For kids, of all ages, many of us parents have stereotypically carved out this phrase; ‘THIS CHILD IS OUT OF CONTROL’, for them to describe a feeling anytime they refuse to obey the home rules, will not listen to instructions, disturb in the classroom, or bent on pushing the boundaries; This is how we feel when we notice these infractions, we are quick to conclude but forget this feeling may just be fairly fleeting on account of a judgment mostly pre meditated by our preset mindset towards the child in question, but the honest truth is that the outcome of such fixation cannot really be foisted on the child.

It is noteworthy to mention that same child that’s branded ‘out of control’ could be seen to be within a control and obedient somewhere else from home. So what really is the problem?

To present a better outlook of this series I have decided to break this article into parts, drawing my conclusion across the major stakeholders of the child for easy understanding. Welcome to this interesting journey dear parents and caregivers.

Results from multiple researches have shown that for any social breach a child is involved in there exists a sizeable part of training left undone by the parents. Every child is born into a family to be nurtured, groomed, and guide in the way he/she should go in life
Let us look at this vivid example from a short footage in a documentary of US military drill a friend sent few months; a set of army recruits were picked up on a drilling by the drill sergeant, from Reception Battalion and marched them to the field for phase Two of Basic Combat Training where they will begin to fire weapons. With the service rifle they will fire at various targets, which are progressively further down rage, making each successful target difficult to hit, with additional pop up targets at long range, and also to test their mastery in handling this assault weapon. The recruits took their turn to fire at their target and everything went on excellently and smoothly until it got to a particular guy who briefly looked fidgeting and at his first salvo , lost control of the trigger and sporadic shots fired forth endlessly, making everyone present on the field to run for safety, including the drill sergeant.

The import of this scenario into this conversation is many of us parents are like this particular recruit who on account of not being firm in handling the weapon lost control of the assault weapon and subsequently not able to be in charge.

The sincerity of this man to join the army is as clear as that of every parent to give birth and raise a child; but being excellent at parenting goes beyond mere sincerity. No army recruitment starts with weapon handling at the war front, ditto no effective parenting starts with raising a child. Any man can handle a gun but not every man can manage and control a gun. Anyone can give birth to a child but not everybody can effectively bring up a child in the way he/she should go. But only those parents who know the way , show the way. If we do not know the way; how can we show them the way, how can we help them to live right, ? Behave right?, relate right? and act right?

As evidently shown in this context that the problem is the RECRUIT holding the weapon, and not the WEAPON. Parents are like recruits while kids are the weapons. A popular Scripture asserted, ‘as arrows are in the hands of a mighty man so are the children…”

Other recruits on the drilling who were given same weapon were able to handle and gain control over the gun, but this man was not. We could see he was not mentally and physically ready for the onerous task. He wasn’t qualified for the job. Many of us parents are not as well qualified. This is the truth.

Often times we are so quick to label the child recalcitrant, unruly, ungovernable, wild, obstreperous, ‘omokómo’ ‘omolàsán èkejì ajá’ ‘àbíìpabé’ ‘àkùkúùbí Sàn sé ràdàràdà’ and all other unprinted names one can think of just to justify our unacknowledged ineptitude.

There’s no doubt that parents face new and sometimes frightening and daunting situations every day concerning our children; pressure to excel, pressure from peers, pressure to measure up society’s ‘image’ of beauty or masculinity, occultism, pornography, music with damaging messages, media influence, drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances, among numerous.

Somehow we aren’t ready and prepared to handle the throngs of these challenges. This is why it is so imperative for all parents specially, young couples to be schooled on parenting, family and child care before marriage. Possessing the biological and physiological strength and endowment to conceive and bear kids not enough. While I do not readily have empirical statistics at hand to support this, but the current state of Socio-political space in our nation is a true position of the rot.

Concluding that a child is out of control is playing the ostrich when from all indications the person that needs to be fixed and fitted for the job is parent. Our sincerity in admitting we need help will stem the tide of frivolous hasty judgment passed by parents, teachers, and bystanders. Our moral standard to wield the weapons of justice and judgment if need be, must be woven through the fabric of our lives. This is where our integrity lies and it will help us to understand this concept of morality better in the manner we relate with our children.

In this subject the first entity to seek solution are the parents, and I have few of the solutions here below for parents concerned:

• Parenting can be learnt and groomed. Don’t fall for the temptation of aura of the desire to hold an assault weapon for the fun of it only to be embarased at the drilling field. Get schooled. Get knowledge with right application. You may not be able to solve the kids’ problem until you first understand them.

• Another area to deal with is prejudice. It is a subtle formula that’s found its way into our parenting module through some routes; nature and nurture, ignorance, and our subconscious mind, they slowly trickle up to infiltrate our thinking without our knowing it, and subsequently locks up our mind; nothing goes out, nothing good thought comes in. The most interesting is that prejudice flourishes at the threshold of parents unfavorable disposition to care for the child. Making references to what a child has done in the past to judge his/her present misbehavior does more harm to the child. Every new infraction must be treated new with new initiatives to correct

• Until we debug ourselves of toxic childhood experiences and circumstances we grew up with , we may not be able to handle peculiar challenges kids of today face. I believe principles are the same but methods to apply are never the same. We see today’s kids with the eye of who we were at their age.

• Consistency fosters trust and assurance. Parenting never promises to be an easy job. But more we seek daily insights into the lesser it becomes a job, but more of a joy. Consistency in our leadership and parenting style fosters trust, believe, and assurance in them. They need our consistency in showing them right value in and out. Regardless of the spectrum of youthful exuberance they fall to, the most important is for them to feel safe under our care.

Part Two of this series promises to be more exciting as I shall be dealing with the aspect that concerned children.

Thank you for your time.

Akinropo Akinola


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