Create-a-new life!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Taking control: Ideal period to relinquish parental power over your children!


Relinquishing parental powers over teenager children is a debatable parenting principle that is determined by societal values and norms. It is also influenced by whether the parents are educated and living in urban areas or uneducated and living in rural setting.
What doe education has to do with relinquishing parental power?
In the context of Lesotho which is located at the Southern African region, there are two types of parenting approaches: The first is a traditional one wherein parents never actually relinquish power over their children in the sense that they expect to be part of their major decisions even after getting married. For an example, they approve the number of children and their spacing. Actually a son will not make any decisions that oppose his parents.  
Secondly, there are educated parents living in urban areas who have moved from the traditional way of life. Education changes behavior because it enables a person to be open-minded and question principles behind beliefs and values systems. In this case the central question would be; at what point would you let your children gain experience and live their lives? The guiding principle would be to regard parenting as coaching your children from birth to learn to be adaptable to the fast changing world and be independent and seek the best in life.  They can only achieve that if they do not duplicate their parents’ lives; rather they should improve on what they experienced and use available resources to build their own legacy.
The impact of tight controls on your children!
Tight control tends to produce ‘robot’ children who operate from fear rather than from understanding the rationale for acquiring life skills.  Tight controls also tend to subdue children and suppress their free will to think and follow their hearts; thus depending on adult person to chart the course of their future.  For an example, your son may be a potential engineer and fail to pursue that course because he depended on your unqualified advice. How? By believing in you not because you are an authority in the field, but due to the fear of disappointing you for suggesting career counseling.  Such dependent attitude is harmful because it would encourage such a child to not think outside the box. 
If you want your children to live like you, it means you are not empowering them because life itself is dynamic and ideal change is growth.  It is normal to let your children build on whatever informal education you exposed them to and formal one they undertook to experience upward economic mobility. Another danger of tight control over your children is depriving them opportunity to learn from their mistakes. A mistake is an opportunity to review and improve your original motives and strategies.
Ideal period to relinquish control over your teenage children is when they have been empowered to take responsibility of their actions.  It is being there to offer support to heal from emotional wounds and pick themselves up to start over; never letting go of what they believe in. When parenting becomes overwhelming, it does not build an ideal attitude but it suffocates children to the point of non-growth.  It is therefore ideal to coach your children and not run their live to an extent that they do not feel responsible for their failures.