How to help your child develop a positive character
Training a child will require a parent having traits that can be emulated. Kids learn really fast, they look up to you and want to act just like you have done. When parents say words like, ‘they are just being kids’, it is totally wrong to underestimate what children can do. However, it is your duty to ensure they develop a positive attitude.
“When I was growing up, I often hear parents say ‘do as I say and not do as I do’, it worked for us that are 18th or 19th century born because we cannot question our parents neither can we contest whatever they say,” says Mojisola Sotunde a mother, teacher, an entrepreneur and an advocate of great parenting.
“My parents always remind us that a good name is better than gold or silver, therefore, you have to ensure that nothing taints your name. How those days brings out memories of how parents make their children to understand that “character” matters in all that you do.”
Sotunde, who is the author of Practical Steps of Parenting in The 21st Century, noted that although we are in the 21st century morals and values have not changed, but the way children are being raised need knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Have you ever bought any gadget with a manual and you wouldn’t bother to read the manual to understand how to get the best out of the gadget? Why would you want to parent a child without having any knowledge on how to raise a child with a positive character?
“Helping a child to develop a positive character is not a walk in the park. It requires time, listening ear, love, discipline, consistency and time, time and time. The best way to help your child to develop a positive character is for you as the parent to have a good character. You cannot give what you do not have.
“A child does as you do and not do as you say in this 21st century. You have to be knowledgeable on how to bring out the best in your child by being the person that your child looks up to. Parents who exhibit positive character powerfully transmit their values by modelling the choices and actions that are essential to being a good person of good character.
“Are you honest? Trustworthy? Compassionate? Respectful? Obedient? How does your child know this? Your child sees it in your everyday actions and choices, and as your child sees all these qualities, the child emulates you. How do you talk to your nanny, driver, your spouse or even your child’s teacher? If your child does the same thing will you be happy? Children do not have eject- button, whatever you put into them you will get in multiple folds.”For Sotunde, these virtues will help checkmate your attitude as it affects your child:
Are you honest? In these days of mobile phones, it has really turned many people to liars. If you as a parent trying to teach your child honesty, you’re having a discussion on the phone with your friend while at home. And your friend wants to come and visit you, but you told the friend that you are not at home while your child is right there with you. You may think your child is not listening but you are already indoctrinating the child into being a liar unconsciously. It would have been better to let your friend know that you are at home but you are busy and wouldn’t want to entertain any visitor, this can be said without being rude. Your child can learn how to be honest through this medium.
As parents, you are teaching your child the importance of being obedient, yet when the traffic light is on red, you do not obey. The fact that you did not cause any accident does not mean there cannot be any. You are indirectly contradicting what you are teaching your child.
Respect is reciprocal. If you give respect, you will get respect. Teach your child to learn to respect people irrespective of who they are. How do you talk to your driver, your nanny, your child’s teacher and people around you? If you are a parent that talks to your driver using derogatory words, you are indirectly telling your child that it is alright to talk to anybody anyhow.
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