Over the past few days, I have had numerous conversations with random friends and coincidently most of them spoke about a something that really tormented them subconsciously. It was when they started to mention these events and situations that it started to hit them – no pun intended.
At different times, various individuals not one related to the other would bring up a topic which unexpectedly tied them together so strangely.
It would start of as them reminiscing about their childhood experiences and how they really enjoyed their upbringing – well at least most of them, they would praise the manners of which they were raised and with a great nostalgia, they would tell you the tales of all they got to experience. But every now and then there was a certain topic that would strike a nerve or two and would send them down a anti-climatic spiral to a theme of angst, depression, fear and as hard of a word as it is, hate.
Now most of my friends are about 4-10 years older than me, yeah its always wise to have those more experienced than yourself around you to learn and be guided appropriately. After all, the Bible says plans fail for a lack of wise counsel but with many advisers they succeed. But that’s a song for another topic. I personally do not have the same experiences as them and I recognize that I grew up in a different era where human rights and child welfare started to become a priority for the state and the world at large.
But to get to the point – these convos would start with giggles of how mischievous they/we used to be and how we’d get into trouble for it. Then slowly it would turn into a horror story of extensive abuse both physically and psychologically. One of my friends mentioned how they would be hit, out of nowhere by one of their parents for ‘no’ reason, as the parent wouldn’t even explain why they hit them. One explained to me how she was wrongly accused for something that someone else did, but the parent without getting clarity or listen to her side of the story resorted to extremely dubious means of discipline.
Now we’ve all seen the meme where there are hordes of household items that you had to choose from to get your butt whacked with, that’s if you even had the “privilege” to choose. But I believe that 4 out of 5 people have experienced a parent being literally outrageous towards them, from grabbing the nearest thing to them; that could be a glass that they were drinking water from or a heel that they were wearing. Man, sadly there are so many stories and incidents we’ve experienced where the line between discipline and out right abuse was a little too thin.
What I got from all these stories are people are scarred! People are having issues from underlying resentment and unforgiveness that they do not know they have.
Worst is the extreme measures of discipline we are passing it on to our children or the next generation and we do not realize it. Many would often say I would love to have my child or children experience a childhood I never had. Also I have seen many of the friends I’ve grown up with treat their children so lovingly but then there are a select few that sadly project manners they really don’t want to but because of said past its embedded in them.
I understand that our parents grew up in an era which was very oppressive and intense. Most of our parents and grandparents are but a product of their own parents and some of them had it even worse. I know many of our elders went through a military era that they had no control over, but here’s the thing. We as a new generation of parents need to try and come to a conclusion of what disciplining entails. Don’t get me wrong I have no right to tell you how to raise your children and I am not telling you how to raise your child, but – wise counsel.
If we raise our children appropriately we can avoid so many things. Imagine the man/woman who had done the atrocious things to the innocent late Cheryl (my prayers to her family and for eternal peace) a lot could have been avoided. Don’t get me wrong no upbringing should be an excuse to do such a monstrous thing. With a lot of love and respect many people have turned around from being evil doers.
There’s so much to this whole topic that could be broken down and digested. But lets be cautious with the way we treat our future, we might be providing for them and we might be doing a lot that we feel entitled to their being. However we have to realize the children we bring into the world we did so without them asking for it.
We owe them more for bringing them into a world that we’ve ruined than they do for us doing our parental duties.
This column is based on personal experience and in no way reflects the editorial policy of this publication