By John Adizie

June 1st is Global Day of Parents. It is a day set aside to honour parents. This day provides opportunity for people to appreciate their parents for their selfless commitment  and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing their children. Global Day of Parents was officially proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012. This day recognizes the family as the essence of human growth and development. The family has the primary responsibility for nurturing and protection of children. Human growth, protection and development can easily take place within the family. The family itself is incomplete without the parents.

The family is made up of parents and children. Parents play an important and indispensable role in the lives of their children. They also have vital role to play in the growth and development of the family. A child cannot develop properly without his or her parents. As a matter of fact, the parents were the ones that brought the children into the world. They nurtured them and they contribute immensely to their growth and development.

One of the major challenges facing the family and the society at large, is the problem of unemployment. Most of our youths have no job. Even the graduates among them are roaming about the street looking for job. There is no space where the youths can be employed. Most of the available space are being occupied by parents who are old enough to retire. As we celebrate Global day of parents I want to use this medium to look at some of the vital roles which parents have to play urgently for the empowerment and employment of our youths.

Parents should Create Space for their Children:  Most parents are finding it very difficult to handover. They are even occupying the space that meant for their children. A good number of them who are old enough to retire are still finding it very difficult to retire. Am still praying that the governor of Edo state should succeed in retiring all the civil servants who have served for more than 35 years. This will definitely create more space for youth employment. I also pray that other states should do the same. If you are a parent and you are occupying the space that belongs to the youths, the earlier you retire the better. You are part of the problem we are facing in our society. As you create space for the youths, the youths will in turn take care of you in your old age.

Parents should expose their Children to Skill Acquisition: The boy Jesus was an apprentice under his foster Father, Joseph. It was through Joseph he learnt his skill as a Carpenter. He was even called the Son of a Carpenter:  Narandra Modi describes Skill Acquisition as a means of putting an end to the problem of unemployment: “We need to give importance to skill development because this way we can end unemployment.” A child that is skillfully trained can never be unemployed.

Parents should train and Educate their Children: The book of Proverbs declares, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). In one of his general audience, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, spoke of the essential role parents play in educating their children. According to him, “If family education regains its prominence, many things will change for the better. It’s time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile – they have exiled themselves from educating their children – and slowly reassume their educative role,” the Pope said May 20.

Parents should Inspire and Motivate their Children:  Youths cannot survive without motivation, especially from their parents.  When our Lord Jesus Christ performed his first miracle, it was his Mother, Mary that motivated him. Even at that Jesus told his mother, ” “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” With this, Jesus was able to perform his first miracle. The first miracle of every child is in the hands of the parents. Most parents may not know this. They need to push their children into action. this first push will take away their fear of failure and the fear of the unknown.

Parents should connect their Children:  Connection is very important in the life of every youth. Without connection or recommendation one can hardly make it. A tree cannot make a forest! The Mother of James and John was the one that connected and recommended her two children to Jesus. In the gospel  of Matthew 20:20-21 “The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him (Jesus) with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” Responsible parents will not only train their children they will also try their best to connect their children to their desired and destiny vocation or job. 

Parents Should encourage their Children: Encouragement is a force that propels one into action. Without encouragement the youths can easily be discouraged and when they are discouraged they cannot achieve much. Anne Frank wrote, “Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” In his letter to the Colossians, St. Paul wrote, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21). If you are a responsible parent you must encourage your children and not to discourage them. The more you encourage your children the more they are likely to succeed.

Parents Should Discipline their Children: Jim Rohn definesDiscipline as the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Without discipline there will be no accomplishment and without accomplishment there will be no room for youth employment. The author of the book of Proverbs declares, “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24). Parental discipline is the surest path to success. 

Parents should Instruct their Children: Every child requires instruction. A child cannot grow or even develop without instruction. The book of Proverbs declares, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck. (proverbs 1:8-9). Parental instruction is the foundation to youth empowerment. 

Parents should live Exemplary Life: Most of the problems we are facing in our society today is rooted in bad parental example. A parent who is a beggar can only produce group of beggars. A drunkard can only give birth to drunkards. An industrious parent can only give birth to industrious children. That is why St. Paul wrote “…the older men should be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. (Titus 2:2-8). Parental example is influential, especially to their children.

Parents should provide for the basic Needs of their Children: In his letter to Timothy, St. Paul wrote, “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8). If the parents could apply these few principles, I assure you the problem of unemployment will be a thing of the past. I wish all our hardworking and responsible parents Happy Global Day of Parents!