Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 9th 2014 Contents A43
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
"It s very tough but we have to
really try harder to find more effec-
tive ways to deal with our children s
errant behaviour; a good licking
isn t always the best answer."
What will your adult sons and
daughters remember about their
childhood when they go down mem-
ory lane with their own children?
Will they talk about family meals,
after-dinner laughter and family jokes
and conversations? Will they talk
about the long drives to the country
or to the beach?
Will they remember the long hours
of board games, the stories read to
them at bedtime, the family get-
togethers, the conversations with
Mom, Dad and other family members,
those special "alone" times spent
with each parent, the long weekends
spent together? (None of these really
have to cost a lot of money).
Or will they remember being
embarrassed in front of their friends,
being criticised, ridiculed and cussed
out? Will they remember being hit
with the closest object and will they
shed tears as they recall the terror
they felt as parents fought and quar-
relled consistently and relentlessly?
Will they recall all those times when
they ate alone in front of the TV or
in their rooms because no one really
cared about being with one another?
How will the isolation and loneliness
Trust me, our children will remem-
ber each blow: mental, physical or
emotional, just as we do about our
own childhood. The hurt will sting
as they recall the neglect, the attacks
on their self-esteem and the absence
of love and caring.
Not only will they remember, but
those experiences will affect the very
fabric of their beings as children s
lives are forever shaped by the pro-
found impact that we parents have
on their future as they strive to be
parents themselves; as they strive to
be lovers, and husbands and wives,
and friends and employees.
Scary, isn t it? Scary, but true,
because we are the first and most
powerful influences in our children s
lives, for better or worse.
Ask your teenagers if you don t
believe me. Ask your adult children.
Ask your friends. Ask yourself. Just
for a moment, think about how you
have been affected positively and neg-
atively by your own parents.
This retrospection alone should
make us all want to be better, to try
harder especially since the world that
our children face is so much more
complicated and complex than ours
There is enough misery on the out-
side, in the community and in the
world for our children to face.
They should not have to contend
with the internal turmoil of a dys-
functional family or with any type of
physical, emotional or verbal treat-
ment or assault to their dignity and
Today, truth must look us in the
face and we must ask ourselves if we
are really doing the best that we can
do to prepare and help shape and
influence our children so that they
can go out there to face the serious
challenges of a global environment.
We must ask ourselves, whether
we are trying to give them the best
home as this may just prevent them
from making poor choices about
drugs, domestic violence, and all the
other negative influences that beckon
to them every day.
Here s the thing. It is never, ever
too late to make a change! It may
take some courage. It may take some
time and humility as you seek the
help and support you may need in
order to make changes in your life
and your family s home life but if you
truly crave a change, you will find
the courage to take that first step---
and the rewards will be so great for
you and for your family members.
Children and families are under
siege and we have to recognise the
importance of creating and sustaining
home environment that is non-
threatening and nurturing and
absolutely free of any form of phys-
ical, verbal or emotional abuse.
Now is the time to understand the
profound influence of our behaviour
on those we profess to love. Now is
the time to take that first step towards
As you do so, remember that Rome
was not built in a day. Change takes
time and the best kind of change is
incremental so take one step at a time
as you begin this journey of love for
your son, for your daughter, your wife
and most important for yourself.
Dr Starke is a lifestyle
coach/counsellor and an OD (Organ-
isational Development) consultant
who works with teenagers, adults,
families and organisations. Please
Children will remember
Trust me, our children will
remember each blow:
mental, physical or
emotional, just as we do
about our own childhood.
The hurt will sting as they
recall the neglect, the
attacks on their self-
esteem and the absence of
love and caring.
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