Accessibility mindset makes you to be available for your children. Your children will need to be free to communicate with you, they will need your counsel and your perspective about vital issues in life. When you don’t put this mindset into practice in parenting there are agents of destruction outside that will take your place and very likely ruin the future of your child. I will illustrate this mindset with two examples, the first one was culled from my WhattsApp chat history while the second one was a personal experience with one of my sons.
The Sexual Fast!
Daughter: (Coughs out) Hmmm…
Mum: (looks up at her, then continues picking her beans) Any gist for momma?
Daughter:( Looks at her) Mum, I think I am not normal anymore…like, I am sick
Mum: (Chuckles) Sick?? Why?
Daughter: Because I am over-sensitive. Whenever I see a guy, I have this weird feeling compared to when I meet a girl. Mum, I get worried often times if I would scale through adolescence without defiling myself
Mum: (Laughs) you are afraid?
Daughter: It seems you don’t understand mum. When I see a guy’s bicep, oh my God! If he mistakenly exposes his abs, then I would almost faint, feeling as if I should run into his strong, muscular arms and be cuddled.
Mum: And so? That’s why you are not normal?
Daughter: (Eyes widen) Mum!
Mum: That shows that you are very normal my baby girl
Daughter: I don’t understand mum
Mum: You fasted recently right?
Daughter: Yes mum. A three-day dry fast
Mum: There was an occasion that I made plantain and fried egg for dinner for the family. How did you feel that day?
Daughter: Mum, it was sensational! As if I had never tasted plantain . I wanted a bite so bad.
Mum: So, why didn’t you get into the kitchen to get yourself some?
Daughter: Mum, I was fasting
Mum: Nice one! Son, can you hear us from there? Put off the TV please.
Son: Ok mum.
Mum: As an adolescent boy or girl, don’t think it weird when you are attracted to the opposite sex. His or her stature or the like might appeal to you but it shows that you are normal. You wouldn’t say, you are abnormal because you can perceive the aroma of fried plantain while you were fasting. Would you?
Both: No mum
Mum: All unmarried people in this world are on a sexual fast until they get married. Different food like juices, fried fish, chicken; Shawarma and the likes would appeal to them clothed in handsome men and beautiful women of different shapes and sizes but you’ve got to block your perception! You are fasting!
Daughter: (nods repeatedly) Hmmm…I am getting it now
Mum: The aroma could be pornography, sexy boys and girls, devilish games and all but be warned, you are what?
Mum: So my daughter, you are normal. It means all the parts of your body are responding well but the Bible says you should keep your body under control.
Daughter: Mum, I can’t thank you enough. I expected you to scream at me , frown your face but You are trustworthy and I can count on you. And that is why mum is our… (Signals to the boy)
Son: Confidant! (Both laugh)
Mum: (Smiles) Blessed children…very very blessed!
Both: most blessed mother
Mum: But never forget the lesson learnt today…(expects an answer)
Both: We are fasting!
Mum: Yes. The fast would soon be over and your dish of dodo, freshly prepared with well garnished fried egg with a chill bottle of wine would be delivered to you but first, wait! Say, I will wait
Both: I will wait!
Mum: And the Lord will bless you.
Both: Amen (They hug their mother and she blesses them both)
As a parent, imagine what would have happened if the parent above had not been the listening type. Let us look at lessons which we may learn from above.
In the first place, the girl would not have raised the issue with her mum. Are you a parent from whom her teenage boy or girl can ask personal questions like the above?
Look at the innovative way she gave her teenage girl and boy a profound lesson on sexual abstinence. Notice that it was neither a formal or prepared teaching but imagine the effect it would have on those two young minds.
If she had not taken time and just shouted down the girl, the girl would have kept quiet for the moment but because she had not got the answer to her inquiry, she would have asked from another source. Imagine that she asked from a friend of hers who is already into fornication! The likely answer she would have received was that her feelings is a sign that she is ripe enough to have boyfriends, and I can assure you that the girl would have taken that advice.
Many of our young ones have been lured into immorality through the inability of parents to spend time with them.
Dad Be Praying For Me!
A few days after one of our sons was registered into a university for his undergraduate studies, I received a text message from him; “Dad, be praying for me cult guys are after me” The simple message caught my attention immediately and I called the attention of my wife to it too. The question we asked ourselves was how cultists could find room to establish themselves in a private university. We prayed about it and called the boy back that he should be careful not to go out with anyone and should not be left alone with anyone. He should ensure that he carries his bible about , make it visible and identify with a fellowship and known Christians on campus. We also wrote to the authorities of the university about cult activities in the school. However, we finally decided after a few days that the best we could do was to withdraw the boy from the university and enrol him into a mission based university from where he graduated.
Can you imagine what would have happened, if he had not trusted his dad enough to let him know the pressure under which he was?
The most likely thing would have been that after much pressure, he would have responded to them and who knows what the end of the story would have been? That is how many pastors children become cultists and join other dangerous gangs since we are too busy attending to other families but have little or no time for our own children. Does your teenage son or daughter trust you enough to call you and express concern to you will do something about it?
The following are some of the reasons why they don’t trust us enough to share with us their thoughts;
i. They feel we are too busy to listen to them.
Many of us are really “too busy” to be with our children. We are too busy with our jobs and with other activities to the detriment of our own family.
ii. They feel we don’t think their questions are important.
There are information that are vital to them at their various stages of development that we may not feel that are important. In the first story above, some parents might have wondered why the girl asked such foolish question or wondered whether she should not have even been ashamed for asking such question.
iii. They feel we believe that they should know.
We often assume that our children should know certain things. Indeed they have access to information which we did not have when we were growing up. Despite that however, the lessons they learnt from us have a special way of clinging to them because it has authenticity to them.
iv. They feel we believe that they should have been taught by others.
Parents often believe that most things should be taught by the teachers at school and probably the Sunday school teachers. Yes, there are a lot that they will learn from their teachers formally in a classroom setting but as parents there are so many touches that the home will have to make in the life of a child that no agent of education can make.
v. They feel we believe that they are too young to ask those questions.
Depending on their ages, there are certain questions that children may be too young to ask. However even if they ask such questions, we should find a way of bringing it to their level, letting them know the ones they should know now and postponing the one ps that are too advanced for them.
vi. They feel we believe that they should be able to take care of themselves.
Some parents, if they receive the message that my son sent in the second example above may have the feeling that he should be able to take care of himself. We really should train our children to be independent but there may be some issues that may be beyond them or which the implications of failure to handle it right may have untold consequences on their lives and even that of the rest of the family in the future. In such matters, it may not be wise to leave them alone with it.
vii. They are often afraid of us.
Many parents handle their families in such a way that make their children to actually be afraid of asking questions or seeking counsel. Being too much afraid of us makes our children to seek for help from where they should not seek it, with dangerous consequences for the future.