You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2021 12 17Article 1426186

Opinions of Friday, 17 December 2021

Columnist: Kordson Ayrakwa

Parenting adolescent children

Parents should be more aware and understanding of the challenges their children go through Parents should be more aware and understanding of the challenges their children go through

According to Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, “I don’t think it matters how many parents you’ve got, as long as those who are around make their presence a good one.”

While Resse Witherspoon argues that, “I feel very blessed to have two wonderful, healthy children who keep me completely grounded, sane and throw up on my shoes just before I go to an awards show just so I know to keep it real.”

But, as our children grow up, we expect them to be more responsible and accountable for the different kinds of decisions and choices they make. We're particularly cognizant of the fact that we have given them good guidance, direction, and preparation in this area that, if they do listen to us, they will not fall prey to any challenges beyond their capacities to manage or overcome any obstacles or problems that confront them. But, paradoxically, even with all these wonderful preparations and directions they sometimes circum to these tendencies and challenges of life.

What then as parents can we do to help our children stay clear of these challenges to overcome these distractions in life.

According to Matthew Jacobson “Behind every young child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first.” In this regard, we can pray for them that, the Lord will guide and direct them toward the right path, particularly eschewing the company of bad friends that could lead them into trouble.

We could put them into training programs, which could teach them self-discipline, self-development, believing in themselves, have faith, setting goals and working hard to achieve them.

We can talk or work with them to identify their strength and weaknesses and opportunities they can take advantage of to improve themselves and work hard to overcome these challenges. In the words of the former first lady of the United States - Lady Bird Johnson “Encourage and support your kids because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” Gary Smalley also stresses that "Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.”

We could put them into sports. Sports teaches the children to be disciplined, how to persevere, be dedicated, focused, build strong and positive relationships, be organized, have good behavior and work in teams to achieve their goals or objectives.

We could also put them into mentorship programs where they can learn new
skills to develop their technical know-how and innate qualities that, can help them explore other hidden potentials that have not been developed which can enhance their lives for jobs, networks and opportunities for growth and development. And indeed, learning and personal empowerment over time.

Cultural development and knowledge about their heritage, food, language, practices, code of ethics and behavior can accentuate the process for balanced education that can play a pivotal role in shaping their understanding of the environment in which they live and develop strategies to cope and conform to meaningful principles that can set them for progress, hope and greater achievement, leadership and dynamism geared toward positive outcomes or results.

The role of social media, music and peer pressure in influencing the behavior patterns of our children cannot be over-emphasized. Be it as the facts may be, the outcomes have not been very positive.

That being said, adolescence is a tumultuous time in the lives of our children. Parents should be more aware and understanding of these challenges in their children and be humble, more caring and empathetic towards their plight. Be ready to speak truth to power and challenge themselves to the fact that, guardianship or parenting in it self, is by grace and a miracle yet to be received and a battle of writs and a great determination of the soul, mind, body and spirit and perhaps certeris paribus, The absolute arbiter for victory. And yet, “Parenting without a sense of humor is like being an accountant who sucks at math.” — Amber Dusick.