An Open Letter to Nigerian Parents- 4
Dear Parents/ Guardian,
It has been over a month now since the lockdown, and I am sure you have used the opportunity to learn more about your children. Well, for me, I made some new discoveries about my son. As my wife would say, “your assumption about his performance has been on the extreme of optimism”😄. With the new discoveries, I am making adjustments in fixing this shortcoming.
What have you found out newly about your kids during this lockdown? I would love to read from your experiences too.
That being said, I want to talk about how to help our kids become competent and confident adults.
It makes me cringe each time I see a parent talk about the inability of their kids with glee.
For example, you will hear a mother saying; “if you leave the kitchen in her care, forget it, you will meet everything messed up and she can cook nothing but tasteless noodles”. And the person she is talking about will be a sixteen-year-old girl.
Most parents don’t give the children the opportunity to make mistakes. In a bid to protect them from harm, we deprive them the needed privileges to get their own experiences.
Today, I am a trusted counsellor to a number of people both old and young. But it might interest you to know that my mum was my very first client. As a matter of fact, she helped me developed that gift. When I was still very young as a child, she will bring a matter before me and ask for my opinion.
She will later come back to tell me that my counsel was the same with some elders she also shared the matter with. And with that, she built my confidence in giving right counsels. I grew up trusting my judgment and that was pivotal in the successes I recorded, and still recording, in the various leadership positions, I have occupied and still occupy.
Again, I pride myself as a good cook. By virtue of my position in the family as the fourth child, there was no way I could have learnt cooking easily; especially with three sisters who could do just that. But a time came when my elder ones left the house for school and my father was transferred to another part of the state, it was during that short period of time that I learnt how to cook.
Like everyone learning a new skill, I made terrible mistakes. In many occasions, especially with ‘egusi’ soup, I would not allow it to be well cooked before dropping it down, in my rush to join my friends in the football field. The result is that it gets sour the next day! And my mum, after reprimanding me for my mistake will try to augment the soup. Little by little, my culinary skills were greatly improved and when my elder siblings came home, they too started to testify of my ability to cook good meals.😄
Some kids never got the chance to learn and make mistakes. I have friends who have never been allowed into the kitchen in their parent’s house.
“He cannot cook, he cannot cook” their mother would scream after them if they make attempt into her kitchen. How do you expect them to learn when you did not give them the opportunity?
You have a car and your 18-year-old son cannot drive when he is not handicapped?🤷🏽♂
Sir, you are not doing well. You have made yourself the family driver because you don’t trust the driving ability of your child. How can his driving skill improve when you always want to drive yourself?
Let your children make decisions for themselves and watch them live by the consequences of their decisions, as that would teach them life lessons that you can never have been able to teach them.
Let your children grow up to be responsible adults you can depend on and not adults who will still be depending on you when they are old.
Let them walk the path while you guide them and don’t try to do the walk for them. Remember, you can’t teach a child how to walk by carrying the child in your arms!
To successful 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.