My Tears Dried When I Found His Heart

A feeling too strong to be ordinary,

Just as clear as day.

Speeding hastily on the path of doom;

Was my teenager whom I nurtured to boom.

 

Though my voice was amplified,

Though the whips and threats were multiplied,

Yet further the child went on the gloomy path,

And freely my tears flowed as I stood at the turning point.

 

His distanced heart must first be found.

So my thinking cap and bent knees were all employed,

With more patience in listening and talking, love was found;

And taken to the child’s heart with lots of fun.

 

With our hearts so close, my whispers are clear;

With the child now swift to obey, the boom days are here.

I’ll keep asking for wisdom in endless flow,

For my child to have me as a firm brace of endless love.

 

-Uchenna N. Nduka

 

This poem is dedicated to passionate parents who have been our regular readers since the inception of this blog on the 23rd of November, 2015. Of course, the fact that a person is a passionate parent does not imply perfection.  Neither he nor his children are claiming to be perfect. It only implies that he is among the parents who have not only embraced the effective parenting skills, but have also left the window of learning open on the preferred approach which is effective and yet non-violent.

Surely our readers and followers have remained dedicated because they find the teachings in ours posts useful in their parenting roles. We should all be interested to read the real life parenting experiences of the skills and principles we that we desire. Our comments and suggestions will go a long way in helping us achieve our vision of improving parenting skills.  This feedback will be quite encouraging, not just to the writers, but to every visitor to the blog.

Write-ups should not be more that 500 words. They should be forwarded to passioninparenting@gmail.com.

I really look forward to reading from all of you.

-Administrator

Parents should adopt a comprehensive approach to children’s educational development.

The fact that I make a lot of effort to explain this issue each time it is discussed exposes the extent of the learning gap to be filled in order to make parents have the right focus on their children’s education. One therefore needs to apply self-restraint in order not to be swallowed up in the heedless crowd.

Stories have been told of parents who deny their children certain basic necessities of life such as food or clothing and give them ugly names because the target of taking the first position was not achieved by the children in their classes. It is common for children to return for a new term with ugly scars of the punishment inflicted on them because they could not achieve the desired position in the previous term. Desperation for children to get the best grades in class even pushes some parents into engaging their children’s class teachers as home lesson teachers. Such lesson teachers may be tempted into awarding unmerited scores to the children in order to impress their parents and justify their pay.

I feel for children each time I see them get hysterical after collecting their termly results for fear of the calamity that would befall them when they get home. No wonder some of such children would resort to unholy practices to get the kind of grades that would impress their parents. Schools have also been accused of awarding unrealistic scores to excite parents.

The resultant anxiety and inconsistency are unnecessary and ineffective in achieving the desired academic excellence. It is unrealistic and contradicts the principles of healthy competition to expect that a bright child would always come first in class. Parents should ideally aim at raising children who are developed to take right actions that are driven by a good balance of mental ability and a conscience-driven attitude. In order words, the child’s academic performance should be as much importance to the parents as his feelings and behaviour generally.

A child’s termly performance should therefore be wholly evaluated. This evaluation should give fair attention to the child’s development in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of learning. Improvements, no matter how little, should always be commended. Thoughtful parents don’t just evaluate the child if he fails to meet expectation. They also evaluate the child’s school for qualified and supportive staff, sound school policy on discipline as well as reliable organisational structure for quality maintenance.

The unique strategy to apply in order to surmount any parenting challenge would always be revealed by prayerfully getting closer to the child, while loving more, listening more and talking more. Unnecessary emphasis on position should be avoided because it frustrates children and puts stress on parenting relationships.

-Uchenna N. Nduka

Will a healthy parenting relationship ever produce a perfect child?

One day, during a motor trip in the company of three other women, one of them made a comment which did not just spark off a lot of comments but revealed some truths about child-training and interpersonal relationships in general. Her first set of children were in their late teens.

“When my sons get married in the future, I will not have sour relationships with my daughters-in-law, even if I live in the same house with them” was her comment. We were all impressed with her and requested that she share her strategy.

“Will she be different from my own daughter?” she asked rhetorically.

“Of course, she will still carry GSM phones around and suffer the ensuing distractions like my own daughters.” she explained.

Another woman in the car sighed, and narrated how her children burn her food as a result of the distractions from the handset.”

The other woman in the car simply laughed at all the comments and explained that children get easily distracted as a result of many factors, not just their handsets. She said that she still struggled with forgetfulness in her children even though they didn’t have GSM phones.

“I guide them on the proper use of the phones and hope for the best outcomes, though I tolerate those occasional distractions with calmness since the world is not a perfect place.” was the concluding statement from the woman who started the discussions.

I sat quietly in the car unnoticed, yet thinking deeply about every comment. I remembered that in my childhood days; my parents kept worrying about forgetfulness and burnt meals until we became adults even though we did not have handsets at that time.

I realized that I was not alone in my struggle with regulating the use of GSM phones and getting children to apply concentration on all issues, especially domestic chores. It was obvious that the expectation of perfect obedience and concentration from children is unrealistic and puts a big stress on healthy parenting relationships.

The truth is that only God is perfect. Children would always manifest imperfection as humans no matter how hard we try as parents. Some of those issues parents worry about will gradually and definitely improve with maturity and proper parenting support.

Parents should therefore guide children properly and hope for the best outcome, but should approach occasional manifestations of childishness prayerfully with calmness, thoughtfulness and tact.

-Uchenna N. Nduka

Healthy Parenting is Effective with Any Child no Matter his Background

There is a lot to learn from this parenting story.

This girl arrived in my house when she was about 12 years old. She was a child of an extended family member. Low self-esteem and inconsistency were palpable in her behavior. Her parents were known to be zealous on the use of verbal and physical aggression as disciplinary measures. So her background was such that her parents would usually make threats to coerce children into obedience.

She must have initially wondered at our assuring smiles and our mutual love which guided our actions and decisions. She was quite fast in adjusting to my home environment. She keyed in immediately into the relationship I had with my children. The children I had at that time were between four and six years.

Within a few weeks, her countenance became brighter. The anger and frustration in her communication became gradually reduced. She stopped expecting to be shackled into obedience with threats and aggression when she saw that no one was going to do that anymore. She really found a comfortable place in the atmosphere of discipline in my home.

Her father’s observation during a family reunion in our family house in the village a few months later was that she was no longer hot-tempered but was lovelier. Her father also observed that she was more malleable and happier. Her parents must have also wondered at how she could obey the instructions I humbly and calmly gave. The fact that my gentle disciplinary measures such as a frowning at a wrong behaviour or rebuke could work with her was beyond their comprehension.

The adoption of any parenting approach is a choice. The right and effective approach works well with children of all races, tribes, religion and background. It is never too late to embrace it.

 

-Uchenna N. Nduka