Management of family is one of the key elements of every individual life. This has a lot of lapses ranging from home to home. Most of the efforts to maintain the structure has become a bit difficult due to westernization and exposure to western content on our local media. Children are getting comfortable with the representation of western culture in terms of their diet, clothing, the family set up and et al. But the question which stands is; what do parents do in the midst of these changing pattern of the family due to these westernizations?
In the quest of bringing some of these children to the path of our culture, it has always raised misunderstanding between parents and their wards and in some homes leading to abuse of the child right. The few that even understand the changing pattern of this westernization caused by the media somehow get themselves confused about the kind and how their children behave and respond to stimuli.
According to Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D., a psychologist and marriage counsellor practising in Boulder, Colorado, argues that if democratic parenting doesn’t also include effective limits with consequences, that perhaps the children help set, the kids can become spoiled and entitled. When this is the case, they can often struggle to maintain relationships in adulthood, Dr Fisher concludes.
The outstanding proponent most of the parents forget in this era and how to handle the situation is democracy and how it can be applied in our homes as the basics of meeting the needs of these children. Most parents impose or make a decision for these children without consulting their take on the decision, most of the parents one way or the other think their wards do not have a say in our decision but I beg to differ that children are equally good in decision making, it is duly understandable that sometimes, force must be applied on a certain decision and not all decision we must be considered but whatever decision of which the children are part of, it is core to include them unless that family decides to go by the autocratic system of which it contradicts with the democratic system of governance and probably against the constitution of Ghana. Therefore, simply put, democracy and autocracy are on the different side of a coin.
The door to a family debate should be encouraged and always open for a child to present a compelling argument to adjust a rule or comes up with a new one, and such changes should be implemented. Michele Moore, a licensed professional counsellor from Albuquerque, New Mexico, suggests giving parents the veto power. Moore also encourages parents to come up with ways to make sure siblings are equally heard. Children are unique and some are much more willing to vocalize their opinions than others. Moore says, “You may have one very outspoken child and one who is naturally more reserved. Find creative ways of channelling the first and engaging the second.”
Parents, guardians, big sister, uncle, aunt let us teach our children how to be involved in making a decision in a diplomatic way, schedule a family meeting if possible every two weeks to solicit views on various performances, dos and don’ts each and everyone in the house. Always remember as a parent that culture is dynamic and prone to changes. It is not too late to start a happy democratic family if you have not.