Written by Apostle Sunny Isuekebhor
Many kids become rebellious because they can see that their father is missing in action – the one who should be their number one teacher expects them to be experts at things that the same teacher has never taught them!
Every good father is the first leadership trainer his kids will ever have and the most important one! It is the responsibility of fathers to raise their kids today to prepare them to be able to lead tomorrow. It’s never an easy job for a father to raise his boys or girls, but that difficulty can only be grasped by fathers who actually raise their kids. “Are you implying that there are fathers who have no clue about raising their kids?” You ask, “O yes, I am, and I am not flinching.” There are fathers who think that raising the kids is about paying the bills, sending them to school, ensuring that they do not go naked by keeping clothes on their back and maintaining the roof over their heads. Well, those things are good; but they won’t raise your kid. You must do the raising. If you are a single parent, it makes the raising even more complicated because mothers have a strategic role to play in the raise. And when you keep telling the kid where you expect him or her to arrive at, and never work with him or her with a well-designed roadmap on how to get there, you are not raising that child. You see, constantly, you point at the top of this imaginary ladder and continue to scream it into his or her ear, telling them that failure to get to that last horizontal member of that ladder would make them the worst child a parent could ever wish for. So, I ask, ‘do you expect them to jump to the top of that ladder? ’You reply, ‘no, I don’t’; but your child is waiting for you to teach him or her how to steady himself or herself on the floor, how to ensure that the ladder is well secured to avoid a fall and then, how to make the first, calculated first step onto the first horizontal member of that ladder. But their first teacher is missing in action – the one who should be their number one teacher expects them to be a pro at things that the same teacher has never taught them!
When you keep telling the child where you expect him or her to arrive at and never work with them with a well-designed roadmap on how to get there, you are not raising that child.
When you visit your mistress, you continuously play with her kids, you invent new plays, you persuade them to play with you even when they would have preferred to play with peers. You do all that because you want that mistress to think that you would be a really good father if she gives her consent to marry you so that you can ask that “good for nothing wife” of yours for a divorce; ‘good for nothing’, according to you; although at one time, she was good for many things when you called her twice every day, wooing her to be your bride. But now, the last time you played with your own kid is some two years ago. This boy of 9, that girl of 7 cannot understand why other dads can play football with their kids while their father frowns at them when they play. If you always frown at that child, you are not raising him or her; if you only smile at the kid, you are not raising him or her either, if you frown more than you smile, you are not raising your child; if you smile more than you frown; you are raising him.
Stop expecting your child to help complete the aspects of your childhood dreams that you could not attain – that child is not you. ‘But he is my son’; yes, I know he is, but that does not make him you.
“Are you telling me that I do not have the right to encourage my child to imbibe my better qualities?” You query, ‘O yes, you do’, is my candid answer. But there is a world of difference between trying to help you child pick up your good qualities and trying to get him to live the life you could not live. It is your responsibility to guide that child; and guiding, my friend, does not begin when he or she is a teenager. Guidance must begin when he or she is a toddler. If your child’s biggest dream is to become exactly like you, bravo. If he or she dares to be positively different, let them be. The only time you should be concerned is: if in trying to be different, you notice them erring and moving away from good to bad.
KIDS NEED THEIR DAD’S SUPPORT IN THEIR ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL PURSUITS. I give you a biblical example. Zechariah was a quintessential High Priest; he held one of the highest offices in ancient Israel, he was a celebrity – one of the few people who could enter into the Holy of Holies on behalf of the nation. His son, John the Baptist, would not even aspire to enter the outer court (there was the outer court, the inner court and the Holiest of all (Holy of Holies); in ascending order of magnitude and grace); he preferred to stay in the wilderness, and in that wilderness where he was dressed in Carmel’s air as against his father’s excellent priestly apparel; ‘there went out to him, all Jerusalem and all Judea and the regions round about confessing their sins’. And what’s more? Jesus, the Master, went there to meet John the Baptist; imagine that Zechariah had tried to get John to become a priest like Himself! You see, both father and son were celebrities, truly godly men, but yet plainly different. Zechariah played his bit: he raised his son to follow the true God, and then encouraged and allowed him to pursue his personal goals.
Common, leave that child alone! Talk to your kid, talk with him or her, listen to him or her, play with him or her, teach him or her, tell them truths early, pray for them, discipline them, be their friend – his or her first best friend; be their mentor, don’t be their dictator; so please leave that child alone – but now; keep that child close to you!
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