Training and Legacy…
Why are you training your children? You know ensuring that they have academic and moral knowledge? Why do you think that it is important that they set off, on the right foot? That’s what has been running through my head. Truly, is it important? Why not leave them to grow on their own, learn the ropes of life by just pulling and tugging at it?
The best explanation that says it for me is a Yoruba proverb. Omo ti a o ko leni loma gbele takota. Let me translate. Literally, it means the child that we have refused to build will sell the house that we have built. It means that the untrained child will destroy everything that we spent our lives building, instead of training him. What are you busy building? A career? Houses? Empires? Stocks? These things are important; much more important is to “build” children that we have brought into the world.
Training a child is responsibility. This responsibility, should not be left alone for the mother. Both father and mother brought child into the world; both of them have a role to play in the child’s upbringing. Gone are the days when it is said that the man brings home the money and the woman is charged with upbringing. These are tough days, days when even under the strong watchful eyes of both parents, things slip through.
The best way to teach these values, the best road to training is by self-explanation. The best sermon you can teach your children is your life. Please don’t go the route of “do as I say, not do as I do.” The thing is the children are watching you and they can tell that you do not mean what you say, that you are only talking with the tip of your tongue. I even read that when children are between 2 and 3, popularly called the Terrible Twos, they could get confused when this happens. And that will give them one more reason to do exactly what they want to do, not what you want them to do.
What do you want to be remembered for? The career that you built; your fleet of cars; your wardrobe of clothes or the lives that you changed? Much more than anyone, the impression that your children have of you is very important. What do you think that their fond memories of you will be? The woman who spent her life living for them yet making her career work? Yes, you are important also. Just that, if you brought them here, you should be responsible for them. Many of us are so caught up in our little worlds, we forget that we should lay the right foundations for their worlds.
What are you teaching them? What seeds are you planting in their lives? What foundation are you laying? Are you teaching them to be dependent or independent? Are you teaching them to be their own people or reliant on others? Are you helping them to know the power of ideas, of personal thinking or you are busy going to parties? Have you ever wondered why there is no continuity in the big businesses in Africa, maybe these parents are not giving their children the proper education? There seems to be a disconnect between what the parents learnt and what the children picked. Don’t you think!
The Christian Bible supports good training: train your child in the way they should go so that when they are grown, they will not depart from it. I am sure other religions have their own versions of this.
Training could be messy. Sometimes, it is in pushing yourself to have the right way, not necessarily your way or your child’s way but sometimes what you know within you that is right for the child!
Steve Jobs died last week. The whole world seems to be on a pause, for him. He made his impact. The whole world remembers him for one thing: his impact on ICT. His family will remember him for something. You may not be Steve Jobs. You may not have a “great” impact on the world. Sure, you can have a great impact on your children. Trust me. It’s more than money can ever buy.
Happy New month, Lagosmums. The year is coming to a quick end, stay safe 😀