Parenthood: Does it really exist?

Parenting is one of the most demanding stages in life –in terms of time, money and energy. Planning is, therefore, critical at this stage. This is so, because many attain the status either very early or too late in life, which could lead to unhealthy implications. Some people, because of their career orientation, could find themselves having to forego child bearing until they meet their career goals.

With unpredictable changes resulting from hormonal activity, it could be true that one of the parents was either confronted by menopause earlier than expected –may be, this time, it is at the ages between 35 and 40 or perfectionism was to blame for letting her take so long to find the right person with whom to share child-bearing responsibilities. There are some cases of people who skip parenthood because of fertility problems.

Obviously, socio-cultural expectations would be; that one gets children to allow continuity of a clan or community, as an investment for care at old age, for companionship, to gain satisfaction upon fulfillment the goal of becoming a parent -and from successfully raising them.

Having children, whilst a teenager, is, indeed, very challenging -as it might come with a number of risks. There can be, for example, possible contraction of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), financial difficulties, infant death and hard deliveries, because at that stage, the pelvic region may not be well developed, and lack of parental care, yet a child would need a natural environment to develop -under which care, nurturance, psychological security, supportive and loving are part. Other dangers are estrangement of family, school and social community relations. Their expectations conflict at different levels of Interaction Planning and decision making is, therefore, essential. Planning has four basic questions –regarding when to marry, when to have children, how many, and with whom.

Parenthood has biological, socio-cultural, economic and political linkages directed towards better quality parenthood. They guide prospective parent in, foreexample; safe sexual health processes and number of children, facilitating child learning and skills formation, and preparing the child for citizenship roles.

But, unlike in the period before 1980s, modern times have made parenting a little harder choice to make. At most, it takes away the collective roles that create a natural bond between children and parents, as well as healthy identity.. Today, however, ideal parents try to balance work roles and family to help give knowledge and relevant kills to specific development stages of children’s development.

On the other hand, divorce and separation is turning point in the life of a child. In absence of one parent, communication between the missing parent and child could be remote or none at all. The discord between children and parents cause psychological challenges like substance abuse, conduct disorders, depression, low self-esteem and conduct problems -all besieging the same child.

In addition, step parents, reportedly, tend to be more hostile to the children as compared to step fathers (Fine and Kurdek, 1992). Yet children’s negative experiences have been associated with low grades at school (Dubois, Eitel and Feiner, 1994). The continuous conflicts and child’s negative experience too detaches children from social and family values. Outside the family, schools and society face the consequences harboring juvenile delinquencies.

Normally, it is at puberty that a child gets the full independence after gradual phases of being oriented out of the family. Unfortunately, by this time, they are still economically dependent on their parents. This interferes with the natural drive to independence.

In spite of this, parents do carry out strict supervision of children, which turns out to be a source of conflict. Meanwhile, lasting conflict causes terror in lives of both parent and child characterized by greater stress and depression amidst uncertainty, and discord.

A parent with low education and experience may not easily understand children’s biological, psychological and social changes to make informed parenting decisions. Instead, they choose abuse and neglect of children in ways that causes confusion and chaos in the latter, until extremes when one (parent or older children) succeed at killing another. In addition, such caliber of parents tend to be more hostile to children compared to educated one. Yet positive exchanges between parent and child and health behaviors are crucial for successful parenthood and healthy development of children.

This disqualifies any such parents from being worthwhile custodians of children. Besides, they should not have become parents in the first place. The notion of  accidental conception should never be an execuse. Actually, they deserve strongest punishment possible for destroying child’s future at conception and a nation right there. Perhaps, in future, we can have mandatory interviews for prospective parents to measure parenting compentencies targeting adults. Otherwise, it is easier to believe that animals in the wild make better parents than so-called humans.

The parent’s toxic actions towards the child adversely affect child’s physical, mental, academic and social development. In fact, it is another form of murder, this time round, called identity assassination.

All these tend to occur at the same time -when the child is facing both adolescent and multi-faceted torture from the parent, with the latter playing a dramatic role of barrier to children development.

The torments towards children carry the forms of negative child labeling, verbal insults, bullying, threats to withdraw support, passive contributions to child’s development, putting forward negative wishes, typically suffocating child development etcetera.

Children without necessary support systems, lose self-esteem, drop depression episodes, experience anxiety and suicide impulses,  get consumed by acts of substance abuse, disrupts societal peace, who under extreme circumstances commit suicide or falls into lunacy. These bring forward a serious case that must never be taken lightly.

Such parents usually have grave lack of parental skills, while others have abusive backgrounds. Their children rearing styles tend to be worst. Giving a person, as that, a child to look after is as good as replacing human parent with crocodile to provide the “better” care.

The parenting style is authoritarian –characterized by constant verbal and physical assault. Communities are usually reluctance to intervene, unless serious abuses, lead to murder or deformity murder occurs.

Given the serious consequences of bad parenting, some parents are good as never parents. They do not deserve the honor of parenthood. It is a huge mistake. Whether biological parent or not, there would be no functioning future and healthy relationship at all, between between affected children and such parents. Thus, the abused children are as good as orphans in presence of living biological parents.

The characteristics of abusive parents can be spotted well in advance; acting as though competitors (with child), bullying, being insensitive to children’s needs, sadism, verbal and physical aggression, maiming and suffocating child’s developmental channels, arguing rather than discussing issues with child, and discouraging rather than encouraging or supporting positive attributes of a child, carrying out divide and rule policy at home –and amazingly creating rivalry and unhealthy competition among children.

Wandega (Wednesday September 10, 2008, pg 12), compared the times of African traditions and today –regarding protection of children against parental abuse. According to him, modern day parents have lost it all. There are many cases of child abuse, and pornographic material that at display every other day in Uganda.

Since they cannot easily apologize to abused children, parents become insecure (as if expecting revenge) -and see no more use in giving further support to the child. The conflict, then, could have reached so far that mending it seems impossible.

The result to it is open refusal to support the child in his developmental endeavors, become unemotional, and often use negative labels against the child with intentions to destroy (if not killing person himself) child’s personality.

Moreover, because the child has no person to talk to, or simply banned from discussions with people outside the toxic family, the develops suicide impulses or even carry it out for dehumanization and loss of humanity..

The abused children face child labour without and carry items above their means as part of the torture from toxic parents.

Going to a boarding school is only escape route, though some people would wish to solve problems at home problems sooner than later.. Firstly, human development issues centering on children must have stakeholders to offer alternative care –that include; extended family, family friends, schools, non government organizations (NGOs), and even government. Secondly, the first step in mental health intervention, child must be relocated from the pathologic area and physical cues of the abuser.

Thirdly, it is recommended that father and mother figures are sought to fill the void for some time.

For such children, there is greater likelihood of never relating to biological parents positively, as if they (parents) are dead and forgotten. This can mean helping a child develop new lifestyle, as soon as possible that helps him or her to recover from the long history of family trauma, to gain self-esteem, and ultimately, facilitate him or her to get surrounded by nice people –who show care and love.

On whether children go to boarding schools or not, it is a matter of time. Boarding schools are most suited for children at puberty, after all the necessary healthy values have been cultivated in their lives. This is at that time that the biological clock indicates need for independence and development.  of social relations.

But, before that, there must be informal sessions for the child at home to make him or her realize the changes going on in his or her body and those they are about to face. Then, accompanied by imparting of skills to help child (or children) successfully move about the puberty challenges and relevant social skills necessary for healthy interactions and social development.

Children, for example, need to learn and practice value-based skills, like decision-making, assertive skills, negotiation skills, goal setting, effective communication, and life planning skills. Further, knowledge of adolescent changes and contraceptive use can follow suit.

The changing times require parents to mix and balance well different roles, including parenting. For example, having to attend to work, be at home for half the day’s hours, instill morals and values, while monitoring those “who qualify” to be in boarding school. Child-care, being a hectic role, especially in the first 7 years, and management in the next 10 years, are best done joint ventures between parents and schools. At one stage, society could come in.

By so doing, parents are able to track development progress of the child and gain confidence in the kind of children they are bringing up. Any parent, who never works with schools in child development, is nothing but a stranger to his own child.

Interestingly, the lazy parent puts all the trust in the kid, expecting him to report what transpired at school, while sometimes claiming to be busy. But this is the best moment for the children to claim freedom and experiment the “no fly zones” -like; misappropriation of school fees, early employment, lose interest in learning, and abandoning or dropping out of school without notice of the parent.

From such acts, adulthood becomes a cost to the nation in terms of citizenry who are highly corrupt, insensitive, ineffective, unethical, illequipped to govern and lead masses, and total mess in the country, like one in autopilot, without leadership.