I once observed a father who was very cantankerous with threats of aggression while he gave instructions to his ten-year-old boy. He was someone I could talk to, so when the child left, I engaged him in a discussion on the propriety of what he just did. I explained that over time, his child would be trained to respond only to the severity of such threats. I also mentioned that the development of his feelings, logical reasoning, conscience and communication skills would be stunted if he grows up to only respond to threats of violence. I went ahead to give him examples of how he could have given that boy the instructions firmly, peacefully and effectively. When he became convinced that what he did was wrong, he made a confessional statement.
“The problem I have is that I am too hot-tempered,” he said.
This statement opened up another dimension in our parenting discussion.
“Do you desire that your children would become hot-tempered?” I asked.
“No! You don’t have to ask. Of course I don’t!” was his instant response.
“Then you have to necessarily deal with issue of your temperament otherwise, your children will likely pick it, especially if you have a close parenting relationship with them,” I finally admonished.
Regular readers of the passion in parenting blog will recall that one of the hallmarks of a healthy parenting relationship is that parents are role-models of the discipline that they want to achieve in their children. Where a parent or any other person who plays prominent roles in a child’s parenting process portrays undesirable behavioural traits, he or she would become a channel of impurity into the parenting process. Purifying the parenting process will involve ensuring that the parenting environment and instruments are saturated with virtues that the child would feed on and are devoid of pollutants in the proper atmosphere of discipline.
All those who are involved in the divine parenting task should therefore prayerfully desire and work towards getting it right with themselves. The parenting process would become purer if parents would first do a sincere self-examination and be purged of all undesirable behaviour(s) so that they can truly model the right behavioural traits.
-Uchenna N. Nduka