How to Deal With a Parent That Is Not Always There 

The topic sounds as though we will be taught ways to blackmail and stab our parents in the face because they are never around.

Nah… that’s not it.

Remember TMO is for connecting and beautifying teenagers?

You are 16 years old, covered with melanin and slim just as I am. Your younger sister is Fola, and she is 13 years old. She is totally different from you, lazy, always nagging, acts weird, and a very competitive girl. You wonder why God had to give your parent yourself and your sister, but that’s not it. You ask God why he gave you parents who do not see to your needs.

You wake up very early, at 5:30am, to prepare breakfast for yourself and your sister. Although you have no close relationship with your mother, you have taken after her culinary skills that she sure boasted of when she was still a full house wife. You would stand by her, playing with the soapy water in the red bowl used to wash plates, telling her about your headmaster, while she makes the Ugwu soup. After a few seconds, you peep into the steamy pot, stretch your hand to ask for a taste.

Days rolled into months; you walked back from school one afternoon and saw your parents in the sitting room. The demeanor written on your father’s face scared the devil out of you. You remained quiet till it was night, you couldn’t watch Teju’s baby face show. “maybe daddy is not feeling fine” you told Fola that night.

Every day turned into coals of fire. Like the Harmattan, no matter how much you applied glycerine, your skin would look dry.

Your mother applied for jobs in various places, and found one, which although was not enough to pay the bills, was able to meet your daily needs.

Your dad is yet to be employed, your mother supported him with all she had, and encouraged him. “God will do something better” you heard her soft voice in the middle of the night. Days later you heard that your father embezzled some amounts of money and the company demanded that he returned them. What he used the money for became another issue at home, your mother had requested for an answer but he refused to provide one.

Now, you are 16years old. That’s all you can recollect about your parents. Your father stopped coming home everyday and became the nightmare your mother had always cried about. A man who never cares for his family. Today, you flash back on how your mother had tried to get the best for you and Fola. You deferred your admission because that was the best thing to do.

You seem to take your parents’ flaws, your father’s irresponsibility and your mother’s absence due to work, as a caterer. You have felt several nudging in your spirit about your younger sister- her carelessness and violent ways- which you choose to remain silent about, since your mum hardly stays home 3 days a week. The rest are for events and parties.

You have told your friends about your family, your father especially, unable to decide on your sister’s issue. You are seeking for an adult to tell you what to do.

So, Hello Reader,

The above story is about a teenager whose parents are not around, his father is totally irresponsible, he doesn’t pay their fees or bills. His mother who is working earnestly to make ends meet is never around due to time frame and money.

You see, teenagehood at times is not what we think it is. Yeah, I’d rather call it that stage where we all begin to build our lives. I can understand your plight if daddy has moved in with another woman and he doesn’t consider you as his child any longer. Daddy has been retrenched in his company, thus he is always at home yet his presence frustrates more than it relieves.

Should we talk about mummy who doesn’t care if you have a boyfriend in school, she is not bothered about your menstrual cycle. She is never there to visit you in school even though she is a full house wife.

So, Reader, calm down

Can you take a deep breath, let’s take a walk and talk about this.

1. Why do we need Daddy and Mummy?

To buy us ice cream, take us out, buy us biscuits. Smiles… maybe no… anybody can get us that.

Let’s check what the scriptures say about children (we):

Psalm 127:3. So parents ought to guide, lead and teach us what we need to know so we can fulfill purpose.

So am I saying if daddy and mummy do not guide, lead and teach us, we can’t fulfil purpose?

That’s a lie… we would and can.

2. What do you do when daddy and mummy is not around?

Here is the big question, I refuse to imagine what we can do (talking about the negative things).

Do you Masturbate? Watch porn? Take drugs?  Or drink alcohol?

3. What have you done about the situation in the family?

We might not be able to talk to our parents about giving us time. Trust me, you can tell God about your dad and mum. The Bible says “ask, that your joy may be full”. So what exactly do you ask for as a teenager if you can’t ask for a quality time with your parent.
What is the solution?

If you have answers to the three questions, then we are getting somewhere

1. Never hate your parents for who they are. Learn to love them with all your heart.

Who does that? I understand.

I recall when I was in 100level in the University, I withdrew from my dad because he was too protective; although I began to appreciate it 2 years later, it wasn’t easy at the beginning. You might hate to see your dad around, that’s why you always pray that he keeps having a job so he can travel.

Calm down… look… you should love them

Love is enduring 

You must love them, how would you do that? Learn to appreciate every little thing they do to you even if it is not what you want.

Always pray for them and read the word of God

2. Have a good circle of friends

Avoid friends that will complicate the issue in the family, friends who give you the wrong advice to steal from your parents or to blackmail them.

“Be not deceived: evil communication corrupts good manner” 1 Corinthians 15:33

3. Use the situation for your own advantage

Like the character in the story, his younger sister, Fola is the one who obviously suffers the parental absence.

Get books to read, books on relationships with people. Talk to elderly ones about your siblings and ways they can help you.

Don’t limit yourself and mourn because one or both parents are not around

Take time to know things about your career, purpose and school

Let me explain more on this. There are some teenagers whose parents do not care about their choice of career. If you are in that shoe, you don’t have to throw away the shoe. Just polish it and make it look nice.

Meet intelligent people to tell you more about your choice of career

Proverbs 13:20, “He that wallet with wise men shall be wise: but companion of fools shall be destroyed”

I believe coping with parents who are too busy or care less about you is easy when you have a good mindset. 

I hope this helps.

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