Why parents are not responsible for their children's behaviour in the society

Why parents are not responsible for their children's behaviour in the society

The task of parenting is becoming increasingly stressful and difficult for a lot of parents. Children are exposed to all sorts every day, on television, the internet and other sources.

In the past, children used to play outside all day. They came up with games to stay busy. They had no internet, no phones and the local television channels did not come up till evening.

Now, technology is taking over, shaping people’s lives and habits rapidly. It is affecting everyone’s lives including children who now rely on technology for the majority of their play.

Some Nigerian children are imitating what they see on their television screens and on the internet. They are exhibiting foreign habits and behaviours which were frowned upon in the past and parenting is getting harder and harder.

As children continue to go haywire, parents are being blamed for their children’s behavior.

You see a child behaving badly and the next thing you hear is “I blame his or her parents”. Not only does society blame parents, parents also blame themselves, thinking, “If I had done this or that, my child would not have turned out this way”.

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But are parents to be blamed for their children’s behaviour?

We all know that children learn from everyone and everything around so it would be unfair to hold a single factor responsible for their behavior. Legit.ng offers you to dive deeper into the problem.

Understanding children’s behaviour

The years of early childhood are a crucial time for molding children. As they grow, they begin to exhibit certain behaviours, some good and others not so good.

As a parent, it is important to study and understand your child. To achieve this, you need to spend quality time with the child.

However, in this day and age when parents spend more time trying to make ends meet than spending time with their children, quality time is difficult to achieve.

For example, a father and mother in Lagos both work on the Island and live on the Mainland. They leave the house as early as 5am every day and get back home no sooner than 8pm. What time do they have to spend with their children?

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In spite of this, whatever little time you have to spend with your child, use it well. Spending time with them, talking with them will help you gain information and understanding of certain things about your kid(s).

Sometimes, a child’s behavior may be his or her way of trying to tell you something. Understand what your child is trying to tell you through his or her behavior and help them find a better way of communicating.

It is crucial to try to deal with a child’s behaviour early. Once you notice any behaviour that is unacceptable and getting out of hand, tackle it immediately. Do not let it linger.

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Why children exhibit certain behaviours? The most common reasons are:

- frustration

- fear of something

- anger over something

- seeking attention

- peer pressure.

How children’s behaviours are shaped

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Children learn from everyone and everything. Their behaviour is influenced at home, in school and practically everywhere. Some people play a big role in shaping the behaviour of children.


Children learn a lot by watching their parents. They pick up certain behaviours from their parents. If a child has aggressive parents, he or she may end up picking up such behaviour.

In Nigeria, where everyone is always in hurry and some people find it hard to obey traffic or stay on the queue, some children might pick up such behaviour. Parents can sometimes serve as negative or positive models for their children. As parents, you should behave as you would like your children to behave because you could be shaping up your child's behaviour and personality.


Children are influenced by their peers and sometimes adopt certain behaviours from them. Sometimes, they pick up these behaviours just to impress or be accepted by their peers.

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Why parents are not responsible for their children’s behaviour

1. It is the responsibility of parents to train their children in the way they should go but they are not responsible for their actions.

2. If a child behaves badly, it does not necessarily mean the parents failed at their responsibility. There are cases of children born into good families. They were brought up right but they still grow up to be bad.

For example, a boy, let's call him Kayode, was born into a god fearing home. His parents are devout Christians who brought him up right. From Nursery to Secondary school, he was a good child who other parents used as a yardstick for judging their own children. As a hardworking and smart child, he gains admission into one of the best universities in the country. He joins a gang, ignores his studies and starts to misbehave. People start to blame his parents for his bad behaviour. Are they really to blame?

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Society believes that if you are a good parent, your child will turn out okay and if you are not, your child will turn out bad. There are children born to irresponsible parents who are better behaved than those born to ‘upright’ parents.

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3. Children get to certain age where they are away from parents many hours of the day and you have less control over what they do during those hours. They meet different people and adopt good or bad behaviours.

As a parent, you struggle so hard to raise a good child who will behave right but then, he or she turns out differently. It can be so humiliating and annoying to see a child you struggled to raise right, misbehaving.

Like they say: “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

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You can train your children right and teach them good behaviour, but they decide what they want and how they want to behave.

4. Not one person can be held responsible for the behavior of a child. As they grow older, they begin to make decisions and choose who they let influence, inspire or corrupt them.

What is the way forward?

- Spend more time with your children and do not leave them to be brought up by maids while you keep chasing money.

- Talk with them and ask them questions which will allow the children to share how they are feeling, or what they going through with you.

- Do not compensate your absence from their lives with money. Sometimes, they just want your love, care and attention and not your money.

- Do not leave the training of your children to their teachers and professors.

- Inculcate good values in your children from a tender age. Do not wait till things get out of hand. What you do not teach your child from an early age will not develop when he / she is older.

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Below, watch a Legit.ng TV video focusing on who should be responsible for students' examination malpractice, which is, unfortunately, a very common in Nigeria's education system:

Source: Legit.ng

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