Thursday, 21 May 2015

Coping with difficult parents

Coping with difficult parents

Parenting according to research is one of the most challenging aspect  of family life requiring the combined efforts of father and mother. It is one task that requires patience, perseverance and tolerance in order to achieve the intended result of obedience, submissiveness and discipline which many parent consider as the core obligations of their children. And in a bid to achieve this, they go all out to ensure strict compliance and total adherence to their laid-down rules using a variety of compliance tools such as corporal punishment, flogging, maltreatment and the usage of unsavory words at their disposal.

The resultant effect of this is usually a psychological, mental and emotional damage on their children which often results in low self-esteem, depression and mood swings. Many a time, most parents could be so difficult that their children are made to ask if they are their real parents. Beginning from the stringent policies to the shoutings and complaints; the discontentment and distrust; disrespect for feelings and opinions; the discouragement and unsupportive attitude, lack of love and concern, many parents make their children feel worse than some masters do to their slaves.

Although it has not been proven, some believe that the fear of having their children derail from the right pattern or the fear of watching them make the same mistake they did in their time is responsible for some parents’ strict policing of their children, while others posit that it is because they were also brought up the same way-the hard way. There are also others who think that subjecting their children to all forms of ill-treatment will make them be like those of their neighbors who they consider to be better-off. But even this does not guarantee the emergence of their dream child. This is because children are no longer groomed the old hard way of scolding, flogging and restricting alone but by what now proceeds from the conducts of their parents. That is, the exemplary life of parents.

However, the question of how to cope with a difficult parent is one requiring a hard thought and meditation especially if such parent is of the philosophy that as he/she was trained, so should their children be trained. Thus, they descend on their wards at the slightest provocation and do not give-up until they are short of words. Once, a girl narrated how her parents often blame her for her misfortunes and failures. They neglect her when she needs them most, pick on her if seen with the opposite sex and discourage her financially from embarking on any beneficial project. At times like this, she would run to a nearby friend with tears in her eyes seeking solace and pleading to spend the rest of the day there. But that would again be another round of the hell experience. Such has been the experience of many children in the hands of their biological parents.

The essence of this piece is to encourage many of such children; single or married. A good way of enduring this is accepting the fact that you are not the perfect child for your parents and they are not perfect parents for you too. The knowledge and acceptance of this will relieve your pain to an extent. The next most important thing to do is to find out what makes them angry and avoid them. This also goes to say that you must improve on your house chores. A wise son they say, makes a proud father and this is one of the ways of closing their mouths. By helping them with the chores, you stand better chances of winning their hearts. If you have been doing this, then improve. Wash the car, polish or clean their shoes, do the laundry, keep the house tidied, go to market and run their errands. Also help them drop something at the office, shop or a friend’s place, serve their food. Just surprise them by doing the things you’ve not been doing and in a while, you’ll be at the winning end. Obedience indeed is the way forward to long life and prosperity so while you help out, try to obey them to the best of your ability. Only in cases where their demands are morally wrong should you not obey but that should be done without aggressiveness, bitterness and as a show of retaliation to their acts towards you. As much as you can, obey them so that you will be justified before God.

If you want to get yourself off their nagging, you must learn to ignore those painful and heartbreaking words, painful as they may be. Yes they are painful but what makes you triumph is your ability to forget them. Pretend you heard nothing or as though you’re not the one being referred to. Please don’t talk back at them in anger. Dust them off your shoulders and move on with your life. Don’t be perturbed rather, be tolerant and patient. Don’t also be discouraged because all will be well in a short while.  

Another key to melting the hearts of parents is by giving them compliments. Tell them they are the best. Appraise their beauty, character, cooking, clothes, attitude and etc. Tell them you love them and be serious about it. Buy them gifts, presents, cards or flowers. Celebrate their memorable days as much as you can and yearn to make them happy. This may seem small but they go a long way. They may not return your compliments but their attitude will change. They will begin to tell people out there you are their child and that is a level of endorsement which cannot be beaten.

Henceforth, resolve to assume the role of a caretaker. Be a part of their lives and you will see them gradually leaning and depending on you. Pray for them and God will do the rest. Remember that the change you desire will only come when you initiate it so brace up. Be of good courage and faith. Success definitely awaits you. 

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