Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How Parents Create Their Own Monsters

"Charity begins at home". I heard that statement right from when I was a baby till I was a young adult and till now, I still hear it. When I was younger, I rolled my eyes whenever I heard that statement not in the presence of my parents else I would have received many slaps in such quick succession that I may have started to doubt my location so I only rolled my eyes when I was in the confinements of my room ALONE!

Recently, I was having a discussion with my friends about parenting and how some children turn out the way they do and we came to the conclusion that parents create the monsters in their children.Here are some of the things parents are doing wrong.

  • Giving Your Child Everything: This may not sound so bad especially when you can afford everything but belive me, it is one of the many reasons children evolve into monsters. As a parent, you should be able to draw the line between wants and needs. Give 100% of needs and nothing more than 50% of wants. Why? To teach your child they can't always have everything! These days, I see children and even some of my colleagues walking around like the world owes them and must fall at their feet and attend to their every need. All I can say is they are in for a rude awakening; mummy and daddy won't be there forever to save them.
  • Fighting for Your Child: Every parent must fight for their children when the children are helpless but in some cases, as a parent, you must learn to just let your child go through the same situation as their colleagues. I am referring to parents that go to schools to yell at and fight with teachers for giving their children detention or extra homework for bad behaviour. YOU ARE NOT HELPING YOUR CHILD. Your child will grow up feeling he or she should be exempted from taking responsibility for any bad behaviour and believe me, it will come and bite you in the butt!!! If you make your child feel like he or she is more important than everyone, hence he or she is untouchable, you are in for a horrible treat when that child becomes a teenager. It's not rocket science; what you put in your child is what that child will give back to you.
  • Not Being Realistic With Your Child: Some parents tend to create a fantasy world for their children; this again is not a bad thing but it becomes a problem when you refuse to let your child know that you are financially strained and can't afford anything. I had a chat with a 6 year old girl once about what she wanted for her birthday. She said she wanted a fancy cell phone. I jokingly asked "what if mummy can't afford it?" Her response was simple "Well, she'll have to beg people for the money because I want a phone!" Ok. I just took a deep breath. Parents being realistic with your children doesn't mean you love them any less!It actually teaches them to be more understanding when you have to say no to certain requests and makes them realize that is the reality of the life they live in!
  • Not Curbing Bad Traits: I always say you can detect selfishness, conceit, betrayal and many other undesirable traits while children are young and that's the best time to curb them. Some parents let situations slide over their heads without dealing with them heads-on. A friend once told me that while she was young, her mother had gone to get some groceries. She unpacked them happily with her mother and said at some point "if I was the only child, all this would be mine right?" Her mother smiled and said "Of course". I thought to myself "HELLOOOO... why would any mother think it's right for her child to utter such a statement. Did she not hear the undertone of selfishness. I don't need to tell you how she turned out. I'm sure you can guess. Parents, you need to STOP certain traits before they become habits your children live with. If you detect any undesirable characteristic, don't say "He's just a child" or "she doesn't know any better", deal with it it immediately!
  • Letting Your Child Sway You Always: Sometimes I think some parents are scared to have a debate with their children and actually win because they don't want to deal with a sulking child or a tantrum. Well, learn this today; Whatever your child says is not the gospel so don't treat it as such. When you say NO, stick with NO! She may scream all she wants and He can bang all the doors if He wishes but let your word be final. By the way, teaching your children respect for elders including yourself will not lead to tantrums! They might sulk; well, which child doesn't? Don't let your children see you as a leaf on the river, being carried wherever the lake flows with no sense of direction of its own!
Sometimes I think some parents are so eager to be friends with their children, they forget to be parents. You can be a parent and be the whole package! In every parent, there should be a friend, an enforcer, a disciplinarian and a prayer warrior.



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