Mature adults are individuals who know themselves, understand their life missions and are accountable to someone greater than themselves for their choices. They are driven by their mission.
This gives them the ability to form HEALTHY partnerships because in defining themselves they are defining the kind of partner they require. It is a step by step journey – a journey that requires skilled parenting if you really want to prepare your wards to go out into the world and realize their greatness. Parenting is possibly the most important ‘job’ we will ever do so we need to acquire the skills to excel at it.
What Kind Of Parenting Did You Receive?
How many Ghanaian children really know themselves and grow up to be mature adults who really understand their missions and why they need to partner others at home or at work?
Many of us do not know ourselves. We were trained to fit in with image of the well-behaved child that society admires. To achieve this much of our parenting is based on fear.
It is very good to desire disciplined, respectful and submissive children. But when this means that in order to have such children we often beat them, insult them and put fear into them and as a result (unwittingly) tend to strip them of creativity, initiative and dignity then we have a BIG problem.
What we need to realize as Ghanaian parents is that:
HUMILITY IS NOT THE SAME AS A LACK OF CONFIDENCE. Humility is thinking of yourself less (not being proud) it is not thinking less of yourself (looking down on yourself in low confidence.)
In Ghana we routinely destroy our children’s confidence by shouting at/beating them unnecessarily in public which breeds timid (as opposed to humble) children. Timid children lack confidence. As a result they will do the least that is requested of them because they believe that whatever they do may be wrong and they will run the risk of being beaten or shouted at. The result? In all but the strongest persons initiative and creativity are killed.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Training in REASONING is largely absent from the Ghanaian upbringing. ‘Sweep this room every morning or I will beat you’ barks the parent giving the child no real REASON to sweep the room aside from avoiding punishment. The child will never take the initiative to do it without being asked, because she has learnt to operate with threats. She will only do the tasks that carry the biggest punishment if left undone. When the authority figure has turned her back, zero impact has been made.
We also need to do away with the idea of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ method of training where we believe all children need exactly the same treatment. Each child is different and, whilst there are general principles that apply to all children, as parents we need to get to know our children as INDIVIDUALS. This is covered in-depth in my book on parenting which presents my parenting AID – A is for authority, I is for intimacy and D is for discipline (which is different from punishment).
Changing the way we parent is the duty of all of us not just biological parents.
Our African ancestors understood long ago that it takes a village to raise a child. This is godly wisdom because it turns out that God, whom the Bible calls the Father to fatherless, has, in His wisdom established a network of non-biological parents across every society with specific parenting ministries.
Many of us have actually met our non-biological parents (who could be older than us, the same physical age as us or sometimes younger!) but we did not know how to handle them or how to respond to them. And many of the non-biological parents themselves did not fully understand exactly what they were being called to do.
Too often the relationship between non-biological parents and older ‘children’ of the complementary sex to them is sexualized and reaches a dead end.
Find out more in my upcoming book on parenting.
You can also do our our parenting course.