May 4, 2023
There comes a time in your parenting journey when your child becomes your gist partner, playmate, PA, co-decision maker, and lots more.
At this stage you find yourself discussing with them as you would with fellow adults, you seek their opinion before taking decisions, and at times you make long-distance phone calls just to know what they have to say about a matter.
More interestingly, being seen in public with them gives you special joy. And you are excited to introduce them to whoever cares to know. You will always say proudly: “That’s my son/daughter”.
It feels good…..
Unfortunately, this period is when many parents and children go their separate ways. They disagree over everything, quarrel over nothing, step on each other’s toes incessantly, bear grudges with each other every now and then, and ultimately part ways.
There seems to be a kind of power tussle between such parents and their children as the youngsters grow older. My beloved fathers and mothers, it ought not to be so!
Let nothing come between you and your children at the point where they are getting more exposed to the wider world and taking important life decisions.
Do not allow social media, celebrities, fashion, personal ambitions, societal norms, religious beliefs and practices, etc., to take your children away from you.
The more they get exposed to people and situations outside the home, the more you should plot out ways to draw them closer to yourself and impart the positive values you have gotten from life experiences to them, thereby helping them to become more successful adults than you are.
– Recognize and respect their views about issues of life, which may be different from yours.
– Engage them in dialogues, and resist the temptation to issue instructions and standing orders.
– The more you diplomatically allow them to win some grounds, the easier it becomes to “control” them. But when you insist on being in charge of all fronts, you may end up losing all.
– No matter how totally submissive your children were when they were much younger, expect some measure of resistance once they step into their teen years. There is nothing unusual about this as it’s part of normal growth and development, but the way you manage it as a parent makes all the difference.
If you try to be an overbearing or neglectful parent,  you may lose the joy of enjoying your child’s friendship.
– There are wars you will never win with your children once they have gotten to a certain age in their lives, no matter how hard you try. If you are not careful in handling such issues you may end up estranging them the more.
More still…
Prayer never fails, so the most effective parenting principle every parent shouldn’t overlook is heartfelt prayer.
Intentionally pray for each child according to their individual needs and your expectations of them. Pray when things are awesome and continue praying when they are awful.
Learn to forgive and rebuild friendship and trust very fast. Don’t allow negative feelings to linger between you and your child.
Note: the moment your child locks you out of his/her life, they replace you with someone or something else, almost immediately. Don’t allow that to happen.
Finally, understand that there comes a time when you must let your child go, no matter how much both of you cherish each other’s company/friendship.
Letting them go does not mean that you cease being the parent, it means that you should become more passive in their lives. Reduce your level of influence, allow them to discover themselves, bond with themselves and then with their spouse so that they can build their own families.
Know when to step aside, and watch from the sideline to see the outcome of your parenting efforts in their lives.
I pray that you and your child will be the best of friends till it’s time for you to release them to start their own lives.
Uzuazor E.O
Admin Officer @ Daystar Nursery and Primary School.

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