Monday, 10 April 2017 14:18

5 Things Your Child Should Fail At

I’m starting this parenting vision thing from things I don’t want my children to succeed at. Having been at the receiving end of some of these traits, so help me God, my children must fail to catch these vices- and so should yours.
1. Bullying: Every time the conversation focuses on bullying and the heart- wrenching effects it has on victims, the one thing that occupies my mind is that a bully is somebody’s child. Bullies come out of real homes; they are not ghosts and they don’t drop with rainfall . I want to believe they were not born that way. Somewhere along the line, a nerve snapped and voila, here comes the little monster.
Some people make it appear that it is cool to bully others so that no one is courageous enough to mess with their kids, but that’s just foolish. I’m tempted to say bullying is the beginning of terrorism. You see those spouse beaters, they started from bullying.
If there is a kit/course or whatever out there to prevent me from raising bullies, I will gladly get it. Bullies grow into full-fledged abusers who inflict a lot of pain on others. They sometimes get caught and punished by the law, but sometimes, they mess with the wrong person who decides to teach them a lesson or two. These lessons sometimes result in untimely death or incapacitation. Does this paint a picture of what any parent desires for the child?

2. Growing a sense of Entitlement: The disease of entitlement among teenagers in quite rampant. Seeing how some children act entitled is heart-breaking. My children must fail woefully at this. They just cannot develop the mind-set that the whole world revolves around them and everything/everyone must scurry to do their biddings. They must know that no one owes them anything.
Entitlement mentality prevents children from growing into independent adults who can face the realities of life. It fosters laziness, lack of creativity and no sense of responsibility. No matter how much inheritance you give an entitled child, he would ruin it. We don’t want that now, do we?

3.Get Rich or Die Tryin’: At the extreme end of entitled kids are the ones who are determined, nay, obsessed, to make a name by all means- sordid or clean. Truth is this ‘get rich or die tryin’ attitude’ is the bane of our existence in Nigeria. Just check out our political class. What do you see?
As long we suggest to children that it is alright to cheat in an exam as long as you pass, to jump a queue as long as you get in before others, to lie in an interview as long as you get the slot, to cook the books as long as you remain profitable, to steal from others as long as you remain rich yourself, we will only deepen the rot we all are in. That is why we have ritual killers and greedy business managers who rob their founders blind till the enterprise crumbles.
I hope to avoid making my children feel dumb for doing what is right. If any friend or family member suggests to them that people who don’t cut corners are not smart, and have only come to Lagos to count the bridges, such relationships will have to fall in line or use the exit.
Its ok to hustle but to hustle at the expense of integrity and the wellbeing of others is abhorrent.

4. Keeping up with the Joneses: At childhood, this is known as peer pressure but as we grow older, it is called Keeping up with the Kardashians, sorry, the Joneses. If my children must fail at consistently giving in to negative peer pressure, I must instil in them a healthy sense of self-esteem and confidence. Well-adjusted people find it easier to be their own person and do what they know is right even when the majority do otherwise.
It is important to know that being in the minority for the right reasons is ok . There will always be someone else who is who beautiful, more brilliant, more affluent and more popular. As long as you are comfortable in your own skin, yet always aiming for the best version of you, there will be no problems.

5. Failing: Dear child, you must fail at failing. Yes, you will stumble and fall, but you will learn not remain down. ‘I fail forward’ will be your mantra.

6. Getting an ‘Attitude’: I hope my children fail to learn how to develop an attitude, especially when they think they have ‘arrived’. Honestly, ‘attitude’ is an understatement for pride. Apart from it just being wrong, life travels around a circle and those who have ‘arrived’ today may need to take a bow tomorrow. Prefects and prom queens don’t last forever but a good name does.
Every human being they meet must be respected for their humanity, regardless of socio-economic class. 

Now that I have this cute parenting goal plan, what tools can I use to implement them? Please share in the comments. Also if you have successfully raised children without any of these vices, or you know someone who has, please share how they did it so that my goals don’t end as just goals.

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