Role modelling not only starts with great achievers of the society, it also starts from the home-parents. That is the reason for the general advice that parents should always be good examples to their children because children, irrespective of laid down rules and regulations, have the tendency to follow footsteps of their parents. Elizabeth Ogunbamowo reports
Mrs. Rachael Osuki, a school principal condemned parents who are not able to caution themselves of negative attitude in the presence of their children. “She narrated a nasty experience she had with a parent and their daughter. “Let me cite a case of a father who came to me.
He wanted to enroll his only daughter into this school and he gave three Yoruba names. Immediately, the mother snapped and insisted her husband must include an Igbo name of the girl because she is an Igbo woman but the man refused. It was then I discovered that they have been having issues from home which they refused to settle amicably before coming out. Shockingly, the young girl started taking sides with her mother; the father raised his hand to slap her. She interjected by daring him to try it, “daddy you better not try it! Is it because I’ve been respecting you all this while? You better be careful!” It was shocking for me to hear that from a small girl like her, disgracing her father in public, but I could see clearly she borrowed a leaf from her mother.”
She added that apart from the fact that such children will disgrace their parents, they will not also relate very well among their peers, they will be touchy at most times and when they grow, it will affect their psychology.
Mr. Oluwatosin Adelaja, a father and economist stated that displaying bad attitudes before children is morally unacceptable because children pick up what they see their parents do. He narrated his experience, “my father used to quarrel with my mother when I was a kid, just to assert his authority. And as an influence, when I got married I introduced it to my family but it didn’t work out, it was chaos instead.” He added he gets angry easily and as a result, his daughter became temperamental. “When I noticed it in her, I felt guilty; I was also not bold enough to correct her. Therefore, I advise parents to be very careful of the legacy they set before their children,” He said.
Mr. Dike Kingsley, a teacher and father of three explains that the habit of displaying negative attitude before children affects them a lot. He revealed that teachers discover the other side of children easily than parents. He said that the parents will not always be there when the child displays that attitude since they usually do such amongst their playmates.
He explained that, a boy who has been seeing his father beating up his mother everyday will think that is the right thing to do to female counterpart, so whenever he is with his play mates, he is ready to beat up the girls at the slightest offence.
Mrs. Patience James, a business woman revealed that children tend to imitate people especially their parents. She gave an instance, “when I was a teacher in a nursery school, the area I was living in then was usually flooded, so I kept my shoe in school, I usually go with slippers, when I get to school, I would change to my shoes, I didn’t know the children were watching me till one day when a parent came to report that her child always want to come to school with slippers and asked if there was no problem, I was shocked, I had to explain to the mother the reason behind it. I never knew they were watching me, how much more their parents at home?” She further revealed that displaying negative attitudes before children can go a long way into their future.
She also narrated a story of a Nigerian couple who married abroad. “This couple stayed in separate rooms indicating that there was no love lost between them. As a result, this couple’s eldest daughter, 30 years old,refused to get married because of what she saw as a young girl. It’s not proper at all to display negative attitudes, parents should be very mindful of what they display before their children.
An education psychologist, Mrs. Oladipo Lois gave the likely consequences of these negative acts, she said, “children can become recluse. They might decide not to associate with their mates very well and this would hinder their social growth which affects the society at large. A child should not just be good academically, the child must be an all rounder so he won’t be affected in future. He needs to be academically, socially, spiritually equipped but in a situation whereby the child is lacking in any of these, then there would be a problem. I talked earlier of the society being affected, you hear of cases where the child kills his father, probably as a result of the evil things the father did before him when he was younger, that child is now a murderer which is a threat to the society. If you notice it, most of the people who display the ‘I don’t care attitude’ got such from their parents- a neighbour is screaming for help in a burning house and no one could render a little assistance till that person got burnt, is that not wickedness that people have acquired from their ‘just me’ attitude which is as a result of the things they grew up with. I’ve had cases of children who refuse to concentrate in school despite their intelligence and when you ask them what is wrong with them, some of them will break into tears with stories like their father beat up the mother and the likes.
However, she gave her suggestions on how this could be curbed, she mentioned that parents should be careful in what they do both before and behind their children “you might decide to hide it, but one day, they’ll walk up to you and tell you they know”. Children’s brains calculate faster than adults, so parents and custodians should be very watchful and careful.
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