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Monday, 17 March 2014

Should children respect or fear their parents?

The two words are often used interchangeably in the African culture socialization settings.  Respect is a virtue which all parents would like to impart onto their children because it is a product of love.  Fear on the other hand is a negative emotion which reveals perception of the mind and reveals incompatible levels of a relationship.  
 Fear occurs after something undesirable had happened.  When referring to children, fear should not rear its ugly face between them and their parents. Children are very smart and do understand when a particular action is not approved. These are normal socialization dynamics that prepares children to merge in and comply with the values and beliefs of the community they are born into.   When children are encouraged to learn without fear, they develop positive regard towards other people and tend to stay in this lane of conduct throughout all developmental stages. Children who are socialized into respect demonstrate the following behavior pattern:
1.    Admire their parents and regard them as role models
2.    They develop high opinion of their parents and therefore listen to their guidance
3.    They readily aspire to be successors of the notable achievement of their parents and this increase their self-esteem
4.    They deeply revere authorities in social institutions and therefore maintain good relationships as adults 
This truth is revealed when children play house.  They role play their parents behavior, attitudes beliefs and values. Fearful children do not know how to love unconditionally.  This indicates that such children will learn to manipulate others to get approval.  They will likely be unable to choose suitable mates because those who were hurt will hurt others.  Fear is revealed in the following behaviors:
1.    Negative view of the world which is demonstrated by the tendency to dictate own desires on others.
2.    The tendency to expect the worse situation all the time
3.    Low level of trust because no good things ever happen without paying in kind
4.    Anxiety becomes the natural defense mechanism that prepares a child to rise above any disappointments.
Fear in children explains why there are people who seem to thrive in strife, and become the thorn of the society.  Naturally children are not fearful. Fear is a learned negative response which is detrimental to many self-esteem issues which are hurdles of social and economic success.  Respect and fear therefore cannot occupy one spaced. Fearful children are candidates for poor relationships when they become adults…!