She called me frantically. Her son’s issues had escalated a notch higher. From picking up things which were not his to fully fledged theft.

A relative’s phone which had disappeared sometime back had been found with the dear chap. The same person had opted to disappear only a couple of weeks back sighting being unloved because it seemed he just never managed to be out of trouble everywhere he went.

Another frustrated father sighed heavily as he spoke of his daughter. She had just been expelled from the third school in just two years. Real life stories! Sometimes, it feels like being a parent to a pre-teen or a teen in today’s era is much more complex than meets the eye.

You see, this is the reality of the world we live in. A world where a parent must work tirelessly to ably provide for the family, the children need to be well taken care of, they need to feel loved blah blah blah…

But the same children demand that the parent is available to play games with them, to hear endless stories and chat about life, to read bedtime stories as well as kiss them goodnight the same way it happens in the movies. The fundamental issue though is that the life in the movies is not real. It is folks playing out a script before a camera.

In the real life, no matter how sweet your baby girl looks especially in photos, she can be a real brat and that is putting it mildly.

In real life, your child can drive you to the wall with a stinking attitude. In real life a mother has to continually handle smelly messed up diapers as well as cleaning a child’s dirty behind. In real life it gets terribly frustrating when as a parent one has to be summoned to school because their child has bad manners.

It’s deeply frustrating to tell a pre-teen to clean up their room a zillion times like it’s you who will be sleeping in the messy bad or for one to shout at a fellow who is allergic to bathing.

It’s an understatement to mention that sometimes a parent wants to get the child and throw them off a huge cliff if only for one to maintain sanity for a few hours.

I recall a friend who slapped her daughter because after repeatedly begging the child to take their medicine, the little girl refused.

The girl’s condition grew worse and soon they were admitted in hospital with the child unconscious. It took a lot of comforting to help this mother not to blame herself because she had been so angry.

Many times, I ask myself where the balance is. At what point do you love your rebellious child enough for you not to want to give them up for adoption. One parent sobbed heartily as she buried her previously drug addicted son. She had just painfully nursed him in Mulago Hospital until he succumbed to Aids. The good book says when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to a rock higher than I. May God help us!