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Do They Still Listen?

Compiled by Angela Mutiso

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure. Victor E. Frankl.” Parenting is not a subject of study or a talent that can be learned in the 21st century. It is your affection and mutual understanding for your children.

We once asked a mutual friend how her children were doing in the elite school they had recently enrolled them in. Naturally, the assumption is that élite schools are the best. However, in this case, our friend regretfully confessed that she felt she should never have taken her kids out of the good private schools they were in. Why is that? We pressed on.

What followed was a long explanation about how the perceptions of her teenagers had changed after they joined these schools. She expounded disappointedly that she was no longer able to control them as she used to, and they were not willing to help with house chores.

Before these changes, they’d unwearyingly helped with house work. Now they’d lazy around the house for hours, switching channels on TV as their ever busy mum cleaned up. She attributed this debauched behavior to the new lifestyle they had been exposed to after their father got a better-paying job that catered for their school fees. And it was not just the school that was a problem, the children no longer wanted to live in their ‘mediocre’ house.

Do some distinguished schools alter children’s character in this way?

Pressure to fit it in plays an important role. It extends to new social places, new friends and new accommodation.So should we bin the habit? Not all elite schools trigger this inexcusable behavior. In fact, many don’t. It is however necessary for parents to make their offspring understand what is expected of them even when their circumstances change.

What is best for your children?

Lillian’s dilemma
Lillian was scheduled to go to university but did not want to leave her children under anyone’s care. Her excitement at being invited to join a prestigious institution had been marred by the possibility of entrusting someone else to bring up her one year old twins. Lillian considered deferring her admission,but her mother assured her that she was ready to raise these children in the village where she lived with Lillian’s late sister’s youngsters aged seven and five.

This proposal did not appeal to Lillian. She did not like her mother’s taming hand. Besides, she had made it clear that there would be no spoon-feeding; she was going to make sure the children understood that life was not easy. This doubting daughter did not realize how fiercely determined her mother was to avoid the mistakes her own parents had made bringing up their last born daughter, her sister, who was ten years younger than the sibling before her.

Her mother wanted her grand-children to be resilient. She wanted them to understand that life was not a bed of roses, but at the same time shield them from the very harsh side of village life. It was clear that mum’s noble appeal could not be ignored. Grandma wanted these youngsters to be more interactive and to avoid getting absorbed with computer games, mobile phones and other gadgets that, in her view, made them unfriend

Lillian rapidly came to the unescapable conclusion that loosening her grip and heading to college was the best solution under the circumstances. Her concern, was that her kids would be under constant pressure to do house chores.She had hoped to make them enjoy higher amenities of the good life and get a house help to do all the work. In the end though, her mother carried the day, and the children turned out just fine. What would you have done? This is a predicament many parents find themselves in.

There are so many lessons parents fail to give their children these days. Many believe in spoiling them and giving them everything they need as long as they can afford it. One thing is for sure though; your children need quality time with you. Give it to them. What do others say about bringing up daughters and sons? Richard Strachan provides some good advice on how to bring up your daughter in Quora; (a social question-and-answer website based in Mountain View, California…

Users can collaborate by editing questions and commenting on answers that have been submitted by other users- Wikipedia). He speaks on a wide range of issues, as you read on, you realize that the advice he gives here, is good for people of all ages. Here are excerpts from his counsel which can help us all to grow everyday… Make your bed every day, even if it’s right before you get in it. Travel light through life. Keep only what you need.

It’s okay to cry when you’re hurt. It’s also okay to smash (some) things; but, wash your face, clean your mess, and get up off the floor when you’re done. You don’t belong down there. If you’re going to curse, be clever. If you’re going to curse in public, know your audience. Seek out the people and places that resonate with your soul. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Happiness is not a permanent state. Wholeness is. Don’t confuse these.

He goes on to say that if you’re staying more than one night, unpack your bag. Never walk through an alley alone.Be less sugar, more spice, and only as nice as you’re able to without compromising yourself. Hold your heroes to a high standard. Be your own hero. He notes that if you can’t smile with your eyes, don’t smile. Insincerity is nothing to aspire to. Remember that you should never lie to yourself, your body; your rules.

If you have an opinion, you better know why, practice your passions, and ask for what you want. The worst thing they can say is no. He counsels; wish on stars and dandelions, then get to work to make them happen. Also, stay as sweet as you are and fall in love often… particularly with ideas, art, music, literature, food and far-off places. In addition, fall hard and forever in love with nothing but yourself.

Say Please, thank you, and pardon me, whenever the situation warrants it. Reserve “I’m sorry” for when you truly are and don’t forget, naps are for grown-ups, as well. Question everything, except your own intuition. He says believe you have enough; you are enough and that you are amazing! Don’t let anyone ever make you feel you are not.

If someone does….walk away. You deserve better. Know that no matter where you are, you can always come home. Be happy and remember your roots, family is everything. Also, say what you mean and mean what you say. Know that no one will ever love you more than I do. Be kind; treat others how you would like them to treat you. If in doubt, remember whose daughter you are and straighten your crown.

Meanwhile, on how to bring up a boy, baby centre advises that you should, give him responsibility, let him show his emotions, give him plenty of physical affection, and don’t try to shut down his high-revving engine. Also, don’t worry if he isn’t acting masculine enough, give him chances to polish his social skills, make music part of his life and encourage his interests. They conclude that you should get involved at school and praise the positive.

Parenting Challenges in the 21st Century

It is unfortunate that in our time, parents hardly have time for their children. But it is important to make time to interact with children growing up in the technological age. It is necessary at a young age to inculcate good habits in children, encourage them every day, don’t show your anger in front of them and make communication a priority. Baabeetv.com says by far, the best thing you can do to boost your kids’ attitude is to spend time with them separately every day. This includes giving them the favorable attention and sentimental connection they’re hard-wired to require.

As they get older, this will motivate them to settle conflicts. If you have to get involved, don’t pick
sides; instead, ask them questions that will help them and come up with a solution that will satisfy everyone.

When they don’t have that favorable attention, they will seek out attention in unfavorable ways, and outcomes will be severe. Also, other discipline methods won’t work in that situation. Aim for some fixed time a day per kid and you’ll see measurable advancement almost shortly. The most remarkable thing you can do as a positive parent is to support your children in solving problems on their own. As they get older, this will motivate them to settle conflicts.

If you have to get involved, don’t pick sides; instead, ask them questions that will help them and come up with a solution that will satisfy everyone. At any age a child needs individualized, unwavering love and care. If they don’t experience the necessary level of compassion or they believe they aren’t getting enough attention, they could feel rejected and have other psychological problems like low selfesteem, inferiority complex, etc.

Ensure that your children are close to other family members, this will help with discipline and create a good interactive environment going forward. Remember, a lenient, permissive parenting style is the key contributor to pampered kids. Extremely permissive parents might not impose any restrictions or rules. Children will grow spoilt if their parents give them too much authority.

These parents shield the youngster from normal frustrations as well. They need to go through some
rocky patches as they navigate life to make them resilient, caring and responsible. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

By far, the best thing you can do to boost your kids’ attitude is to spend time with them
separately every day

The writer is an editorial consultant with the accountant Journal.


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