The Process - Parenting Kids Into Teenagers

By Azikeh Favour
Image credit: Bella Naija
Image credit: Bella Naija

The process as a sequence of parenting is the period whereby the task of nurturing, moulding,developing and inculcating the right and acceptable behaviour in kids is eminent. Child nurturing and upbringing come with a lot of challenges and responsibilities that require so much concentration.

In language as a means of communication, the systemic functional grammarians conceptualised the mind of every child as empty when they are birthed. Their mindset is considered "tabularasa"; that is an empty slate. Every child's language and attitude are acquired through imitation, that eventually forms their behaviour. In this light, apart from the environment as an external factor that affects the child's upbringing, parenting style and system should also be looked into. Considering the fact that children learn through imitation and reason along instructions given to be carried out, grooming kids and imbibing right morals is paramount and one that should be done meticulously. The intent of every parent is to groom kids whom they can be proud of in the future but the task that lies ahead of them is one that can be termed "process" which is also "the raw state of a fine-tuned product". The process of parenting kids into teenagers is quite a taxing one and multifaceted stage which requires you to

P: Prepare
R: Relate
O: Observe
E: Embrace
S: Stabilize and
S: Support your child.
Prepare : The stage of preparation comes with a lot of uncertainty as well as a lot of expectations as these kids are wired differently. As parents, adequate preparation for their upbringing is required. You need to be psychologically prepared for them as they grow older. In preparedness to their development, you need to know who you are to produce the kind of child you want. This is to enable you know the role you have to play so as to get the best out of them. You cannot be the opposite of what you expect of your child to be - be whom you want your child to be. There is also the need for applied knowledge that is current and resolving which includes your exposure, skill set, finance, perception and reception for your preparedness.

Relate: The need to relate the generation we are to the kids we are grooming is important in other to know the appropriate parenting style you are to apply. Way back, we were groomed to adhere to instructions without questioning. Strict rules and orders were rolled out in which we must see through thoroughly and judiciously even when we ought to have rejected but the generation of kids in this era are going to challenge, confront and will not accept what you are saying because you are their parents. They want to be part of the conversation and they are not going to give in to stuff that cannot be verified. Gone are the days,when kids accept every information hook, line and sinker. We need to know what is required for them in their era and not bank on the style of parenting we had because times have changed.

Observe: Every child is unique in their own regard. Observing your child(ren)helps to identify the kind of child (ren) you have . As their trait differs, so is their personality. Every stage of the child's life ranging from 0 - 3, 4 - 6, 7 - 9 and 9 - 12 requires different parenting process. Be a scout i.e look out for signals or identity code at their tender age ( 0 - 3 years) for children tend to display some of the likely traits of who and what they might turn out to be. This will help you know the right guidance needed. You cannot be the right handler of your child if you do not adequately know him/her. While observing your child the impact of the environment should also be considered as this may help harness or deter your child's innate abilities. Take for instance, a child who has the latent ability to thrive in sprint events but was constantly restrained by the mother due to fear but fortunately for him the ability was harnessed by the school he attended who discovered the potential in him and helped in developing that part of him. Moving on, after carefully observing and identifying the signal in the child,adequate interpretation and follow up should be carried out for the application of the potential.

Connect: You need to connect your level of exposure to the identified potential discovered in your child. At this point, series of activities take place. It is a significant turning point of the parenting process where your level of exposure and the things you do has a major role play in their lives ( be a model ) children between the age of 4 - 6 as well as 7 - 9 learn fast from what they see. If you want them to take their lives seriously in terms of academics, mental awareness and otherwise you need to be it. Teach them your family value, constant reminder of whom they are, create a start and end to every activity by living it, this clarifies your parenting system and style as an intentional one.

Embrace: As these kids grow older ( pre- teen : 9 - 12 years ) they also learn other values from the environment,i.e school,church,religious institutions,among friends and so on. Certain ideologies are being infused into the society due to different perception about things and values by different people. Kids from those backgrounds are raised that way and these are the same set of kids our children interact with which tends to influence them and be at conflict with the imbibed family values. At this point, you need to isolate the behaviour and embrace your child . Be a friend. Make them comfortable enough to trust and believe that they can confide in you. Do not be overtly judgemental rather listen to them and give them a voice. This enables you to detect some vices they might have picked from their interaction with friends that is at conflict with your family values.

Stabilize: fine-tuning your product at this stage is like beating it to cut out the rough edges to get your desired results. The point where your kids have transcended into teens ( 13 - 17 ) and their characteristic features ( independence, mental awareness and so on) begins to manifest , then you are at the pinnacle of the parenting process. While still being a friend to them, allow them strive in a friendly environment, help them realize their mistakes as well as vices they have picked from friends that are in conflict with the morals you taught them and correct them in love. This will help fine-tune and reposition their mind in other to achieve the set goals.

Support: Every individual loves accolades for having undergone a process and emerging successful. We tend to look back at our strives and how we thrive through it. Supporting your teen while he/she metamorphosizes to adulthood is the best approach you can give at the final stage of the parenting process. Be their advisor. Encourage them and ensure that they are truly on the right track .

The process of parenting kids into teenagers is like a long stretched curriculum that needs different approach to each stage as they grow older. It comes with its unique set of challenges but your child(ren)' s well being should be your priority too. Endeavour to follow the " process" and get a fine-tuned product.

©️2023 Amarachi Favour Maduka is a teacher and a teenage coach.

Disclaimer: "The views expressed on this site are those of the contributors or columnists, and do not necessarily reflect TheNigerianVoice’s position. TheNigerianVoice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements in the contributions or columns here."