BY OGECHUKWU AKPOTOHWO
The egg is the father of the hen. Children are blessings from God and should be handled with care and love. All adults were once children. Consciously or unconsciously a lot of adults expect children to make certain decisions and perform herculean tasks beyond their capabilities.
It is of utmost importance to state that children need to be patiently guided and exposed to understand right principles of life. A high commendation goes to parents and care givers who are at the frontline of the battle to raise children who are godly, self reliant and disciplined. However, for parents and care givers who still hold the archaic view that children should be seen and not heard, a change of mindset will go a long way to establish a cordial relationship between children and their care givers.
It is a truism that every parent or care giver will be unhappy to raise obstinate children replete with numerous anti-social vices. Children like adults are wired with unique personalities which make them to respond to stimuli from different perspectives. The modern day children are overtly responsive and outspoken and are very alert and eager to carry out duties whether domestic or educational. On the other hand, some children may seem to be weak, slow, recalcitrant, disobedient and unfit to be shown love due to their lazy approach to duties given to them. Such children may be going through some undiagnosed health challenges or some emotional trauma.
A lot of parents have succeeded in acquiring a doctorate degree at yelling on their children for every slightest provocation. Do you realize how much damage you are inflicting on your children? It is true that they might have broken your rules or out rightly disobeyed you but the truth is, we are not celestial beings but terrestrials as such we are prone to making repeated mistakes. Scriptures rightly admonished fathers which also include mothers not to provoke their children to wrath. When a child messes up, your duty is to correct in love. With the attention or purpose of correction geared towards making the child in particular to be personally useful and of great relevance to the society at large.
The use of “iron hand” to inculcate godly characters in children may have lost its effective impact. There are a lot of children who are emotional and are prone to cave in to depression when under undue hardship occasioned by wickedness camouflaged in discipline. This may not be unconnected to the recent phenomenon of child suicide. Using unprintable words to correct children should be grossly discouraged. This is because as earlier stated, some children have little or no strong emotional capacity to hold off pain orchestrated by abusive correction. Whereas some children have developed enough emotional muscle that they do not care whose ox is gored. They go about their daily businesses doing what pleases them without credence to what is said to them.
The obvious reality is that we are raising a special breed of children who are susceptible to emotional breakdown which if not identified and resolved may be disastrous. This is why every parents or care giver need to study their wards and understand how they react to certain stimuli. In addition, the use abusive languages in to inculcate correction and discipline in children should be eradicated from our vocabulary if we do not want to raise children that will be abusive parents and adults.
The crux of the matter is that harsh treatment on children is not completely the panacea to laziness and indiscipline. Instead a more diplomatic and pragmatic approach is highly recommended. Experience has shown that some children will remain resolute no matter the harsh condition they are exposed to while some children on the contrary will slide into timidity, self pity and depression.
Children should not be handled with primitive approach. They have the rights to qualitative education, fair hearing, and access to social amenities, balanced nutrition, and security among others. They are highly intelligent and emotionally laden that they have feelings of love, pain and anger. No one is saying that children should be left to rule the world or call the shots, but engaging them in meaningful conversation will expose their level of thought pattern and make you understand their point of view. This way, adults and children may come to a reasonable and acceptable level of compromise.
Issuing threats to make a child succumb to your demands may have a short term effects of pretentious compliance but may have a long term negative effect as the child may develop the inability to communicate and make expressions when the need arises. Depriving a child of available basic necessities in order to instill discipline in them is inhuman, and an open show of cruelty. Meting out capital punishment on a child is wicked.
The harvest of such seed when grown to maturity is always unpalatable as it rubs off on all and sundry. Always have a talk with children under your care anytime they misbehave according to your own perspective and judgment. This way you will be mentally stable to think of the right measures of discipline to apply which should be equal with the supposed offence. Children are not animals.