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ImageI often sit and share the fond recollections of my childhood and remark on how good it was while it lasted. I also think about how easy it was for my parents, for in the corners of my sometimes deluded mind, I saw myself as a Saint. I believe that even if I came with a warranty as an infant, my mother would not have even thought about returning me….. Yea Right!

I remember my days at primary school, the days when I lost my shoes because I played too much Chinese Skip on the playground, the days when I had so much bag juice and candy my tongue itched and the days I used to play football everyday, even though my mother said I shouldn’t.  As a very skinny and frail looking child, my mother always feared the worse would happen if I got involved in contact sports. She told me I’d break my arm, I’d lose teeth, get tough (which was far from being ladylike in her book)  and I thought I had heard enough. I was strong though I was skinny, I was flexible though I looked frail and most of all I was brave. So i guess I did a little thing called rebellion.

Well, my mother enjoyed when I did Speech, Chorale Music and Drama and would approve of every rehearsal I was invited to, as long as it involved and included being a part of those finer things in life and not rudiments such as football, so I had a plan. Every evening after rehearsals, I would run to play football, I played my little heart out until I was given a spot on the team. I would play matches, get my jersey washed by someone…. all unbeknownst to my mother. Then it was graduation, I was an Honours graduate and the prizes came pouring in and my mother grinned from ear to ear. I guess the grin turned into a look of confusion around the time when the Master of Ceremonies said, ” And in the area of football, Chevelle Campbell…” I remember her patting me on the shoulder and saying that I got so much awards they gave me one by mistake and that I should return it. I smiled and told her at  that point that I kinda did play a little football.

I oftentimes look at Dijonay Jones from Proud Family and remark on how rebellious and sassy she was. I see her as the epitome of a rebellious child; not me! She’s the kind of little girl who has fancy cell phones her mother never gave her. Her mother has a lot of little children and still she would have the latest gadgets and the shortest dresses. Her hair all permed and coloured accompanied by a teenage attitude and tantrums. While my rebellion and hers may differ, children rebel for the same reasons.

In my eyes children rebel for the following reasons:

  1. Overly Strict Parents- Authoritarian or overly strict parenting can cause a child to rebel,  since these parents have a long list of  things the child should and shouldn’t do. Restricting children from too many activities can stifle their determination and make it more difficult for them to establish an identity for themselves. When identity crises arise, these children will rebel,  totally disregarding the parents’ wishes, as they may believe the parents are the causes of the problems they now face.
  2. Overly Permissive Parents–  For some parents, the term, “boundaries”, is non existent in the lives of their children. The children are raised to believe that almost all things are permissible. There is little or no punishment and the correct use of rewards are not employed. Therefore, in settings and situations which require order, discipline and patience- these children will rebel as they are not used to being denied privileges. People who oppose them are normally privy to endure the tantrums, screaming, head banging and other disruptive behavior.
  3. Lack Of Opportunity-  My Grandmother always told me that the Devil always find work for idle hands. Even though we may want to disown it, we have all been the Devil’s employees at some point in our lives, if we should reason based on my Grandmother’s thesis. Children may do things the parents  hate simply because they are bored and have nothing else they’d rather do at that point in time. Children who are not involved in any extra curricular activity may still end up tired, bored and sometimes even lonely. Teenagers may resort to being overly angry and adopt a Rockststar vibe- just waiting to explode at the slightest whim of misunderstanding. They may just adopt an extreme introverted style. Getting children involved in fun and stimulating activities  which they enjoy gets them involved and boosts self esteem and self concept.
  4. Need for Autonomy- Have you ever noticed how as parents we often indulge newborns based on our intuitions on why they may be crying. The irony is, by the time they acquire language their new favourite word is, NO! It seems all those NOs were saved for the day of harvest which seems to be the “Terrific Twos”