For parents who place high premium on the bond of love and confidence that they share with their children, family life is a lot easier. The home environment is relatively peaceful with both parents and their children striving hard to sustain the treasured equilibrium that is anchored on the faith in the divine union. Those who are in healthy parenting relationships would attest to how rosy it can really get.
But then nothing rosy in life is without moments of trials and temptation. No one should lose sight of the fact that parents as well as their children are ‘flesh and blood’ with disposition to fluctuations in emotions under the weight of the ever-evolving vicissitudes of life.
It can be an unemployment-induced anxiety and depression on the part of the parent, but if not prayerfully managed, especially with teenagers and young adults, the parenting relationship may deteriorate so much that children would begin to look for love outside the home. This has obvious security and safety implications.
I was moved by a parent’s account of how she almost drove her undergraduate daughter out of the house because of the wrong attitude the child developed. This mother recounted how her daughter would utilize every opportunity to boldly state her stand on issues and treat parental guidance with disregard.
“Can you imagine where a child would make a mockery of my rebuke and let me know that I made her angry by the fact of my interference or the way I presented an issue?” She recounted.
She said that on several occasions she used harsh words, slapped and compared her with her siblings and even pronounced God’s punishment on her daughter without any result. She said it really was very frustrating for her family because of their family tradition of love and closeness.
“I was so disturbed by the last of such scenes I witnessed that I broke down and cried. In my sorrow, I took a decision to do nothing other than get closer to her, while avoiding arguments, and pray privately for her.” She continued.
According to her, that was indeed the last of such ugly incidences because the problem became clearer when she got closer to her daughter. She showed more interest in her daughter’s medical challenge and then discovered that the negative emotions her daughter developed were part of the side effects of her daily drugs in medication.
There are many events of life that throw children off balance emotionally. They include divorce or separation of parents, death of one or both parents, failure to secure admission into a school, medication, adjustments necessitated by dwindling finances of parents, and peer pressure. The worst thing that can happen is that a parenting relationship would give way as a result of a challenge which both parents and children should treat as a common enemy if there is proper communication and right parenting skills.
- Every great parent should always remember to get closer to the child each time any parenting challenge gets tough. Parents should give no thought to separation from the child because it will definitely make the situation worse.
- Prayer works! (Phil. 4:6)
- Uchenna N. Nduka