I like Supernanny oh, but mehn, I really don’t need that to know how to go about training my kids. I’m serious! Sometimes, I look at some of her techniques, they are quite interesting. I guess it depends on where you are raising your kids sha. I don’t think the naughty step method will be successful in Naij. Even if it is, by the time he gets to school and his mates are trying to make him do something against the Family Commandments and he goes, ‘oh no, I can’t’ and they ask, ‘why?’. He then responds, ‘mom and dad are going to put me on the naughty step’. I think the way the kids will ridicule the punishment will be enough for him to develop a tough skin to it. Anyways, I think I prefer the good ol’ traditional way of doing things but a bit modified. The modification simply means you tell children what exactly they have done wrong before
smacking chastising them and also lavish them with kind words and praises when they do well. Also, you tell them why they should or shouldn’t do stuff so they realise it’s all for their own good.
Two weeks ago, I was on Bus 12 on my way to church. Normally, I’d have my earphones in with my music at full blast but on this occasion, I was trying to conserve my battery. Allow me digress for a minute. Please guys, reduce the volume on your earphones! I had this perpetual ringing/buzzing in my ears which would bring me headaches and migraines. I researched on it and discovered that when BB used to warn me about the volume of my music, it wasn’t a joke. So, turn it down, you will still hear.
Anyway, back to my Bus 12 drama. I was jejely seating on the bus (my usual first floor position cause I hate the ground floor) when the episode ensued. A caucasian mom and her daughter were happily gisting beside me and I was really admiring their bond. So I smiled to myself. Before I could praise God for them, the mom said something and the daughter flipped and started sparking for her momsy. My smile varnished like the rent-a-ghost guys after they had pulled their noses. And it got me musing…
Is it okay to spark for your parents? Is it part of allowing your kids express themselves and their individualities? Are parent/kid relationships supposed to be one of friends?
How exactly should kids be raised? Is the African way where the child is so subdued to be desired? In my opinion, due to hearing so much ‘shut up!, don’t talk, obey before complain’, the child cannot properly express himself, cannot think outside the box and you find them saying things like, ‘I want to wish my mommy and my…my…my da..ddy, Mr and Mrs Okokomaiko Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’ after about 50 children ahead of him on the queue have said the EXACT same thing! The most irritating part is that the adult interviewer will cheer them on and praise them for doing what everyone else just did! In my opinion, I prefer bold, assertive kids that are willing to ask questions. I love when I’m engaged in conversation with this tiny tot that is badgering me with intelligent questions that leave my mouth hanging. But does raising these type of kids mean they have to be rude, disobedient, recalcitrant, out of order and a general pain? Is it one or the other? I think NOT! I believe it is possible to have intelligent, bold children who are respectful and obedient. I believe so because I have seen some in this Jand (UK)-my pastors’ children, for instance, to mention a few. These type of kids read books, listen to older, wiser people conversing so they are very enlightened but yet, they remain good children.
If I tell you that I have veered away from what made me blog today, you won’t believe just how much! lol. I was listening to Joyce Meyer this morning and she alluded to the story of Eli and how he let his kids do as they pleased and God punished him for their own sins. I have read that before but it moved me so much that I went back to investigate 1 Samuel. I discovered that Eli raised his sons Hophni and Phinehas in a very slack way. He did not train them up well. He must have been one of all these easygoing dads who believe you should let your sons express themselves. It must have started with, ‘oh boys, its okay, play your PS2 past your bed time, no biggie’ to, ‘oh its fine, come back home a bit later than your curfew, I don’t mind’. By the time all these little little excesses culminated, the result was something even Eli could not handle. These lads started desecrating the temple of God, raping women that came to pray in the tabernacle, eating a sacred part of the burnt offering and generally having no regard for the things of God. Verse 17 of 1 Samuel 2 says: Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
It was now at this juncture that Eli decided to call them to order. From Verse 22, it says,
Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel,[a] and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.
24 No, my sons! For it isnot a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress.
25 If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.
It gets to a stage where it is too late. How can you be correcting grown men when you had the chance to raise them right in the first place? Once a person has been moulded, it takes divine intervention to change such a person. That is why those formative years are so vital. I have a friend who started scolding/telling off her son when he was just 10 months or so. I totally understand her point.
Without doubt, some parents have sincerely tried and yet the children still misbehave. Those ones are of another category. God will not be punishing their parents like He did Eli. I believe one day, these children will still change. With Eli, God had said of him in verse 29:
Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’
In 1 Samuel 3:13-14, when God was calling Samuel, He said to him,
For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. 14 And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
So God had had enough of the Reverend Eli and his family and he punished them severely. He even said that no amount of begging, pleading for them could change His mind. Mehn, God must have been so mad at them!
I think it is important to ask God for wisdom when raising your kids. And kids are different. Smacking some might work while another kid should not be smacked. A careful balance needs to be struck so as not to scar your kids for life. The same Bible that said “He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24) and “Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13-14) also said in Ephesians 6:4 ‘And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord’. We need all the wisdom we can get to raise great kids that will go on to give us peace. Remember, the tale of two sons, Hophni and Phinehas who grew to cause the dad’s death.
So when you are considering letting your kids ‘be themselves’, ‘be free-spirited’, ‘express themselves and their individualities’ without any form of discipline and well laid out and explained boundaries, think of the Elis and reconsider. Those kids are your responsibility and it is your duty to ensure that they do not end up on Jeremy Kyle Show or Jerry Springer Show or even Maury trying to figure out who their baby daddy is.
That’s all folks (for now)