The Favourite Parent Syndrome
She knew she really should take the toy away from Joke but the girl was having so much fun playing that the instant cry she would let out if the toy was taken would be nothing short of deafening. Why trouble her so? Let her enjoy the toy for a few more minutes after all Joke can always do the chore she had asked her to do over an hour ago some other time or even some other day, Mother thought.
Dabo had been acting heady for some months now and Father worriedly watched this new side of his son unfold yet he let him be as he thought, “it’s just a phase, he will outgrow it”. So Dabo got away with rude remarks laughed off as childish and other behaviours that can best be described as uncouth.
I wonder if you have also noticed that it is becoming commonplace to find parents who “let things slide” when it comes to raising their children because they do not want to be unpopular with the kids; some notion about being a “cool 21<sup>st</sup> Century parent”? What’s my own with how one wants to parent their kids you may ask but I am concerned as we all should be about the way children are being raised because the same children of today will be at the helm of affairs of our nation in the not so distant future. The society they will govern should be one we can live peacefully in, and one that unborn generations will meet in good stead.
My aim with this article is to remind us that the family is the basic unit of society and where families miss it, the society is headed for the rocks. We must get it right if we are going to raise children we will be proud of eventually; children who will be well-formed adults, who treat others with respect and are ethical in their conduct.
Parents need to be mindful about raising their children to be values based leaders who are first excellent leaders of themselves and who then go on to be a positive influence to others around them.
The values based leader is shaped by his beliefs and values and these in turn influence his attitude, behaviours, actions, and results. Let’s define these concepts that shape the values based leader which are: Beliefs, Values, Attitude, Behaviours/Actions, and Results.
Beliefs are the set of ideals that define one’s life while values are the acceptable norms derived from your beliefs to guide your choices/actions. These two are so important because our beliefs shape our values and our values shape everything else about us. Therefore it is pertinent that as a parent, you mould your children with the right beliefs and teach them to imbibe the right values such as love, working to earn, honesty, respect for all people, excellence, etc.
Attitude is the lens through which we view life and issues, so a blurred lens will affect the way we view everything else. A positive attitude is a choice we can make regardless of our circumstances.
Though maintaining a positive attitude at all times is easier said than done, it is not impossible, and so, the best time to start teaching children to maintain a positive attitude is now so that it readily becomes part and parcel of their lives.
Behaviours/Actions are the things we do; the way we conduct our affairs. Needless to say that our beliefs and values will determine our attitude which directly affects how we act and the choices we make, and, of course, these actions and choices will drive the results we will have in life. Our results are the outcomes produced by our actions.
These defining concepts of the values based leader are so fundamental that parents, teachers, and all of us who in one way or the other partake in the raising of children must take them very seriously if we are going to raise children today who can stand tall tomorrow and participate in life as well-grounded individuals equipped and ready to lead successful lives.
Ukot Umezinne is the Chief Executive Officer of the Abuja Based Life Skills Experts and moderator of the Education Hub Africa group on Facebook.