Saturday February 1 2014

ON PARENTING :Nasty mummy

By Min Atek

I got a call from a friend I had not heard from in years and our conversation eventually got to the children. She wanted me to talk to a group of children, hers included, about the normality of children doing chores at home because her children think she is a nasty mummy.

I cannot begin to call myself an expert on parenting issues, but I have been one for more than 11 years and whereas that might not qualify me to authoritatively speak on the subject, it sure gives me a good number of years’ experience on the job. I have also been a very deliberate student trying to learn as much as possible on how to raise children. I recently read from a parent who had raised his children all the way to Harvard University and he was sharing on the typical common mistakes that many a parent do in the quest to raise responsible children. Many of us parents love and care for the children so much that we love them into total dependence coupled with a complete sense of self entitlement.

When the child is still young, we aid them with all sorts of gadgets, they can do nothing by themselves. The child is carried and fed right up to three years. He/she wakes to sit in front of the television set from where the maid pleads with him/her to eat their food. The maid then carries the plate to the sink and washes it. There is a maid who is assigned to take care of every nitty-gritty that pertains to the child. If a child were required to do any activity like to lay their bed, they have to be paid for it.

This one I speak about passionately because how in the world should a child be paid to lay their bed or wash the dishes or clean the house, let alone the fact that I the parent don’t get to be paid for raising them? I’m not in any way calling for child labour or child abuse, but today’s child needs to know that it is perfectly okay to do some work. It is okay for them to fall down and cry and it is okay not to have one’s way all the time. It is okay to take some risks and fail at it because in real life we actually take risks. In real life, we are required to actually use our heads to think and plan. The real world has real issues, which the child should be ready to deal with.