IN every turn, nook and space, overpopulation confronts us as the biggest problem of our country as evidenced by congested traffic in our thoroughfares, over-crowded polling places and the additional number of classrooms being never enough.

What comes with the issue of overpopulation is responsible parenthood. While teenage pregnancies are on the rise, the problem lies on the other side of the spectrum. Our clannish culture only encourages our teenagers to be promiscuous as our children are aware of the fact that their parents are there as expected to bail them out.

Responsible parenthood starts when you teach children how they should handle their toys. If we pick up everything a child leaves lying around… dirty clothes, gadgets and toys, sure enough this will teach him to throw responsibility onto others.

No matter how much we sterilize his feeding bottles during infancy, if we allow him to satisfy his simple cravings for food, drink, drugs and sex even if these may be unhealthy for him, his mind will feast on garbage. When he picks bad words and we laugh at him, he would think he is just being cute.

When we always take his side against our neighbors knowing that he is in the wrong, it will just be a matter of time that he will convince himself that he can get away with murder.

If we give a child all the money he wants, he will think that he can buy anything including love, respect and prestige.

I have a cousin who decided not to baptize his child to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church. He said his child will decide later what religion he should embrace when he reaches the age of reason.

Education starts at home, not overcrowded classrooms. One on one, hold your child like you will hold a bird in your hand. With caution though. If you hold him so tight that he gets the feeling he is being squeezed, he will resent and rebel. If you hold him so lightly that he lets himself free even before he is ready, he will fly on his own without your tender loving care and supervision.

How often do we hear our children say that they can manage on their own? Can they really?