Stop trying to bend them and focus more on trying to mold them

One of the most dreaded period parents sometimes try to avoid is that time when their ‘baby girl or baby boy’ starts to grow up and starts making independent decisions as a young adult. Most parents get intimidated feeling their child is becoming rebellious because inevitably they begin to disagree on several issues as the child begins to think, see and imagine things from his/her perspective contrary to that of their parents, hence prone to frequent arguments.

Frankly, I’ve watched this play out in many homes, lol, let’s not go too far, I for one went through that stage. I was growing a mind of my own so fast my dad thought I was becoming a rebel. But when we found a common ground that changed with time.

See, the problem most times is a small word we call- UNDERSTANDING. When this very crucial element is absent, there’ll be no chemistry between you and that teenager/young adult. This right here is the same reason why kids actually rebel, they soon become distant and out of your reach and whatever relationship you had soon bears the past tag. You hear them say things like “they don’t get it, they’ll never understand, I can’t tell them! mehn leave mom and dad out of this” and then you become a ceremonial figure(parent) because they no longer love or look forward to sharing things with you. They gradually begin to find solace elsewhere and this my friend becomes THE GENESIS OF THE EXODUS.

Let’s take a look at the two very familiar words we have as our focus words ‘nurture’ and ‘break’.

There’s something about these two words, they almost are the same but trust me the similarity is in the difference. Most parents in the process of trying to train, nurse, nurture their child tend to break them. For instance, liken a child to a nursery where you have to grow tress or plants. At first you have the responsibility of watering the seeds, then providing support till they can stand. You will have to do most of the work while they’re still taking form because as soon as they become trees, they can no more be shaped with ease. So this fear takes a hold of most parents and they try to ‘bend’ the child (tree) when already they have taken form and in the process break them.

Truth be told, the best time to nurture a child (tree) is when it’s still a seed or when he or she is still growing. When you cannot establish a relationship with them or imbibe in them whatever nature, idea, character or principle you’d like them to have at this initial stage, it’ll be most difficulty to do so later on.

I hear African parents say “na my pikin im no go fit grow pass me” which means ‘a child cannot grow beyond his parents’ and also recite an adage that says “no matter how tall an Iroko tree grows, it can never grow taller than its planter” True! Because the farmer wields a cutlass and can cut down the tree zany he so wishes but then again, he’s lost a beautiful tree.

Please parents, do all you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to so you don’t start looking for a backup plan of bending that child. Teach them and help them make the right choices. Help them find their path, don’t try to force them into a path they don’t want for themselves. And when you see them doing everything you taught them via words or actions, please know they are growing up and don’t feel threatened.