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WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS PARENTING.

 As we speak,
some of us may have children who are already way off mark. Some may think that
their situation is irredeemable and may be in the throes of such deep pain that
only a hurting parent can know. There is, after all, a world system out there,
working hard, probably even harder than we are to recruit our children into
drugs, immorality, deceit and dishonesty. Some children will fall into the
traps set for them.
As we have said before, this is one job you may not
easily be able to tell whether or not you were a success at. You may be in the
waiting and hoping stage of the job. You may have dug, planted, and watered the
seed. You may be waiting to see what type of fruit your tree will bring forth –
bitter or sweet. Some are however already seeing bitter fruit come forth.
How do we cope with those difficult situations? I give
examples of some more serious problems exhibited by children.
·       
Children that steal compulsively and show lack of morals.
·       
Children who are violent and are members of cults and gangs.
·      Children who are confirmed sexually active (prematurely so) Homosexuals
or         Lesbians.
·       
Children on drugs or some substance abuse.
·      Children who seem to be unable to do well at school, or who may even
have been thrown out of school and appear to have no visible future.
Some of us lucky ones may imagine ‘no, never my Nnamdi
or Funke,’ but for those who are in such situations those children still
are their children. A parent’s love will continue to make you try to turn
around that bad child, and there are several examples of delinquent children
who turned around to become bright shining beacons in their homes, families and
even their countries.   
In any event, even for those of us with technically
adjudged ‘good children’, most of us will actually experience one day of great
pain when we catch our sons or daughters out in a lie. One day that blue-eyed
boy of yours may actually so flagrantly disobey you that you may wonder whether
he is on drugs.
We must learn to live through those days. Specific suggestions
that may help us live through those bad days are listed here;
PARENTAL COPING SKILLS
1.   Avoid unnecessary criticism of
the bad points. Getting rid of them needs to be worked at and this will take
time.
2.   Continue to communicate with
the child. Keep open or re-open communication doors.
3.  Treat the problem
confidentially. Do not ruin child’s self confidence forever. Do not expose it
to your entire extended family or even unduly to his or her siblings. Do not
get the child labeled ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl’. There will be no incentive for
the child to change once he sees he has been labeled bad.
4.   Discipline specific bad acts
with appropriate punishments.
5.   Get a practical solution to
the problem if possible. If for instance it is evident that he or she can no
longer benefit from an academic institution, you could send him or her to learn
trade. If she is a compulsive thief make your valuables as inaccessible as
possible.
6.    Love them and continue to show
them love. Locate and affirm the good points of the child, both to yourself and
the child.
7.     Be patient, change will not
happen over – night      
8.  Having done all, continue to
pray for the child to change. Even if the child has left home in rebellion,
continue to pray for him or her.
9.  Monitor exposure to the area of compromise.
For example, for drugs, places where access is possible; if sexually active,
exposure to the opposite sex. Hedge them in with parental supervision and
monitoring until they can complete their education and are self sufficient.
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