Mother’s Day will come every year and go, and each time, we will celebrate our mothers for giving birth to us and taking care of us and bla bla bla. Some people who can afford will organize big parties and surprises for their mothers, for the majority of us who are not capable financially, we will post our mothers on our social media and give them all the hype they deserve using all the appropriate hashtags. After all these hashtags and cosmetic celebrations on social media, what becomes of us till the next Mother’s Day? Today I want us to reflect deeply on how some of our parents are raising their children. Even though it is Mother’s Day and most people argue that mothers do most of work when it comes to parenting, I strongly believe that each parent has a role to play.
It is not enough to just give birth; it is not enough to just put your child in school and pay their school fees every term or every year. It is not enough to fed them three times daily, or provide clothes to cover their bodies. It is not enough to provide a roof over their heads. It is not enough to take them to the hospital and pay for their hospital bills when they are unwell, and all the other physical things that parents provide for children. These physical needs are very important and necessary for them, but they are not enough. As a parent, you should not put so much emphasis on your child’s physical needs and ignore other aspects of their growth, emotional, psychological, soft skills, social skills, and so on.
No one is known to be perfect, but we can at least put in efforts to raise children who will grow to become responsible adults. Parents need to bear in mind that the children we are raising are going to be interacting with other people. The children we are raising are going to become marital partners to some people in future, they will become employers or employees of some people, they will be neighbors to others and most importantly, they will become parents and caretakers too. Children will be entrusted to them and it will be their responsibility to raise them too. If we have this at the back of our mind at all times, I think
that we will be more conscious about how we raise our children.
We don’t need to be overly rich to teach our children to be respectful to others, and that we don’t have to be abusive (verbally or physically) when we have misunderstandings with others. Children need to understand that misunderstandings are normal and we can talk about our differences, explaining why we disagree with others, and also listen to others explain their point. Apart from shouting and throwing tantrums, there are so many other less violent ways to communicate our thoughts, emotions and feelings.
It is also important to teach children that it is not always about them. Children by nature are selfish and greedy, you will see this as they grow, sometimes they don’t want their parents to be nice with other people, even their own siblings. If parents are not able to tame this selfishness, the child will grow up to be that employee who embezzles funds, or that employer who expects employees to break their backs for the organization for very meager remuneration. Teach them to be assertive, to be kind, patience, to listen, to be loving and to think critically. Do you remember a situation where someone acted so insensitive towards you? Chances are that their parents didn’t emphasize the need for them to share, to be empathetic and to also show love to others. Most parents try, and when they realize the children are not listening to them, they give up. That is why you are the parent, make them listen to you, sometimes it may involve taking them through unpleasant and uncomfortable experiences, I think it is worth it.
They will be glad you didn’t give up on them, I have heard a lot of people recall how they thought they parents were wicked or mean to them when the parents took some decisions about them in their formative years and they thought the parents didn’t love
them, only to grow and realize that it was for their own good. So, do it for them, they may not appreciate it now, they will in future. Tell them no, and insist on it, let them know and understand that they won’t and can’t always have things done their way. Teach them to be responsible by owning up when they do something wrong, and taking the punishment that comes with breaking rules. Most parents will quickly reward good behavior in their children but will let bad behavior go unpunished, so unfortunate. Stop hiding behind ‘that is how my child is’ to encourage children to continue misbehaving towards you, their colleagues and other adults. A child who cannot respect his or her own parents at home, will definitely not respect others.
If everyone raised their children the way you’re doing it carelessly, imagine how chaotic the world would be.
Parents are the first teachers of a child, from the time the child is conceived, the parent has a responsibility to socialize the child to be a responsible person, even if you rely on the teachers to teach your children, remember that the teacher alone cannot do it.
Children will learn these lessons from their parents, they won’t learn what we tell them, they will learn from the things they see us do, how we treat other people, how we speak to others or how we speak about others, how we react when we are angry and so on. So, we don’t just have to force them to listen to our words, let them learn from our actions. remember that they will mirror all our actions and inactions.
If you haven’t taken your child’s social skills into consideration, it is not too late, you can start today. make time to interact with your children, be interacting with them often, you will be able to identify any negative behavior in your child, and correct it before it is too late. You can also buy books on child behavior like Courtesy for Boys and Girls, and courage them to read and practice what they read in the books. There are a lot of books on parenting as well, you can read them too, to prepare yourselves for this task ahead of you. That is not to say the books will provide the perfect information to make your child a perfect child overnight, but at least you will get information on how other parents are managing their children, some of the examples may be very useful for you. And if you are a child too, don’t make it very difficult for your parents to parent you. The role is already stressful, don’t make your parents go crazy while trying to bring you up. No one ever died from following rules and being obedient to their parents.
Today, let us pledge to raise our children to become responsible and conscious adults, it’s not enough to just be parents, let’s be parents with a difference. Let’s practice what I choose to call sustainable parenting. Other parents have done it, others are still doing it, so we can do it too. Let’s raise children who will do the right thing even in our absence, not children who will speak or act and everyone immediately ask that who raised these kids? Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers reading this, let us be mothers with a difference. Let the world feel our presence, let us be a good example to our children all the time. CHEERS!!!