You cannot discipline children for things that you used to do

The children that you scold are a direct reflection of you. Children learn what they live,they absorb the activities in the environment .I listened as the old man said that his grandson stole condensed milk just like he did . Instead of scolding the child ,he explained to the child the problems associated with excess sugar . As I commuted ,I listened to the stories of the old man. He said that young parents were punishing children for the same things that they were doing. He said that this practice was wrong . 

“He bought me the dress,I like it and I am keeping it” said my 16 year old neighbour to her mother. Her mother screamed at her,advising that she ought not to accept gifts from men,because something is always expected in return. Her mother,while screaming at her ,told her of men who purchased items for her and demanded her body in return. This was a clear case of prostitution,in my legal mind. She proceeded to scold her and told her to return the dress at once.I usually listen to all their quarrels and or fights,mainly for my infornational purposes. The mother told of how she saw her daughter going down the same road that she travelled. She beseeched the daughter to reconsider her choices ,or run the risk of ending up like her mother. Her mother was by no means a role model,and she admitted that life has been hard to her because of her choices. The daughter then wept,audibly. 

The mere fact that the daughter was now accepting gifts from men,spoke volumes to me. It indicated that she was vulnerable to being manipulated by persons who had economic power. It meant that she may be willing to compromise her values to acquire the latest phones and accessories. This is a critical time in her development,as this represents her last year in secondary school. She was a direct reflection of her mother and this was a nightmare for the latter.

Coincidentally,there is a 16 year old young man residing on the adjoining property. Every evening his father argues with him. The arguments range from stealing cash,tablets,lack of interest in school. Again ,the father ,although present in his life, is not a role model and the son reminds him of this . On this particular occasion,the son appeared disheveled at the end of the school day. The father shouted that the son was fixed on embarrassing him in any way possible. The father boasted of his neat decorum after the school day. The son stated that he was not his father. He was right,but in many ways,the father saw himself in his son. 

Admittedly,it is a difficult time to be a young person. In this age of social media,internet and changing trends,it is difficult to keep up. Boys are told not to cry but men are expected to be sensitive. Boys are forbidden from playing with dolls,yet men are  expected to understand the landscape of a woman. It is confusing for a young man to understand what manhood is,where there is only estrogen in the household. Being a young woman is hard, so many expectations of you,it is difficult to meet them. The hardest part is, the parents of our generation are struggling to find themselves. They are in no position to guide us. My humble advice is to let the children love and learn. The children just may teach you something.

Even a broken clock is right two or three times a day

I am well on my way to reading one book every week  pursuant to my new year’s resolution. This week, I am exploring “The magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. In one chapter he narrates a  story of an irate guest at a hotel who sent a telegram to reserve a room for a single occupant but who came to the hotel clerk requesting  hotel room with double occupancy. The customer insulted the clerk threatening to have him fired and questioned his intelligence. The young clerk apologized but declared that he was merely following instructions.

The author was next in line to deal with the clerk but was pleasantly surprised when the clerk greeted him warmly. The author told the clerk that he admired the way that he dealt with the previous customer. The clerk stated that he refused to be infuriated by a customer like that, he empathised with the man and supposed that he was having marital problems and that the man used him as a scapegoat to feel superior. The clerk added that “…underneath he is  probably a nice guy, most folks are…”

The author then suggested that we remember this statement the next time someone “declares war on us. He said the best way to deal with situations like this is to let the other person say their piece, then forget about it”.

We have nothing to lose by following this approach. Instead of responding to their insults , especially for those of us who work in the service industry, it is wise to hold our tongue. There is nothing to gain by charging with bitter words. The other person may in fact be experiencing some trying times and may simply want attention. Although you may find that your minimum wage does not pay you enough to take insults, I am sure by the following week that you will forget the exchange of words.