days – communication/gadgets, dressing, music videos, radio and TV presentations, print media, movies, entertainment, songs, well exposed peers and much more. The father of them all, of course, has been the internet. This has been a bag of all sorts – the good, the bad and the ugly.

The internet is one single major challenge for the 21st century parent. Despite its enormous advantages, it is the largest reservoir of negative influences on children. Sadly, these influences can only increase in quantity and sophistication.

I don’t like criticising the internet because it has been a wonderful companion for me – blogging being just one of its benefits. But be that as it may, its impact on parenting cannot be treated with kid gloves. Doing so would be tantamount to ignoring a smoke in one’s apartment.

No doubt, these factors are so strong and deep. No wonder so many parents have failed woefully in their responsibilities. The result being teenage pregnancies, prostitution, cyber crime, regular “tenancy” in prisons, smoking, alcoholism, lifes of immorality, gangstarism, disdain for education, collapse of values, indecent dressing, vulgarism….

Coupled with this is the rate at which children of these days learn. Its really alarming. I have often said it that when I was my son’s age I was not as intelligent as he is. At 2, he was able to operate all the remote controls in the house – TV, home theartre, DVD and decoder. Now he’s 4+ and handles my laptop as if its one of his toys. He also querries me on issues that are beyond a 4-year old. They call it the “jet age”; I call it more work for me and the mum. He’s not alone on this, I am sure you have similar stories to tell if you are a parent.

I have been sharing some tips on coping with these challenges. I hope to do a post on these soon.

Happy parenting !

Related Posts :

What are we teaching our children?

There is a voice behind every dressing

Let’s talk about sex !!!

Papa was not a rolling stone

Valentine’s day : A bag of all sorts

The dream killer called “teenage pregnancy”


Parental “bullying”

The dark side of condoms

Building a strong relationship with your child

Parent-child relationship gone awry

Impact of parental and peer influence in career decisions




Papa Was Not A Rolling Stone

Image courtesy photostock/

Image courtesy photostock/

Remember the classic by The Temptations : “Papa was a rolling stone. Where ever he lays his hat, was his home?” Well, if you are as “young” as I am, you should. I came across the song and remembered my dad of blessed memory. I only added the word “not” cos my papa was certainly not a rolling stone.

My best moment everyday is having a good time with my family, especially my two adorable angels (a four year+ and 7 months+). Weekends are spent together and outings are done together. Weekdays, after work, we play together and share what I bought for them. For me it is always a great stress reliever after a hectic day. My kids always enjoy those moments a lot too. Even my 7 months+ angel displays so much excitement when she sights me on my return from work.

For me, I prefer this fun to eating and drinking my stress away in a bar or any other joint. Different strokes for different folks you might say.

There is always an origin for everything we do. My dad was a real family man – comes home straight after work. No drinking. No smoking. No womanising. No late nights. Does not sleep out. He provided for the family within his resources and made his family his number one priority. He was a real father in the real sense of it. My dad was the best. His life style brought peace to the family and we were a source of envy to those who were even better than us financially.    

I got the inspiration to do this post when I heard the very sad story of a married man who was a real rolling stone. He drank, smoked, womanised, kept late nights and sometimes, without telling his family, sleeps out. He sleeps where ever the night and “fun” catches up with him. And when he choses to go back home, he is so drunk to play his role as a father, and of course, as a husband is wishful thinking. There is hardly a day a fight does not take place in their home. And after the fight, he would go for days without a trace. This papa is a real rolling stone!

To make matters worse, he has always refused to provide for his family, even when he could afford it. In fact, you will see it on the children especially, that they lacked the care and love of a father. Otherwise how do you interpret a situation where he tells his friend to always lie to his wife that he is yet to be paid his salary. 

One obvious consequence in all of this is that his family is really in a bad shape. I pity the family a lot, especially the kids. 

Well, I just want to thank God that my papa was not a rolling stone. Cos if he was, there is the strong likelihood that I would have been one too. And my family would have been going through a similar ordeal as this man’s family. And by extension, my life would have been a true reflection of a troubled home. 

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

Related post :

Building a strong relationship with your child

Parent-child relationship gone awry

Divorce and separation : The fate of children