An Open Letter to Nigerian Parents- 2
Dear Parents/ Guardian,
I am sorry for the delay in sending the second part of this letter as promised. I did not anticipate the deluge of tasks that would be on my desk and the many political distractions that followed too.
How has it been during this lockdown with the kids at home? Fun? Tough? Killing? Or you’re just there?
Well, this is the best of time to find out the state of your children, morally, academically, and sexually. I can see that shock on your face as you read the last part, sexually. But, that is by the way.
In the quest to get the best for our children, we are often enmeshed in different activities to earn enough for the good of everyone in the family. While we are at it, we fail to supervise our major investment, (the kids), thereby leaving that crucial part to chance, school teachers, pastors, peer group or the society itself.
The Bible warns that a child left to himself will bring his parent’s shame. That is why the role of supervision cannot be overemphasised in child upbringing.
In September last year, I took my son to a new secondary school, after due diligence with respect to the academic standard of the school. Throughout that first term, I was busy with the new books I wanted to launch before the year runs out, leaving me with no time to track his performance. Before the second term was distorted last month, I created time to go through his books and I found things that were of grave concern which the teachers had overlooked.
For example, I noticed that the letters he wrote were not graded. The teacher just marked it good and wrote ‘seen’. I was bemused. I don’t pride myself as an editor, but I could see enough errors in the letter even at a glance. I flipped through the book and noticed that the teacher did the same for essays. I called my wife to confirm if the grading of letters/essays on a scale of 10 was outdated? Maybe, I am already old school so soon, with my senior secondary school certificate almost two decades old.
I visited the school and reported the case to the school admin. We sat together and they promised to handle their part, while I take responsibility for my part too. Within the last two weeks, I have ensured he read classic literature from the sages and we discuss the stories when he is done. So far he had read ‘Things Fall Apart’, ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Without A Silver Spoon’, and ‘No Longer at Ease’. All in a bid to improve his vocabulary and ability to pen down well-structured sentences.
We can not leave the upbringing of our children to strangers and expect someone else to handle the problems we are running from.
When we were younger back in secondary school, my dad strictly warned us not to keep anything for anyone, especially money. However, my immediate elder sister flouted the rule and brought home some cash. Unbeknownst to us that our dad check our bags at night when we are fast asleep. The man saw the money and took it! The next morning, my sister kept looking for the money but could not speak out. She flipped through all her notes, desperately as she was already running late for school. At a point, she was forced to speak out.
Your guess is as good as mine, as to what followed 🤣. Let me add that my dad was a teacher!
No matter how much you think you have imbibed the right discipline in your children, without supervision, you won’t be able to discover in time when thorns will be sown in place of tares. The things children learn from their peers will make you shudder if you ever find out.
A friend of mine told me he had to cancel the home teaching deal with some of his clients on several occasions, though they were high paying clients because their parents were not supervising the children. He can’t discipline them and the parents too could not discipline or were not disciplining their children. This is why society is what it is today.
Lastly, it is expedient that you talk with your kids with respect to the changes in their anatomy. If you can’t put yourself together to discuss such issues with them, get books, movies or find an expert that will help you.
I can still recall with clarity, on how my sisters were hiding ‘Questions Girls Ask’ back then from my brothers. It was a book my dad had bought for the girls to educate them on the changes taking place in their body.
You can adopt such a technique too.
The summary of this letter is that you use this lockdown period to check on your kids and find out how they are doing. Use the time to find out if they have not deviated from the ancient landmark!
Until I write again, enjoy the family building period!
Stay home, stay safe!
A & B Coach
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.