(Lessons From Game of Thrones)
“The child is the father of the man he wishes his days to be”.
As the world celebrates the international children’s day, let’s share some vital lessons from King Joffrey Baratheon from the TV series, Game of Thrones. Children learn by observation than anything else. No matter how much you tell a child to respect others, if you the parent don’t show respect for others, that advice will be in vain. Also, as children naturally want to break new grounds and be better than their parents, they tend to go a step further with what you have taught them. For example, if you have raised a child to love, that child will grow up expressing love more than you did. On the other hand, if you showed a child how to be wicked, bad, terrible, and vile, that child will end up being a monster.
Joffery Baratheon was the son of Queen Cersei Lannister, the wife of King Robert Baratheon. He was close to his mother, and from her, he learnt how to be self-centred, cruel, and ruthless. The mother, in turn, learnt it from her father, (that is Joffery grandfather), and gradually, it was being transferred from one generation to another. Howbeit, young Joffery who unfortunately ascended the throne before he could master the act of cruelty and ruthlessness, met his untimely death.
Earlier this month, a picture of a seventeen-year-old undergraduate that was murdered, or allowed to die by his ‘friends’ in a swimming pool in Abuja, right here in Nigeria, went viral. We all condemned it in entirety, the wickedness of the so-called friends of the deceased. But each time I recount the confessional statement of his friends, I kept asking myself, how could this have been avoided? Moderation is key in all what we do. And most parents don’t realise how fast their kids learn from them until it is too late. His friends said they allowed him to die because he was rich and had the fine girls to himself, and perhaps rubs it on their faces at every given opportunity knowingly or unknowingly. Without speaking evil of the dead, we have to protect our children by teaching them how to protect themselves, and that includes letting them know that we are all human, after all, irrespective of our privileges.
King Joffrey, for instance, made it very difficult to protect him. He was good at nothing but creating enmity for himself. If not for the motherly love, I am sure his mum too would not have been able to stand him. With the circumstances surrounding his death, getting justice for him was made complex because his enemies were everywhere. To find the particular one that killed him was difficult.
Aside from some children that chose to be different from their parents consciously, most times, your children are a reflection of who you’re. Not just physical resemblance only, but in words, character and conduct.
In the few years I spent as a classroom teacher prior to my admission into the university, I observed that children that are well behaved ended up completing a whole year without their parents coming to the school. This is so because their parents are well behaved too. But those that were ill-mannered, would have their parents coming almost every week. And from the attitude of their parents, you will see where the children learnt it from. Most often than not, the children are a reflection of their parents. By the time you hear the parents talk and display, you will be forced to say ‘no wonder the child is like that’.
As parents, you should try and raise your children in a way that they won’t endanger themselves when they are not under your custody. Raise them with good and high moral values that will help them to be better citizens, and great ambassadors of your household. We can indeed fix this nation by fixing each family, one at a time!
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.