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A word to parents

02 September 2014, 13:54 Goodnews Simeon

The counsel I got from a mentor who had lived the better part of his life in the city, about safe driving in Lagos (the commercial nerve center of Nigeria) comes to mind. He said, to drive safely in the often crazy traffic grid lock, all you got to do is keep to the MIDDLE or CENTER lane, no matter where you're heading. I find this irresistibly relevant to this thought on PARENTING. And trust me, it doesn't matter whether it's biological and or physical (we sometimes HAVE to mentor and raise children who ain't from our lions) or spiritual parenting.

Whichever it is, you must never be caught on either side of the extremes: those who by default indulge thier children till they become incurably insolent, or those who will always readily spoil the rod at the slightest instance, rather than in anyway spoil the child. The former believes being good at parenting is located in the precinct of dancing to every whim and caprice of thier beloved impressionable wads, while the latter believes in unbridled assertiveness, without factoring the feelings and rights of their wad to be childish (our children do have well established rights to be childish/foolish) in to the situation.

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Then, where is the middle lane? I think it's being able to tell the difference and know when to spoil or spank. In this wise, two self-balancing wisdom from God's word - The Bible, comes handy. One indicates that it's allowed to kid and act silly (1 Corinthians 13:11), while the other pans it out that, even 'sillyness' or naughtiness must be tamed with a cane (rebuke and spanking) as occasion demands (Proverbs 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14, 29:15).

So, wise parents shouldn't allow their wads lose the opportunity to acquire wisdom from being refused, rather than unbridled pampering. Neither should we rob our wads of the irrecoverable opportunity to enjoy their years of foolishness, throwing fits and tantrum (some children are experts and have made an art of this and they act it big time, even to the envy of Hollywood; banging head on walls, wailing, screeching etc, for silly things like even biscuits or juice. Annoying, isn't it?), and general childishness. Allow me illustrate so I can drive home my thought. I have a 4 year and 2 year old within the fold am rearing. I recently realised we are beginning to be impatient and irritable with the 4 year old. In fact, he's scolded and treated as wiser in circumstances where if he'd been the last born he'll ordinarily have gone away with biscuit, bobo, lolly pop etc, and not spanking (some rebuke and scolding can be worse than cane you know?).

So, dear parent, balance up; learn the delicate art of raising OUR FUTURE ARSENALS (I mean weapons not gunners o!) with the CARROT and STICK. God'll see and reward your labor of love (remember, I ain't talking about your biological children alone). AMEN.

NB: This is my own take on this thought. You're free to write in a rejoinder or comment.

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