Every parent wants his children to be good, though not every child turns out into a model one.
However parents have different ways of dealing with stubborn or deviant children. In this case teenagers that don’t behave well or keep bad friends, skip going to school or take up drugs among others.
While some are patient and pray, and also talk to the children to make them change their ways, some parents beat the children, punish them and even prevent them from going out or forbidding them from seeing some friends.
Some parents even take them to the police station to make them afraid and amend their ways.
But what is quite disturbing is when in a fit of anger some parents send them away from home.
“Since you refuse to behave go away from this house. I don’t want to see you again,” they would say.
Therefore instead of solving a problem, they have created another and probably a bigger one. This is because if you send away your son, you don’t know where he would go. He may not go to a relative. He may go to the very people or friends you don’t want him to associate with.
They may think that by sending the children away, the children would regret what they have done, but rather than be remorseful, some of these children may be actually happy to be away from home. And who knows it may be the last time you see them again.
There used to be one woman with many sons who did not turn out well. It was said when they were children she was always cursing them and sending them away. It went to the extent that she would not see some of them for some years and when she saw them they were not any better, in fact some were said to be from prison or running away from the police or criminals.
So what are parents to do if they find themselves in such an unfortunate situation? There may not be a specific answer, because there is no manual to parenting though now there are some people who are ‘parenting coaches’ and they advice you on how to raise your child. But can anybody teach you how to be a parent?
In any event what is lacking in such case is family cohesion where the parents acknowledge the problem and discuss on how to tackle it. Usually the parents are busy trading blames adding more problems to the family.
One woman whose son dropped out from secondary school and got into drugs said when he went out at night she would not be able to sleep until he came back. But the father was angry with her for showing care to the son.
“I cannot give up, I talk to him. I don’t want to scare him away so that when he goes out he would not come back. That is my greatest fear,” she said.
And gradually over the years he has stopped and gone back to school. What if she had sent him away and said she never wanted to see him again?
As a result, while some are afraid of sending their children away, some do it and they mean it with all their heart. As far as I am concerned it is like a curse and you disown them. You are angry with them and send them out to be embraced by criminals.
Two years ago in a mosque from Kaduna to Kano where travelers make a stop, an elderly commercial car driver got into quarrel with a young girl who was selling food.
He said, “Any person whose mother curses and sends away, he comes to us.”
In other words those that are cursed and disowned by their parents are welcomed by them. He was proud that he was not a good person. He said this to show the food seller that he would not tolerate nonsense.
It may be frustrating, but sending your son away is not the solution to turn him into a good one. In this regard both parents need to cooperate and do their best in solving the problems of their stubborn children.