When the Chip begins to resemble the Block….

Posted: May 24, 2011 in A Thought As It Happened, Ramblings
Tags: , ,

This one might be just in time for Child’s Month. Though at the end of May, I have felt an urge to throw my thoughts on paper for my blog once more. So here goes…

Picture it: May 2001 and I am greeted with a “Me a go send you go live wid u wutliss puppa enuh, cause it look like u waan wutliss too.” Yes, my mother actually said those same words to me. Looking back I might have deserved it since at the time I was up to no good. But it was not a life-threatening, emergency, grave situation that warranted her to say that to me. Luckily for me, she was the mother who was uncompromising and severe when it came to her children being well-behaved and especially when it came to our education. She never missed a PTA meeting or a Parents Day and while she never let us go hungry or naked, she too, did not forget to remind us that she was a single parent. we had to appreciate every opportunity we were presented with.

Flash-forward to 2011 and now more than ever I am hearing parents telling their children similar and harsher words of discouragement; admonition into a future of worthlessness, uselessness and nothingness. The negativity they speak are vile and with reproach; speaking into being the destruction of their children’s future long before providing them a full opportunity to realize that future. Let’s face it, being a single parent at any time in Jamaica cannot be a simple and easy task. Unemployment, underemployment, low minimum wage and the ever raging monster of crime and violence continue to make raising a family an uphill task. This situation is further compounded when you see a mother or father left to raise several children on by themself.

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Let’s not get it twisted; there are single-parent households that have stood the test of time, ‘bad breed and bag-getting’ children. Likewise, I am not bashing single parents for their outbursts, most often time delivered in the heat of frustration and anger. What the issue is, however, is that parents are not cognisant of the effect that their words of anguish and destruction will have on their children and the children’s frame-of-mind. Rebuking your child into submission is one thing, but you must, as a parent, understand that it affects their way of thinking and ultimately all the decisions they make. Likewise, if you don’t socialise a child to be obedient, then how on earth can you expect that child to be obedient and respectful? Children live what they learn and parents are, therefore, inclined and obligated to lead by example.

What good can come from a child, who can only recall all the negative, degrading and destructive words that continue burn their self-esteem like acid on skin and that continue to be discharged from the venomous artillery of the supposed-to-be loving and nurturing parent? I was lucky enough to have been burnt once, but thousands of Jamaican children are constantly and consistently mentally and physically scarred by the people who brought them into the world. The same people who are supposed to nurture, protect and love. It has long been a sad day in Jamaica and the days grow dimmer with each poisonous bullet of verbal destruction and degradation that bores another wound in a child.

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Notwithstanding, parents are stretched thin a lot of times and they often times break and will break under the pressures and rigours that come with the society. My heart goes out to the ones who continue to wait it out and fight it out for a better life for themselves and their children. However, in a situation like this all perspectives must be looked at and we can’t address one without looking at the impact and correlation of all the others. For that reason we cannot, also say, that parents are allowed to verbally destroy their children; slamming them with more loaded, lethal and dangerous bullets by rebuking them into a worthless, useless state of nothingness.

I have spoken to many teachers and the results are all the same. A lot of children come to school and they do absolutely nothing. This is not to say the child is incapable of doing something, but they are mentally incompetent because their parents and guardians have verbally crippled their thinking with negativity, hopelessness and despair. When these children do decide to react, it is often times negative, violent and fatal reactions.

Often times, fathers and especially absentee fathers are blamed for actions inflicted on the child by the single-mother and vice-versa. Truth be told, if a woman didn’t want to indulge in sexual intercourse or unprotected sex she could have stopped. Yes, men continue to be the aggressor and will even resort to violence to get sex from women but if the woman will not take responsibility for her part, then she should expect the consequences…albeit it’s a child and a child carries numerous responsibilities with it. If by that statement you think I’m advocating abortion then this blog is way out of your league. Likewise, I do advocate for men to be legally addressed when they fail in their fatherly duties.

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I say to spare the rod and spoil the child. But this simply means to scold the child and punish accordingly where necessary. A child will always need attention, a listening ear, a word of encouragement, a smile and genuine care. It’s not an easy task, but it can be achieved. There is no perfect way to raise a child and parenting is more often than not a trial and error situation. Therefore, it is a work in progress and for that reason work to progress your child to experiencing their full potential, surround them with as much positivity as possible and when you are about to inflict a verbal assault on them remember that you want that child to have a better life than you did.

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Again, it’s a work in progress, trial and error and so you can work on it. Growing up is in itself a task for the child. Therefore, if the parents don’t lead by example then the child won’t grow by example and I’m sure by now you can see the plethora of issues arising.

PS

Your replies are always welcome.

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