School Of Parenting I By Abang Dove
As children, most people were faced with lots of difficulties as a result of parental deficiencies while growing up. Some were as a result of the fact that they became orphans before they even knew their left from right, ended up in the hands of wrong guardians while others either missed the rebuke of a father and some, the tender and loving heart of a mother due to death, divorce, birth out of wedlock and many other reasons.
Most Parents in Nigeria practice a system of parenting that is either consciously or subconsciously approved of as the best parenting style which in most cases, turns out to be counter-productive to their child/ward.
These parents believe planting fear into the lives of their children through words and or actions will make them well behaved.
It is important at this juncture to note that ill treatment is different from discipline, the Mix-up of both terms or at worse ignorance of these fundamentals. It is no wonder kids are reluctant to share with parents their secrets, fears, aspirations, dreams, troubles, worries, pain etc.
Yes it is written in the Holy book; “spare the rod and spoil the child” but that also does not mean use the rod to break the child literally.
From a personal stand-point, I grew up with both parents alive and healthy but missed out on the love and attention of both simultaneously at some point or the other while growing up. My dad was barely around, traveling often while my mum a public servant, a banker more specifically – would leave for work before I and my siblings would wake and most times got back when we were already asleep.
I practically grew up with the kids in the neighborhood. You see, though i had my siblings, there was no connection or “common-ground” because of the age difference between us. Being years ahead of me, we did not and in fact could not think or talk the same way. I was the loner, the “stand out” and so it remained until I grew up unnoticed.
Due to a lack of communication between my parents and myself, I got punished severally for things I never did which made me grow up with a terrible low self-esteem.
“I mean if my parents think I am that bad then I really am and I felt every other person knew that so I was never good enough for myself”
Most times kids want to communicate their feelings, but they get scared of being flogged, rebuked or punished in one way or the other so they withdraw back into their shell or result to “peer consultants”.
If you would agree with me, outspoken, sharp and active kids are the ones who have their parents as their best friends and thrive on the certainty that regardless of the outcome of things, their parents will “have their back” as it were, morally, physically and otherwise.
Invariably on the other hand, quite noticeable is the statistic that most kids who end up getting involved in juvenile activities do so as a result of parental negligence, broken homes to name a few. The kids who end up being arrested only call their parents as a last resort.
It is my personal belief that parents most times are afraid of seeing their own reflection on their kids so they tend to “break the mirror with the rod” forgetting that the image remains.
In hind sight however, I cannot help but think what difference it would have made if I had my parents relating with me most of the time, know my worries and my fears, being conversant with my dreams and aspirations, I would not have made most of the mistakes I made growing up.
I practically looked out for myself as far back as I remember which has both exposed and also taught me a lot of things as well; though I learned the hard way.
Now my advice to parents is; sometimes surprise your kids with a smile, a hug and some words of advice in times they expect you to rain fire and brimstone on them.
Let them know you have got their backs, teach them the right path to follow, tell them your story and let them learn.
Lying to your kids can only make you a “super hero” for a while but telling them the truth about who you were and where you want them to be will earn you their trust, confidence, friendship and will forge great characters out of them.
It was Hiereclytes who said “Character is Destiny”
Make positive speaking on your child/ward a daily routine because words from the mouth of parents are very powerful, the words you feed your children with will help in molding them to what they will become in life!
On the flip side, as a child of your parent, try to engage them in discussions as to things you feel they are not doing right, let them know how you feel about how they are raising you!
I wish I had spoken to my own parents from time about their system of parenting, things would have been much easier for all of us, but I thank God I now do it occasionally as the need arises and it’s been working for me, so believe it can also work for you.
Effective communication helps us better understand a person or situation and enables us to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and create positive environments where creative ideas, problem solving, affection, and caring can flourish. By learning how to effectively communicate, we can better connect with each other as spouses, kids, friends, and even coworkers.
Communication is the heart-beat of interpersonal relationships. Everything is made easy in life through it; you cut it off and things go sour, maintain a good communication system and understanding sets in, and when everyone one is well understood, life becomes easy.
Abang Dove is a writer, a poet, and a Social Media Manager, she blogs HERE tweets @abangdove and you can also reach her HERE