As Liberian cultural values and moral standards continue to depreciate (lessen, worsen) due to social change, four mothers of the Calvary Baptist Church, two married and two single, have partly blamed their peers for behaviors of children that are facilitating this devaluation of our culture.
The women, in recent interviews, reasoned that while there are other factors influencing youths to go contrary to expectations of their parents, some parents — mainly mothers — are very inconsistent and carefree in their conduct so that the children under their care are directly imitating them.
Lying in telephone conversations, indecent attire, forcing children into early relationships and unequal disciplinary measures for children in the home are some pitfalls the women pointed out as being responsible for our social condition.
In addition to these, there are also external factors that have influence on behavior; some of which include nude and pornographic photos displayed on social media and drug abuse.
Mrs. Suzana Vaye, a single mother of five children, said that children take cues of everything a parent does, and depending on how consistent and honest s/he is, the children will abide by the home rule.
“I am a single mother, but I have my rules that whoever that lives with me must go by. All my five children have become adults, but since they still live in my house, I think it is necessary they abide by my instruction. I have a time for all to be in the fence and to dress the way I want; failure on anyone’s part leads to bearing the consequence thereafter,” Mrs. Vaye said.
She added, “When some of the mothers know that their children are watching and listening to them, they tell lies in a telephone conversation that they are in a different location, while sitting in a place far different from where they claim they are, and the children are taking a cue from that falsehood.”
According to Mrs. Vaye, children will take seriously instruction of their parents if they are consistent, honest and impartial in the up bringing of the children in love and taking a stern disciplinary stance when they go contrary.
Mrs. Rebecca Gaye, head of the Calvary Baptist Women Group, observes that many mothers, without having “Family Talk” to teach children societal and religious morals, lay all of that on the shoulders of schoolteachers.
“Mothers are the first teachers, and they should teach the children morals so they can follow suit. As a mother if I dress indecently, the children will surely follow suit,” Mrs. Gaye added.
Mrs. Fatu K. Farkollie, a mother of two, believes that most children are from good homes. But driven by peer pressure, they go contrary to their parents’ expectations.
Nevertheless, she said there are many mothers who love living carefree lives, thereby leaving their children without guidance.
“When a good mother brings up children, they in turn make you proud. But we have some mothers who leave their children to bring themselves up. This is one of the root causes of the bad habit infiltrating the society,” Mrs. Farkollie said.
In the African society, the wife and children are wholly reliant on the husband for his inheritance. This in some cases makes the woman dependent on the man for almost everything, thus creating the gap of inequality in the family.
However, this is not the case with Mrs. Josephine Freeman, a professional nurse whose children have completed university education.
She said since her husband died years back, she has endeavored through her professional work to educate her children and has completed fencing the one-acre of land her late husband left behind.
“The war eroded the values people were brought under before, and today some parents can even protect their children from discipline in school and by community people which, coupled with the impact of the war, makes the society to be what it is today,” Mrs. Freeman said.