The Reverend Professor Daniel Agyapong Nyarko, an elder of the Pentecost International Worship Center, Takoradi, Sunday expressed concern over the negative impact the current technological advancements could have on children.
He said children were exposed to many gadgets like smart phones, laptops, tablets, iPads, and game consoles as well as television programmes, which provided all kinds of content, both good and bad.
“How can we raise our children to love and fear God despite these negative influences?” he asked.
Prof. Nyarko was speaking on the theme: “Equipping the Child Through Effective Christian Parenting”, during church service.
He said parents were the first and best role models for their children hence their lives must please God and honour Him to have positive influences on the children.
Christian parents must engage children in a way that reflected the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, seek God in all endeavours, while being mindful of the number of gadgets they provide their children, he said.
“The kind of children raised today would determine the kind of adults tomorrow, therefore the need to channel all attention, resources and love in shaping their lives, not ignoring Godly discipline.”
Prof. Nyarko mentioned three general parenting styles useful for parenting; coercive, permissive and authoritative.
He explained that the coercive involved the use of physical or psychological control to achieve the desired behaviour in children.
Permissive parenting overindulges children and allows them relative free reign while the authoritative involves consistent connection with children in a loving way, setting reasonable limits, and allowing them an appropriate measure of autonomy.
Rev Prof Nyarko also touched on single parenting as a situation where only the mother or father was available to bring up the child.
Several factors may lead to single parenting including death of a spouse, divorce or separation, re-location, job constraints, travel, education and personal choice, he said.
Prof Nyarko indicated that being a single parent presented greater responsibility, but it needed to be handled tactfully as it was challenging but doable.
He said the first five years of a child’s life were the most critical and, as such, parents should be careful what they communicated to the child.
“Parents are expected to love, impart knowledge, guide growth, set boundaries or limits, develop skills, intercede, pray with, be available and spend quality time with their children,” he said.
“It is the relationship that you develop and nurture with your children that will build the bridge to their hearts so that they adopt for themselves the beliefs you hold dear…”
“This is where they will derive the values, which will in turn drive their behaviour.”