By simple definition, and for the purpose of this post, a child is somebody from the stage of birth to about puberty. While in the womb, the child is a fetus. Figures made available by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) show that the population of the world currently stands well above seven billion, with about ninety five percent of the people above five years old. This is to say that children five years and below form about five percent of the current world’s population. But the importance of the child in the family and human race in general cannot be overemphasized. This is because if, for example, children are not born into this world continuously for the next one hundred years, by the end of that period, the population of the world could be close to zero. As a matter of fact, at the end of that period, only about five percent of the present population will be alive, all of them above hundred tears of age each.
Because the child is to human population what the agricultural seed is to the farmer in the propagation of the particular plant, a lot of tons of studies have been conducted about the child over the years. Also, because of the important position the child occupies in human history, some international programs and organizations have been specifically created for the child’s well being, including the UNICEF, and Children’s Day which is marked every year on the 27th of May.
Despite extensive knowledge in embryology and other biological sciences, the very processes that eventually lead to a child being brought into this world still remain a puzzle or even a mystery. Now, following the birth of a child, a new chapter has been opened in the life history of the family so involved. Depending on the part of the world, arrival of a child in the family has some peculiar traditions attached to it. This is more in parts of Africa.. In my own country Nigeria, particularly in the southeastern region where I come from, the joy of the family knows no bounds especially if the child is the first child and at the same time a male.. I may not have the required extra time and space in this post to go into the details of the tradition that follows the birth of a first male child of the family in that part of Nigeria. On the whole however, the arrival of a new baby in the family is always a source of joy, whether male or female, first or second or third or whatever position.
But unfortunately, I have also witnessed a couple of occasions where the birth of a new baby does not create much joy to the family. This usually occurs where all previous births were females. As I detailed in my book, ‘How To Enjoy Happy Family’ a typical African society accords preference to the male child and so are not usually that happy when all the children are females. There have been a lot of social problems associated with this development. For example, a couple had planned to have just two kids but as the first two children were girls, they decided to go for a third child with the hope of getting a male this time around. But as it turned out to be another girl, they again decided to go for a fourth child which ‘unfortunately’ was yet another female. Incidentally, they ended up having five girls and a boy, the last child. When the fifth girl child was given girth to, the frustration and sadness that engulfed the man nearly led to the termination of the marriage but for the intervention of friends and neighbors. As a matter of fact, unhappiness in that family started when the third female child was born and that was why the man did not show much happiness when the boy was eventually born. I have also witnessed a situation where the couple, in desperation to get male child kept on giving birth until they produced seven girls and were forced to stop.
Now, for the first man, you can imagine what will be the social and economic implications of having a family of eight as against four that they had planned originally, that is hundred percent above what they had planned. As it has been observed, when this type of situation arises, the couple may be forced to send some of the kids to friends and relations to help in their upbringing. In my opinion, this really does not look nice because it simply means abdication of parental responsibility to other people. And apart from that, how sure are you that the people you entrust with the upkeep of your children will actually deliver or inculcate in them those good values you want in your children? Also, whom do you blame when things go awry with them later in life?
In order to avoid being faced with these two crucial questions in the first place, I think it is only reasonable to be okay with few kids no mater their sex combination. Indeed, I strongly feel that at this level of civilization and human development, the idea of negating female matters in our African society should be jettisoned or even outlawed outright, not tomorrow but today!
Meanwhile, remember that the goal of this post is to bring out the fact that the child is a real source of joy to the family. When newly married, as expected, after about one or two years, the first child will arrive the family. The quantum of joy that follows this is usually great. As amazing and perhaps mysterious as childbirth, what is even more amazing is the progression in mental, physical, physiological, academic and emotional development of that child, all to the joy of the parents. How wonderful nature is! Let’s look at it like this: for an average farmer, standing at one point on his farm and beholding the greenery of the entire farm is usually a source of joy; it is is always inspiring and fulfilling. This is just a near comparison to the kind of joy the child bestows on the family. But in truth, the child is worth even much more than the farm.
As a parent, you definitely know that your child is growing physically but you don’t know or see when or how this happens, just like most other aspects of his development. As a matter of fact, each aspect of his development is a source of joy on its own. Right from birth, for the very reason that the baby is physically whole is a source of joy. And of course, speaking biologically, remember that by giving birth to your first child, you have naturally completed your own life cycle. What a privilege! And so, now you are a dad , or mom. In addition, most mothers derive a lot of joy from breast feeding and giving care to the baby. And on the part of the husband, coming back from work and meeting mother and child at peace is a wonderful experience that gives him some joy and emotional or psychological fulfillment. Again, because of hormonal changes, the wife at this time becomes even more beautiful and attractive, and every husband feels good seeing his wife looking good, all because of the arrival of the baby in the family.
As the child begins to utter some non specific sounds, begins to crawl, standing up, learning to walk and eventually begins to walk perfectly, all of these constitute moments of joy for both husband and wife. By the time the child begins to attend school, the added responsibility of taking him to school in the morning and going to bring him back in the afternoon is a joyful task, just like assisting him to do his assignments.
One amazing truth about the joy pf having a child is that the parents, particularly the mother, may not even feel the burden or task of rearing the child because the joy simply overshadows or overwhelms the ‘troubles’. Indeed, by the time the child begins to win awards and prizes for good performances in school or church or any other forum, the joy of the parents moves to a higher level, and even becomes accentuated when the child graduates from a higher institution. But it does not end there. As a parent, you will eventually experience real tears of joy on the wedding day of your child or grand child. This has actually been noticed on couple of occasions and is quite natural.
As a matter of fact and as I had stated earlier, every step of progress the child takes is a great source of joy to the family. Watching your child on a television come first in a race at Olympics and is awarded a gold medal; being at the stadium or watching on television as your child scores the winning goal in a football match; sitting at home watching your child on television as he or she speaks eloquently to a large audience and seeing your child being sworn in as the president or governor are all sources of great joy to the family through the child. To the glory of God Almighty, my family is already experiencing this joy to an extent.
Finally, remember that the very goal of this website is to see every family on earth happy, peaceful and united and so, I must let people know all the good attributes of such family. This essentially encourages those mature and responsible adults who are yet to get married to get well prepared for marriage ahead of time before going into it. They can do this by getting and reading my book, ‘How To Enjoy Happy Family’ or read my many previous posts on this website. Contact me through my email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me 24 hours on +234 (0) 8060402474.
Please do enjoy your family and marriage.