The three phases of Parenting (Part 2)


The age of Clarification & Consultation is the 3rd phase and I must say it is the stage parents dread the most.
Many don’t even understand the implication of this stage let alone what it entails. This stage reveals how much and how well you been working with and on your kids. It also reveals how much time you’ve wasted buying toys, clothes, video games and gadgets, ice cream, expensive vacations without really doing the real job of parenting-engaging,listening and drilling down values into your kids.
This stage starts from the age of 13 and lasts for a long time depending on whether this “young man” or “young woman”(we often call teenager) loves your company or wants to do anything possible just to stay away from you. We mess up this period and indeed the opportunity to enjoy our kids when they are about becoming adults by trivialising the last two stages- The Age of Indoctrination and The Age of Consolidation.
Don’t forget ;despite spending the last 12 years on constant indoctrination and consolidating on all the values you want your child to imbibe, a time comes when the boy or girl (sorry I actually mean man or woman) begins to contest your ideas-not just ask mere questions but serious interrogation of some of the values and principles you’ve rammed down their throat.
“Mummy, you said we shouldn’t have sex before marriage but daddy said you’ve been married for 14 years and I’m 16 years…how did you guys do it?”
It’s not the time to scream “my friend shut up and go and read your books”. You’ve just been docked, and it’s in your interest to make sense in your response otherwise anything you say would be used as evidence against you.
“Hello sir, my mom and I went for one of my cousin’s wedding yesterday and I was asking my mom and my aunties why they were all dancing and rejoicing when I expected everyone to be disappointed “, a teenager once told me some years ago.
I tried to find out why she felt that way at her cousin’s wedding. “Because she was pregnant before her wedding day and my mom who apparently danced the most had always preached to us to delay sex before marriage. Why is no one complaining about Tega’s pregnancy or it didn’t come through pre-marital sex?”
To think that this was coming from a 14 year old was disturbing. And I fear her parents may lose her on account of that incident which to her was brazen display of hypocrisy at the grandest order.
Would you blame that girl if she becomes rebellious? The answer is any body’s guess. Truth is; the age of Consultation and Clarification is not one for dominating, imposing ideas and issuing out commands. You’ll be on your own! You must be prepared to answer questions, engage and lead while evaluating your decisions to be sure you have not lost your “young man or young woman”.
So, imagine what would happen at this stage if you have bungled the age of indoctrination and consolidation? Certainly it would be tough if not too late to start introducing new ideas and values here. It may not so easy introducing morning devotion here when we’ve not done it for 12 years.The man and woman is fully formed… “and now they have become like one of us”.
Still wondering why so many parents are contending with their teenage children? They bungled the age of indoctrination and consolidation. Now,there is really nothing to clarify. It is too late in the night to organise a search party to find the lost black goat in the forest. It won’t be an easy search.
Your thoughts are welcome as we… #letsrethinkparenting

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