Parents, there’s a difference between teaching your kids to respect you and teaching them to fear you
Dear Nigerian parents, there’s a difference between teaching your kids to respect you and teaching them to fear you.
After throwing away many years wielding extreme authority in the home, African parents suddenly want to become the person you talk to:
About that guy who probably broke your heart,
About that girl who doesn’t think you’re good enough,
About school, how it gets so hard sometimes, you contemplate quitting,
About life, how it gets so lonely and bewildering at times you feel so lost and miniscule,
About your choices, in a world that scarcely gives a damn about morality and love and kindness,
About your ambitions, how sometimes they feel so pointless and at other times, you’re so bumped with adrenaline, you can’t wait to get on with them already,
About your weaknesses, your fears, your scars, your battles, your nightmares, your dreams, your victories, your doubts, your passions…
Dear African Parents,
If you want to be best friends with your sons and daughters, start from when they are months old. You can still be firm, and a parent without missing out on being their close pals.
There’s a difference between teaching your kids to respect you and teaching them to fear you. Fear is not respect.
You expect your kids to automatically assume that you love them but you don’t show them warmth or make yourself approachable.
Providing all their basic needs does not equal emotional support. Open up to your kids. Hug them. Tell them you love them unconditionally.
Listen to them. Guide them. Correct them. Support them. Flogging your kids like animals is a lazy and inefficient way out.
Insulting them to within an inch of their lives would only push them farther away from you and break down their self esteem.
If you really want a strong, warm and healthy relationship between you and your progeny today,
If you want to be part and parcel of their lives’ journey,
If you do not want to be lonely in your old age,
Then you have to work on being a better parent today!
Written by Blessing Mary Ocheido