How Parents, Unknowingly Destroy Their Child(ren)’s Dream(s)

This article might be offensive to some, an eye opener to some, and just a plain “I knew it!” to others, but regardless of what it is to you, someone just has to pen this out. Whether you like it or not, you can’t be right in everything.

Culturally, most times, especially in the African culture, it is unheard of, for one to say that an elder is wrong, or is lying. But in as much as we want to keep the balance for respect, there should be a limit to what elders can meddle in. An elder can meddle, when a child is moving towards becoming a threat to the society, or is putting his/her hands into things that would hurt him/her in future, but there are some aspects that parents and elders should not meddle in a child/ward, which is a childs dream and purpose in life, as doing this would be like meddling in the balance of nature, which would definitely end in catastrophy.

I would point out that some parents have their child(ren)s life already mapped out in their head, that once a child begins to deviate from this “created idea”, they begin to see a lot of fault in that child. Okay, let me chip this in here- No Child Is Useless!!

Every person was born with a special gift. Some call it purpose, some call it talent, but regardless of what you call it, it is important to harness and build on these gifts and talents. but just like in the parable of talents in the bible, while two were able to multiply their talents, the third person buried his talent, and when their master came back, he praised those that brought interest, and became angry at the one that returned back the single talent which he had buried.  So the master took the talent from him and gave it to him who has the ten talents.  The verse 29 went on to say “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

This chapter of the bible gives an in-depth importance religious -wise of building talents. now going back to parents, please, every child was born with an innate talent, so it is your job as a parent to watch your child/ward, and notice traits that he/she exhibits, things that he/she pick interest in, and are easily caught doing. if a child likes to join things together, start early, and support him/her, as the child grows older, ask them questions, like ‘which do you prefer?’, or ‘would you rather do this.. than that..?’. Note that you must not be judgemental about these issues.

A parent/guardians duty is to guide these young ones, and not dictate for them. If your child see you as a dictator, he/she would grow into becoming rebellious, which in itself is very catastrophic.

If a child likes dancing, and is great at it, encourage the child,if you can afford an instructor, get one, if a child likes fixing things and is good at it, encouyrage that child. Give your child education, that way, the child would be more exposed to understanding what he/she prefers. if the child likes instruments, teach him/her how to play them, cameras, sports, art, science, selling, writing, acting, baking, whichever natural talent a child has should be nurtured. empower these kids with skills that you derived from their innate abilities.

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You might havegood intentions as a parent/guardian, but when you do it the wrong way, it can affect the child negatively. Remember – passion is the best driving force in a persons career. the pay cheque might sustain you for a while, but what keeps you for long is the passion you have for what you do.

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Parents/guardians/sponsors have various reasons why they might want to restrict a wards career preferences, they include;

The Need To Relive: some parents want to relive their life through their child(ren) this is as a result of past mistakes, experiences and under-achievements. therefore, they believe that a particular career would be more lucrative for a child, therefore, that career that they were unable to build for themselves they force on the child. This is a hugh No-No a child already knows what attracts him/her, and would not be so bright in another field where e/she has no interest.

Fear: some parent force particular professions on a child that they believe would make them live a secure life.

Pure Jealousy: as weird as it might sound, mischievously, some parents would restrict a child for fear of the unknown. These kind of parents have already had their dreams squashed while growing up, and they cant comprehend that dreams can be actualization, they internalize that wanting dreams is bad, When their children want their dreams it rouses fear in the parents so they in turn squash their childs dreams so they can remain on the same level. this is as a result of the atmosphere where they grew up.

The Need To Fulfill Their Own Dreams: while growing up, and before marriage/childbirth, some parents plan the entire lives of their children. The already fantasize about escapades, career choices, gender, and many other unpredictable things. This shouldn’t be so, as it leads to frustration and when you cant achieve it in reality. therefore, you should not blame the child for that, parents should know this because, just the way you can’t tell the complexion or the face of a baby that is in the womb, you can’t also predict what a child would like to be. your child is a completely new being that is different from you. believe me, you don’t share the same purpose, so, you should allow your child to choose for him/herself, while your job is to guide the child.

Like i said earlier, no child is completely dumb. God’s creation is never useless, but the problem still boils down to the system in general, and parenting in particular. Your job as a parent is to understand a child, and discover his/her strengths. work on those strengths to make them better. A person in his teenage years can  help him/herself to an extent, but still needs council, acceptance, and assistance from parents/wards.All animals are unique and strong achievers in their own domain, but they look like failures in an unnatural territory, for instance; an eagle sours the sky for miles, it looks unstoppable in its territory, its a fierce bird right? but the moment you take it out of that territory to the sea for example, it begins to struggle, at that point, it looks like a failure to great fishes who do very well in their own territory. Take a shark out of the sea, and it wont survive, but in the sea, it is a great animal. Even animals understand the job of nature, a leopard cant change its spots. The innate gifts of a child should be nurtured and not changed. it can be supported, but not changed. Do these and watch you child succeed.

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Don’t Ignore People With Suicidal thoughts.

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Its not news that suicide cases has become very rampant in modern times, people, Africans especially easily overlook it when people show signs of depression, and certain changes in actions and dispositions, signs of dejection and the likes. Parents, spouses, and friends, have a huge role to play in caring for loved ones whom they know are going through some imbalanced psychological phase in their lives. It is also good to note that prevention is always better than cure, so, if we understand cases that can lead to this act, we can find a way hinder it, by avoiding getting to put people in such tight situations, that give them that feeling that makes them to consider giving up in general. Here are a list of things that can lead people to committing suicide;

  1. FEELING OF BEING CAGED OR IN A BOX: A person can feel caged in many aspects, this is a feeling that you are stuck in an unhappy place, you have weighed every option and realized that there is no way you can help yourself out of that situation, you feel stuck, and unloved enough by anyone, you think of a way out, and you can’t come up with any other option than leaving the worldcompletely. The feeling of being trapped comes in different forms, and could be caused by different factors and people. For instance,aids and children who are completely restricted, not cared for, and not handles well, regularly insulted or beaten, and not listened to is mlbery likely to be suicidal. This affects the children more than the maid because the maid can easily run away, going back to where he/she came from, but a child has no where to run to, hence having suicidal These and many other factors can make someone feel trapped. So, please parents, and older or younger siblings should be watchful of sudden or not so sudden change in their child’s attitude. You should also make the environment as conducive as possible for you child
  2. PHYSICAL/SEXUAL ABUSE: When you are in a privileged position over someone, whom you know is dependent on you, and you use that opportunity to physically, mentally, or emotionally abuse. Take the alternative of communicating with your children, counsel and advice most times. When a child is beaten all the time, and and brought down regularly, or made to feel like she/he is no good, then he begins to feel unloved and look for other alternatives, when he can’t get one he/she begins to consider ending life completely. Also victims of sexual abuse begin to feel that they have no usefulness in life, they feel used and worthless, so, they contemplate suicide.
  3. CHRONIC PHYSICAL ILLNESS/PHYSICAL PAIN & INCARCERATION: We all should understand how important it is to be in good health. however, in some certain circumstances, some people might not be physically sound, and might lose good health for a long period of time, which affects them psychologically, that they might begin to feel useless of feel like they are suffering too much, and contemplate suicide. People who have been diagnosed with certain chronic and incurable illnesses like HIV/AIDS, certain kinds of cancer, that required loss if body parts, Ebola, some conditions that has left them in chronic and constant pains, which they find unbearable, like rheumatism among others, may begin to have suicidal thoughts, because they might not be able to bear this realization, and come to terms with some certain conditions. these people need reassurance from friends family an d loved ones, that they are not a liability, and they are not alone in their health struggle, and that you would join them in the fight. this reassurance make them believe that there is hope and definitely they would want to survive rather then giving up. people who are imprisoned also get the suicide urge, because they crave the freedom that is being enjoyed by every other person, they feel like they are not living as well as they would want, and they begin to have suicide thoughts.

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Some signs are exhibited by suicidal people include; low sense of humour, inability to communicate or interact normally, as they tend to avoid discussions sometimes. Being lost in thought regularly, being a loner, aggressive traits, loss of appetite, loss of interest in things happening in the environment, visiting or calling people to put things in order,Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse, having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights, losing interest in things one used to care about, making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless

People who have suicidal thoughts need friends an family who truly love them to comfort them, make them feel loved and understood. Never be forceful with them as that would worsen the situation. Encourage them, tell them that they have you, and explain to them that they are not alone and would overcome every situation. They need the support of loved ones. Most of them believe that no one would miss them, and this is because no one has really been emotionally there for them, so reassuring them of how much you care by holding their hands and reminding them that they aren’t alone is the least you can do to stop them from going ahead with it.

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