THE NEED TO TIGHTEN UP FAMILY RULES AND STRUCTURE FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF YOUR CHILD
BY CHUCKS DOMINIC MORSI
I started this discussion from my last week article – suggesting that good parenting is great gain. In our society today, the task of training children is becoming almost as difficult as the head of a camel passing through the eye of a needle and dealing with adult youth problems could be very tricky too. But setting better limits can be a part of solution to youth’s crucial problems.
Limits and rules are critical in the development of safety, growth and fulfillment of individuals or any group of people. No segment of society can function properly without appropriate structures and rules. For instance, a country without rules will experience discord, chaos and total breakdown of law and order.
I remember some years ago when Somalia had a chaotic society because they had no central government after the war. Everyone became a government and lord of himself. There were factions and confusions here and there. You can imagine that type of society then! Similarly, if a classroom had no rules, students will misbehave and little learning will occur. If a community operated without rules it would cease to be a safe place to live in. Likewise, in a family where there’s no standing rules to be obeyed, there will be rebellion and outright disobedience.
Therefore, within the family setting, there must be proper set of family rules that are based on your family values. If you don’t have any yet, begin to create one. Times are changing, horrific things are happening everywhere with our youths. Bad influences are overwhelming them, and if we are not careful to guide them, the tide of the new age might soon sweep them away. Child loss to the society is a child that might not be recovered any time soon. And what you refuse to teach them now, society is ready to teach them later. If your adult youth is usually responsible and generally uses good judgment, you will probably only need to have a few rules.
However, if you are dealing with difficult or defiant youth, you are already familiar with the need for defined structure which might likely help them pull through. Now, many of our youths who are hooked on drugs, young girls who are “run girls” as our local parlance has labeled them, you need to find the right approach to help them out. One of the very important method or preventive measure you must apply is, no who they associate with. What kind of friends do they keep? What kind of places do they visit or hangout? What kind of parties or other activities do they engage in? Once you are able to determine these things, it then becomes easier for you to monitor or mentor them.
Every child need counseling. Every child needs a shoulder to lean on. Those left unguided must surely have one or two evil associations that might corrupt their good manners. As a parent, your duty is to ensure that you personally take into cognizance everything that concerns your child. You must need to have some clear rules in very important areas of their lives.
For instance, if you have a child that is still teen and he or she is in school, you must on regular bases ensure that they complete their daily homework and obtaining weekly assessment progress report. You don’t need to wait to see until the end of the semester (which is usually three months period) to see whether your child is doing well in their academics or not. Learn to set positive rules and create structures (like I have already said) that will aid your child along the way, and maximize their chances of becoming successful in their various endeavour.
When you provide the right environment for your child, it gives and provides this kind of sense of belonging and in a greater measure, makes them feel secured and protected. The earlier you get involved in knowing your child’s problems, the better the chances of providing them with solution. Every child needs that reassurance that a parent is there watching their back. That is the more reason why you must not leave the responsibility of child upbringing in the hands of Sunday school teacher in your church or their regular teachers at school. Disobedience, fighting and quarrelling is synonymous with difficult youths who find it cheap to do the wrong things without remorse or any sense of guilt. And this kind of people in our society today is overwhelming.
The Bible said in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. Child training is existentially important. And the way you train up your child today will determine what he grows up to become tomorrow. There’s no magic about it.
According to Michael Pearl “The root of all sin is found in the runaway indulgence of God-given desires. Before he can DECIDE to do good (or well), his parents must (first) CONDITION him to do good”. That’s child training. The most effective modeling for training up a child is allowing them to unfold their inner character and by that, you find what may be suitable solution to their peculiar problems.
On that note, Helen Keller agrees that “Education should train the child to use his brain, to make for himself”. Education in this context may not necessarily mean classroom indoctrination but those words of wisdom from an illiterate parent and when applied by a child could go a long way to creating a positive path for such a child. Charity, they say begins at home and so child training must start from the home front. Many of the defiant youths we see today on the streets with heavy tattoos, earrings, sagging and doing all sorts of evil things were perhaps people that were ill-advised.
However, if we start to reset their mindset using preventive rules such as homework, chores, and good-dress- sense, grooming, type of friends and or dating, that will help us to guide them through on the process of avoiding unwanted pregnancy for your girl-child. To also help to prevent the devastating effect hard drugs is having on our youths today; we must take care of the small things we must have neglected yesterday. Once that is done, those avoidable problems crucial with the youths will begin to take care of it-self. And please make sure that when you are setting rules and limits for that child, care must be taken to ensure that, the rules are well spelt out and well understood.
Secondly, monitor the rules to the end and ensure there is total compliance. You must not enforce a rule today and stop tomorrow but you must rather be consistent with it and moreover, for any offence committed by your child and it is punishable, use effective punishment measures as deterrents. As a parent, we must provide a safety net for our children by monitoring their behavior. Don’t forget to understand that how much the monitoring of a child (whether boy or girl) depends on how much monitoring is required. But please do not over do things.
Many a time, a child that is overprotected, often turn out to become a worse child as soon as he becomes independent. Before your child becomes a full- fledged youth, make them understand that you are monitoring their behaviors and by that, they will not feel offended with some of your actions on them.
Again, it will create this kind of incentive in them to follow the set rules because they have come to understand that mommy and daddy is watching over their behaviours and pattern. And that is key to recovery them really quick before the society have them. And eventually, the devil gets permanent hold on them just to steal their joy and enthusiasm, kill and destroy their soul. What a tragedy that would be!