‘Train up your child in the way he should grow so that when he’s old he will not depart’ that’s parents favorite quote. In the western world, child parent relationship is so liberal in the sense a child is able to tell his/her parent virtually anything at all without any fear of a reproach from the parent. That has so many advantages cause the child doesn’t hide anything from you and the parent is able to connect to the deepest thoughts of that child but then it has caused so many damages as the child is so free he/she takes this freedom for granted and become so rebellious when their needs or wants are not granted. Now let’s come to the African setting where it’s totally a different ball game. You see a child from 2years old already knows what’s coming when he commits an offense. So he/she grows with that mentality that anytime I do something wrong I get the beating of my life so he avoids such situations. African parents instill fear into the minds of their child not creating a relationship. By the time the child grows up he begins to keep things away from the parents causing that disparity where the parents knows virtually nothing about the child’s deepest feelings, joy and sad moments. That instinct to speak up openly has been killed right from birth by the parent. That’s why you see a child today who is very shy and timid not because he doesn’t know what to say or how to say it but it’s because of the training he’s got from home. Relating with people becomes a problem for that child.
In most cases, the father is the most feared perhaps that’s a man’s nature to be hard but I’ve seen some fathers who are very cheerful and open hearted to their children. For some people, their mother is their best friend. Generally, the parents should be able to strike a balance on when and when not to react toward the child. Make the child feel he could tell you everything but let him also know you’re the parent and he needs to respect that. That way he’s able to tell you his thoughts speak out when he’s supposed to and give you your respect as a parent. If the parents can’t come to this reality then we’ll keep having problems in our society. Children are gifts from God and should be treated as such. How you treat a child today will determine how the child will run his own family tomorrow. For me, my dad and I may never get along maybe a different story with my mum but I’ve come to terms with that and I’ve been moving on that way although sometimes I would love to tell him some things. I learned so many things from my mum cause I was always able to go to her and express my thoughts. Is that your own story today? Who do you connect with the most? Mum or Dad? Tell us.
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