A Question of Parenting! Reply

A Question of Parenting!

Between Us Only!

Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the activity of raising a child rather than the biological relationships. The experiences, skills, qualities and responsibilities involved in being a parent and in teaching, raising and caring for a child. The activities involved in being a good parent and bringing up children.

Last week I read this article by a famed local writer about the problems of teenagers behaviours  – and especially now with the advent of summer and the closing of schools – and when the problem only gets worse! This is the time when and and where behaviours, attitudes and approaches  are at its lowest levels! Every year we face the same situations and scenarios – and apart of the fact that we all talk about it nothing much has changed or gets done! Admittedly, those of us in glass houses should not throw stones – because we are all part
and parcel of the problem by our inactions, by default and inadvertently – rather than the solution!

We apportion the same blame and excuses – such as the times now are hard and the need for both parents to work to make ends meet! We find excuses in the work environments and situations being exceedingly wild with fish eat fish scenarios – the lack of appreciations – blame and accusing cultures and environments – lack of job securities – and lack of transparencies, accountabilities, ethics, principles and professionalisms.

Yet one sees children of hardworking both parents that are well mannered, cultured,
well-behaved, modest and forthcoming. Adversely one sees children from supposed to be well off parents that misbehave badly – aggressive and rude – and destructive too! Ironically the same can be said of some children of parents from poorer families (money-wise) and who should know better in giving their children the aids and support required for their children to have a fighting-chance in this world. At one time many of us used to think that expatriate children were better trained and mentored – but we see now increased cases of them joining the legions too! It is a crazy mad world out there!

In the past we used to find our main excuses that unalike driving no one had given us tutorials
and lessons in getting married, being parents and raising our children.  But with the advent of the Internet, even with that baby still in mother’s womb – one can find thousands of thousands of websites in different regions and languages on parenting! Actually it is a subject and topic highly covered in the Internet. Just try it in the search engines – and put “parenting” and see what you get!

One time long ago when we came first time to Oman, our Arabic Instructor (non-Omani himself) told us to avoid certain television channels, programmes and serials – because they encouraged the break-up of the families – and our right way of raising children. These programmes were not conducive in the proper raising of our children and their future and destiny! As parents we cannot get any excuse of what our children watch – read – and or more importantly have as friends – because bad friends and elements are the main cause of mislaid behaviours and characteristics.

Today as parents we are afraid to discipline our children especially in front of others – because they may let us down and disgrace us in front of them. Yet our parents did not think twice of disciplining us in front of the wife and the family. Our grandparents could even beat us in front of others – even if married and with children!. By each coming time and decades there is more fear and concerns in the future generations to come! The same goes in discipline – to our elders and those in Authority too! So what has changed?

When a 2-year-old throws a tantrum, she relies on her parents to soothe her and teach her that tantrums are unacceptable. But when a teen loses control, society is not always so
forgiving. We hold teens to a higher standard of self-control and expect them to behave better and to calm themselves down. One of the most important skills you can teach your daughter or son is self-control. Respect others – and their properties – including public ones too! It is a parental survival skill.

Parents who can master their own emotions and responses often enjoy successful professional and personal relationships – which they can pass on successfully to their off springs!. This also holds true of your personal biases, prejudices, envies, jealousies and  bad individualism – children hear copy and emulate!

Ironically, learning self-control often grows out of conflict. So the next time you find yourself locking horns with your teen, take consolation in the fact that it’s a perfect teaching moment.
Children must learn that negative, aggressive and dishonest behaviors are unacceptable. They will model their behaviour after your behaviour. If you become agitated and angry while talking with or disciplining your teen, he or she will do the same. Or most likely he may take it on others – and the society at large! With wanton destructive consequences!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

July 7th 2011