It is important we mind what we say and do especially before children. Our acts teach them more than we think. Recently, my daughter was having stomach ache and after she had been treated and prayed for, she kept complaining. I told her to talk less of the pain and speak more of her healing because she gets what she says.
Later in the evening, while sitting with her dad, she started talking of how bad her tummy hurt(even though we all knew she was seeking for pity) and her twin brother told her ,” Uju, don’t say your tummy is paining you. Remember that is what mummy told you”. I had goose pimples all over when I heard that. I was very impressed with him because he said it with all seriousness and sureness of mind. And they are only 6 years old. That act alone gave me thoughts to mull over for the rest of the evening and i am stil thinking about it.
Sometimes, we think the kids don’t understand what they are being told. They do even more when they see us act out what we say. Imagine telling a child to obey civic rules when you break traffic rules with them right in the car. Little wonder, parents complain their kids are hard of hearing. We confuse them over what to believe in because our acts are in contradiction to what we say. As parents or caregivers, we should not think that we can say anything and get away with it because we are older than them. No, it does not work like that.
Research has shown that the pattern of child rearing or parenting style greatly influences the attitude children develop towards themselves and towards authority figures. Leon Canerot in his book Tips on Parenting Strategies says,”how we raise our children is to a large extent based on what comes naturally to us”. This could be as a result of how we were raised or our innate makeup or our environment. Whichever it is, it is important we know that the future of our children is largely dependent on us. Either as a parent, guardian, teacher or caregiver, what you possess is what you can give. Therefore, it is not late for you to change your lifestyle to align with what you say or do in order to make the child’s life better for a greater tomorrow. I always love to say, “a child is my child”.