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