Hello MIM, after I read the Mimster’s story whose 15-year-old teenager failed his exams, I would like to share my personal experience on how my parents were able to manage our peer pressure.
My father might not have been the best parent, but when I look at the woman I have become due to the discipline he instilled in my sister and I, I am happy he did what he did.
Growing up, my sister was much like the 15-year-old the Mimster complained about. She’d skip classes to go out with her friends, perform badly in school, and by the age of 13, she already had a BF who took her to a bar beside our house to chat with her. My Dad is extremely strict, so when he found out, he was heartbroken and dealt with my sis and the guy in question accordingly.
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Before then, my Dad didn’t want to see our friends at home but after that incident, he insisted on bringing our friends home (under the supervision of an adult) instead of visiting them. But my sister just became more cunning. She would skip classes to visit her friends or they will all skip school to go swimming and visit their BFs. Her scores in school became worse and she failed her national exam.
My mom was heartbroken and became ill. My dad got more upset, enrolled her in a different school and met with all her teachers to whom he gave a book each in which my sister most sign each time the teachers had a class with her and if she just happened to be absent once, the teachers were allowed to deal with her properly with the permission of my Dad.
It didn’t end there, every weekend after my dad returned home (his workplace was very far from home), he would go to her school to follow up on my sister’s school life. You would think he would get tired, but he didn’t. For nine months of school, he did that every week, at times even embarrassing my sis before her classmates.
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We all thought he took it too far and was harsh on my sister, but we didn’t know that my Dad had recognized my sister’s weak point and was using it against her which public embarrassment, and will do just about anything to avoid it.
In my own case, I loved doing what my friends were doing and never took no for an answer. My Dad was very fond of me. And because I always performed excellently in school, he let me have my way when I throw my tantrums. My mom didn’t like it as I became very naughty and since she was the one who spent more time with us, it was easier for her to notice. I would bully my elder sis around and act aggressively to my mom if she made me upset so Dad got onto my case. He would make me do exactly what I don’t want to do to prove to me that he was the parent and I the child must listen to him.
My sis and I almost ran away from home. Dad found out and took us to the police station. He told the police that we are his two very stubborn kids, giving him a headache and if we are found anywhere in without the adult supervision of a relative, we should all arrested, properly beaten, and locked up.
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We went home that day feeling really terrified, we felt like prisoners in our home. We weren’t allowed to go on holiday as my Parents wanted to monitor us closely. They would rather bring other relatives to our house for holidays even up to 6 relatives but would keep us in a strict and very busy routine. Holiday classes, nap, lunch, and during the few leisure hours we had, we were given egusi (melon seeds) to peel and everyone had a target to be met. If there was no egusi, he would give us some extra work like knitting, arts and crafts amongst others to make sure we were not idle.
It wasn’t easy, trust me, but gradually the peer pressure and other unnecessary things became suppressed by the fear of our Dad and a sense of responsibility and love for other things that took over our minds. My sis and I became more interested in dancing which I do a lot during my free time rather than going out with friends. Even up to my University level, I would rather stay in my room for 2 days straight if I had nothing to do in school. I will watch my movies and study rather than go out on unnecessary outings with my friends. I saw no need in doing things that won’t benefit me, and avoided activities that could even get me into trouble.
Today, my elder sister is a nurse who is already earning her own money, and I a computer software engineer though I am not yet employed. When I look back at my life, I am happy my parents did what they did to prevent us from becoming waste to society.
Most of those friends I used to envy due to the liberty they had are nowhere close to being on the right part. Some are school dropouts due to unwanted pregnancies, others are in jail, while some are living off prostitution and scams. A friend of mine is even running madly on the streets due to hard drugs, a few are also struggling to find a better life, some are doing well quite alright due to an early change in their life too.
After my University education, I decided to leave my hostel though I could stay there and came to join my mommy to struggle while searching for my own thing to do, something the old me would never have done. The old me would have rather stayed in my room and partied with my friends amongst other things which I know see as a waste of time and resources.