What is your child learning from you?

Listen to every 7 out of 10 teenagers and they will tell you their mom doesn’t like them. . Who didn’t think like that? There were times I didn’t think I was my mother’s true daughter. My kid brother sometimes think so too. Growing up in the 80s was a lot different than growing up in this computer age. Raising children nowadays is like rearing a chicken using the free range method. They wake up in the morning, eat and roam around, pecking at whatever their beaks find, sun bath and play in the rain. They find their way home to sleep in the evening. Compare that with the parenting style of these days and this is what you will get. Children wake when they want to and make their way to the sitting room, rushing for who will get the remote first. Some of them have to be dragged away from the TV  to the dining table for breakfast. Whatever they do in between is their choice as long as they allow mummy to chat on her phone and watch Africa Magic in her room..

I can remember the first time I cooked beans. I was in primary 4. It was my biggest feat at that time. When I think of it now and how I can prepare  delicious foods at the snap of a finger, I wonder how and when I learnt them. I cannot remember my mom sitting across me and teaching me a lesson on how to make jellof rice. Instead I remember the times she called out to me from the kitchen. It was always, “gini ka i no ebe afu eme? Onye ga-esilu gi nni gi?”.(what are you doing there? Who will cook  this food for you?) I was barely nine.I didn’t have the pleasure of sitting with my dad and brothers in front of the TV while my mom cooked. So, I always found myself sitting in the kitchen(not sure I was paying much attention) and practically doing nothing because she had my older relatives there too. It was one of the times I thought she did not like me.

Every action we take as parents is a call to teach.  My mother might not have realized it then but she was sowing seeds that another individual would reap. I think that is the sum of what parenting is all about. We train the kids for another person, the society and another generation to enjoy. Think of it. Most kids spend less time at home from the time they enter secondary school, all though the university and eventually become independent.  There isn’t enough time for parents to have the child around to show forth the result of all they have learnt. Instead,  parents get their glory when they hear good reports from people that have related with their children in distant lands.

As parents, we have to be conscious of the truth that there can not be a better teacher for our kids than us. We may have times when we wonder if they are really learning anything. Relax. As long as you are doing the right things for them to emulate, it is storing away in their subconscious. At the appropriate time, they will call it up.
Our greatest strengths will become our children’s strength too. Be wise.

Since I became a parent, I have become more appreciative of my parents. Their parenting skills definitely was not 100%  acceptable to me but it has brought me this far and I turned out pretty good. I want my kids to say that of me too.

In response to NaBloPoMo writing Prompt:  What is the most important lesson you learned as a child, and who taught it to you?


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