IF THERE is anything stressing, depressing and frustrating these days, it is parenting. Look at it from whatever angle, parenting has suddenly become such a pain and burden to many parents.
Parenting is supposed to be a joyful and exciting experience. However, as things stand now, it is like a curse to many.
I have had the privilege to move around Zimbabwe and Africa and have engaged with various communities both rural and urban.
The cry of parenting is the same and it is that of giving up and frustration.
There are a number of reasons why parents are frustrated and depressed. These reasons might differ from one community to another, but with the same results everywhere.
This is why many parents in this generation outsource parenting to TV, maids, schools, grandparents, computer games and many other alternatives. Of course many think it is modernisation and yet it is a clear sign of failure in parenting.
You will agree with me that most of us are trying to be parents in very hard times and frankly, we need to be assisted if we are to produce responsible citizens for our country and to God, a godly offspring. We will not get any meaningful help from TVs and other ridiculous sources.
Let us briefly look at only four common challenges.
Economic hardships faced by many parents. There is a high rate of unemployment in many countries. Have you ever thought of how the families of the said 20 000 workers who lost their jobs when factories closed, live?
How are the workers coping as parents?
I am sure they are as depressed as you can imagine. One would agree with me that there is nothing as painful and degrading as failing to fend for your family as a parent.
The economic hardships have brought about a lot of other problems that have confounded parenting. Some parents are in the Diaspora and therefore parenting by remote control, living their offspring vulnerable and only to be disgraced. Actually, some of them are coming back home to nothing.
Their marriages and families are gone. It is a sad day indeed for this generation.
Ungrateful and wanton behaviour by today’s children and youths is a source of frustration to many parents and one of the biggest complaints in many communities.
Some parents work so hard to send their children to school only to be disappointed when the child either gets pregnant, drops out of school, gets involved in drugs, abuses alcohol, elopes or jumps the border. The challenge with most of today’s youth is selfishness and ungratefulness.
Most of them never think about others or their parents before they would behave the way they do. If they did, they would sympathise with their loving parents and do better.
I do sympathise with the young people today as they are also under pressure from so much falsehood and deception in the name of entertainment, pleasure, being “cool” and a devilish appetite for anything Western.
Total ignorance on the part of some parents on the responsibility of parenthood.
You will agree with me that these days we have so many young parents do not fully understand the depth of their responsibilities as parents. Parents who think it is “love” or being learned to let children do what they want.
They say yikufunda or Isikhiwa phela! What a shame to parenting! These are the same parents who are so embarrassed by their children and have nothing do to with their products anymore.
They see how wrong their children are, but will not see how failed their parenting has been.
Ignorance is costly and frustrating. Can you imagine a generation of ignorant parents?
This is one reason the world is such a dangerous place now.
One of the biggest reasons why parenting has become a nightmare and a curse to many of us is the human culturalisation of everything that human culture did not create. Parenting is of God.
Family is of God. Marriage is of God, but see how we have influenced all these by our cultures leaving God outside. What then can we do?
Go back to God. Seriously consider going back to the author and creator of parenting.
Things will be well. The church and government have to sponsor parental capacity enhancement programmes and help stabilise families in the process.
By the way, this is another very positive way of fighting crime, corruption and vice in the community. Let us focus on stabilising parenting the God way.
Let government take parenting seriously and consider assistance to unemployed parents.
Parenting is a primary duty to any other duty and must be supported if it will bring about the desired results.
Most parents are failing and frustrated not because they are failures but because of many economic, political and social reasons.
I was thinking of something like “Unemployed Parents Assistance Fund”.