Monday, June 25, 2007

Parents at fault?

I remember the times when my mother would castigate me for the many things that I do wrong.

As a child, I’m usually stubborn, and do things on my own and my way. More often than not,

those are things that mo father or my mother won’t be agreeing to. What to do?

 

I’d remember what my mother would always say, and this, now, I understand better;

I’m already a father myself. In one of our sessions, she would remark,

that if ever we would go out, and meet up with other people,

and they would note our behaviour,and observe our attitudes,

the stark and direct remarks will be on the parents, specifically the mother.

 

“Poor boy, the mother didn’t teach well.” Or “A lousy mother you have.”

 

To this, my mom would rebut, that we children would bring them either honor, or shame.

She would present her case, that either way, (1) parents don’t teach their children well, or

(2) children never listen to their parents, it would be the parents who will reap the repercussions

of their offsprings’ offences and misdemeanors.

 

And for both honor and shame, I do find it to be true. Parenting really is a heavy responsibility.

Faced with such challenge, to which some shun and run away.

 

Solomon did warn us all, “spare the rod and spoil the child.”

 

And yes, we now know that it is not only the rod that we can use as the means to teach our children.

We can temporarily revoke privileges. We can ground our kids. We can take out their TV time.

We can let them stay in one corner. We can take away their play time. We can put them on house arrest.

A number of things. Many, many things.

 

And yet, in the multitude of our options, when we don’t exert authority and inflict punishments,

it is the children who will be disadvantaged. A child who doesn’t know his limits will tend to grow up

able and capable of breaking rules – simply because this factor was not learned during childhood.

 

I always pray that I will be a firm and loving father, not giving in when it is time to be firm,

and being flexible when it is time to be considerate.

 

Who says that this is easy? By grace we can…

 

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