Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Saturday, 20 October 2012

THE TORTUROUS TERRAIN OF TEENAGE

The teen age is the most unsettling stage in all of the various stages of a child’s development. It is the period where adolescents struggle to carve out their identities and gain a measure of independence from authority, at the same time trying to maintain parental approval of them. It is a period where they suddenly wake up to the realisation that there are many issues to address urgently. They suddenly see beyond authority and openness towards the family and start seeing themselves: independent and matured enough to make lifelong choices.

It is a period they wish they knew it all and understood it all but they do not want to ask for this knowledge from authority. This is because by that gesture they would have submitted themselves to authority and become dependent on it, the very thing they are trying to be rid of.  It is a threshold between self-awareness and independent perception of the world as opposed to naivety and controlled perception of the world.

As they struggle to be independent and carve out their individuality, teenagers become secretive and independent thinkers and going beyond that, demand respect for their views. Unfortunately their inability to go through it all alone or handle that independence they are trying to wrest out of their parents and authority in general, tend to put them a step away from the precipice.

In their loneliness and frustrations they go through many challenging experiences and temptations. They become desperate and are prone to making decisions that will satisfy them momentarily while the long term effects are pushed to some distant future.

Being at this stage in one’s development is like being led to a thousand doors the entrance of each one leading to a whole complete maze of possibilities, alternatives and choices each one having their own endless consequences. And every day a teenager smiles at the rising sun he is beset with thousands of such doors. Each day they walk up the street they make and remake choices that affect them in the short term  and the long term. 

Teenagers, in going through that stage may choose either to flee peer pressure or to give in; either to try drugs or not; experiment with sex or not. They even choose whether they really want to continue depending on authority or be rid of it; whether they want to continue opening up to their parents or not.

Parents, at this stage, more than any other stage, should therefore provide that kind of support and show the sort of concern necessary for the child to always feel the hope of coming back whenever they feel the need to.

Rebellion among children begins here. The slightest lack of tact and any intentional effort at keeping the child in their rightful place is a fertile ground for breeding rebels in the home. However, a balance intervention, positive exhortation, quality proactive communication from parents and prompt response to teenage needs will help both parents and their teenagers.

At this stage, if your children will seek freedom and independence: give them a measure of those two and demand accountability and responsibility; respect the changes that are taking place on their physical persons and respect their need for privacy; appreciate their broadening perception of the world around them and use every opportunity you have to tactfully explain things to them. Do whatever you can by way of a balanced intervention, but for rebellion sake don’t intrude! You have led the way for the past 15 or more years, it is about time you walk hand in hand, side by side for the rest of the way!

Teens have countless questions and they demand answers to them. Make yourself relevant to them and be a one-stop centre for solutions. That is the only way they will always come to you rather than going outside for solutions. There is no such time as the right time. Whenever they ask questions, know they are not being impulsive; they have thought hard about it and have gathered the courage to ask! Remember most importantly that they also have in mind someone else they would be talking to in case they don’t get satisfactory answers from home.

With this in mind determine to be the only place where genuine information could be downloaded and therefore a surety that they will always come back to you than go to any other person.

Parents should avoid short yes-or-no answers in handling their teens. Every opportunity that presents itself, and they come rarely, should be moments of building closer ties, bridging the parent-child gap and going all out to be of help to them. 

Parents should be honest with their teens by helping them to trust them. You should let them know your fears, share relevant part of your past experiences with them and let them have a little insight into your concerns. That will be the only way they can understand and sometimes appreciate some of the actions you take. At this stage, any misunderstanding would be misconstrued to be another attempt by you to keep them leashed, all the good reason why they must be rid of you.

The communication that goes on should be quality, and proactive from the end of the parents. Parents should not, however, go snooping around because they want something to talk about. If you have nothing to say, just shut up. It should be at your teen’s convenience. Don’t let it look as though you are going to benefit from the subject of whichever conversation you get into. Sometimes you may talk at length without really saying anything; but you might have spoken volumes! You would have opened the door for future conversations.

At times, depending on family circumstances, teenage needs may go beyond emotional and psychological into material needs.  And in this era of fashion and proliferation of many things that enhances the outlook of teens, like phones and cars and the ability to feel in control financially, the temptation on the teenager to give in to a tempting situation in order to get these goodies are more than ever. 

Parents can throw up their hands in despair because they don’t have the money to meet those needs, or they can do something! Openly let the child know the circumstances at home. It is not enough for daddy to tell mummy there is no money and expect her to tell the children, directly or indirectly! It has to be discussed somehow and in an open and candid way. Let the children know what efforts are being made to sort things out and the circumstances that have made things the way they are! Most importantly, paint a brighter picture about the future; either theirs through the kind of education you are giving them or the kind upbringing they are getting, or a future in your life as a parent because of your expectations that things will work out pretty soon. Silence seldom works. 

Even couples sometimes assume that the other is rich but are refusing to help financially, how much more your children, who see you going in and out looking all good and in control? They would easily conclude you are for yourself and not for them. You do not want your teenagers to think that way about you. 
 
Teens are apt to develop some attachment towards their parents when they feel that sense of honesty in them; it is human nature! Cry with your child if you have to! 

For your children, to know your childhood failings and triumphs; your fears and aspirations and what you have been able to achieve and what you have failed to achieve, is a big leap over the field of parent-child relationship to the field of friendship. Let them know why you think you failed and what you could have done but did not do for whatever reasons. Let them even suggest what they would have done if they stood in your place. Sometimes we need to tell the story as it is. 

Intimate secrets are never treated as old school nonsense by teenagers; they are rather received as priceless lessons in life that can help them guide their own lives. 

For any parent to pretend they never went through any of these struggles is a denial of the human nature and indirectly telling the teenager that what they are experiencing is an aberration and unnatural! Not all the stories may be comfortable to talk about, but as much as a parent can, they should find a way of identifying with the needs, fears and desperations of their teenagers in a way that will not leave them alienated and bound in their plight. 

It is important to let your teens know the effect of allowing their thoughts to be infiltrated by insalubrious things that have the propensity to create a gradually infesting hunger which can lead them into temptations!

In the final analysis many parents have issues with their teenagers because the latter wanted to have their ways and the parents involved would have none of them. It is however imperative for parents to know that primarily, whatever a teenager becomes during that stage in their development is predominantly outside of the teenager's direct control; It is really more in the control of parents. You either invest time in them while they are growing up so that their transition into the teen age and their ability to cope would be smooth, or you spend time coping and handling the various unsettling issues that come up in teenage. But of this be sure; issues will come up during the teen age and the ability to handle it well will determine to a large extent what a child becomes in the future and what kind of relationship would exist between them and their parents.

Secondly, parents should remember that they cannot expect their children to make all the right choices because they did not whilst growing up! Problems that come up are developmental, and differences of any kind should not be taken so personal as to wash one’s hands off their children.

Today determine to make better the relationship that exists between you and your teens. It does not matter how many times they may have walked on you and your counsel. We all at different stages in our lives had had conflicts with people who had our best interest at heart because we took them as nothing short of puppeteers. The funny thing is after the picture was complete, we went back thanking them!

Your teenage kids would not make it any easy for you, but you have to roll-up your sleeves and be ready to work it out for the good of them. You cannot fail in this area or you would have failed in all areas as a parent.

~PG Sebastian~
2005 All Rights Reserved. 

Friday, 19 October 2012

THROUGH THE RUSH OF LIFE

Sometimes all the traffic lights turn green at various points and we just drive thru; at other times through your entire journey, all the traffic lights turn red just before you get to them. And there are times you get a mixture of both.

Yes some doors will open just before we get to them so we can walk through them and that may seem to be the story of us. There are times it seem all doors suddenly close just when it is our turn to enter them. The normal thing to everyone is when some doors close and some open as we get to them.

I believe that our lives are in the hands of God and the days of our lives are written in His books. God knows our timelines, our deadlines and the rush of our days. I believe that God will always be a lifeline to our deadlines. I believe that God will ensure that the lights are green when they must stay green. I believe that Red may not always be bad, no matter the rush of our days. I believe that green is not always necessarily the best; sometimes we get there too early and get bored just waiting. I believe that every red light, every green light has got the hand of God working in the background for our good. We are a people meant to succeed and to prevail and to make it and in time; I do not see any delays. Failings, blockages, missed opportunities; lost chances are not always for our evil. God knows the thoughts He thinks towards us; they are to bring us to the expected end. Nothing is late, nothing is lost, nothing is missed... we are built to be on time on God's clock....
 
~PG Sebastian~
2012 All Rights reserved

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

HERE'S TO ALL THE BONA FIDE WANNABES


This life is the real deal. All you see, all you hear and all you do are the real deals. You are not on camera, there is no one sending SMS on your behalf, there are no people to hope would be evicted so you become the ultimate winner, there is no one who simply tunes in and watches you all day cheering you on; in fact there is no cash prize. What you are doing is the real deal so stop living the make-believe life.

All this drama; unnecessary fights, swearing and cursing, dressing like you are on the runway in some little controlled room with people watching, cameras flashing, media men pressing. All this fake fa├žade; pretending to be what you are not, sleeping around, sleeping with other people’s partners without shame and thinking that will make others see you are real…calling it the lifestyle of superstars… when, for your info, you don’t even know where a spotlight is, let alone stand under it…

Those scars you are inflicting on yourself for all the senseless reasons; be it emotional, physical, spiritual, relationship-wise financial or intellectual are the real scars. When you are done, there will be no Radio station to interview you on why you did that or said that or spoke like that and what you intend to do hereafter; there won’t be any TV Showbiz to tell the world about your biz. When you succeed, you will simply realize that people are only there to get their cuts and run away, and when you fail, you will realize you are on your own.  

So before you put all the drama out on Facebook, tweeting it, showing to the world things a rational human being must not show to another person unless they mean the world to you, living your life recklessly as if there is no tomorrow and there are no consequences; thinking, acting and living like you will be forever young, like this there is no room for marriage, children, social advancement or any kind of responsibility…. remember, no one cares what you do with your life… seriously. Do you care about this person reading this? See? She said no! Hard as it may be for you to accept, the truth is, no one cares.

Yes, you have an entourage; your boys… your girls… but just as we came into this world alone, so we face every difficult situation alone; you fail alone, starve alone, suffer in your marriage and relationship alone, go to jail alone, get pregnant alone, get broke alone, get miserable alone and ultimately die alone. So why would you let people cheer you on, real or imaginary, till you find yourself in any of these situations, only to wake up and realise you are alone?


Take this life serious; it is the real deal, no make believes; no standbys in case something goes wrong, no after-interviews, no cash prize and no enthusiastic audience. What you do will have consequences, sooner or later. The lies, the pretense, the fake personality, the promiscuity, the infidelity, the foolhardiness, the stubbornness, the prodigality… your lack of commitment, your instability….you will pay…

Unfortunately for us, Karma now wears sneakers; you simply don’t feel it coming….sneak… in…crawl…in…surreptitiously… until you hear G!O!T!C!H!A!!!!!

~PG Sebastian~
2012 All Rights Reserved
  


Monday, 8 October 2012

DON'T QUENCH THE FLAMES...

Those moments when your partner calls you every second to check up on you....
Gets all worried and sometimes upset when they don't hear from you...
Starts imagining all the unimaginables when you don't pick their calls...
Puts a lot of expectations on you...
Gets all sticky around you...

Ah what a bother... You say...

Then after directly and indirectly putting them down and quenching their flames....

They stop calling...asking... Finding out... Bothering...they find a distraction, dangerous or harmless...

You are on your own...

Soon you start missing....missing those days when you mattered...when you were their main preoccupation, their heartbeats...when you could make them sleepless and give them heart palpitation...

Now they don't care again...

I learnt a couple of months ago...people who love you most are those who demand a lot of you and sometimes can give you drama over the least failings... The day nothing is demanded from you again is the day nothing is expected of you...again...You are treated equally like all the rest....that is when you must panic because a bitter conclusion has been drawn on you... You are no more the darling...

Be happy for the little little show of concern...you and I know love can be silly at times...
~PG Sebastian~
2012

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?

I asked a lady what will make her reluctant in telling a man her darkest secrets? She said, ‘it is not because he would leave me; my fear is that he might go and tell others what no one is to know.’

I told her, ‘then make sure, you just don 't pick anything for a man. Pick a man who is decent and matured enough to walk away, when your past scares him off, and yet leave you feeling comfortable th
at they will respect and keep your secrets.’

She asked, ‘how can I find such as man?’ I said, ‘do not fall in love with a stranger; fall in love with someone you have come to know first as a friend, even if it is for a short period. Someone you have assessed on how he has handled other people’s secrets with him. If you can find such a friend, you can be honest with him about who you truly are. Give him the chance to love you for who you are. You do not know when he will find out what your past is. Nothing stays hidden forever. Oh and some people will love you better if they knew your past; where you have been and what you have through. They will understand you better and adjust better....the Matured ones I mean... Remember, not all things you are ashamed off are as disgusting to others.....

....Do not jump into a relationship because you have met someone who can give you sex in a manner all your escapades have not brought your way. Love, relationship and marriage, are not only contracted and maintained in sexual currency.


~PG Sebastian~
2012

MONKEYS PLAY BY SIZES

When a man tells you his dreams and aspirations, you should not look at their beauty and the sweetness of the sound; ask yourself if you can handle it. He wants to be a pastor; are you carved out for a pastor’s wife? Can you cope with the long weeks of fasting and the rigorous morning and evening bible studies (which means you cannot have sex when and where you want)

Can you wrap your mind around the fact that you cannot put on your wild anklets, have body pierces and tattoos and ‘cleavaging’ dresses? Oh and you must, most likely, change all or some of your friends because they do not fit in the ‘kind of people who should be a pastor’s wife’s friends. Are you ready for that? Are you ready for that drastic pruning and makeovers? If you can’t, don’t waste his time. Don’t get into his life and aspire to change him to suit you. You will not know true happiness. Every office has its own demands, if you are not for it, stay out of it.

Are you ready for a man who travels most part of the year working all over; can your sexual drive as a woman, contain a man who is only in town for a few days? Do you think such a relationship or marriage will make it easy for you to be faithful?

Can you handle a man whose idea of wealth and prosperity is to open his gates to his family and to yours and to the general public without amassing anything for himself? Can you live with a man who, by nature of his work, is always surrounded by women?


She earns good cash, sits on top of the corporate ladder, comes from a prominent background; all good. With all this power concentrated in the hands of a woman, have you ever taken it upon yourself to find out within yourself, if you have what it takes to date and marry such a woman? Do you have what it takes, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, Knowledge-wise and in terms of maturity to be called her husband? Can you afford a woman of such enormous worth?

Demands of people vary with education, exposure, biological growth, maturity, economic empowerment, social standing, spiritual maturity among others. So do not grab a woman because she is all that, and do not allow yourself to be deceived into a relationship because the woman is all that. If you are not in tune with her reality you cannot live inside it.You do not let your ego, as a man, deceive you; not all women are carved for every man. You cannot go about spreading your authority and demanding that women bow before you. Where were you when she was building herself up? If you don’t have what it takes to live your life with such a woman, in all the constraint of her life and its experience, do not waste her time.

In front of some women, some men are as powerless as prisoners, and until a man faces that reality, he might bully himself into relationship but will chicken out overnight, raving and ranting and calling names. I DO NOT THINK SUCCESSFUL WOMEN ARE INTIMIDATING; WE SIMPLY DON’T HAVE A LOT OF QUALITY MEN WHO CAN SIMPLY COMMAND RESPECT FROM SUCH WOMEN...

Let me use a simple laundry for example... for a regular Hankie, a six year old can wash and rinse and squeeze it dry. For a regular tee shirt a 12 year old can do that job...how about an adult size jeans or a beach towel? You need certain amount of strength and muscles to get it washed and squeezed... What about white clothes? It’s for Grown-ups who understand the art of washing and knows where to wash.... not all women are for all hands... some requires more tact to manage, others require strength; be it emotional, spiritual, mental and financial strength. Some require only knowledge. If a man shall therefore seek first himself out and know what his weigh is, he might make wiser decision in choosing a woman...
PG Sebastian
2012

Y.O.L.O.

To all my young friends out here, remember YOLO is the ish... But you can see it as a time to have all the fun and paint your world red...OR you can see it as a time to put structures in place for your life so that when you take off you can burn brighter, and longer... Bigboy and biggirl lifestyles may feel like the ultimate swag, But life is bigger than a few hang out, blistering parties, hot shadders, the flex, girls girls and boys boys... If you are not lucky, you will live to be a 70 and realised you wasted the opportunity of enjoying old age because you wasted your young adulthood. Be happy, but wise up

~PG~