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The confident child we want

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PHOTO: Parentcircle

It is true that your child needs your loving and tender guidance, but you should know when your loving guidance becomes a hindrance. You may cause harm instead, if you fail to allow him form his opinion about this wonderful world, as soon as he desires to see things for himself. We don’t mean the child that is allowed freedom to do all what he wants, we mean the parent who sees his child’s ability early and helps him to build on it. We are also talking about the mother who is watchful enough to see what could hamper a child’s progress and set out early enough to tackle it and then equip that child with a wonderful feeling of security at home and the loads of confidence that he can do it.

Yes, that child who felt confident enough and was able to make the Eyo outing. I saw one boy who was so admired by his peers as he walked with his opa, rod, on the eve.

Some children show immense intelligence early in life but some parents, especially mothers, have been known to have tried to make them grow according to their age. You can protect or be extra guiding when you notice that your child is unduly forward or precocious, but be conscious enough to know when you have given birth to a future astronaut. We have heard so much recently about the Nigerian youth and his potential in space. You could scuttle that talent by showing too much love or by keeping him wrapped under your skirt.

So he’s showing the potentials too early? Help him to feel confident of his ability by showing interest and paying attention to all what he says and does. Your interest will reveal areas where you could help as a parent. About two weeks ago I listened as a little boy, a two-year-old, ran about. He spoke clearly as he discussed-it was a discussion with a teenager and his mother. He asked meaningful questions and gave intelligent answers to questions put to him. He was curious like many children and when answers were slow in coming, he pulled at the object to see for himself. The mother answered his questions and sang to or with him; there was no moment she screamed at him to stop.

Before they concluded the visit, they played his favourite rhymes. Few mothers may have time to flow with a very active child like that boy, I thought. The least would have been a child who felt frustrated by all the shouting to ‘stop that’ or who was given snappy answers or was totally ignored.

The first place to cultivate confidence is the home. The home is where the child should say his first word. It is at home that he looks for approval for what he has learned from school by repeating that song or a new play.

Show Enough Interest
Establish a rapport with him to know how he develops. Discuss with him. Children tend to form ideas by asking questions upon questions because they want clarification. If your child is not asking questions, ask him some to see how he responds. He may not have been asking because he has observed that you are not patient enough to enlighten him. Ask him questions that will make him think. Children like riddles, a riddle from you will wake him up and he will ask you many. Riddles although may annoy sometimes because you rarely get the answers, but try to answer them and make him see how seriously you ponder over it.

Help Him To Express Himself
A teenage girl visited a woman I know, recently. I noticed that every question my friend asked her was met with a broad smile and an averted face. So I looked at her; was she deaf or dumb? But my friend would mutter, “lack of self expression”. The girl had just finished secondary school in one part of the country, I heard and she spoke but only a vernacular. Personally, I thought that she was handicapped, already, with not being able to converse in the lingua franca. That is no plus for a young one, it is possible that she talks very well in her native language, but someone who has finished secondary school and is unable to form a thought in the generally spoken language does not represent the smart, intelligent and crowd-pulling girl we speak about. The confident girl would lap up the lingua franca and take part in the school debate, drama and cultural dances. She may go home and put the foreign language under the bed and speak vernacular that she knows well. But we don’t condone the girl fluent in her native tongue, enough to exchange altercations with the bus conductor.

Confident Children Have Opinions
Don’t shout them down when their views are different from what your mother taught you. Listen to them and ask them how they come to such beliefs. Issues of the day are confronting us with real facts even when we want to dispute them. Religion and politics are best tackled at home. Be open with your children. A man asked a question many of us have chosen to blindly accept or ignore. According to him, his five-year-old has been asking but he cannot answer because although it baffled him at one time, but he has accepted the most held opinion about it, he said.

Teach Healthy Competition
“I grew up where intellectual competition was strong. The children in our home were made to compete in reading, spelling and mathematics. The ones who did do so well were always eager to try again unless they have seen a clear case of favouritism,” stated a friend.

Support Them
“Mummy, look at what I have done with the rope. I can back-flip, watch me.” These are ways they show you that they making progress and don’t want to disappoint you. Do not disappoint them, they perform according to their power and ability, help them by giving praises, laugh and clap for them where they are called for.

Raise Children Who Know Their Right
Someone once pointed out that children grow up unaware of their rights. He noted that the result is the child abuse cases we hear often. When you speak out against a wrong, your children learn to demand their rights, too.


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Confident childOzo Mordi

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