The month of May holds a lot of memories because many important people and events are celebrated during this particular month. Amongst them are children, mothers, teachers, nurses, world press freedom day, labour day, sight-awareness week and memorial day.
As a central and important issue, I would like to draw attention to parents and children and the relationship that they share. More and more, it is becoming very visible and mind-boggling the way some children relate to their parents, and visa versa. From the observer’s perspective, it sometimes looks like they are total strangers.
Whereas parents are or should be adults, should set good examples and live in a way to gain their children’s respect and admiration, this is not always the case. On the other hand, children have their rights too and will not hesitate to fight for these rights whether they are at fault for abdicating them or not.
To gain respect from your children, you will first have to show respect in your actions and deliberations with them. It is said that, “children live what they learn” and “respect gains respect”. It follows therefore that if a standard is set, it will be easier to follow that standard.
Parents should never forget the simple but profound fact that they brought these children into the world and ultimately, it is their responsibility to take care of them until they can do so for themselves. Since it is ultimately your responsibility, make it easy on yourself by setting the pace. Let your child/children understand from an early age that you are the parents and that you are in charge. You can emphasise this by loving, caring and teaching them, not only the right way to go, but also the simple facts of life.
Having done this, you would have created room for dialogue and reciprocation.
Some children’s behavioral patterns are learnt traits and not necessarily hereditary factors. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a father hugging his son and his daughter too and telling them that he loves them. There is the stupid notion that men should not hug men and that some fathers hug their daughters for the wrong reasons. While this can and may happen, it is not the generalised situation and therefore, can be upheld.
It is amazing what a hug and a simple reward can do to a child. If healthy relationships are formed between parents and children from an early age or stage, it makes a world of difference as they (children) grow older. It will not feel so ‘foreign’ when you eventually feel or think that it is time to love and care for them.
Start to nurture your child as it is born. The child will sense your love and care and will gravitate towards you instead of moving away from its habitat to seek love, care and attention outside of whatever becomes home to him/her.