Tue | Sep 28, 2021

Shauna-Gaye Brown | Children should know rights come with responsibilities

Published:Wednesday | July 28, 2021 | 12:07 AMShauna-Gaye Brown/Guest Columnist
Parents, have a good rapport with your children, speaking always with simplicity so they can understand what is being said, knowing the pros and the cons.
Parents, have a good rapport with your children, speaking always with simplicity so they can understand what is being said, knowing the pros and the cons.

Generation of vipers are how children of this time are being described because they are considered to be unruly, vicious and evil in behaviour. Howbeit that this generation has become this way without a cause? Didn’t the Bible say we should “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”?

The million-dollar question is: how have we been growing our children in this present time?

In time past it was commonly established for children to be obedient to parents, guardians and members of the community, and other members of society, by extension. The entire district or community could give instructions to a child. In instances where they are met with resistance by the child, whether verbally or non-verbally, the child would have been reprimanded, not only by the parent but also by any community member who would then make a report to the parent.

Children were not allowed to make decisions on their own. Approval from parents or guardians was a must, and should there be any hesitation, disciplinary action would be taken.

However, this way of life is now being preached as abuse, offensive to children and an imposition on their rights. Hence, parents have lost confidence in the old methods that were used to grow and nurture children even though, evidently, it had good results in most instances.

It is now being preached with great emphasis that children have a right to be heard and choose even though they don’t fully understand the consequences of their demand at times. Somehow the doctrines of rights walking concurrently with responsibilities are being ignored.


We have forgotten that some lessons taught to a child may take a lifetime to understand, as experience teaches wisdom. This does not mean, however, that children should be brutishly shunned and scolded. Nevertheless, where there is no counsel, the people are bound to fail.

Therefore, children should be taught the principles of action and reaction, they should be taught the doctrines of cause and effects, and be held accountable for their actions with love and meekness. Children should not be allowed to perceive that they are at liberty to act and say as they please without giving thoughts to the expected end.

With that said, good values and morals that are acceptable and outstanding behaviour in society should be taught to them, Deuteronomy 6:7 (KJV) alludes by saying “thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up”.

Our society is reaping the fruit of free will that has allowed our children to act widely by being overly curious, and now curiosity is killing the cat. Their poor choosing skills have created chaos for themselves, learning institutions, families, communities and the society at large; while adults remain handcuffed to the belief that children have rights, taking no thought of the responsibilities that come along with having rights.

How can we say we love our children, while our own actions and methods of discipline that should be uplifting and nurturing their behaviour are psychologically hurting and failing them? If we love our children, why are we continuing along the path where children are dictating to those who are responsible for their well-being and upward mobility? Shouldn’t it be the adult who is training the child and not the child dictating the adult?

Sadly, some adults have convinced themselves that if they do not allow their children to do as they please, they will be rejected and seen as an enemy. Hence they allow them to have their own way, with the hope of gaining favour and friendship in their sight.


Importantly, no child truly understands the significance of some lessons they are taught until they become an adult and start having experiences of life on their own. It’s often said that “young bud nuh know staam”. Therefore, parents should not feel like a victim when they are instilling values in their children even if it is met with resistance. The child may not understand it now, but in time to come they will understand, have an appreciation for the values that were instilled in them and develop a great love and respect for you.

Fear not, parents, when it comes to using the rod of correction (not limited to the use of a whip). Use your rod responsibly and not carelessly. Do not be afraid to have restrictions. Have a good rapport with your children, speaking always with simplicity so they can understand what is being said, knowing the pros and the cons.

Do not be quick to shout, rather create an environment where there can be meaningful and effective dialogue. This they will appreciate as part of their training and development for adulthood.

We need to roll back the curtains, and get back to the basics of life. Children should know rights come with responsibilities.

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