The fact that enduring relationships are built and sustained on love and understanding is as much of a truth in parenting relationships as it is in all others including relationship with a spouse, in-laws, neighbours, colleagues in the office and classmates. Love weaves the hearts of different individuals together towards the achievement of shared feelings and values as well as common perceptions and understanding of issues and events. Since the hearts and minds drive people’s actions and inaction, healthy relationships must necessarily be fed with the right blend of love, understanding, forgiveness and clarity of explanation and expectations.
It is easy to spot when things go wrong in a relationship. Lovely feelings are attacked and faults and offences are exposed. Intentions and expectations are misunderstood and wrongly communicated. One wrong action by one person may spark off a vicious cycle of many wrong actions. The respective hearts are drawn apart when the strands of love that wove them together are loosened. No wonder words that were previously gentle and clear would become very loud and yet very unclear.
Frequent yelling at a child is a common symptom of an unhealthy parenting relationship. It usually shows how very far away the hearts and minds of the parent and the child are from each other. It is indicative of the training need on the part of the parent, and the parenting vacuum that exists in the life of the child. Such parenting relationships may even hit the rocks at a point leaving the child without any parental guidance. I have met many of such parents at the point when they have become dazed and disillusioned because they could not understand why their ‘efforts’ could not achieve the desired discipline in their children.
Adults in passionate parenting relationships are ‘braces of endless love’. They are passionate parents who give priority and attention to all issues concerning the children they nurture. They are great parents who uphold and skilfully establish godly standards of behaviour in their children. Passionate parents devote time to interact well and positively with their children. Children raised in such relationships do not just respond to force and threat, but are willing to engage in dialogue in interpersonal relationships. Such admirable parenting relationships are easy to spot because children are usually cooperative, even when clear instructions are calmly and faithfully given.
It is then obvious that yelling as a communication strategy cannot find a place in a healthy parenting relationship because it is ineffective in achieving enduring results and causes resentment. Effective communication is the preferred approach. Communication is usually effective in a serene and lovely environment where children enjoy the confidence of their parents, who talk freely with them applying good listening and persuasion abilities.
-Uchenna N. Nduka