An Open Letter to Nigerian Parents- 3
Dear Parents/ Guardian,
I am glad to inform you that I am now the biological father of a beautiful daughter, so I can now talk as a parent myself 🤪🤪. #FreshDaddy. Well, that’s by the way.
Still, on the child upbringing series of letters, let’s look at it from another viewpoint.
Sometimes ago in a public commercial car, a fellow passenger received a phone call from his wife, who was reporting their son to him. The report was that the boy wanted to sell the tyres his father changed the day before. And the mother, perhaps unable to stop him, reached out to the father on phone.
The man told her to allow him to sell it, as that would give him money to buy ‘indomie or biscuits’. While I was seething with anger hearing such things, hoping that the other elderly parents in the vehicle will address the issue accordingly, I could not believe my ears when the lady sitting next to him started justifying the action. She too talked about how her son was fond of selling things in the house.
In her words, “once you say you are not using anything again in that house, he will sell it to ‘aboki’ at the slightest opportunity and use the money to buy biscuits”.
When you sow to the wind, you will reap the whirlwind. This is how people raise their kids in an unruly manner, and when the chicken comes home to roost, they will be crying foul.
This is why I find it offensive when the older generation pushes the blame for improper conduct of the younger generation on young people, in a bid to exonerate themselves.
Is that not how they raise children who will sell their parents houses and some even have the guts to use their parents for rituals. And we shudder when we hear these things without paying attention to the parental upbringing?
The first rule to curbing this menace is to spell it out to your children that your property is not their property!
As long as you have not given it to them, it is not theirs to take.
Secondly, any child that needs extra cash, extra food, extra clothes from what you can afford as a parent, should go and use his hands to work for it. Never tolerate in the slightest opportunity or condole your child usurping what you have not given him. That’s where the entitlement mindset starts. If you come home from work one day and see your son wearing your singlet or shorts that you kept in your room before you left for work or for a journey without your permission, do not smile and congratulate him that he has grown so big as to use the same size of clothes with you.
If you overlook it, it might be to your own undoing in the nearest future! If he is big enough to start ‘dragging’ clothes with you, then he is big enough to start earning his own income!
Thirdly, save the inheritance you are keeping for them, if any, far from their knowledge. So many parents make the mistakes of telling them the house they built is for the children, and that they have money saved for them in their bank accounts, and also that they are labouring day and night for the kids.
This makes the kids see the parents as their slaves and feel their duty on earth is to eat, sleep and be merry!
You are not helping that child. When you make them feel you have done all the work for them, you kill their survival instinct and end up making them preys to the harshness of the real world. In some cases, you even kill their enthusiasm to aspire. They end up struggling to stay within the ‘limitation’ you have created for them. Learn from the eagle, push them out of the nest and teach them how to fly!
With the high number of lazy and unemployable youths today in society, one can easily attest to the fact that parents going all out to help their kids with almost everything, plays a great role in increasing that number.
And lastly, teach your children to appreciate the dignity in labour!
Each time I eat pounded yam from the yam harvested from my garden, with smoked fish from my fish pond, or chicken from my poultry, I put up an exciting face and tell my boy, “I am eating the works of my hand”; and we will both laugh together.
With that, I do explain to him the dignity in labour. I keep sharing with him the joy in eating the reward of your labour.
Remember, “if you don’t train them, you can’t blame them”.
An advocate for #Responsible Parenting
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.