Parenting is hard; parenting a child who has gone off the rails is even unbearable. The lines between being strict and unloving could easily be blurred in the child’s eyes. The child could in turn use it to manipulate the parents whenever they attempt disciplining him for wrong behavior.
Though I’m not a parent yet, I’m sure one thing parents fear to hear their children say is, ‘I know you hate me.’ And so in meting out punishment, some parents would play the ‘good cop’ so as remain in their children’s good graces.
Most adults underestimate the cleverness of children and do not realize it when they are being manipulated by their little beings. As they grow and get more exposed to the environment and interact with others from different backgrounds, they are bound to chance upon certain deviant behaviors.
For some, it’s just a phase; they find themselves back on the straight line after sometime. For others, they take a wrong turn and their lives take a never ending nosedive afterwards. Only the grace of God and active intervention of loved ones can help such people.
Some parents in an attempt to protect their children, cover up their deviant acts which only enables them to keep it up as they know that no matter how bad they mess up, mum and dad will be there to clean up after them. If parents cover up their children’s misdeeds with no efforts to correct their behavior, it becomes highly unlikely for the children to see the light. It would end badly for them.
From the many movies I’ve watched, I see a lot of distraught parents sending their children off to rehab centers to make them ‘clean.’ Some even go to the extent of driving them out of home with threats of disowning them completely if they don’t get their act together. As they they are the devil finds work for the idle hands. Although it may sound extreme, sometimes threatening the lazy/wayward child with such an unpleasant reality could put the fear of God in him and make him see reason.
However, I think rendering your child homeless is a game of chance. It could work in making him see sense or could backfire in the case where he overdoses and dies or gets caught in a crossfire because of the illegal activities he’s involved in and dies. Such a parent would blame himself/herself for driving the child out to meet his death and might never forgive himself.
I think covering up your child’s misdeeds is tantamount to holding a knife to their throats and pushing his hand to cut himself. Talk of sparing the rod and spoiling the child. I don’t see a happy ending with such an approach.
Though I believe there are better ways to make your point than rendering your child homeless, if that’s the only option left with a great chance that it would work, I might choose it. Might be bittersweet but a chance I’m willing to take nonetheless.
What about you? Which option would you take and why? Kindly share your thoughts and thanks for reading.
© Josephine Amoako 2017