It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence. Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
– Soniya Ahmed.
One thing I have come to realise is that a child learns lessons in life more from the unhappy parents than from the happy ones. Doubt it? Let me give you an instance. As a toddler I was a handful, very mischievous and played a lot of pranks on my baby brother. Now, I can tell you I still remember the spanking as if it happened yesterday but the pleasure treats are vague memories.
Though I remember bits and pieces of the fun times, I can recount exactly the ordeal of having to endure a spanking as a young 5yrs old. What you say and do creates the greatest impression on your children even before they get to start school and have a teacher. You are the first teacher your children have, and being that their brains are developing very fast at that age they digest everything that is thrown at them.
Your relationship with your children either makes or breaks them. Loving your children is totally different from spoiling them. What love do you have for a child who doesn’t know what respect is? A child who doesn’t honour you? Who thinks not being given every want interprets to hate?
I know that raising a happy and loving child is very important but also doing it the right way is the key. It takes a conscious effort, day in and day out, to make sure that the little people you adore so much turn out to be men and women who make you proud. Not an easy job but it’s so rewarding I tell you.
Here are a few tips I thought I should share.
Love your child: You need to tell them you love them. Sounds absurd that you would have to say it ever so often but believe me, seeing you feel they should know but they always need to hear it.
Praise them more often than scold them: When was the last time you rewarded him for being good? The praise reinforces and reassures them of your love.
Listen to your child: when having a conversation with your child, make eye contact and really listen to your child. Makes them feel they are important to you by forcing all attention to her while she’s talking.
Be physically and mentally there for your child: when at a birthday party, cheer her as she dances or competes in school, be her No.1 fan. Put away the cell phone and give her all of your attention and watch her bloom because of the attention given.
Encourage his dreams: don’t try living your dreams through him. It’s really easy to get caught up in our own ideas about what we want for our child that we don’t consider what he wants. I’m so guilty I know that but then, instead you think what he wants.
Talk about it, things they are interested in: Help them find ways to learn more about that thing that makes them tick. Doing this will instil in them self confidence as well as totally trusting you to have their backs.
We belong to a generation that is losing the very essence of being Africans, where things like respect is just a word not practised anymore. Where parents are too busy with everything around and with them, our kids are left at the mercy of the television and the nannies to be groomed.
A young child giving up his seat for an elder is a luxury, a child leaves the room when adults start a conversation is oh so rare. We need to re evaluate our lives, it’s not about the next person but about YOU.
Do you consider yourself an example worth emulating? Where do you see your kids in the next 25yrs? Will you be proud and say, Yes! I did well bringing up these children?
Send me your thoughts people @ email@example.com. It was great hearing from you last week, your letters gave me a boost and I’m beginning to feel right about talking with you.
See you next week and have a fruitful week ahead.
Be the best you can and leave the rest alone. – Lian Idagbo.
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