Between nine months and one year after a couple starts a family, everyone expects them to start procreating. In fact, many think that the physical manifestation of God’s blessing on the union is children. It is true that children are gifts and bundles of blessings, but they come with many responsibilities. Inadequate preparation to shoulder these responsibilities often leaves less time for parent-child bonding. Parents pre-occupied with hustling increases the number of child hawkers, street kids, and children beggars.
Expecting parents, left with no option, often double their hustle. Some work overtime, others take multiple jobs. Then when the child is safely delivered, more bills rear up their ‘ugly’ heads. As adults, parents can make do with whatever supplies they have at home. However, this is not the case with kids. They will go yelling and crying until they get the snack of their choice or whatever it is they are demanding. Quite obviously parenting cannot be easy on shoestring budgets and low incomes.
Why parent-child bonding is difficult these days
In a bid to create more time to raise income levels, we now have more passive and absent parents than we can imagine. They hire nannies, caregivers and maids to stand in for them while they go about trying to earn more. This is very common among career-driven couples who live in big cities who face terrible gridlock problems. They are off before the crack of dawn when their kids are still in bed, and they return hours after the kids have been tucked in.
Stories have been told of years of continual abuse from caregivers. Yet, parents have not thought out better options. They probably don’t know that nannies and caregivers cannot tell them everything they should know about their children. Research shows that 76% of Nigerian parents do not spend enough quality time bonding with their children. Not only does this lack of parent-child bond result in mental disorders, it is the reason why many parents are housing strangers, they call children.