Saturday, 24 September 2016

Lasera and the 16 Month Old Baby.

I find it repugnant that a company, whose official website has been inoperative for over three months, still has products on our roads. Vendors brazenly peddle the products to travelers, commuters and consumers. I wonder where these products come from when a recognized company like Lacasera no longer has an online presence or digital office.

Still cogitating and getting nowhere with the Lacasera enigma, cries from a 16 month old baby jolt me back to reality. This baby was battling his mother for consistent sip of the cold Lacasera. The mother like all loving mother will always do, allows the baby slow sips followed with piece of cabin biscuit, and repeatedly the baby spits out the biscuits and cries for more drink. This sight that I could not avoid (The Mother and baby directly in front of me in a Bob Izua Bus) went on and on and this infuriated me.

He’s just a child I told myself, it’s true too much anger sometimes beclouds reasoning, but is this what Parenting is all about? Should children always have their way because they are children? When are they supposed to learn habits and values that ultimately define their adulthood? Why is the baby rejecting the cabin biscuit, the mother is offering and craving for the sweet jejune liquid? All of these questions had free stroll in my head as I needed a distraction from the terrible hold up caused by the dilapidated Warri – Benin road. (That road needs the urgent attention from government). Just like I obviously was not going to approve the little baby antics, if he was my child, what if my wife approves it? Would it not create a divide between Father and Mother, and child loving one parent over the other?

The task of parenting is one of the most challenging, stressful, demanding, and rewarding jobs on the planet. There is no instruction manual on how to parent, I know very little about parenting as I am yet to become one but I know that Parenting is a subjective activity that is influenced by so many internal and external factors that often times we do not have time or extra energy to consciously examine how we respond to children.

If the goal of parenthood were to produce servile children, then smacking children to compliance will be the way forward, (Which was obviously my first thought) but the primary task of parenting is to raise healthy, confident, happy, independent, adults who are capable of making responsible choices in a chaotic and heterogeneous Nigeria.

One thing I noticed between the mother and the child was the mother said nothing to the child but continually complied with his wishes. How we communicate to our children directly impact a child and also model future values. Recent research has found that our language fundamentally affects how a child’s mind develops and grows. When a toddler hears the words “no” or “don’t” (which is on average every nine minutes of waking life!) and sees the corresponding shaming look by parents, it brings the shock of threat, interrupts the will to explore and learn, and produces a cascade of negative hormonal-neural reactions in the child.

Family is the core of every society and the quality of family will ultimately determine the quality of the citizens of any society. We have so many ministries in Nigeria managing nothing but eating everything. Parents should not allow our families become one of them, they should understand that not every compliance is love and not every denial is hate.

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