Parenting is a great art form that many parents lack. That you have a child does not automatically qualify you to be a parent. How can we ever be justified when we fail deliberately in this God-given and
ordained role? It is a hard fact that once we begin to have children, we must so focus on building them that we may not have much time for ourselves. Does this mean that we must put a halt to our own
continuous learning and development? The answer is no.
We must come to one realisation: Our children are the continuity of us. They are fruits from the trees called us, parents. This is huge. If we stay in memory and reminder ourselves of this, we should accept the audacious role of nurturing and the responsibility that is thrust on us. However, we must focus on their uniqueness because regardless of the fact that they are from us and carry 99.9% of our DNA, they are unique in themselves. This uniqueness is what we must be preoccupied with when we go on
the sojourn to raise them.
It takes life to raise life. For life to be productive, productivity must be sewn into it. For a life to be creative, creativity must be delivered into it. For the life of a child to be anything of value, nothing but the value must be installed and inculcated in it in every way.
While not asking that parents should be hypocritic, it is essential that they are models of the behaviour that they expect to see in their children. The reason is simple: Children do what they see adults do. They hardly do what adults ask them to either do or not to do. Why is this so?
Children use observation from birth, beyond what we realise as adults. We often are too hasty to observe our children and even babies. They observe everything critically in the environment and take the same into their subconscious simultaneously.
One question we fail to address our minds to when we delude ourselves that our children do not see the things we are doing is, “How smart or observant was I when I was this age?”
One delusion we live in is that we think that our children are ignorant. We often joke that, “Kini omode mo?,” meaning “What does a child know?” We have a false inbuilt idea that our children don’t know. It is a wrong program installed traditionally in us for a long time. We must uninstall this program.
How ignorant are we in the belief that our children do not know! For those of us who still hold such an opinion, let me remind you that the children that we are having today are digital, but many of us have stayed analogue. Do you wonder why they always beat you? They know our passwords. They
access our devices. They are always a step ahead of us; yet we are blinded by the self-deceit that they don’t know.
I wonder who is truly ignorant between us and them. Truth is that they know what they know, and we know what we know, but perhaps, we need to unlearn some things we know from our past in order to learn and relearn some new things today. This sacrifice will save our heritage. We must collaborate with our children. Let us guide them with patience, wisdom and love so as not to lose them.
Do we realise that many of our children do not need to read manuals to operate devices? These are Millennials or Generation Y [born between 1977 and 1995] and Generation Z [born between 1996 and later]. These are curious, sophisticated technology wise, impatient, fast and continuous learners, daring, adventurous and restless.
According to Goldman Sachs research, The peculiarities of the age that they are born in (technology change, globalization, and economic disruption) has given them a different set of behaviours and experiences than
their parents. They have been slower to marry and move out on their own and have shown different attitudes to ownership that have helped spawn what’s being called a sharing economy.
They are smart because they are digital natives. The truth is that we adults seem ill-equipped to catch up with the agility that is in their being and that is the more reason that we must activate the acceptance mode in dealing with these peculiar specie that we have given birth to. It is very funny that
we do not know them well enough.
To know them, we must purposefully engage them through connecting with them. They are little humans, not less humans. We are not different from them in terms of humanity. We are not better than they are. We are only older and more experienced, but not necessarily more intelligent. This is very important. We must take time to research them for what and who they are. They are equipped with much more than we know and are used to.
Children today ask questions because they are curious “robots”, programmed to enquire continuously. They are hungry for results and impact because they have the bug of disruption in them. Curiosity is
a massive intelligence of creativity and imagination. With the right questions, we unlock the doors of ignorance. Our children today are access to this door. To match their speed, we must only apply wisdom and the sincerity to be friendly with them. We also must embrace continuous learning. We
cannot negotiate these downwards.
Children have their own deep or otherwise insights. As stated earlier, if only we can pay the price of patience to go through with them, we would succeed in the art of nurturing one of the greatest gifts given to humanity: the heritage of the Maker. Through our children, we could reach places we
hitherto never dreamt of, if we pay the price of nurturing.
Do you realise that if we provide the right tutelage through connecting with our children and pay the price of spending time to discover and nurture their creativity while they are young, if we marry their gifts with relevant skills and program into them the right information of the Word of God in truth and personal sincerity, they would have built such competencies that when they are ready for the job market, we would not need to be looking for jobs for them?
Think about it. We send our children to school and help them secure jobs. We support them to get accommodation and to marry wives or their husbands to marry our daughters. We help them raise their children. When will they stand for themselves? We need to only help these young ones build employability skills by first helping them to discover who they are [self-awareness]. If our parents did all these things for us, would we be able to do the same for our children? If we do all these for our children, what happens to their creativity on which their independence must ride?
Children are humans. Man is a god in the space because God made man in His image and likeness. If we fail to see God in our children, how do we raise up the heritage of God? Child nurturing is an excellent opportunity to make tomorrow better today. That is where sacrifice today comes in for us. It is a life. We must consecrate our lives for the sake of our children. If we serve them well, they will deal us the same card tomorrow, when we can no longer stir as much as we do today.
Imagine what we lose not connecting and engaging with our children. In childhood is the gift of creativity and indeed other gifts discovered. If we miss out on that timeline, we have a huge challenge for the future.
Robert Greene said, “As children, we had some of this intuitive power and spontaneity, but it is generally drummed out of us by all of the information that overloads our minds over time. Masters return to this childlike state, their works displaying degrees of spontaneity and access to the unconscious, but at a much higher level than the child.”
Imagine if we connected to this spontaneity and focus on developing the same from childhood? Imagine if we do not permit negative information overload which we permit when we send our children that
we barely know to school? There is something very curious about the strength in the little bodies called children.
Children are often restless due to the abundant energy in them. As parents and adults, it is instructive to direct this energy towards activities that would provoke thinking and service mentality. We should not just quench this drive or thirst by getting them glued to the television set and other devices that are not healthy for their age. We must be deliberate about child nurturing. It is a one-time opportunity.
“As your children hit accountability, you begin to see how good or bad a job you have done raising them. If there is going to be a change, they have to make it themselves; not you doing it again because you lost the opportunity.”
By Joseph Ayeni