1. Crying will always get you a way out
I’ve seen so many children screaming their lungs out in public places as their parents try to console them with their wants. “But mommy I want this!” “I don’t care!” The child stomps his or her feet towards the ground and sometimes they resort to going on strike, lying down on the floor and fisting the ground. Some are as old as seven or eight. Jesus, if I ever attempted that during my time, my mother would have just walked out on me and would probably leave me bawling on the floor. Feeling embarrassed, I’d get up and run towards her instead.
When you pacify your children’s wants out of logic over spur of the moment emotion — be it embarrassment in public because of your child, or because you want them to have what they want because you never got an opportunity to when you were young — you are not showing them that you love them. You are spoiling them. You are teaching your child that they can always get what they want, provided they cry or put up a sob story to tug at your heart strings when they grow older. Con men and heartbreakers grow up like that. Oh right, as well as spoilt brats.
2. Follow your gender roles
Gender roles are socially constructed by society. They’ve been a highly debatable topic for years and I would agree to a certain extent that some of them are in place with good reason –for example, not many women carry laborious jobs because it could lead to an injury of the womb, or what they call uterine prolapse.
I however, will tell my child not to be tied down by social gender roles of what they can or cannot do relative to his or her own interests. If my son wants to learn ballet but is embarrassed because he is the only boy who has come forward, or if my daughter wants to learn martial arts but got taunted by the boys at school for being female, I’ll gladly offer my 100% support and make an appearance at school to ensure my child gets the best opportunity possible. Where an interest is concerned, life’s too short to be denied of such an opportunity because of your gender.
3. You don’t need hard work if you have talent
And that my friends, is what gets you fired in the long run.
Talent can only last you so long, as hard work turns to sheer laziness; this becomes your boss’s vice to send you packing up. You can be hard working and not be talented in the field of expertise and still soar with learning on the job (hard work). But when you’re exceptionally obnoxious on your self-appraisal of what you think is your strong talent, that will cause your fall.
4. Love half-heartedly because that’s the only way you’d be safe from heartbreak
My mother lived by the words of choosing relationships where you had the upper hand. To quote, you should always be ‘loving a man who you knew loved you more’. She advocated this because of the hard lessons she learnt in her own dating and love life.
I however like to believe in believing that there is no yardstick for such a limitless emotion such as love. We don’t count the number of gifts we have received, the number of ‘I love you’ messages received, or the number of times they cooked us a homemade meal to our feed our hungry tummies. Love isn’t a number; it cannot be calculated or put together by equation. It can only be felt. I would urge them to love wholeheartedly, no matter how hard you may fall in due course. This is because eventually, we will learn something about ourselves after each fall, believe it or not, and we become stronger after each lesson.
5. Your benchmark of success is another’s failure
“The only time you should look in your neighbour’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look into your neighbour’s bowl to see if you have as much as them”- Louis C.K
6. Your Education is a right
Did you know that according to Humanium.org , there are as many as 72 million children in the world who are not educated and fairing in terrible living conditions and social economic statuses?
My children will be educated, they will learn to read and write because they will have the opportunity to do so in my home country. However, I want them to understand the difference between a right and a privilege.
I want them to understand the importance of being thankful for what they have, and to give back to the society when they are able to in due time. I want them to appreciate the beauty of being literate and imagination in books and songs that they can relate to and share that beauty with the ones that never had the privilege to do so.
The world is never changed by ideas — only examples. And I hope they will be able to do the same to make that little difference in the world.