Saturday, 28 September 2013

Thought Picnic: Try a little tenderness to the children

It ought not to be so
As I came of out the station on Sunday on my way back from church, I heard a raised voice, a curt statement and then some threatening gesturing.
It was a mother to a child, a child probably no older than 7, probably born in England but with parents possibly born in Nigeria of the Yoruba tribe because she spoke almost too unkindly to her son in tones that left disconcerted.
I felt for the boy, she scolded him more like an animal than with intelligible consideration that might have come from learning differently from the way and the environments in which our parents brought us up.
We are not learning
There seems to be no evolution between generations for many parents today who have not integrated into the new societies they now reside in considering their wards are in no way conversant with the foreign cultural settings their parents come from.
I have constantly written about child-parent conflicts that result from this lack of appreciation of the setting, circumstance and situation where we are tempted to think the ghettoised communities we set up in Diaspora in our localities, our religious meeting places and our friendships we have, can substitute for living in our indigenous local communities back home.
Giving some attention
Nothing could be further from the truth, this is most evident in the matter of child rearing, and discipline where age-old methods given significance by scripture lifted out of context allows for the coarse word, the whip hand, and the serving of pain and restraints on freedom as a means to moderate behaviour.
Another thing is an understanding of who our kids are, their personalities and character, their hopes and fears, their emotions, inclinations and desires, most especially, having the ability to recognise when they are suffering.
This is crucial is identifying behavioural traits that probably need professional intervention before things get out of hand from autism through attention deficit disorders to depression and other possible mental illnesses presented as anti-social interaction and much else.
Exasperation beyond words
The point I am trying to make is in Ephesians 6:4
Fathers [and mothers], do not exasperate [irritate intensely; infuriate - to make very angry or impatient; annoy greatly] your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. [NIV]
Yes, parents have the ability to exasperate their kids, irritate them intensely, make them very angry or even impatient whilst annoying them greatly – these kids are human too, with feelings, emotions and the ability to react – they will eventually hit back, one cannot account for how hard they will when they do.
Nurture and care
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture [help grow or develop; cultivate] and admonition of the Lord. [KJV]
There is an element of care, attention, love, accommodate and involvement in nurturing that begs our humanity to respond from the heart, but you are either nurturing or exasperating your child except when you are possibly aping a schizophrenic that the child is unsure of what you are trying to do.
Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord. [AMP]
Too many times, we have read and heard of tales where there is a complete breakdown in the relationship between parent and child, sometimes to irretrievable circumstances and it might just be that aforetime we missed the opportunity to try a little tenderness.


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