Ideas, Stories, and Profiles

Mothers are known to be the most courageous and optimistic people this planet has to offer. Their courage, their hope for the best of their children, and mostly their priceless love crown it all. But being a mother goes far beyond bearing a baby in the womb for nine month and all the motherly protocol. It is more of what happens later; the raising.

Mothers need to have what I call a “heartless love” to get the better of that prize.

I am not a parent yet but while I am intently looking forward to be one I have had a chance to live around a number of children and impart love to them. As many of you would agree, children are such beautiful innocent souls searching for champions and stars to shine their way up.

Parents are human being—just like you and I—but in some cases children turn them into special beings, light-bearers and so on. To remain a good parent, here are 5 things you should consider throughout your son and daughter’s childhood:

If you tolerate their wrong habits in their childhood hoping that they will give up on them when they grow

I once heard a parent saying “erega ni ko ameze, yarananiye” (that’s how my son is; he can’t be changed) about a two-year old who was sipping on a visitor’s drink mercilessly. I was heartbroken and couldn’t contain my rage against what the mother said. I prayed for grace not to shout but to simply bring it to her heart that an attitude tolerated can never be corrected, and that every child stands a chance to, and can, be molded.

If you favour them and give them things they don’t deserve (instead of letting them compete, they simply get favourite)

When I was in primary 5, one of my classmates had performed poorly and was supposed to repeat the class. His mother came and corrupted the teacher and they made him pass for no valid reason apart from making the spoiled boy so happy. It never helped him; in fact, he still failed in P6. I think he always blamed his mother even for other failures he encountered in life.

If you are not consistent as parents or do not work as a team in your parenting plan

Children are brave and smart and very keen on reading signs more than you can imagine.

One child called Mark is only four and knows when he is allowed to watch cartoon; that’s when he wakes up in the evening. But one day he attempts to turn it on before the time set, to see if his parents will let him. He does it with doubt and a cheating move, looking around if his mother sees him. He’s caught and told to stop, and he does not try again.

In the opposite case, if the mother had allowed him, it would have been the beginning of a fight and reminders that “the other time you allowed me, so allow me again.”

Parents have to work as a team. It’s a shame when a child makes a mistake and one parent disciplines him or her, he or she knows goes to report to the other. It can creates disrespect and parties in the family, and the child comes up with an idea that one parent is her favorite and not the other.

Parent are their children’s god, you can allow them to cry now because you have a plan to make them smile later. Learn to say “no” to their caprices because it is only a temporal crave which they will never remember when they grow up.

If you are afraid that they will hate you

Definitely, sometimes your children will be mad at you more than they will ever be to anyone else. This should never make you compromise on your parenting standard in order to fit in their little world. This is not being indifferent to their needs, it is having a heartless love—one that knows better that your children will not hate you for being a constant parent. They will rather thank you later.

They will definitely hate you for a while, wish all sorts of evil to you, but they will be happy adults and proud of their tough mother. They will be free to crack jokes about their childhood, the tough rules, but all in all what will matter is what it has turned to be.

If you think that a parent is perfect and doesn’t not need to apologize to a child when needed

My friend Martine still claims that her father is the best parent heaven could ever get her. It is not because they had a perfect relation—it was far from that—or never argued or had issues for weeks, but because one day he confessed that he wasn’t perfect and have messed up at some point not only for his children but his life too.

He apologized, admitted his vulnerability and weakness. This was not giving away his parental power or giving the permission to his children to make the same mistakes, but he was being real, and dealing with real life issues. This broadened his children’s heart and ability to understand and admire life’s lessons.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

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