One sunny afternoon, as I laid by the riverbank, I watched the sea rose and fell, the tide was enormous, and I couldn’t but sigh at the marvellous work of nature that was beginning to create lots of shades in my mind. The high tide was fearful though, its innocence still shimmered with the sprinkles running back, each time it did that, I was bamboozled. Just then two little boys of about four years old ran by, obviously playing together with the beach ball they had. As the tide rose higher, one of the mothers ran after the boys and yelled at her son that it was time for home. Passing by me, the mother scolded the poor lad questioning how he could have been playing with such a dirty lizard. “Why mummy, is he a lizard?” The little boy asked. “Shut up”, the mother shouted the boy down as they walked farther down and their voices vanished more.
I stood and wondered why the mum had referred to the other boy as a dirty lizard, didn’t really look dirty to me and obviously not a lizard. I felt a pinch, knowing she has just sent a negative signal to her son about playing with little kids like him and most critical the fact that such comments may begin to shape his personality and affect his emotional development in terms of relationship with other people, and attitudes, as he grows older, if she constantly did that. Being at the scene of the incident, I knew clearly that the mum used such words due to her personal perception of the other little boy, rating perhaps in terms of appearance, colour, class, or beauty but definitely not because the poor boy was evidently dirty.
It is easier to mould the mind of a child towards a particular manner than it is for adults. When a child begins to grow, he learns through everything he founds around him with greater influence on the habits and manners he picks from parents or guardians and such manners are displayed beyond the household. There is no doubt that parents are responsible for eighty per cent of what makes up the personality of a child and therefore it is expected that high quality upbringing should be ensured.
Children need to have a developing awareness of their needs as well as the views and feelings of others. They need to develop with a sense of respect for their cultures, beliefs and those of others as well as knowledge of agreed values and codes of conduct wherever they find themselves.
Children need to be taught, that in a classroom setting for example, they need to be able to work and play as part of a group, tolerating other people as well as sharing chores and toys harmoniously. However, this essential aspect of child’s development cannot be handled by teachers alone; they are part of the core basis of positive parenting.
As adults, we all know that a greater amount of what made us as individuals are the habits, manners, and personality traits we inherited from our childhood and that is why we have to go through rigorous schemes turning it round when we realise they are not the best for us.
When parents sow the seeds of hatred, intolerance, disrespect and all these other negative behavioural vices in their children for their self-comfort, it only does not affect the feelings and make-up of the child as he grows, it also deepens the wound of the society.
Child discipline is definitely of core importance, it simply should be done in a way that the child will begin to reason positively as to why he was meant to go through the process of disciplining with every necessary explanation given as a means to jointly work on the expected behaviour.
For a child to grow up with a huge degree of self-esteem, the child has to be nurtured by parents who themselves have great self-value.
Positive parenting eschews characteristics that promote low self-worth, lack of confidence, and prejudice. Bringing up a child, in a way that will afford him to have a positive mind-set to make good decisions is tough, but crucial. It comes with abundant rewards but eventually, it will be dignifying to both the child and the parent as the child assumes adulthood.