SOME HABITS NIGERIAN PARENTS SHOULD QUIT





By Chinecherem Ubaka

Every parent desires that their kids grow up healthy. When we say healthy, we mean physically and psychologically. More often than not, we succeed in raising healthy children physically while their psychological well-being remain messed up. The major reason for unhealthy children psychology wise is the almost non-existent emotional bond between parents and their children. Where it is in existence, it is on the low. So what are the habits we need to stop?

1. Stopping your children from playing by instilling fear: This is not right. I understand that the foregoing is to prevent them from injuring themselves and "spoiling" their skin. However, children learn how to interact with people when they play with their friends and folks. The learn social behaviours; the healthy and the unhealthy ones. By so doing, they also learn how to deal or cope with certain actions of others. Put simply, they learn the art of survival.

2. Blaming the elder child for a wrong committed by the younger Child: Please stop! Every child should be taught to be responsible for his/her actions. If child A does something wrong, he should be disciplined for it and not Child B, the elder one or the both of them. Where you feel that the elder child could have stopped the act of the younger child, please scold him separately and outside the earshot of the younger child. This preserved the self - esteem of the elder child and instills respect for the elder child in the younger child.

3. Fretting over everything: A little cough from your child makes you hysterical or a little fall from the toddler makes you run mad. Please learn the virtue of calmness when dealing with children. In life there are risks, our prayer should be that God should help us with the risks that we cannot bear alone.

4. Comparing your a child with another child or someone else: This is a NO NO. Why do you do such? Every child is different and every child has his or own time. When you compare your child with another child or someone else, you deplete his/her self-respect and ego. They begin to see themselves as inferior. I understand that the motive for such comparison is to "force" the child to improve. No, it won't work. There are times when a child might not be doing very well in a particular area for instance in his/her academics. Help that child instead. Converse with him or her. You might not know that the child is going through a terrible experience like bullying, assault etc.

5. Discipline shouldn't be for negative actions alone: Most times, we percieve the word "discipline" to be for bad deeds alone or to be synonymous with punishment. When a child does something good, don't be silent about your approval. Commend him or her with the same energy you would have used in reprimanding the child.

6. Tormenting their kids repeatedly over a single mistake: Aaah! Why do we do this? You keep tormenting a child for mistakes done two or three months ago; sometimes many years ago. This is not fair. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Let the child be. As long as you have corrected the child over the wrongdoing, let the matter rest. Raising the issue repeatedly kills the child spirit and teaches him or her to be unforgiving.


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