The biblical saying that “children are the heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is His reward…” clearly indicates that children are precious gifts from God Almighty to humanity. As such, they should be cherished, for “happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them, they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (KJV, Psalms 127: 3-6). Little wonder the presence of children in a home exude joy, peace, love, happiness and hope, as they represent the desired future for many.
The need to celebrate children was initiated in Turkey, April 1920, and later in the world conference of 1925, where representatives from different countries across the globe gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the wellbeing of children. This led to the observance adopted worldwide in 1954 and since then, different countries set out different dates for children’s day celebration.
In Nigeria, May 27th annually has been adopted and recognised as public holiday for primary and secondary school children, since 1964. On this day, children participate in March past, social and cultural activities that highlight their dignity and the need for all to love and care for them. The day is also used to sensitize the world on some of the challenges children face across the globe; child abuse, child labour/trafficking, inadequate care, education, and many more and the need for all to understand their vulnerability and ensure their protection.
Investing in the education and wellbeing of children is therefore very important, not just to a family, but society as a whole, for they are the leaders of tomorrow, and the outcome of society depends on what society makes out of its children today.
Just as the rights of citizens are enshrined in the constitution of a country, so are the rights of children; to good health, education, shelter, security, rights to the basic things of life and many more. As the vulnerable ones in society, they need to be protected and provided for by the laws of the countries they find themselves. That is why every country sets aside different days to celebrate children’s day, in a bid to make them happy and encourage them to be their utmost best.
Ron Zupsic, a poet said “little children are a treasure. Their worth you cannot measure.” This is true because the deliberate care, love and knowledge you impart in them yields the desired fruits you cherish tomorrow. But the reverse is the case, giving rise to the vices in society today, where some children, teenagers, youths have become a menace to society, because something went wrong along the line of their upbringing.
So, as another children’s day is celebrated, parents, government and adults, should sincerely evaluate their actions and utterances, to know if they are on the right path in training the treasures of tomorrow.
Children are very sensitive and they learn from examples, therefore adults should uphold the word of God that says “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it…” Proverbs 22:6. Even so, do not spare the rod and spoil the child. Children need the necessary discipline to be on the right track, do not over pamper and withhold discipline from them. Give them the utmost attention by being trustworthy, reliable and available in their upbringing. Thus, the onus lies on all and sundry to ensure we groom our children to become the leaders we desire tomorrow.
Min. of Information, Orientation and Strategy, Bayelsa State