Just yesterday, I had an experience at my daughter’s pre-school tricycling event, an outdoor outing designed for two major reasons. Firstly, to get the kids out having fun while building their social interactions with one another. And secondly, an opportunity for the pre-school to fund-raise.
For me, it was a catch-up moment with parents and teachers given that we’re always on-the-go and in a hurry during drop-offs and pick-ups.
“Stop judging, comparing and measuring your kids against socio-cultural expectations.”
On a large circular playground tracks, the kids rode on their bicycles, scooters, tricycles and all manner of wheeled toys. They got to have a star on their barge for every cycle completed while the parents cheered them on from the side lines.
Suddenly, I spotted my daughter stopping her ride at the middle of the race and instinctively, I dashed across the tracks to see if she was alright. But on getting to her, I got a whisper from my 3-year-old, “Daddy, don’t worry, you go, I’ll be fine.”
This got me really thinking about how as parents, we can be overly worried, concerned and controlling over our children instead of letting go and enjoying the rare privilege of a parent-child relationship.
Here’s my little advice for parents and would-be parents:
#1. STOP CLONING YOUR CHILDREN
Sometimes, we slip into the art of cloning our kids into our own image or prevailing social expectations. Some would even say, “I want my daughter/son to play golf, tennis, basket-ball or nothing else.” Others would say, “I want my children to study sciences and become Medical Doctors since I was unable to do so.” These parents coerce their children to abandon their unpopular interests for their parents’ consuming desires. They unknowingly manipulate these kids to fulfill their own agenda, they hijack their innocent ambitions to realise their own dreams.
Please, stop judging, comparing and measuring your kids against socio-cultural expectations. Stop cloning them into your own image and likeness. Stop being a control-freak: over-protecting and micromanaging your youngsters!
This is because you run the risk of raising alienated, rebellious and unfulfilled human beings. In addition to the fact that, you’ll end up wearing yourself out and heaping disappointment upon disappointments.
More so, you don’t want to experience the heartaches of having done all the manipulations/protectiveness and then be faced with grave realities of a pregnant teen, a college drop-out, a drug-dealing adolescent or better still, a social miscreant.
Instead, let them blossom or flourish at their own pace and speed. Let them grow, develop and exercise their own personality, uniqueness, sense of judgement, decision-making and ability to choose wisely.
#2. START TRUSTING GOD FOR YOUR CHILDREN
As parents, we are caretakers. And we can only be effective caretakers of our children when we trust God to help us in carrying out this responsibility.
We need to let go and let God. We need to start trusting God’s ability to love, care and raise our little treasures. This will unleash in our children a healthy self-image, self-worth and self-confidence. They will stand the chance of growing up responsible and accountable: mentally, socially, physically and spiritually.
And for us, we’ll be happy, at peace, at rest, secured, satisfied and fulfilled with little or nothing to fear or worry about.