have you had sleepless nights wondering how your child might turn out in the future? Whether they would ever be able to fit into the scary place that is society when they grow up?
Well, stop wondering and start working to prepare your child for the future! And what better way to start than by getting them to respect their elders – most notably, your parents and your friends around you!
Interested to know how this seemingly simple gesture can help give your kids a headstart besides impacting you too? Then read on!
As a child, I would often be reminded by my mother to “greet everyone in the house” when we arrived at our family gatherings.
“Remember to greet your elders… and especially your grandmother!” My mother would say as we zipped along our way.
My mother had always emphasized on the need for manners and greeting one’s elders at family functions. As a kid, it’d never really occurred to me why I should be doing it anyway. And, the only reason why I complied back then was because I knew that was my ticket for staying out of trouble!
Yet, as I grew older, I began to observe how much pleasure and delight my elders displayed each time I greeted them at family functions. My Grandmother was particularly elated. With time I began to realise how much recognition society giving to people who knew how to behave themselves. With time, I began to realise, my mother had been training and laying the foundations for me to leave a positive impression at social functions. Mind you, despite my mother’s training, I wasn’t great or near any level of competency. My introversion still left me with a lot to be desired as a person who was crying out to be noticed in a crowd.
However, what my mom did for me was to forge such a strong sense of awareness of my manners that I hardly screwed up when I was at functions. I wasn’t great, but I didn’t make any drastic mistakes that would have scarred me for life or left me ostracized by people around me.
Most of us would have read articles about youth delinquents straying early in life, only to realise their mistake and attempt to trudge back later on life. Their path and journey of reconciliation is fraught with great challenges and difficulty – theirs is a mostly a result of having gone down, literally, the wrong way. Now, they’ve got to make the extended journey back up.
In retrospect, my mother’s nurturing provided me with the platform to learn and develop myself as a person and breakthrough my fear of speaking. I didn’t give her recognition then – simply because I didn’t understand as a kid. But now that I do, I think it’s appropriate to honour her wisdom and foresight of laying that foundation her kids, and show you how she did it!
Here’re three simply strategies that she used:
As I’d mention, my mother would spell out the things that she’d want me to do before we arrive at our destination. Very specifically, she’d ask me to pay attention to anything of special significance when we’re still in the car.
By preparing me before hand, my mother was effectively fine tuning my mood and thoughts and readying me for action. Do not underestimate the power of preparation! Athletes and professionals all around the world place immense value and emphasis on the need to prepare for their big games or events. Even professional speakers need time to prepare and familiarize themselves with their topic of speech. Surely, even you’d agree that you’d have to make some kind of preparation for certain special events in your life?
Our kids are innocent little creatures. Their minds are like empty hard drives waiting for us to population with running programs. It is impossible for them to perform if parents do not actively instill in them the right methods (or software) of doing working in society.
In this instance, it is imperative that parents take the lead to guide and prepare their children for the bigger stage in life. My mother did not prepare me prior to the big, special events in life. She prepared me to cope by making me take baby steps each time – each at our usual family functions.
2. That’s going to cost you…
Some parents are going to cringe when reading this segment. This segment deals with penalties and punishment – a practice that several parents have come to ignore in an era of intensive parenting little emperors and princesses.
Fortunately (or unfortunately for me back then), my mother would never entertain any nonsense from me or my siblings. Mum placed a big emphasis on discipline, and if we can be sure that we will be facing the music
It is imperative that parents adopt a reward and punishment system where it comes to controlling their children’s behavior. My mom was strict when her kids infringed on some of the fundamental principles that she’d adopted as a mother. And as kids, we were constantly reminded not to cross the line (until we grew old enough to know how to cross it without getting caught! *winks*).
One of the key things my mom practised when it comes to disciplining her children involves consistency. As a mother, my mum had NEVER failed to follow through her promises. These involved promises to give, to reward, and to punish. You would always know that she meant what she said. And till her deathbed, she remembered that she her promise to my sister, a car. Sadly, that promise was one of a few that she would never have the chance to follow through.
Still, I think most of us would agree that it wasn’t a case of turning her back on what she said, but rather a case of fate having taken her away before she had the chance to have them materialised.
As a parent, it is critical to NEVER make empty promises to your child. Children remember, and they will base their actions and behaviour on the words of their parents. Lying, or breaking one’s promises especially where big promises are concerned will have a detrimental effect on the trust kids have in their parents. Serial promise breakers will eventually realize that their words count for naught when their hands are forced at the negotiation table. These could prove to be disastrous when it comes to disciplining your child.
Remember the principle of consistency. Give credit where credit is due. And penalise accordingly (not excessively) when infringements are made.
My mom did that. And I will always remember to analyse the cost and benefits of my decisions before I take any action in future!
Thank you, Mum!
Mom’s Lesson #1 – Family First
Mom’s Lesson #2 – More than Just a Thought
Mom’s Lesson #3 – Discipline – Respect for your Elders
Mom’s Lesson #4 – Just a Little Bit More
Mom’s Lesson #5 – Don’t Give Up – Just Do Your Best
Mom’s Lesson #6 – Go Forth and Explore
Mom’s Lesson #7 – Love & Sacrifice