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Continued from last……

  • Coaching the children for social and moral values

Good parenting demands a great deal of responsibility from parents to inculcate good moral values in their children in a friendly and informal way. Parents should illuminate them about the difference between right and wrong. Prepare them to be a good citizen and teach them about their responsibility towards neighbors, school fellows, friends, guests at home and society at large. In fact parents have to be the role-models for their children, because most of these values and norms they pick at home.

Parents must persuade and guide them to maintain a good balance between studies and physical activities to keep them mentally and physically healthy.

Besides preparing the children for worldly challenges and to arrogate a successful career, children should be enlightened on religious beliefs and practices also, and give them awareness on how these practices make them good human beings.

  • Juvenile marriage

In Pakistan as per Muslim Family Law Ordinance, the age for marriage for girl is 16 and boy 18 years. Some families force specially the girls for early marriage, depriving her of the right to education and enjoying frisky and perky days.

This is a social stigma, which gives rise to many social and domestic problems. It is a normal practice in our society to marry a young girl with a man of double the age. Such relationships do not last long, resulting in dissensions and ultimately break-up, as securing mental equation with this age difference is improbable.

Child marriage threatens the health and life of girls. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the main cause of death among adolescent mothers. These consequences are largely due to girls’ physical immaturity where the pelvis and birth canal are not fully developed.

Child marriage not only threatens the mother’s health, it also threatens the lives of offspring.

This is a blatant violation of national and international laws governing marriage issues.

  • Juvenile labor

Like Child marriage, child labor is also a great menace to our society.

Employment of children in any work that deprives children of their childhood interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and despicable crime. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations. Legislation across the world prohibits child labor.

According to ILO (International Labor Organization) in Pakistan there are about twenty million children involved in labor work for various economic activities. Pakistan falls at number three, in the world, for child labor. In addition to child labor in factories, cottage industry and other industries, domestic labor is also one of the worst forms of child abuse and exploitation.

This leads to another set of social problems, besides deprivation from education and other rightful childhood activities. Here again parents are primarily responsible.

We observe a normal practice of parents from villages and small towns, mostly under economic pressure and poverty, sending their children to cities as domestic servants, who are employed on very nominal wages for long working hours. The children are forced to work usually in very unhygienic and hazardous conditions.

Frequently the newspapers, electronic media and social media reports the domestic violence, and the way children are brutalized in these dungeons, sometimes even fatal. The condition of young girls is even worst as they are subjected to sexual abuse, besides verbal and physical violence.

My heart bleeds when such news appears on TV or reported in print media. Unfortunately, we do not have any clear provision in our legal system providing “child protection from such accesses “and preventing this cryptic form of slavery.

  • Educating on road safety and traffic rules

Children need to be educated on road safety and traffic rules from very early age. They should be taught on how to keep safe from accidents. When and from where road is to be crossed etc.

It is startling to know that our education system does not provide any awareness on this very important aspect of developing a child into a well-bred and cultured adult. Our curriculum remains dismally silent on this important aspect of transforming children into responsible and civilized citizens.


Before having a child, it would be desirable for both young to-be-parents to understand each other’s attitudes to parenting.

You can do this by talking about the issues raised in this article, talking to your friends and surfing the many parenting websites.

Discipline is crucial when bringing up a child. All children need and want reasonable boundaries. Through discipline your child learns that some kinds of behaviour are acceptable and others are not. Setting boundaries for children’s behaviour helps them to learn how to behave in society.

Parents should learn to remain calm and unravelled if child sometime looks amiss and awry.

Parents should express their unconditional love for their children, as well as provide them with the continued support they need to become self-assured and happy individuals.

A child’s greatest need is quality time with their parents.

Author’s Note:

  • The above article is a combination of various news appeared on the print media and TV on the occasion of “Universal Children’s Day” celebrated on November 20th and a small article appeared in “Jang newspaper”
  • Some quotes were taken from the book by Susan Stiffelman, MFT, an educational therapist and author of Parenting without Power Struggles.
  • Largely shared my personal experience as a parent having the privilege of raising three children and being a son of a very disciplined and resolute father.


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