Over the past one week, the Nigerian news media has been agog with the arrest of the billionaire kidnapper “Evans”. What he’s done is brutally criminal and I share the same sentiments with a lot of people who say the highest form of punishment should be dealt him, for the pain, emotional trauma & crimes he has committed.
My interest today however has to do with a post that made its round on WhatsApp with a picture of “Evans” wife & five children aged between about 4 & 10 years old. There was a short note forwarded with the picture an excerpt of which read “…Considering his stupendous wealth his children will be going to the best private schools in Lagos. His children might be doing sleepover with yours! We have to shine our eyes well especially those of us with very young children. All that glitters is not gold”. I clearly understand the words of wisdom & the underlying note of caution that was being sounded. It is our responsibility to do our due diligence on families our children are very close to.
However, giving my penchant for considering various angles of any conversation, I couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like for the children of a criminal or a convict. In a number of instances, these children are victims too. They have to deal with various emotions – shame, disappointment and anger. In some cases they are ridiculed & ostracized. It must be hard on them suffering for something they probably had no clue about. Unfortunately, no matter what, they have to live with the consequences of the parent’s indiscretion.
Now, my question is this – if your child attends the same school & is a very close friend (transcends the borders of the school) with another child whose parent has been convicted for kidnapping, how would you deal with it? What advice would you give your child? Would your stance differ if the parent were convicted for looting public funds or fraud? Would your counsel be any different? Please remember the issue here is not your personal perception of which crime is more grievous because that is a debatable matter. A person who steals government funds meant for rehabilitating hospitals can be culpable of unnecessary deaths. The point is should the sins of the parents be visited on the children and to what extent?
I’d like to hear your thoughts. Please post your comments on www.parentinvestment.com or mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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