When Your Parents Don’t Seem Make Sense
As youths, there are times when our parents don’t seem to make sense in the opinion they sell to us, advice they give with us and even their lifestyle. Different youths react differently to this situation; however, not all their reactions are honourable.
In fact, many of their reactions are, at best, dishonourable and sinful. I don’t claim to know the best way to react in EVERY such situation. In fact, I have blundered that on this in the past; however, my desire, on this weeks edition of Youth Cruise, is to share with you principles that could guide you into the right response in such a situation.
Your Parents and Their Pursuit of Your Success
To be able to handle this situation properly, you need to understand that there is more to your parents than being the channel for introducing you into the world. They are about the only people who your overall success in life is a mark of success for them.
In fact, they work extra hard to make money for your sustenance and even make more so as to ensure a comfortable life for you when they are no longer here.
Giving birth to you is one level of success for them; but your growing up responsibly, succeeding in your academics, getting a good spouse, raising your children comfortably and being a good member of your society is another level of success for them and until they die, they hardly feel they are done with the job of making you really succeed. Your success is a bragging point for them!
This mindset is what drives essentially everything they do with you and for you—including what you call their harsh treatment and senseless opinion.
They don’t mind forgoing everything they have, denying themselves pleasures and comfort just so that you do not just become successful, but become more successful than them.
They are about the only people in your life who in their illiteracy, ignorance, godlessness and timidity still desire and make sacrifices PURELY for your good. What scares me sometimes is if I can care of my children as such as my parents do, even this my old age.
I have said all these to help you understand something: although your parents opinion or advice to you may not make sense or their lifestyle godless, let it sink in the core of your being that the ultimate their desire for you, their child, is that you not just succeed; but exceed the success they have ever seen.
This reality should make you reject what you perceive as their wrong counsel without making them feel stupid. It’s should exude respect and honour to them and not insult!
Our Parents; the Imperfect Perfectionists
Parents by nature demand perfection from us either by telling us directly or by the way they punish us when we default. That’s why they keep repeating a correction they have given us, sometimes punish us severely for an offence we think it’s casual and are strict in their demands from us.
As children, we instinctively think that because of how much perfection they demand from us, their strict corrections and punishments to us, they are faultless. But that’s not the case. As a result, we get mad at them when their flaws become glaring.
For instance, you get really mad at your preacher Dad who preaches every Sunday or warns you against boys if sleeps with your house girl because your expectation from him is that he should not be involved in such.
You know the truth? Your parents are mere humans, not God! Like humans, they have character flaws and are bound to make mistakes and it’s as you interact with them that their limitations and flaws become even more glaring.
In fact, know that just like those bus drivers, pastors, professors and politicians you know with their weaknesses, your parents have theirs. That’s why they are humans!
Just like you with your baggage of character flaws and limitations, your parents have theirs. The weaknesses they failed to deal with in their youth followed them into marriage and that’s why you see some parents who although they flog you for lying still lie to their customer about the quality of their product or lie to their employer about their age.
Being parents doesn’t eliminate their character flaws; sometimes it actually amplifies it. In fact, as you grow us, you begin to see your parent’s flaws and as you learn and expose yourself to higher learning, you being to see areas they should have improved on.
I am not excusing their character flaw, my point is that you should recognize that they are humans and are bound to make mistakes. This should trigger pity from you, not disrespect to them because of their flaws.
For Christ sake, I don’t support your father committing adultery when your beautiful mother is in the house or your mother treating your father with utter disrespect; however, these flaws of theirs is not a subject of public discourse! They should not be a subject of mockery even among your siblings.
Before You Judge Your Parents Harshly
We all have certain expectations from our parents as children and as we grow old their flaws become glaring. However, before you judge them harshly for their senseless opinion, character deficiencies, please recognize that the circumstances surrounding their upbringing may have moulded them that way.
They may not have the Bible teachings and education which they have availed you what you know now; that’s why you should temper your rage for their lifestyle with understanding.
While you may have been well raised, your Dad may have grown from a society where sexual pervasion and all kind of evil is a tradition. While you may have been taught submission, your mum disrespect for your Dad may have been her reaction to the oppression she or her mother suffered in the hands of men in their lives.
Before you judge your parents harshly for giving you suggestion you don’t consider reasonable, understands that they may not the same quality of education, the wisdom of God, scriptural sense and exposure you have now. In fact, respect them for ensuring that you have that quality of education that made you who you are now.
When You Choose to Reject Your Parents’ Opinion
Now that you understand your parents’ situation, what I expect from you is that your turn down their opinion you don’t consider good enough without failing to accord them the respect that’s due to them. Don’t make them feel stupid for sharing with you their sincere opinion.
I am not saying you should do everything your parents say; I don’t. But over the years, I have learnt to reject their idea which differs with my Bible convictions and more understanding about life without making them regret talking to me.
Instead of telling them outright no, appreciate them for their counsel and clearly explain to them why you may not be able to take that course of action. They may feel bad that you didn’t take their counsel, but they will even feel worse if you made them feel stupid in addition to that.
They may have lied and you feel you have the assignment to correct them, but don’t make them feel like the worst sinners for the error. I don’t know whether, it is right for you to correct your parents (I hardly do, unless when we are all in a happy mood), but if you must tell them about their imperfection, make sure you do that with the utmost respect; otherwise, shut up.
It’s a matter of fact that your parents are not perfect; nobody’s parents is! While you wait for them to make amends and become a better version of themselves, you have a duty to protect them from the ridicule of the world. You don’t have to tell the world who they are.
The person who you think is a friend you are confiding in today, can become an enemy to your family and the things you share about your parents can be the weapon they will use to hurt them. Even when you want to seek counsel in managing their character flaw that’s affecting you, be careful to ensure you don’t go to people who can share it to the world or use it against them.
You parents are yourself and you can’t disown them. What you can do is find a way of managing their flaws while working and praying for their improvement. Find a way to manage their hurts and offences without damaging your relationship with them. If it means leaving home for school or work and visiting once in a while, do so.
Understand that your parents are not entirely evil; even if your Dad raped you. There are one two good things about them, focus on them and that will help you manage the negative impact of their lifestyle. Focus on their love for you and UNDENIABLE desire for your progress and you will be able to handle their not-making sense opinion with respectfully.
You can read more of this kind of post on our Youth Cruise Magazine, every Monday. For quick tips we share with youths every Monday, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin @BrojidWorld