Mmachi, a fifteen-year- old boy could not but wonder at his mother’s response when he came back with soiled clothes because he had to assist in pushing out Odia’s car from the ditch.
“Please go and change your clothes. It was good that you people were available to assist him,” was Mmachi’s mother’s comment.
As Mmachi changed his clothes, he pondered on the story his cousin, Kachi, told him in school. Kachi told him that her mother attacked her verbally and almost flogged her for giving some of the firewood she gathered from the farm to a sick woman from Mr. Odia’s compound. Kachi explained that her mother said that no one from that compound deserved any help in whatever form because of some family conflict.
Mmachi’s mother was obviously too focused on the support she was providing him for a positive and responsible personality formation to be distracted by extended family conflicts. That was a healthy parenting attitude and a sure foundation for peace in the home and the community at large.
The attitude Kachi’s mother manifested, however, has no place in a healthy parenting relationship. This wrong attitude releases hatred in trickles into the child’s psyche and lays a wrong foundation for negative emotions that could degenerate into indiscipline, resentment, communal conflict and even wars. Can we imagine the enormous resources that are applied to combat crime, communal clashes and terrorist attacks and the colossal waste of lives and properties from such incidences?
Great parents raise children who can show love and care in interpersonal relationships.
- Uchenna N. Nduka