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Making your children enjoy the moment

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Charles Ighele


One day, one of my sons and I were watching Chelsea and Liverpool football clubs of England play a very important match on Chelsea football grounds.

At that period, Chelsea was the dominant force. They were winning almost all their matches. But a few minutes after this particular match started, Liverpool scored. As footballers usually do, Liverpool players celebrated the goal they scored.My son, who was then a teenager said, “why are they celebrating? Why are they happy? They should know that Chelsea would soon equalise and eventually win the game.”

It was then I told him, “They are enjoying the moment. They should enjoy the moment.” I then started to tell him how it would be for a person to enjoy each moment of life. Liverpool ended up winning the match.

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Before this encounter with him, we had always taught our children about the need to be happy and enjoy the moment.One of the most embarrassing moments in the lives of children is when they start losing their teeth, especially the middle ones. This tends to give them a funny and strange look. While some other families laugh at the new and funny looks of their toothless children, we buy snacks and drinks for our own. We congratulate them and make them feel special for losing a tooth.

We tell them with excitement that before now, they had the teeth of a child. But those teeth were now giving way in order for them to have adult’s teeth. And this used to excite them.

They, therefore, kept looking forward to when they would lose the next tooth. They were always the first to announce it to us because of the celebration that would follow, and the journeying into adulthood we put into them.

We have passed this tradition on to our grandchildren. About a week ago, on seeing me, two of my grandchildren ran to me, announcing to me that they had lost a tooth each. As usual, I congratulated them.

I told them I would buy something for them to eat. The two younger ones started asking on top of their voices, “Grand-daddy what about me? Grand-daddy what about me?” I told them I would also buy something for them to celebrate the lost teeth of their elder siblings.

On a visit to a family a few years ago, we saw a child in the home looking very sad. I patted him on the back and wanted to know why he was sad. He told us in tears that everyone in the house was laughing at him because he lost his front teeth. We then comforted him.

One of the basic duties of a father or mother is to make their children feel good about themselves. When, therefore, the whole household starts calling a child who has lost their front teeth such names as “main road” or “express road” or “window teeth,” etc., they are not encouraging that child to enjoy that moment of his/her life.

The teeth changing stage in a child’s life is one of those delicate periods, when a child’s self-image and self-importance can be built or damaged. Many children are ashamed of their dentition, faces and looks at this stage of their lives because their own family makes fun of them by calling them all types of names. It should not be so. We should make them feel happy and important, when they lose their teeth. They need this at this stage of their lives to build their sense of self-importance. Do not laugh at your children again. Love you.


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Charles Ighele
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