Most people, especially Nigerians, think strict parenting produces better-behaved kids depending on the style. OLUWATOSIN OmoNIYI writes
No doubt, parenting style has a profound effect on the kid’s brain; it is one of the main influences on a child’s future wellbeing. Their brain is moulded by how parents treat their kids and this thus far affects their self-confidence, psyche, capacity to withstand real challenges of life including their academic strength.
According to a recent research, strict or authoritarian child-raising actually produces kids with lower self esteem who behave worse than other kids and get punished more! Strict parenting actually creates behaviour problems in children. Interaction with most parents and teenagers in Lagos revealed that strict parenting could distance the children from their parents.
Peter Makinde, 16 years old teenager said his parents were very strict in virtually everything most especially his social life. For him, his parent’s hard grip often made him feel lonely. “There is always no one around or parent for me to confide my worries to and they were not always at home and whenever I express my desire to go out, they told me stories of how bad and unsecured Nigeria has become. “They would tell me that there are evil people out there, so I should just stay at home and watch the ceiling. When I’m really bored, I love going to a neighbor’s house or go visit a friend but they would not let me. As you see me, my friends are the walls of the house aside the ones I have in school. I feel real lonely and choked,” he lamented.
For Makinde, he believed his parent strictness went too far because they made it a routine of screening each film he had to watch. “Whenever I was on the phone talking, my parent would wait to listen to my conversation and when I was done, they would ask who I was talking to, and what the discussions was all about. Because of these things, I rarely talk to my parents about things that are bothering me, many a times I talked to my sisters when they were around. As a teenager, I never wholeheartedly agree on any issue with my parents. I always pretended to agree but nothing goes down well. I always do, so that they can let me be!” He said.
Hazan opeyemi, 15, years, accused her parents of being extremist when it comes to discipline. She said, “My parents are extremely strict when it comes to clothing and boys. As a rule, I must not receive phone call from male friends. The last time I received call from a boy, my mother seized the phone. When it comes to clothing issue, I don’t have a say because they choose my clothes or that which they believe is suitable for me. Many a times my parents make me wear clothes that I don’t like all in the name of looking really descent. If I must confess, their taste and discipline made me really unhappy. I don’t really agree with my parents on everything, sometimes I do what I want instead of what they are imposing on me. They brought out the rebellion inside of me,” she said
According to Tiodora Shopeka a 14years old girl, “the only time I perceive my parents to be overbearing is when they give me too much work to do and they will still be adding more when I have not even finish one. My parents are strict when it comes to my clothing. They never allowed me to wear clothes above kneel outside the house. Any attempt to argue with them will attract what history of decency was like and what it’s turning to be.
The above scenarios are stories of a few teenagers who feel choked and probably suppressed by their parents discipline styles. That is how they see it but mother differs on their views and argued that children, given free hand would go out of control couple with the fact that they are still growing, their knowledge still need to be guarded.
Sarah Akinwande , a mother, said she is a strict mom, and being strict to young people is the right to do because that’s the only way to mould and shape them to a desire type of children. “With children of nowadays under all sort of influence especially peer influence; it is imperative that parents get strict with them. As they grow up, there is that tendency that they feel they have arrived or do whatever they want and make all the decisions about their life by themselves. In fact, some even talk back to their parent, but when one is strict towards them from the beginning one will be able to handle them properly.
As for James Madueke, believes he doesn’t have to be strict with his children before they behave appropriately. “I’m not a really a strict parent, but I do not take nonsense from my children. I make rule and nobody most go against my rules in the house, because I am trying to enforce discipline in my home. When they go against my rules, I make sure they don’t get pocket money for three days or they stay in their room after school for two days. Their mother is very lenient with them, so she pleads on their behalf sometimes. My children don’t really talk to me about things, except if it is money issue. They talk to their mother a lot even about their problems and their mother tells me about it. For me, that is okay. We both mustn’t be soft with them, else, they get spoilt,” he said.
According to Mrs. Foluke Makanjuola, she is a strict mother. “My children often say I am wicked. It doesn’t matter anyway because they carry out all of my instructions, else, I will punish them severely and yet we are close. The bond is there. I actually know when they are not doing things from their heart, because it shows on their faces. My children tell me about their personal problems, their dreams and even their friends. I advise them if I see the need for that and pray with them if they have bad dreams.
From the stories of the parents, it is obvious that strict parenting is the best method of parenting especially in this time that they believe children getting exposed faster than they should.
According to Mr. Omotola Olayinka, a counselor at the university of Lagos, UNILAG, strict parenting is termed authoritative parents in counselling. He described such parents as parents who do not bother about their children’s opinion but just want them to do what they want. “In counseling, we do not encourage that, when parents go the extra mile to make their children do something, most of the time it’s for their own selfish interest. Parent could be strict to their children in divers’ ways. It could be in the area of academics, dressing and even their social life. Some times when parents see their children going the wrong way and scold them, the child/children may not see it that it is for his/her own good because of the discipline style. They just take it that their parents are too wicked.
He advised that when a child is above 18, he/she should be allowed to his own free will because the child is already an adult and should not be controlled. “We encourage parents to believe in their children and accept them the way they are. They should handle their children with caution and control them to a limited extent because if parents exhibit too strict measures to their children at home, when they go out they tend to do worse things. So it best parents allow their children to be themselves at home so that they can correct with love that which is necessary,” he said.
Olayinka added that, “Most of the time, when parents seems to be over protective, it is because they don’t want their children make certain mistakes that they might have made, but they have to be careful about the way they go about it so that their children don’t take it the wrong way and their communication gap will not be bridged. At times, parent may not fully commend something that is good in their children so that it doesn’t get into their head, but at times they should be commended so that they would be appreciated. He however highlighted effects of strict parenting on children.
EFFECTS OF STRICT PARENTING
• Children withdraw from their parent.
• Children start to fake their character.
• They lose trust in their parent.
• They would not like to discourse their problems with their parents.
• They become good liars.
• They see their parents at lions
• They don’t tell their parents about their decisions
• They won’t be free with their parents.
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE PARENTING
• Parents should be close to their children.
• Parents should show their children that they love them.
• Parents should work on their attitude.
• Parents should love their children’s friends.
• Parents should love all their children equally.
• Parents should try to have effective communication with their children.
• Parents should show interest in their children’s education.
• Parents should avoid misunderstanding with their children.
Give your children Vit. N, for their own good
Today I will be sharing some thought-provoking articles from Umadevi, parent of Navadisha Montessori School, Velachery, Chennai and John Rosemond, a syndicated columnist on what they think is the most important vitamin parents should give their children which unfortunately today’s parents are failing to give and its deficiency is causing us all more harm than good. I hope you find this piece helpful and that we all can begin to make amends where necessary.
I happen to be of the politically and psychologically incorrect opinion that parenting was a more functional institution in the 1950s than it is today. The irony is that today’s parents, compared with 1950s parents, are paying more attention to, doing more things for, providing more help to, and praising their kids far, far more than did 1950s parents. Yet child mental health has decayed steadily since then.
Most of us came to first grade not knowing so much as our ABCs, and yet we outperformed today’s kids at every grade level. We left home earlier, and when we left, we stayed gone. We accepted responsibility for our bills. We took on family responsibilities earlier. We did not march in the streets for entitlements.
The biggest difference, however, was summed up nicely by a friend: “We knew who was running the household, and it wasn’t us!”
Our parents did not seek our opinion about such things as what we would deign to eat for dinner and did not care whether we approved of their choices. Furthermore, they did not care how we felt about any decision they made.
We were given reason to control our emotions rather than let them control us. If you don’t think that’s a good thing, you’re controlled by your emotions. I’m sorry.
Our parents did not saturate our lives with things. Nor did they plan our activities. Therefore, from an early age, we learned to entertain ourselves. They gave to us conservatively. Therefore, we were grateful for whatever they did give us. They valued their marriage and let it be known that they intended for it to outlast our dependency. We were put in our place until we learned where it was, and then we stayed there.
We did not receive something because our friends had all received it. In fact, it often seemed as if that was the reason we were not going to receive it. The only after-school activity our parents ever chose for us was, “Go outside and find something to do, and don’t come back until dinner or I’ll put you to work around here!” Our mothers helping us with our homework? LOL!
There is an essential vitamin most of us have probably never heard of that might be more important to your child’s growth than all other vitamins combined. And only you, as a parent, can provide it, Dr. John Rosemond calls it Vitamin N. The word “NO”.
According to Dr. Rosemond, an increasing number of children are suffering from Vitamin N deficiency, and their parents, and our entire culture, are paying the price. He illustrates this point with a typical story.
Bill gave his five-year-old son Mack pretty much everything the little boy asked for. Like most parents, Bill wanted his son to be happy, more than anything else. But Mack wasn’t happy. Instead, he was often irritated, mostly upset, and always dissatisfied. He was also having problems getting along with other children. In addition, he was very demanding but never appreciative, and showed no gratitude for all the things Bill and his wife were giving him. Bill grew concerned. Was his son was depressed? If so, would he need therapy?
Kaduna women: Assessing antenatal care with tears
Women in Keke makeri community in Kaduna State, have attributed their poor attendance of antenatal care to lack of health facilities in their community.
The women also decried lack of access road to the nearest Primary Health Center which is about 40 kilometres from the village. Some of the women who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) lamented the high rate of miscarriages in the community and life threatening incidences involving expectant mothers and children.
One of them, Mrs Hauwa Musa, who is a mother of four, said she had never gone for antenatal care, preferring to give birth at home. “I don’t go for any antenatal classes, because we don’t have any health center here. I prefer the traditional method where we get attention and give birth safely,” she said.
According to her, she had suffered five miscarriages due to lack of health facility before she was able to give birth to her first child. Another woman, Mrs Jamila Usman, said she went for antenatal only once when she was opportune to be in the city for a visit. ” I never knew anything about antenatal class, until I came to the city to visit my relative who took me to the hospital,” she said.
Mrs Usman said giving birth at home was the only option she had in the community since there was no health facility in the area. Fatima Aliyu, another mother of five also said most women in the community suffered incessant miscarriages, due to lack of health facility and bad road. ”The roads here are bad and we cannot be trekking daily to access health care service in a far place.
We prefer to stay at home and wait for our traditional birth attendants to help us. She added that, ”women in this area suffer a lot during childbirth. We lost our sister here last year due to complications during labour. “Labour came with complications that our traditional birth attendants could not handle and no nearby health facility within the neighborhood.
“To access health delivery facilities, we have to travel to hospitals in Kawo or Barau Dikko, in Kaduna City; a journey of at least two hours,” she said.
The community appealed to the state government to assist residents with social amenities so as to reduce maternal deaths in the area.
According to Aliyu, the nearest health care centre is in Keke B, about 10 kilometres away from the community.
She added that women were transported by motorcycles to the Keke B facility even though the road is bad.
“As a result, our women record incessant miscarriages while attempting to visit the healthcare centre, and not only that, we equally lose children under five years due to absence of healthcare services,” she said.
Mrs Aliyu lamented that the community lacks basic healthcare facilities that would ensure quality life and the survival of children.
A medical doctor, Nuhu Yusuf, however, advised women to always go for antenatal, no matter the difficulties to avoid complications during labour or birth.
“Most women have their first and longest antenatal check- up between weeks 8 and 12 of pregnancy. The earlier you start attending antenatal check-ups the better.
“You should attend antenatal check-ups once a month until 28 weeks, then twice a month until you are 36 weeks pregnant,” he said.
Dr. Yusuf added that more awareness should be created for rural women on the importance of attending antenatal classes, to reduce death of mothers and children in the state. Yusuf said antenatal care plays an important role to achieving a successful labour and delivery process.
“Regular antenatal classes help in the physical and mental preparedness of women and help them relax during those last months. “Antenatal care ensures maternal foetal health wellbeing and also prepares women physically fit for labour, delivery and the postpartum period,” he said.
Yusuf said regular visits to hospital during pregnancy were aimed to ensure that the health of the pregnant women and the growing foetus were well maintained. “When all stays well and proper care is taken, the pregnancy is generally at low risk. “Normal labour and delivery depend on good physical and mental preparation during the antenatal period. The pregnant woman is taught good breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and muscle toning exercises.
According to him, attending an antenatal clinic early in pregnancy is important for two reasons.
“First, if pregnant women attends the clinic in the first three months of their pregnancy, HIV can be detected early and they can begin treatment.
“This makes it less likely that their babies will contact HIV. It also helps to support their own immune system, which decreases the chance of infections before or after birth.
“Second, early attendance allows doctors to treat and manage other treatable health conditions that the mother-to-be may develop, include high blood pressure and anemia, which are also major risk factors for maternal deaths.
“The importance of antenatal care antenatal classes can be very beneficial for expecting parents – whether you’re having a natural birth, a second baby or even a C-Section, “the doctor said.
He added: “Antenatal care is an essential part of pregnancy and should start as soon as you find out you’re expecting.
“Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth and so attending antenatal classes will give you and your partner an opportunity to ask questions you don’t always remember at your regular pregnancy check-ups, and you’ll meet other expecting parents.
“A good time to start these classes is between 22 and 26 weeks, when there’s still sufficient time to make important decisions about caregivers, clinics and birth options,” he said.
According to him, antenatal has many other benefits, including prevention of complications.
“A small minority of pregnant women develop complications such as hypertension and diabetes. Early diagnosis means they can be properly monitored and treated,” Yusuf said.
He added that antenatal care provides caregivers with an opportunity to explain the importance of proper nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding to expecting moms.
“Antenatal classes will help expecting parents to gain insight and get fact-based information on pregnancy, birthing options, breastfeeding and caring for a newborn baby so that they can make informed choices,” Yusuf said.
• Kabruk is a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
Are we raising sexy kids or what?
Turn on the TV or go to the internet and what do we have? Young men and women – supposed role models, who in the bid to show the world they are trendy, practically go naked! Kids are following like mad, no one wants to be left behind or look like he or she is a misfit when they are with friends. This is so because parents are the ones who actually buy these outfits so they can show off their sexy kids to the world. Check out kids at parties, churches and other social gatherings and you would understand what I’m talking about.
When an eight year old now wears very short outfits that barely cover her panties, with weaves and makeup too, at eighteen she would go naked with tattoos all over her body, and who’s going to stop her?!
What exactly do we have in mind when we dress our kids this way? Well, I am going to allow Esther Julius share her observation on this subject. I am hoping this helps call attention the potential damage this might cause us all.
“A few months before, I had taken my kids to a birthday party and found myself in what could easily have been a night club for kids. Scanty clothing such as tight or very short clothes, bum shorts, long weaves, etc, seemed to be the dress code.
Not long after, the kids were called out to dance to the hit songs of the season – these songs in my opinion should be rated PG 16. 4 – 6 year olds trooped to the dance floor, miming the sexually explicit songs and gyrating their bodies in the most sensual manner.
Those who danced like actual children where shooed off the dance floor while the lewd ones were cheered on.
Another time, at a game arcade for kids, I ran into a lady who had made-up her kids’ faces like they were mannequins for Tara or Mac beauty products. Their skirts were so tight, that running up and down the slide was uncomfortable for them.
So the question is, why are we sexualizing our kids? Why does your 4, 6 or 9 year old girl have to look like a chick? Why does she have to be hot or sexy?
If your child wears bum shorts out of the house at age 3, why should she be expected to wear longer ones at 15? If she wears 2 rings and 12 bangles at 6, why won’t she pierce a second ear hole at 17 and her bellybutton at 19? Why won’t your son pierce his own ear at 15?
In this age, when children are being abused, is it wise to make your child an object of anyone’s sexual attention? When I hear some children belt out sexually explicit lyrics, I ask myself how they became exposed to these songs!
Studies have shown that children exposed to a high level of sexually explicit information tend to become sexually active early. Is that your goal as a parent?
Being a parent involves sacrifice. You will need to avoid listening to such music where your children are. Most of those lyrics demean women and teach your daughter that she’s just a sex toy and her body is for squeezing. It teaches the boys that money is everything and women are things to be used to satisfy their primal urges.
Let your children be children. Train up a child in the way that they should go and when they are old, they would not depart from it!
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