Parenting In The BVI Part II
This post is the second part of the series on parenting in the BVI. So far we learnt that parenting is not a skill that is taught in school but can be developed over time.
We recognised that many children in the BVI have behavioural issues such as rudeness, selfishness (popular among the teenagers) and aggressiveness.
Parents can overcome these problems by being firm, fair and friendly to their children. Let us continue to discuss the best way to raise our kids.
Can a parent be their child’s best friend?
They say this because they believe that it will make them appear weak as a parent when it comes to the children being able to adhere to the limits that they set for their kids.
Many parents ask themselves if being friendly with their children will hinder their effort to teach them how to act in the right manner in which they expect them to.
According to Child Development Institute, using a friendly but firm communication will be effective.
Some parents may be afraid to be friendly with their children because they feel that they will have no control over them. In fact, this is not the case.
Being over friendly to the extent where the child may have no respect for you when it comes to you being a parent is where you need to set boundaries. Having that close friendly relationship is an important role while parenting your child.
In an article that I read while I was doing my research, I found an example that will help you to understand why being friendly with your child can be useful in getting them to be the person that they need to be.
The example is between a mother and her son on the site ‘The Mrs. Tee.‘ The writer of this article, Mrs. Tee, is a valuable parent to my research because she has experience with her teenage child.
She wrote about the relationship that she has with her teenage son.
She became a parent during her teenage years, so she spent the early days of her motherhood learning and growing up with him (Tee). Both mother and son have a similar sense of humour which brought them closer together as a friend instead of just mother and son.
There was an incident where she noticed that her teenage son began to exclude himself from her and spent most of his time in his room. She wanted to tell him to come out, but then she remembered that when she was his age she used to do the same thing so she decided to be more supportive and speak to him on a friendly term (Tee).
But later she realized that her son mistook her friendliness as weakness and began to test her limits. As her son turned eighteen and began to assert himself as an adult, their friendship began to blur the lines between the roles of mother and son (Tee). Thus, she realised that there was a thin line between being a parent and a friend.
Treat your children fairly
Listening to the opinions of your little ones is vital to your relationship. This is considered being fair, and everyone likes to be treated fairly.
You can’t expect kids to do everything simply because you, as a parent, say so. They want and deserve explanations as much as adults do (Kids Health). If you do not take the time to explain, kids will begin to wonder about your values and motives and whether they have any basis (Kids Health).
Parents who reason with their children will allow them to understand and learn in a nonjudgmental way (Kids Health). Sometimes you may be so upset with your children that you do not want to hear their views, but when you listen to them, it makes them feel like they are worth something. This action is being fair to the child.
I remembered when I was about fifteen years old, my aunt said that she heard me said something that was not pleasing to her. Even though I tried to give her an explanation she refused to listen insisting that she heard the words that I spoke.
Eventually, I shouted, “you are not even listening!” Then she finally paused, and I was able to explain to her that I did not recall saying those words, meaning I was not conscious of what I was saying at the time.
So it is necessary as parents to listen to your children because their views may make sense.
Sometimes in the BVI when parents don’t support their children or at least listen to them, they tend to turn to groups like a gang, and this is not where we want our children in the BVI to lean towards.
When you as a parent is fair with your child, you will find that they will be able to handle mature responsibilities because you treat them as if they are mature, and they will adopt to those traits as a result of being fair to them.
Many persons in the BVI believe parents should reassess their method of parenting.
For example, If you reflect on the behaviour of children thirty (30) years ago in the BVI, you would realize that there is a need for the parents to raise their children in a different manner.
Many parents do not want their child to go astray but in fact, they are the ones causing harm to the child, and they do not even realize it.
They are more focused on making the child happy and not wanting the child to hate them because they don’t give them what they want.
There are persons in the BVI that believe that being friendly with your child is a hindrance in getting your child to be discipline.
However, friendship is indeed a necessary aspect of a relationship between a parent and a child.
When a child and mother has a very close bond, they are very open with each other, and this is an advantage for the parent because when the child is having behavioural problems she will more than likely understand what is going on with the child.
Hence, it will become easier for the parent to find ways in which they can help them. Many persons also disagree with being firm with your child because they believe that it will draw their child away from them (Debate.ORG).
But being firm doesn’t mean that you should be harsh with them. Being firm is not the same as being strict. Restricting your child from playing and enjoying themselves is considered strict discipline. When you are firm, you ensure that your child knows his or her boundaries. This includes allowing them to have privileges with the understanding that you are serious with them.
Instilling respectfulness in your children
Is it possible to say that the young adults in the BVI community are well-behaved because they possess the characteristics of being disciplined and productive?
A disciplined child is someone who is respectful to persons older than themselves and even to their peers.
The behaviour of children in the schools in the BVI today is not the same as it was 20 years ago.
In our society, children disrespect teachers to the highest level. An article in the BVI Platinum stated that a student pulls a fake gun at a teacher. This is utter disrespect whether the gun is fake or real (Virgin Island Platinum News).
If parents were firmer with their children in the BVI, incidents like this would not happen. I believe that parents should constantly check their children to ensure that they do not enter the school premises with anything that they are not allowed to have.
The use of After School Programs by schools, churches, and other community groups can help to nurture and instill good values and discipline in children, according to Dr. Dawson.
He pointed to the importance of early childhood education by trained and qualified teachers, as another factor influencing the success or failure of students (JTV Live).
We don’t want to see our potential future leaders of the community to suffer at this early stage so it is crucial that they are corrected now because when they become adults, it will be too late.
You want your children to be outstanding citizens of the country. You will not be able to parent them forever so while you have the chance to do so! make it right!
The Bible states in Proverbs 22:6 that you should train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Similarly, if you don’t train your children the correct way at a young age, they will continue the bad behaviour when they are older, unless the almighty God makes a difference in that child’s heart.
I strongly advise that while you have the chance to make a difference in your child life do it the best way possible because if you love them, you wouldn’t want to see them take the wrong path in life.
Bean, Sara. How to Discipline Kids: The Key to Being a Consistent Parent. April 2016. Web. 11 April 2016.
Child Development Institute. Parenting 101 – Tips for Parents. 2015. Web. 23 March 2016.
Consistent Parenting Advice. How to Discipline Children. December 2011. Web. 9 April 2016.
Debate.ORG. Should parents raise children in a strict way? April 2016. Web. 22 April 2016.
JTV Live. Possible Root Causes for Behaviour Problems in Children. 2011. Web. 30 April 2016.
Kids Health. 9 Steps to More Effective Parenting. 9 April 2016. Web. 9 April 2016.
Tee, The Mrs. The Thin Line Between Parent And Friend. 11 October 2015. Web. 9 April 2016.
Virgin Island Platinum News. Student Who Pulled Fake Gun On ESHS Teacher Charged. 05 March 2013. Web. 30 April 2016.