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WHY DO WE FAIL PARENTING LIFE HOOD.

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The general principle is that these
things will not just happen in the lives of our children.
They have to be
taught. 
We had established that they will not be appropriately taught by schools or the
society at large. Rather they must be taught by us, parents.
Successful
teaching exercise

So if we know what to do, how come we are still not
getting things right.
Having set goals, it is not enough to pay lip service
to such goals. We must work to achieve them.
Are we on course? Because our goal is a marathon race and
not a hundred yards dash, we must check regularly to be sure that both we the parents
and our children are still on course. 
We need to review our action plans and our teaching
project regularly, especially at major milestones, at major achievements and also
when we experience disappointments.
As part of the review exercise we have identified
several factors that aid the teaching projects and some that act as a deterrent
to the project.
Some factors
that aid the teaching project
Ø Knowledge & Creativity
                                                                                                             
We need to know each of our children and appreciate
the fact that they all have their own distinct personalities therefore within a
family of six children; each of these children could be significantly different
from the others. Furthermore, different things are considered to be of greater
importance at different ages. For instance when the children are younger it is
more important to teach how to complete assignments and study hard. By the time
this is well learnt, it becomes a habit that stays with them throughout life. As
they grow older we should study our children and spend quality time thinking through
how best to get them to buy into our theories and live them. Whilst acknowledging
the place of authority and discipline, there is often a better way to
work with teenagers, and laying down the law should be a last resort that is
used sparingly to avoid rebellion. When teenagers understand why they need to
do something, they will usually do it without being forced to and whether ‘big
brother’ is watching or not.
Furthermore, some children are fantastic in some areas
and terrible in others. For instance a child could be an excellent student but
untidy and careless with his room and appearance, a young lady also could spend
hours on her appearance and leave her room in an untidy state, one would need
to concentrate on the area that needs improvement.  
The temperament of our children should be known by us
and we should deal with them accordingly. Personality types cannot be
exhausted here and therefore wider reading is suggested for any parent who does
not know much about human temperament and personality types.
For the sake of simplicity, let us classify children
into two broad groups-the rule breakers and the rule takers. As the words
suggest a rule taker will naturally take to the rules hook, line and sinker. He
or she is usually the timid and melancholic type who obeys without necessarily
asking why. A rule breaker, on the other hand, is usually the bold and upbeat
type, and has often exhibited such character from early childhood. He or she will
automatically ask why, query every rule and is not likely to obey the rules
unless they make sense to him or her.
A rule breaker will need careful handling if you expect
him or her to obey rules. He or she needs to understand and buy into why the
rules are necessary. A lot more creativity and sensitivity are required when
teaching a rule breaker the rules. However rule takers who have obeyed rules
all their lives may need careful handling when they begin to display their own
initiative.
For instance, knowledge of the temperament of each
child and creativity in teaching are particularly required to teach how to
study hard, career orientation and goals, our native tongue, dating, and dress
sense.
Generally where knowledge and creativity are not
applied , the process of teaching our children may be tedious and frustrating.
Ø Resolve
One of our problems is that some of us are too hard
working for our own good. There is a local proverb which when translated into
English says, ‘it is the hard working parent that breeds the lazy child’!
It is easier to do the chores ourselves than to get
the children to do it. We over- achieve in everyway with the children. In the alternative,
many of us are not fighters and would rather take the easy way out of most
situations, even where it involves the training of our children.
Getting the best out of our children is hard work. It
takes determination to succeed at it. We must resolve to succeed. Children were
given to us in trust and we have been given authority over them. When we
resolve to implement some of the teachings we have learnt, we will
encounter setbacks. Some children will display ‘attitude’ and all sorts of
behavior to deter us from our goals. We must not be deterred! A note of caution
must also be sounded here – sometimes in frustration we become heavy handed and
lose the children along the way, we must not allow this to happen.
Resolve is specifically needed when teaching things
like our native tongue, the reading culture, dress sense, finance and wealth
creation, and caring for family.
By the grace of God we will not fail in our
responsibilities and our children will turn out to be fine, upright and
responsible adults!
Ø Time
One of the major causes of our failures is that we do not
have the time to identify what we want in our children and communicate it to
them. We seem never to find the time to teach it to our children, and eventually
we just let them be!
Some of the things that we particularly need to make
time to teach are our values, our family history and goals, our culture and how
to cook etc. Indeed every item in our teaching curriculum requires time to
teach, some more than others.
Having identified what we want, we should now be ready
to make the time to teach them. Our teachings do not take place in a formal
classroom environment and so we should make time to just chat with them and get
our curriculum through to them. During school holidays we can take a few days
leave and spend some time with them, not traveling, or fixing activity, just
good old time!  We could occasionally arrange
to go to work late so that we may spend time just being with them early in the
morning.
Ø Friendship
Be down to earth, be their friend. Parents who have been
found to have raised good kids have been very down to earth with their kids. Be
down to earth with yours. 
Another note of caution must also be sounded here. I
have encountered situations where children have been deeply resentful and
bitter towards their parents. We must work hard at our relationships with our
children. We cannot afford to allow feelings almost as deep as hatred to fester
in our children. We should be sensitive and take appropriate action in time to
avoid terrible feelings becoming so deep rooted that they cannot be
uprooted. 
When I work with teenagers I sometimes have cause to
ask them to write anonymously on the issues they have with their parents. I
have been quite taken aback at the depth of ill feeling some children have
against their parents.
Balance is imperative.
Discipline should have been established during the
early years so that thereafter you can be friends.
We need to be friends with our children to teach such
things as dating and even dress sense effectively.
Ø Patience
Change takes time. We must be patient and wait for
that time to elapse without becoming the nagging parent. When we start to teach
them to cook we must taste all sorts of funny dishes before we get perfection.
We may even lose money when we have to pay for experiments that are not too
successful! But we must be ready to encourage them through faltering starts.
Like time patience is required when teaching every
item on our teaching curriculum.
Factors that
militate against the teaching project
         Local /
international television and the internet
We of course should remember that there are factors beyond
our immediate or direct control militating against our successful teaching
exercise as well.
You will recall the allure of the internet and cable television
and the fact that our kids have subconsciously acquired American singers and
actors as their role models.
Ø Peer pressure
In addition there is the local peer pressure where
other kids who are even more misguided than our own are in control!
Without dwelling too much on this you should be able
to get both the rule breaker and the rule taker to understand the need to
follow and the benefits of following your rules!
When teaching our children things like dress sense, culture
and morals and values, local and international pressure will definitely be
working against us.
However with time, patience, creativity and resolve, we
can succeed at teaching any of these things that we truly desire for our
children.
Life teaching
chart
In conclusion, dare I suggest that we create a life
teaching chart for each of our children and begin regularly to evaluate our children’s
progress in specific areas?
We should check what is causing us to be less than
effective in any area and do our best to correct those inefficiencies. We may
be surprised to find that when we handle things in this manner we will be more
constructive and decisive and there will be a greater sense of achievement as
each short term goal is achieved. We also will be more encouraged not to give
up as we begin to see the children responding to our teaching and growing into
great men and women.
CASE STUDY
MEET THE JONESES.
Chief B.B. Jones ‘BB’ or Big Boy Jones as he is more
popularly called by his friends, is a well known shipping magnate. His wife
Liza, has just been appointed an Executive director at her bank after several
years of hard work.
Because of their schedules they seldom see each other
during the week, though their various Personal Assistants make sure they speak
to each other every day.
However they go out of their way to make sure they are
all together for at least two weeks during school holidays. Often times this
means they are in exotic places like the Bahamas
or Miami.
Sometimes they can just manage a week at their apartments in New
York and London.
They have three children of whom Tunde is the eldest.
He grew up before the ‘ships arrived’. He went to three secondary schools and
had to take Joint Admissions Matriculation Board three times before he got into
university to study Zoology. He graduated with a third class degree . His dad
bought him a jeep in his first year at the university and money was never a
problem for him whilst in school, as dad kept trying to make up for the ‘years
of deprivation’. When he got through school dad got him a job with his friends
in the industry. He complained bitterly that he was being badly treated and
left the job. He convinced his father that he could run a first class bar
successfully and ‘BB’ financed it. He currently is in Italy importing all the furniture
for the bar.
Baby girl is the darling of ‘BB’s heart. She was
particularly spoilt as a child because she looked like ‘BB’s mother, of blessed
memory.
She was always very smart in school and she is
currently in “Uni” in “Jand”. Dad does not know, but mom knows that she has
moved in with her boyfriend O.J., who sells cars. He appears to be doing well
as he has even bought Baby, girl a car, which only Tunde knows about. Though
nobody knows much about O.J.’s background, there is no evidence that he went to
school.
BBJ (short for BB junior) is the loveable baby of the
home. Already overweight and in primary three, he has to have his room
frequently redecorated because of his destructive tendencies, which manifest
when he throws tantrums. His room is fully equipped with plasma screen
television, DVD player, Play station portable (PSP), and Play station III  (PS III), game consoles and dual control DSTV
so that he can watch cartoon network when adults want to watch CNN.
Though he has never been asked to repeat, his parents
are usually called to the principal’s office at least four times a term for not
doing homework and for fighting in the playground.
What are the
issues and recommended solutions?

a)     Career and finance issues with
Tunde.
b)    Life partner and family values
issues with Baby girl.

c)     School and behavioral issues
with BBJ.
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