When do Parents Learn to be Parents? [Archives:1999/47/Last Page]

November 22 1999

Children arrive all soft, cuddly and innocent, but they set their parents on a course of trial-and error learning that lasts for a lifetime. Children are lovely. They bring indescribable love and joy, but at the same time they bring equal doses of confusion and pain. 
However, it is parents who have the biggest influence on their children. They play an important role in forming their personalities and behavior. Children are affected by them socially and psychologically. They are important figures for children and everything children acquire or learn depends on their parents’ attitudes. For example, if parents are loving and warm in their guidance, children will probably treat other people in the same way. On the contrary, if violence takes the place of guidance, we may find children resorting to duplicate the same behavior in their treatment of other people. 
Becoming a parent doesn’t require classes or licensing. Many parents know more about the cars they are driving than about their children. Such parents who do not know a lot about their children are careless. In fact, they are not qualified to be parents or controlling heads of families. It is fair to say that such parents escape from their duties as parents. Becoming a parent requires a mature understanding of the duties of parents and the rights of children. If parents understand their duties towards their children, we will never see a spoiled or deviant child. We will never see them here in Yemen, playing football, hitch-hiking cars, or begging on public streets. We will never find them noisy at school or naughty at home. 
A parent told me that he sat with his children only on Friday, if he wasn’t busy. So his children dare not talk to him or even do anything when he is at home. In other words, when he is at home, fear becomes the dominant emotion. But that parent wishes that his children would talk to him, discuss things with him, or even ask him for money. However, it is he who caused that gap between him and his children. He is buried in work, he deprives his children of his attention, and he may deprive him of their joy, love and trust. 
In fact, how you treat your children and how you bring them up is a matter of great importance. Parents should not show superiority to their children which causes a gap between them and their children. Parents are expected to treat their sons as if they were close friends. They are expected to share their joy, happiness and also their pain with them. If a parent helps his child in his schoolwork and helps him to solve any difficulty he faces, there will be mutual respect between him and his child and an honest willingness to listen and learn. 
Looking at life from a child’s perspective sometimes offers new insights. Understanding how much your child loves watching TV may help you to deal with the tendency to overprotect. 
It is time for parents to understand that parenting duties don’t end at feeding children. They mean teaching children all morals and instilling virtues in their minds. It is the parents’ duty to set their children on the right path, and to let nothing deter them from trying to succeed in life. That is what carries families forward from generation to generation and makes societies progress. 
Murad al-Azani 
Housing and Construction office Taiz