Your childhood has a huge effect on who you become in the future, and that is a fact parents have to keep at the back of their minds when parenting. I am not really one to give advice on parenting because i don’t have a child neither to i hope to have a child any soon 😕
Time to start my rant:
Nigerian parents think they’ve got the perfect idea of what parenting is but they haven’t got a clue. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’- Give me a break.They haven’t even got a clue on what the Bible says but all they do is pick out bits and pieces and make out something that’s inexistent. That’s obviously why Nigeria is such a nice place to live in today. If you don’t become a doctor,lawyer or engineer then you’re never going to make it big.
I intended my rant to be longer than that but maybe i should take a break,calm down and analyse this like the educated human being i am. First of all, don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying being hard on children or discipline is not good for children. Most things that are good in the world remain good until taken to extremes. If you are going to slap a child on his/her face then make sure you do it in love and not because you’re frustrated because of problems in your life. A bit of beating is alright but when it gets too much it gives the child a very wrong impression of the motives behind. I’ve heard many stories of how children who were beaten came back to appreciate the beating their parents gave them and said thank you.
Secondly, another thing prevalent amongst Nigerian parents is comparing their children to other children.
Galatians 6:4 says- But let every person carefully scrutinise and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbour.
I believe with all my heart that as people, it is wrong to compare ourselves with other people. When you compare yourself with someone else, if you want to be real, 99% of the time you get jealous of what they have that you don’t have, and after sometime you start hating them as people even if they might actually be very nice people. You see beyond their behaviour, and look at what they have that you want and don’t have and start to resent them. From a christian point of view, i also believe that when you compare yourself with other people, you limit God’s plan for your life. God has an individual, unique, plan for the lives of everyone and when you start wishing you had something someone else has instead of living in the present, and using what you have now to the best of your ability, what you’re doing is saying ‘God i want this thing this person has but i don’t want what you have planned for me to have’.
In summary: Making comparisons of yourself with other people hurts both you and them. Parents making comparisons and saying things like “‘Are you not ashamed of yourself? You are always behaving like this, see gloria, her mum is always talking about her. She’s bold and smart, that’s how they know brilliant children’ That is a very perfect example of a sentence you might here from many parents in Nigeria. I’m not being stereotypical by the way, i’m not including every single nigerian parent in this. I’m saying very many. Statements like that live very ugly emotional scars in children because it makes them feel like they are not good enough, or nothing about them is good. AND THAT IS A LIE. Everyone has equal opportunities to make something out of their lives; confident or not confident. I’m not saying being ‘shy’ is a good thing, because i think it is not because it stops you from reaching out and taking risks and getting to where you need to be.
My point is when parenting, it is very wrong to compare your child with other people’s children. It is hard i know, because that’s the natural thing to do and that’s the first thought that comes up in your mind when you think about your child and other people’s children. But it is always good to always keep at the back of your mind the power in your words. Words can create break and create: there is so much power in words. Its amazing how saying just 5 words to someone at the end of their day can leave them feeling like the whole day went horrible. I think the best way to motivate a child to be better people is by showing them examples in your character. Its also good to set a standard in homes so there is an awareness of what is good and not good. Unkind words should always be replaced by encouraging words to because at the end of the day you can’t really change them. You can only motivate them to be better people. Most time unkind words and comparisons are only a result of frustration and anger and do not come out of love or affection.
There’s a whole lot more i can say about this but as i’m on like my 902th word i can sense iit is getting sort of boring so i would end on this note:
Parents should never compare their children with other children because everyone is unique in their own way and no one’s better than anyone else because of any outward apperances, outward privileges, or physical advantages. Everyone is equal in the sense that we are unique and all have great potential in us.
No Discipline at all is bad and Too much Discipline is bad- Good Discipline is balanced with love.
Being a doctor or a lawyer doesn’t automatically equate success. Success is being the best(not in comparison with others, but apart from what other people have acheived) at what you find yourself doing.