A speaker at the ‘Parenting for Nation Building’ dialogue session facilitated by PREMIUM TIMES Friday has said that men and women have different roles in the upbringing of children.
Ayodele Adeboye, Country Manager, Econet Wireless in Nigeria, who spoke on the topic ‘Parenting by Example’ said he did not believe that women are equal to men.
“Equal is a mathematical term that means one and the same,” Mr. Adeboye said.
“That can’t be true. Women are, rather, equivalent to men, which is that they are of equal value, not equal. They have different roles.
“Women, especially in this century, have proven that they can do those jobs that men used to do in the past as breadwinners, and do them even better.
“The best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother. And the man has to be present to do that.
“As a parent, you must learn to take responsibility. If we don’t take responsibility, our children cannot take responsibility.”
Friday’s dialogue session was organized in partnership with TW Magazine and Parenting Resources & Initiatives of Atlanta, USA.
Over two dozen women attended the event which had just a handful of men in attendance, a fact which the lead speaker, Christopher Kolade, described as “unnecessary oppression.”
“When I came in here, and I saw the sheer number of ladies compared to men and I asked, is it only ladies that are interested in parenting?” Mr. Kolade, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United Kingdom, said.
“It is important for us to know the kind of nation we want to build. Truth and justice is an indication of the type of nation we want to build. If we want to build a nation that reflects truth and justice, we learn those things first.
“Truth and justice are not just concepts themselves, they reflect the way people relate with one another.
“When parents begin to have more than one child, there’s certain concept of behaviour. Every Child is inclined to seize the best part of anything to share. You have to teach them why it’s important to share. Sharing means you have to give up something.”
Later, Mr. Kolade told PREMIUM TIMES he wasn’t surprised at the low male turnout for the event.
“Actually, I was not surprised because, generally speaking, in the upbringing of our children we tend to say, in our culture, that the mother is the one that does this. So I wasn’t surprised,” he said.
“But it was a good thing for us to note it because we ought to do something about it.
“We should make sure that the men are educated to realize that children… a woman cannot have a child without a man, so God’s scheme is that both of them should participate in the upbringing of the children. It’s a matter of education.”
Amina Oyagbola, HR/Corporate Services Executive at MTN Nigeria, said combining parenthood and career, especially for women, is a difficult task.
“A lot of working parents, especially females, the schedules of work conflict with the schedule of school. I think work schedules are designed around men,” said Ms. Oyagbola, who spoke on the ‘Imperatives of Work-Life Balance.’
“We have to make our choice. The choice is still ultimately yours. Whatever choice you make you have to live with the consequences.
“In the early years of my career, I almost quit.
“I had three children. I was living in Satellite Town and working in Victoria Island.
“I just had a baby and I was the only senior management staff.
“I will wake up at 4am and cook for the children, breastfeed my baby.
“I’ll leave the house 5 am, drop off those that needed to be dropped off in school and take my new baby to my mum at Ikoyi.
“I don’t believe in excuses. I don’t believe in telling stories.”
Speaking on ‘Critical Life Values: Precursors in Nation Building and Living in the Diaspora,’ Bola Odetokun said children should be taught to treat others as they would want to be treated and to go out of their way to show kindness.
“Teach your child that no one owes them anything, and to consider whatever they get or anything people do for them as a privilege and be thankful for it,” said Ms. Odetokun, founder of Parental Resources & Initiatives, USA.
“We need to go back to those days of being kind and being generous.
“I have seen children behave as if the world revolves around them. Let’s teach our children to be grateful for life.
“Don’t allow a child to play the blame game. He/she needs to take responsibility for their choices and be ready to live with the consequences.”
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