By Constance Pindikani
Parenting is a gift that comes to different people in so many different ways, and there is no universal way of how one is supposed to raise his/ her kids. Parenting is a self driven thing, some just know the buttons to press, some just don’t know all together how to go about it. Let’s admit here that raising a whole human being is a hussle, it involves a lot. Most importantly kids are shaped the way their parents or guardians treat, or raise them.
In the past years, I have taken a great interest in how a child’s mind operates, not professionally per se, but maybe as a child myself, or as i grew up, and learnt from my friends and observed their characters, i then understood we are who we are mostly because of where we originate from. Watching someone grow into a successful human is something most parents enjoy, with that ‘that’s the child I raised’ triumphant look from parents.
Mind you, parenting can be deteriorating, much as the parent has to deal with so much from their children’s behaviour, attitude, learning of what food they like, what career to pursue, I can assure you that most parents out there want only the best for their children, but some just do not know how to kick the right button for their kids to turn out all right.
Well allow me to take you through some very simple things that most parents might overlook, but might turn out to be quiet handy if at all exercised on child’s up bringing.
1. Believing in your child’s capabilities
Most parents tend to ignore that their interest in their child’s life can have a great influence on them psychologicallly. I grew up and was raised by a social worker, my dad and mom took great interest in my school work and even my potential skills that they saw in me, and they encouraged me. This on its own, made me feel loved and important.
Parents need to have some interest in their child’s life, no matter how silly or childish it may seem. For instance, take time to play with your kids, look through their school work, let them know you have faith in their capabilities. I assure you that if you show trust in them, they might really change for the better.
2. Attending their children’s social activities
Children feel demoralised if their parents have no interest at all in their livelihood. For children, their daddy and mommy are their superheroes; the people they would like to show off to. Kids view their parents as their gods, idols, models, hence it boosts their childly energy to see their parents at their soccer game in the stands cheering for them, attending school dramas or plays, closing days etc. To kids, it’s not just about how much wealth their parents have, but how much love they are shown on a daily basis.
3. Be good listeners
My self as a kid, I have had some short comings more especially in my day-to-day interactions with my peers. From hating some subjects, or teachers at school, to of course being bullied. Everyday, I’d come home complaining to my parents about all these abnormalities, unloading all my day’s experience.
Parenting requires one to be an active listener. Do not always impose your ideas on your kids, sometimes give them a little freedom to decide. Mind you, you are raising adults and not kids, so then listen to them, talk to them as a friend: it will boost their self esteem highly. For most African parents, I understand this might seem so off the hook, since we are used to the pressing orders kinda parenting, but being abit flexible can not be all so harmful either. Try to be a bit of both at times. Stress on the good and the bad, so that the kids are able to understand in a childly manner.
4. Let them choose their careers
Most parents feel they need to decide everything for their kids. They feel the kids do not have a say at all on what they become. Well, I suggest parents be more of a guide than a limitation to your kids. Learn them, talk to them, let them tell you what interests them most, who or what insipires them, tell them the disadvantages and advantages of their decisions. I tell you that there is nothing more excruciating than getting the highest qualification for a career you have no interest at all because your parents had wanted you to pursue it.
5. Behave well in the presence of your kids
For most African parents, you might agree with me, raising their voices, whipping, or quarrelling in their presence is something mostly overlooked. One must understand that kids have very delicate minds. They learn from their parents, mates at school, and everywhere they go. Parents must avoid quarrelling in front of kids. This can really have a negative impact on their thinking at school or home. No matter how off the handles you might feel, try to not to exchange unpalatable words with whoever crosses your path in front of your kids.
Dear Parents, this is not to lecture you on how to raise your kids, but to just help you raise the kinds of humans the world would be glad to have met, because what you do to your kids, how good you raise them might help someone else, and the whole country at large. Maybe as a country, we might be suffering from some leaderships just because of their upbringing. Well brought up kids might make a change in someone’s life. Teach them the value of other people, how to respect and accept other people’s indifferences. You might change the world.