Ours is a season when we naturally and intuitively believe that removing pain is what good parents do because of the way we have sometimes displayed love for them with a wrong message.

No thanks to the sloppy sociopolitical system of ours through the uncharitable and ruthless ineptitude of its custodians that has made a paranoia of almost every parent in Nigeria; we provide for our personal security, we daily go on warpath to keep our children safe, struggle for medication on their ailments, we prevent all known pains from them, we lock them in, puts padlock on them, and often tell them never to play with any sharp tool, So, they won’t leave indelible scars on their body. We sometimes prevent them from interfacing with other children around them, thinking they are bad apple to mix with.

Are these all we need to do to help them WIN in life on the long run? I do not think so. Dwelling on this is merely a band aid solution in our quest to protect them. What I believe we need to do is to integrate with them with a view to helping them navigate their way through the pain as against of always removing the pain. One of the best strategies to arm them within helping them WIN is to avail them the opportunity to understand the nature of the battle, what they are fighting for, and made equally available at their disposal resources.

Some getaways we offer our children are good but unfortunately too much of it has created in them an impression that the purpose of life is to attain an ecstatic state of serenity devoid of pain and discomfort. But judging rightly by one of the greats Benjamin Franklin’s favorite quotes; there’s no gain without pain. We may have to review our stand on this.

We are so quick to offer something that reduces discomfort while still make provision for the alternative that diminishes harsh reality they face.; for instance, failure to engage them in age appropriate home chores and our inability to give them opportunities to self correct their anomalies.

Let us look at the few of many tactics(of which I had been a victim in time past) we employ in removing the pain from them that are counterproductive;

• We always do things for them at will

• We initiate and intervene on their behalf there by killing their zests for innovations to developing solving skills for own problems

• We are so quick to offer them alternatives that reduce discomfort

• We sometimes call their teachers to excuse their behavior

What this may have invariably imported into the system of kids is their ever heavy reliance on outside sources or motivation before they could complete a task. There is empirical evidence to support this; Let us take a look at the lifestyle of the present generation x and the Millenial in Nigeria today, and you’d see an unapologetic generation that is largely dependent on binge watch to remove boredom and, alcohol to relax, energy drink to perform, stuck on today’s loudest platform-social media to avoid loneliness. Ourselves motivating model had been tweaked to respond to external sources and additives. The reality is all these will help children for a moment but harm them in the long haul. There must be a balance between independence and co-dependence.

The price of our early intervention in removing pain in today’s kids is tomorrow’s damnation; they will fear taking risk at adulthood because such venture is new to them and when they are drifted to one they sink and cave in because they never calculated the consequences of such actions.

One of my favorite TV channels is NatGeo. I love nature! Nature has ever been so merciful as it furnishes us with evocative pictures of healthy parenting from various species of animals. So, let us take a look at how Mother eagle uses the wisdom in PAIN to prepare her eaglets for WIN as I break down the process:

[ ] The tendering stage. The mother eagle provides shelter; builds nest, plucks her own feather to form lining. This represents a message of love, security, and care.

[ ] The disturbance stage. This is the PAIN zone. As maturity sets in for eaglets, the Mother removes gradually the nest’s inner lining. This is a clear message to the eaglets that it is time to grow up, and learn the rope of empowerment. She has to do this to make the home uncomfortable, else they stay forever.

[ ] The inspiration stage. The mother eagle flaps her wings to push the eaglets out. She stirs them to make them fly. It is time for them to practice what they’d been raised with overtime. Mother eagle does not raise her eaglets to eat stale flesh, more so fesh flesh never grows or found on trees.

[ ] The protection stage. The mother eagle offers safety by jumping under the eaglets to rescue as they fall. This she’ll do until they learn how to fly. She’s passing a message of confidence that it is in them they can fly

[ ] The victory stage. Mother eagle stays calm and allow them fly, and fly again for the purpose of instilling confidence in them, haven nurtured them and allowed them to experience PAIN, So, they can do what they have been groomed, grown, and guided to do.

It is in our nature as parents to want to shield our children from hurts. We have this natural propensity to want to remove pain from them. This nonetheless must be guided with sincere honesty because we do not want to raise up adults that will find it difficult to become the best version of themselves. We must raise in today’s kids the capacity to WIN for the benefit of the society. They must be productive; being productive is innately good for human beings.

Thank you once again, for your time.

I wait for your comments, contributions, and questions.

Akinropo Akinola
Founder/CEO, Parenmark School of Parenting

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