The parenting task is no doubt a demanding one. People who have nurtured children from infancy to the teenage years would readily recall those moments when desperation would give way to anxiety, anger and frustration. Many parents would rather not voice the inordinate thought of taking the child somewhere else for a while or even forever! This might have been the experience one of the parents in the Passion-in-Parenting home page stories.
Hello friends! After exchanging greetings with one of the parents of my children in the children’s church, I asked about my little friend who just finished her secondary education. “She has just entered the university,” she said with a strange smile. When I asked further about her course of study and university, she said indifferently, “She could go to whatever university was available and study whatever course she could secure. I just could not stand her unruly behavior at home anymore!
The turning point is that point in the parenting process when the parenting efforts at correcting a child become obviously ineffective and generate feelings of resentment between the child and the parent. The signs of this turning point are obvious, and would usually include disenchantment in the parenting relationship which would keep degenerating and increasing unresponsiveness of the child to the usual parenting strategies. It is called a turning point because it is a point at which the need for re-strategising becomes very obvious for the desired target of achieving discipline to be achieved.
The first thing to do at the turning point is to discontinue with the approach that has been ineffective. It should be recalled, from our recent posts, that the next will be to prayerfully get closer, listen more and talk more with the child. This closer interaction will create a cordial atmosphere that would properly position the parent to get a clearer understanding of the child’s feelings and actions so that support can be provided in the right direction.
The turning point philosophy is also applicable to the whole parenting approach when a parent realises that his or her skills have been ineffective. The parent in our post of 27th January, 2016, titled She changed her parenting approach and got better results with joy got to the turning point in her relationship with her children when she had the realisation and conviction that her aggressive parenting approach was ineffective. Her children were unresponsive to her former punishment-oriented approach and she could not achieve enduring discipline. Her testimony after she changed to the love and conscience-driven approach was that her children were more willing to obey her instructions.
The signs of the urgency of the turning point experience are obvious in many parenting processes. Ignoring the warning signs could lead to situations where the child would die or get permanently disabled during the ‘disciplinary processes.’ The parenting relationship could degenerate to such an extent that the child would prefer the streets to his home. Parents should be guided properly to recognize the danger signs on time and embrace the necessary change to the effective parenting approach for great results.
- Uchenna N. Nduka