Parenting Is Leading By Example

Parenting Is Leading By Example

Dr. Ezi Beedie.
Parenting is a job one is scarcely trained for, albeit the hardest job to undertake.
Though there are various theories and opinions on the best ways to rear children, it is only by the grace of God that one can raise a child successfully.
Most children copy the parenting styles of their parents while others are determined to do the job differently from their parents.
Whatever style you adopt, one phrase resonates with children: ‘Do as you are told.’
How many times, as parents, have we uttered this phrase? 10? 20? Uncountable.
The insistent repetition of this phrase, begs the question: “Is there a disconnect between what parents tell their children and what parents do?” A contradiction between words and actions? We teach our children all the time, even when we do not realise we are doing it.
It has been established that children learn from watching, listening and copying.
Children learn actions and attitudes (Crary, 1993; Smith, et al, 1994). Psychologists have found that children really “do as parents do, not as they say”.
They repeat what they hear parents say and imitate what they see parents do. Children develop behaviours through observing their parents in day-to-day life.
Therefore, every behaviour that we engage in should be worthy of imitating because our children will imitate it.
Consider the story of a child who swore in class and had his mother called in by the teacher.
When told of her son’s actions, the mother yelled “Where the f*** did you learn that from,” thus displaying the use of a word she no doubt taught her son never to use.
Actions do speak louder than words, parents!
How justified are we to admonish or punish a child that steals or cheats in an exam when we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make a buck.
Can we teach our children that physical violence is not the way to solve problems by hitting them? Can we encourage our children to become responsible by refusing to admit our mistakes? Does breaking our promises instill integrity? If we want to teach children to respect others, we have to show them by our words and actions that we respect ourselves and them.
Use tones and words that are respectful. If we want to impart generosity in our children, we start being generous to others in their presence.
If we want our children to acquire conflict resolution skills, we start resolving conflict with others in front of the children.
Only if we have developed integrity in the way we live our own lives will we be able to provide our children with the necessary model for mature, adult functioning.
Our honesty and maturity are far more important in determining the healthy development of our children than any techniques prescribed by child-rearing experts (Firestone, 2010).
It is sheer hypocrisy to reprimand or punish children for doing the same things we do, albeit on smaller scale. Maybe, just maybe, the children need to see us do as we say and they will follow -live the children’s ‘follow your leader’ game.
After all, the best way to impart the right behaviour is by demonstrating what you want to see in your children. We must strive to be the sort of people we hope our children to become. The school should not be expected to do it all, if at all. Therefore, parental investment in the development and maturity of children should go beyond sending them to expensive schools and mere words to socialising them by modelling acceptable behaviours.

As mentioned earlier, children generally copy what they see their parents and the adults around them do, for instance family value and belief systems.
Developmental psychologists have always known children learn by imitating adults. But while most parents are ready to teach their children discipline …, they are less ready to accept the idea that they can teach only by example (Firestone, 2010).
There is no gainsaying the fact that there are exceptions. Granted some children are adamant to imbibe the belief and values of their parents.
However, the importance of modelling the right behaviour for our children of ‘microwave’ and ‘social media’ generation cannot be over emphasized.
These children are swarmed daily by culture shocking and alarming behaviours in the social media which are seemingly celebrated.
They live in a generation in which values and beliefs are considered old fashioned, in which putting your sex tape on the internet can, sadly, make you not only a ‘celebrity’ but also super rich.
As our children struggle to sieve through these behaviours, it is pertinent that the right and acceptable behaviour is modelled at home.
The ethics, values, cultures and traditions of our great nation need to be passed onto the leaders of tomorrow by action not just in words.
What we teach our children today, especially by example, will influence tomorrow’s world. Our children should look up to us.
We cannot trust celebrities to raise our children; therefore the need for us to be our children’s primary role models is imperative.
Perhaps, it is time we tell our children to do as we do. Time for a change of phrase: “Do what you see me do.”
This calls for taking a critical look at our ethics, values, beliefs, integrity, transparency, passion, consistency and patriotism as parents.
If parents can truly search inward, in this dispensation of ‘change agenda’, there is still hope for a greater, better, transparent, and patriotic Nigeria.
As our children grow into responsible adults with unquestionable character, they will be ready to take up the leadership of this great nation.

The Tenets Of Good Parenting

The Tenets Of Good Parenting

Give me one word that comes to your mind when I say ‘parenting,’” I said to a friend.
“Love,” He responded.
“Give me another word,” I demanded not quite satisfied with the first answer.
“A call to duty,” he quickly added.
“Because the wellbeing and fate of that child lies wholly on how much parental love and care he receives,” he concluded.
And that’s absolutely correct. In all honesty, parenting is quite a complex, multitasking but a fulfilled endeavor.
It is a life-long exercise full of emotions, duties and responsibilities.
It all starts when a couple decides to have a child.
They plan towards the welfare of the child from pregnancy on to the day he is born.
As the child grows he receives love, attention, nurturing, training, guidance, advice and education from his family till the time he is matured enough to stand on his own.
Seems like a straightforward hassle-free process; doesn’t it? Yeah! But it is usually not so.
Children innocently or otherwise find ways of challenging and frustrating their parents’ intentions by exercising their rights to express themselves no matter how misplaced their reasoning might be.
Parents always want their children to behave appropriately – follow the relative religious and traditional norms and values that guide their society.
They try to protect their children mainly to save them from making the same mistakes they might have made or experienced or heard of in life.
You tell a child to “do this” or “don’t do that” but do they listen? In so many situations, age not a factor, they want to do things their way.
Talking about training and the security of the girl-child, Helen Paul, famous Nigerian comedian narrates the story of herself as a very young girl who was constantly warned (among other things) not to climb trees.
One day, her mother caught her on a mango tree.
After frantically screaming at her daughter, explaining that boys will look up her pant.
She reassured her mother not to worry about ‘that’ as she had taken it off before climbing.
Imagine!!! Parenting is and should be fun! Living and growing up with children, you see so many funny, serious, frustrating facial and oral innocent expressions that produce relatively different reactions that would be remembered decades later.
During a casual dinner with family friends discussing events in their lives many years ago, my five-year old brother, sitting close to an ambassador blurts out.
“When I was a young boy…” You can imagine what happened next; nobody bothered waiting for the conclusion of the rest of the story.
Laughter with tears! Today, Ibrahim, 38, is the father of a two-month boy.
Just recently, during a condolence visit, I noticed my cousin warning her seven-year old to stop playing in the rain so he doesn’t catch a cold.
She tried keeping a close eye on him.
A few minutes lapsed, before she realized she didn’t see him! Standing to go look for him, he appeared suddenly by the door, drenched, soaked to his skin! She called out to him severally to come change his clothes.
On the fourth warning she seizes him, gives him a spanking of three sound slaps on his behind, shocking us all into shouts to stop beating him like that.
Talk about not ‘sparing the rod’ that, in Africa, comes with the territory of parenting! My mum, at 68, still directs my 27-year-old brother – the youngest in the family – on what to do where and when it’s necessary, though.
Even at that age you may want to ask? Yes! She does it to even me, her first of six children.
We play around a lot with our children, it’s all part of parenting but the good parents need to know when to be serious, becoming the disciplinarian when necessary.
Growing up we are taught that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.
So it is with parenting. One shouldn’t always be the too serious or strict parent.
Let go sometimes and enjoy yourself with your children as they are growing up, so you can all have a balanced relationship.
Looking after, caring, and being responsible for children and their welfare is a process.
As much as possible parents – biological or otherwise – are expected to love, teach, guide and advise their children or wards in the proper ways of living and to allow them to express themselves within reason.
We cannot stop or control the mistakes they may make, no matter how bad or painful; there is a limit to how much protection we can give our children, hence we can only pray for them.
Let them live their lives while you as a parent fervently pray to God to take charge.

Parenting Lessons From An African Tribe

Parenting Lessons From An African Tribe

By Daniel Udechukwu

As a parent, how do you react when your child offends you? Do you correct with love or punish to make a statement? The story below from an African tribe will give you quite a lot to think about. It goes thus: In Africa, there is a tribe where the birth date of a child is calculated from the day the child was just a thought in its mother’s mind.
And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree by herself and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. Once she has heard the song of the child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father and teaches it to him and as they make love to physically conceive the child, they at points sing the song of the child as a way to invite it.
When the woman is pregnant, she teaches the child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her will sing it to welcome the child. As the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it.
Or perhaps the child does something wonderful or goes through the rites of puberty; as a way of honouring the child, the people of the village sing its song. For this African tribe there is one other occasion during which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or some other aberrant social act, the individual is called to the centre of the village and the people in the community form a circle around the person and sing the song to him/her. The tribe recognises that correction for antisocial behaviour is not punishment; it is love and the affirmation of identity.
When you recognise your own song, you will have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another. And it goes this way through the child’s life. In marriage, the songs of both of the couple are sung together. And finally, when this child, now grown and old is lying in bed ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song and they sing it to that person for the last time.
You may not have grown up within this African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transition points or raised a child in such environment, but life constantly tells us when we are in tune with ourselves and when we are not.
When you feel good, what you are doing matches ‘your song’, and when you feel awful it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognise our song and sing it well. You may be a little off key at times now, but all great singers have been through that. Just keep singing and you will find your way home.

How African Societies Protect The Innocence And Magic Of Childhood

How African Societies Protect The Innocence And Magic Of Childhood

By J.C Ntala
There is a new boy in my daughter’s class. He told her a thing or three that resulted in us having to have ‘the chat’ at bedtime last night. “Was Father Christmas real? What about the Tooth Fairy? The Easter Bunny? The Easter Monkey?” She wanted to know and know immediately.
Now without boring you about what particular beliefs my family holds there were two things that were foremost in my mind. How do I handle this transition of knowledge without losing some of the magic that is held within it? How do I help her appreciate that realities and truths are layers revealed to us as we pass through different stages? I found myself turning to the wisdom of my ancestors. In many traditional African societies, there was (still is but dying out rapidly) an age set system.
People born within a certain year had a specific kinship. This held together the whole fabric of society as well because within that year group, certain pieces of information were held as sacred and adults would know not to share information that children were not ready for outside that age group. This group would then go through initiation rites together and the loss of innocence that we lament about so much today was not even a topic of conversation.
It was understood that through the age set system and initiation rites, young people growing up would usually meet the right knowledge at the right age, which was ultimately beneficial for their development. With the advent of media and technology all that has changed of course. We live in an era where at the click of a button anyone of any age can in an instant have access to all sorts of information whether or not they are able to process it.
I may sound like a Luddite but I think that it is sad. Couple this with the increasing individualism in modern societies, where there is less of a collective agreement on what children ought to know and at what age, and suddenly we have the current situation where studies show everything from emotional problems to obesity and aggressive behavior are strongly linked to this glut of information.
I must admit that my family made what would seem like (to some) rather extreme decisions to create (in her early years at least) an environment that would reduce the risk of exposure to information before she was ready for it. We do not have a TV, use the radio to listen to football (soccer) and music, and the only film she has really watched is Mary Poppins. The net result is just shy of her seventh birthday she expressed a heartfelt sentiment that she could not imagine a person killing another person. “Who would ever think of such a thing?” she wanted to know.

Now I am not under any illusion that she will spend the rest of her life in this wonderful bubble but it gives me great comfort that even as she moves through the ages that she will have held a place in her soul where murder seems impossible. Still, I do know that it is part of my parental duty that her world begins to expand. Given her recent change of teeth (one of the signs traditionally used in my culture’s initiation processes), I read to her an initiation story.

“The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly: A Novel” by Sun-Mi Hwang is a South Korean fable that tells the story of a chicken sprout who decided to take her life into her hands and follow her dreams. It was appropriate for my daughter’s ‘age set’ because as she embarks upon primary school she is no longer a baby. Up until now, her job as a child has been very much guided by my plans for her. Whilst motherhood is a series of ‘letting go’s’, growing up is a series of ‘taking on’s’.
The story is to support my daughter’s initial awakening that she can indeed be the captain of her own soul. It is a book that covers determination, the ways in which difference matters and the ways in which it doesn’t, loneliness, isolation, friendship, and understanding and also how we can give help and need help—all of the things she is likely to face in primary school while away from the watchful eye of her mother. So after we finished our chat I waited with bated breath for her conclusion on Father Christmas. Her main concern turned out to be for someone she knows who will be without a beloved parent this December.
“Who will do Christmas for her then?” She also mentioned a school friend who had not been party to the discussion with the new boy and we agreed it would be best if she found out in her own way in her own time. As I watched my daughter falling asleep I was reminded of a conversation I had with a man, who incidentally had no children, that was practically foaming at the mouth when I described the lengths to which I had gone to maintain my daughter’s innocence. “You people!” he had spluttered. “You cannot protect them forever!” Sadly, I did not have this quote from L.R. Knost at hand, but it is what I firmly believe: “It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”

Woman Forces 14-Year-Old Daughter To Have Sex With Man To Pay Off Debts

Woman Forces 14-Year-Old Daughter To Have Sex With Man To Pay Off Debts

A 30-year-old woman in Malaysia had been arrested for allegedly forcing her teenage daughter into prostitution, local media reported on Monday.

The mother, who resides in Sarawak state, was “trying to pay off her debts” by forcing her 14-year-old daughter to have sex with a man, the Star Online reported.

“The mother forced her 14-year-old daughter to have sex with a man in order to pay off debts,” Police Chief, Dev Kumar, told The Star Online,

He added that the girl was raped three times in a hotel.

Kumar said the man paid more than 200 dollars to the karaoke bar owner to have sex with the girl, according to the Star.

A village official assisted the girl to report the matter to the police on Sunday and the mother and the karaoke owner were arrested.

“We are now looking for the man, who allegedly had sex with the girl.The case has been classified as rape,” Kumar added.

Source: Punch

 

The Tenets Of Good Parenting

The Tenets Of Good Parenting

“Give me one word that comes to your mind when I say ‘parenting,’” I said to a friend. “Love,” He responded. “Give me another word,” I demanded not quite satisfied with the first answer.  “A call to duty,” he quickly added. “Because the wellbeing and fate of that child lies wholly on how much parental love and care he receives,” he concluded. And that’s absolutely correct. In all honesty, parenting is quite a complex, multitasking but a fun-filled endeavour. It is a life-long exercise full of emotions, duties and responsibilities.

It all starts when a couple decides to have a child. They plan towards the welfare of the child from pregnancy on to the day he is born. As the child grows he receives love, attention, nurturing, training, guidance, advice and education from his family till the time he is matured enough to stand on his own. Seems like a straightforward hassle-free process; doesn’t it? Yeah! But it is usually not so. Children innocently or otherwise find ways of challenging and frustrating their parents’ intentions by exercising their rights to express themselves no matter how misplaced their reasoning might be.

Parents always want their children to behave appropriately – follow the relative religious and traditional norms and values that guide their society. They try to protect their children mainly to save them from making the same mistakes they might have made or experienced or heard of in life. You tell a child to “do this” or “don’t do that” but do they listen? In so many situations, age not a factor, they want to do things their way.

Talking about training and the security of the girl-child, Helen Paul, famous Nigerian comedian narrates the story of herself as a very young girl who was constantly warned (among other things) not to climb trees. One day, her mother caught her on a mango tree. After frantically screaming at her daughter, explaining that boys will look up her pant. She reassured her mother not to worry about ‘that’ as she had taken it off before climbing. Imagine!!!

Parenting is and should be fun! Living and growing up with children, you see so many funny, serious, frustrating facial and oral innocent expressions that produce relatively different reactions that would be remembered decades later. During a casual dinner with family friends discussing events in their lives many years ago, my five-year-old brother, sitting close to an ambassador blurts out. “When I was a young boy…” You can imagine what happened next; nobody bothered waiting for the conclusion of the rest of the story. Laughter with tears! Today, Ibrahim, 38, is the father of a two-month-old boy.

Just recently, during a condolence visit, I noticed my cousin warning her seven-year-old to stop playing in the rain so he doesn’t catch a cold. She tried keeping a close eye on him. A few minutes lapsed, before she realized she didn’t see him! Standing to go look for him, he appeared suddenly by the door, drenched, soaked to his skin! She called out to him severally to come change his clothes. On the fourth warning she seizes him, gives him a spanking of three sound slaps on his behind, shocking us all into shouts to stop beating him like that. Talk about not ‘sparing the rod’ that, in Africa, comes with the territory of parenting!  My mum, at 68, still directs my 27-year-old brother – the youngest in the family – on what to do where and when it’s necessary, though. Even at that age you may want to ask? Yes! She does it to even me, her first of six children.

We play around a lot with our children, it’s all part of parenting but the good parents need to know when to be serious, becoming the disciplinarian when necessary. Growing up we are taught that ‘all