MOMS SHARE: 5 Things I’m Teaching My Kids & Why

By Funke Eweje

There are often variations in the core values individual parents lay emphasis on as far as raising their children is concerned. Of course, their bias is often informed by salient reasons. Find out top five (5) values these parents are teaching and instilling into their kids and the essence attached. You might just find reasons to increase your focal points.

 

L.J and LuluLucy Esiri, mum to Lulu, 16 months old

My daughter, who is 16 months old, is at the stage where children get clingy and because I work from home, I’m teaching her to be independent; to enjoy entertaining herself by playing with her toys or watching her favourite cartoons. In addition, she loves feeding herself, of course she makes a huge mess in the process, but instilling that air of independence in her frees me up to multitask and get some work done while keeping an eye on her activities.

She’s also being taught shapes and a few numbers, she can repeat numbers 1 to 5. Like most toddlers, she has a flair for colours too, so I create lots of avenues for her to learn more about colours. I’m doing this to create the right foundation for when she starts school in earnest.

Furthermore, I’m teaching her to abide by set limits or restrictions. My daughter likes gadgets a lot, especially those with buttons /knobs, from mobile phones, ipads, to remote controls. I have suffered the ‘damage’ of my mobile phone in the process, so for my sanity and finance, she’s learnt that phones and ipads are not toys. I haven’t been very successful with the remote controls though.

I’m also trying to teach and emphasis the difference between right and wrong by cheering, ‘Good girl!’ with a big round of applause when she does something good and she in turn responds by clapping for herself with a broad smile. I frown and shake my head to curtail bad behaviour and she realizes that behaviour must not be repeated.

Finally, I teach her there’s love in sharing. Being a bit territorial and selfish is not uncommon with toddlers at this stage, so it’s crucial that they learn to share. Now she enjoys sharing and would offer you a bite of her snacks without prior request, especially if she observes you’ve been looking at her.

Tayo Francis, mum to Damilola (17), Tunde (9), and Bisola (7)

Our children are our future, they need to be well trained to be useful to themselves and the nation. First, I teach my children to put God before all else and fear him. I do this by teaching them how to pray, exposing them to the scriptures and engaging them in our morning and evening devotions. Combined with impacting social norms and values and teaching basic home management skills like helping in the kitchen, laying their beds, mopping the floor, washing and so on, I believe it will help me raise them to become responsible adults.

Good human relations is also important. So, I teach them how to communicate appropriately using both English and our indigenous language, make and keep decent friends, relate with elders, be hospitable and so on. I’d like them to be as sociable as possible.

Confidence is another vital thing I consistently try to help them develop and build. So, I encourage them to participate in activities they love in church and at school, give them tasks they’re capable of executing to do at home, and try not to make them feel bad when they make mistakes. It will help them face life’s challenges and encourage them to dream and work hard to attain success.

Education is of paramount importance. So, I make it a point of duty to instil the zeal to learn through consistent study. My kids know they can’t afford to take their homework and projects for granted and they have private study time which I supervise.

In conclusion, I want my kids to be financially responsible, so I teach them about prudence. I’ve made them realize that money and other resources in their care should not be used lavishly. I introduced a plastic bank in each of their rooms recently to encourage them to save and I’ve told them anyone with the highest amount at the end of each month gets to pick an amazing prize from my lucky dip box. They know I mean it because I keep my promises. We also play monopoly regularly, though Tunde and Bisola still have a lot to learn.

chiomahChiomah Momah, mum to Nonso (9), Melie (8), and Lanna (5)

I’m teaching them the power of prayer and that through Him all things are possible! I’m teaching them to love God and have a personal relationship with Him. This is because having a personal relationship with God is paramount and will help them weather life’s ups and downs.

I also teach the acts of kindness and respect, why it’s important to be kind and respectful to everyone they come across, irrespective of their tribe, religion or social standing. I do this because we are all God’s creations and it’s not right to look down on anyone just because, by God’s mercies, one is more privileged. Also, you never know how that person you regard as a nobody today will end up tomorrow.

In addition, I teach the value of working hard. I constantly remind them that they can achieve whatever they want to by God’s grace through diligence. I tell them inspirational stories of people who have made it to the top against all odds. I teach them to work hard at school, and at home, I give them chores and encourage them to help in the kitchen irrespective of whether we have help or not because I want to raise well rounded individuals who will grow up to be high achievers, not spoilt brats who will end up becoming a burden to me or anyone else.

Their mother tongue is another. I’m trying to teach them to at least understand their mother tongue (not easy when you don’t speak it that well yourself). I must admit I’ve slacked over the years, but with Nonso, my eldest child, I spoke every Igbo word I knew to him when he was a baby and now he understands his language quite well and can speak some. I have to work harder with his siblings, Melie and Lanna, who don’t understand as much. Our language is a part of our identity and one of the major ties that bind us as a people. Many of us erroneously feel that we will ruin our children’s accents by speaking our native language to them. On the contrary, we end up doing them a great disservice.

Lastly, I’m teaching them to enjoy the gift of having siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and so on, as they are ready-made friends from God. It fosters that unique family bond. Besides, at the end of the day when you need someone to turn to for comfort or advice, you can usually count on family to be there for you!

 

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