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Jason and Dad — The Awkward Conversation


The book, Jason And Dad — The Awkward Conversation is a discussion between father and son.It intends to portray parenting as one of the toughest known jobs on earth. You could be a parent that, perhaps, provides for the needs of the family, financially, which is alright. However, the issue is about being involved as well as showing that you’re an engaging parent – parents that are there every step of the way for their children.

Umana, in the book, looks at so many contexts and questions on how children should be raised, such as, what takes pre-eminence in raising children? Is it the religious institutions, is it the culture, the society where the families live, is it what is seen on TV, is it what the books recommend, is it family tradition, is it what grandparents say? The list could be endless, and all these perspectives are valid to some extent.

“As a parent, you never know what is waiting for you down the line. All the excitement that comes along with the pregnancy and the delivery; sometimes is accompanied by not so good a news like if the child has got some disabilities or mother is traumatized during the pregnancy, illnesses, etc. This could completely reconfigure the life of that family,” Umana says.

Not to detour from the main subject of this discourse, he says, “the context plays a dominant role in deciding as a parent when to act, what to do and how to act. The environment plays a crucial factor because there are certain expectations and laws that are to be kept. And then you have your personal beliefs.

“As parents, there are certain things we have to almost coerce our children to do if need be because of the benefits derivable from doing them, assuming all persuasive strategies have failed. Whether they like it or not is not the point now. We know that if we do not do some of these things for them when they are children, we are setting them up for failure or for a life full of challenges in the future.”

He also points out that the fear of God is essential for good parenting. His words: “We need to teach our children to have the fear of God in them, the fear of God that I am referring to has to do with reverencing God, loving and worshiping Him. If you fail to get them to serve God, do not be angry when you see them serving the devil!”

Also listed as essential in this book that not only morally sermonises, but at the same time allows you to feel good sentence construction and dialogue, is “Healthy eating – whether they like fruits/vegetables or not, we have to incorporate that into the family eating habit and make them eat it.”

Doing chores around the house – we have to make them participate in domestic chores which are proportionate to their age in order to equip them with survival skills in life. Will they like it? Some may and some may not but we have to make them do it, no matter what it costs us as parents.Reading- we have to help them form the habit of reading so that in future they will not sign their lives away without reading the little prints.

Reflecting! The art of reflecting – so that they can improve upon their lives.Meetings – family meetings to incorporate the skill of meetings, listening to other people talk, contributing ideas and knowing that your ideas may not be accepted but it’s still ok for you to contribute them. This will teach them the art of respecting other people’s perspectives. Using situations as learning opportunities – teach them to respect themselves and other people, regardless of the colour of their skin and their beliefs.

If we do not do these things as parents, we are setting our children up for failure and for a drain on the National Health Insurance Scheme and public funds. We would also be setting them up to constitute nuisances to the society, and to become wasters of public funds when the police are called upon severally because of their anti social behaviours. Then, such kids will turn out to be just some other statistics!

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Awkward Conversation
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