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Words to use in the upbringing of children

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PARENTINGThe idea is to make the young one to stay focused in what he does, so we used words instead of the cane to make them hurry for example; “Hurry up” we say as we express our frustration at the young one’ space. Parents and teachers have done this for ages, but now experts say that example may pay better than words. Besides, your words may send the wrong example and put pressure without your achieving the desired result. Aim for better skills by not, for example, telling a child to practice until he gets it.

Observes one mother: “Mathematics was considered important when I was a student, I practiced to make better marks, still I made a poor result and today I have told myself that I would never master the subject.”

Says another woman: “With the belief that a woman should know how to prepare a good dish, I picked an interest in baking bread. I was never a culinary queen to begin with, but I thought that learning and the interest was enough until I discovered that there would always be betters bakers. I practiced alright but they always came out crumbly; I gave up.”

Worse are those things we are forced to learn when there is no interest or talent; a child who is keen to learn the piano hears that with practice, he can become a melody man; he forgoes all other things to practice and practice but fails to strike that cord. Naturally, he may feel discouraged by all that urging to be perfect.

He may learn to play well with time; he may have made much progress in his practice but does not know these because he is aiming to be perfect.Instead of telling him to make for perfection, look at his work and if need be, tell him that there is still room for more progress.

Feel His Pain
We tend to stop a child from expressing pain by asking him, “Is that why you cry?” When we have the time to listen to his grudge, we tell him that it is not enough to make him cry. I have seen children fall so heavily on the ground and suppress their cries because they have learned that they were not supposed to make a fuss about their injury. But some may have serious wounds that become big sores or worse. I don’t see how a child who falls on his chest on a hard ground would not wound himself. Yet they do not complain.

I have watched as the mother of a boy who sustained injury on both arms and legs could only whimper as the mother scolded him. I agree with the suggestion that a mother should console that child even when you think that he is to blame. Assure him that he would be okay; love, sympathy, empathy are what your child needs, give them unconditionally, reserve the lecture for when he can grasp what you say better.

Make Family Outings Fun
I used to laugh when a family in the next compound prepared to go out. She has three children and their three maids. Words like “have you used the bathroom?’ were common. But the next thing would be the cry of one of the children and the mother shouting; “We will leave you behind o.”

That is always to the second daughter who wants to do things her own way. I believe that instead of hurrying up a child, make it a form of competition by declaring that the first person to finish sits in the front seat of the car with you.

We Can’t Buy That Now
Admittedly, this is not the best of times for family spending. But young ones are always demanding things like biscuits, ice cream and other little things that may be costlier than they look. A woman took her small daughter out and the girl asked for biscuit; “You have just eaten”, the mother said and added; “I don’t have money for that.”
“Borrow it”, the cheeky thing said
“I don’t like to borrow”
“But you borrowed to buy…”

The mother did not give in. But some parents find it easier to vent their frustration about the nation’s economy in front of the children or tell them that it hinders them from giving them what they want. Nothing is truer at this moment but it could be waste of time because they do not understand you.

The other day, when a man said we should look at the bright side, I was annoyed. But I think he could not be talking rubbish entirely, not after I remembered that there are Nigerians who are worse off, but who are making a joke of the situation. This rainy season is one eye-opener; when it pours, take a walk to central Lagos and see how they make jest of the economy and the rain which would have hindered business with the plastic sheaths they wear, they cost N50. Your situation should not be as desperate but you can borrow a leaf to slap a bad situation in the face.

Just the other day, I walked from Kofo Abayomi Street to Bonny Cantonment. The hilarious laughter of the three children in front of me got me interested in them and their songs especially; children who went to hawk goods for their parents. They sang popular songs but the improvised words keep chuckling still. In one song, they lamented mosquito bites and its companion, malaria. One was a reproof and joke against the police. But the one that got me laughing was:
I have very big slippers
My father buy for me
A very big size o, na my size na my size

I found this touching in many ways, one was the acceptance of their father, a father who although has the best intention, but would not get his present giving right; Na my size. It is too big, but I will wear it.Do not project your anger on them; they do not see a negative until it is pointed out to them. This is the time to teach them about money, these three children understood it and refused to spend the family’s little profit on transportation, which is getting out of the reach of the poor.


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Ozo MordiParenting
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