I feel for today’s kids, I really do. The other day at work, I took a frantic phone call from one of my teenage friends.
Breathing heavily into my ears and filled with rage, I listened to how a simple situation had been blown out of proportion.
Signs you are a controlling parent
- It’s your way or no other way.
- You have all the answers.
- You like the sound of your own voice
- You are a dictator and your kids are afraid of you.
- Your kids inwardly have no respect for you, and occasionally show it.
- You prefer to shout, scream and are incapable of having a conversation with your kids.
They do say it takes two to tango, so I’ll balance this piece up.
Indicators you are a silly child
- You like to create drama and get on your parents nerves.
- You often pull your parents emotional strings just so you can have your own way.
- You think you know, and that gives you the license to square up with your parents.
- You believe you are getting older, and freedom means you no longer need control.
- You’ve reached puberty, which is a sign that you are now an adult.
- You think you are in a no win situation, so you’ve become deaf and blind to your parents.
Since we can’t choose our family, it’s a safe and Godly option to learn how to live with them. My experience with my teenage friend helped me to realise that, methods need to change if we want a desired result. So here we go!
Sample Management Methods for Parents
Don’t make a fuss: If you want your child to get something done, focus on the task and not when it was done. Does it really matter if they tidied up their room on Saturday, when you wanted it done on Wednesday? Don’t sweat the unnecessary stuff.
Relax your mind: Yes! There are gangs, murderers, rapists, drug dealers and the like out there. But why think your child will be captured by them? Prayer works wonders for anxious parents and sets a covering of protection over their kids. Pray more and worry less. Ordering them to stay indoors, refusing to let them out, choosing friends for them, will only build up resentment.
Put yourself in their shoes: Think back to when you were young. Of course you don’t want them to make the same mistakes you did, but don’t be so focused on preventing mistakes that you neglect showing them the good and lively aspects of growing up. What you want is a confident child who is ready to take on the challenges the world has to offer. Over pampering, over sheltering, over protection and harshness will get you nowhere, and will only damage your kids.
Home is where the heart is: Chickens leave the nest but come back home to roost. If your children feel loved and home is a comfortable haven, they are more likely to have a sense of belonging. If the reverse is the case however, they will constantly feel the need to leave or runaway. This isn’t good for either party because the home forms a major part of childhood memories. Instead of filling it with regret and bitter resentment, try your best to make home a wonderful memory for your children.
Strike the right balance: Know there is a difference between punishment and torture, while there is a line between correction and verbal cruelty. To be on the safe side, equate discipline with the age of the child and the severity of the misdemeanour.
Sample Management Methods for Kids
Explore other communication channels: If you can’t get through to your parents, send them an email. In it, politely state your case and present a logical argument with an emotional appeal. This prevents an open confrontation which is bound to spill into something ugly.
Be reasonable: If you want to go to that party, sleepover etc. respect the set curfew. If you have to be back at 8pm when the excitement is just starting, grin and bear it. On the other hand, see it as an opportunity to build your parents trust. Maybe if they see you can be trusted and keep your word, they’ll let you out longer next time?
Be conscious: You are growing adult with your whole life ahead of you. Begin to build up yourself from the very start. I was shocked when Neal our university apprentice at work told me he doesn’t drink alcohol and doesn’t intend to. Curious I asked why. His response, “I want to be a black role model, set up my own charity providing opportunities for black teenagers in London.” Know what you want, make a plan, take steps to get there.
Believe the best: Instead of feeling caged and controlled by rules, learn to see rules as a guide for your journey in life. Parents have a duty by God to raise their children in a Godly way. Being conscious of this fact, some may get carried away and over do things. Also if your parents weren’t pleased with their growing up years, they may see their kids as a second chance to get things right. It’s a kind of tough love.
Family is everything: Cherish the moments. I mean the arguments, fights, tears etc. It won’t last for ever. It was after my father died that I actually began to miss our disagreements. It all became quiet and daddy wasn’t there anymore to pull strings with. Parents don’t live forever, so remember to live. laugh. love.
Love is all around: I guess every parent believes their kids will always be kids and not adults. Perhaps this is the basis of the struggle? Wanting to assert your adulthood to parents who will always view you as a kid? Well, as hard as it sounds, this is usually the case, consider it a kind of parental love. You won’t understand it until you have kids yourself.
There is no hard and fast rule to being a good parent or being an obedient child. We just have to try, fail, try again, fail some more, change our methods……and hopefully get it right.
Recipe for a happy home
- 4 cups of love
- 2 lbs of loyalty
- 3 cups of forgiveness
- 5 spoonfuls of hope
- 2 tbsp of caring
- 2 ounces of faith
- 1 pinch of laughter