The lasting and greatest legacy any parent can bequeath to these precious children is the reinforcement of positive behavior in the child for the purpose of rendering quality and excellent service to humanity in any of the spheres they find themselves. Reinforcing positive behavior nonetheless is never achieved by mere intention to confess, teach, or train, but by being responsible enough to have the right mind to do so. Having the right mind to do is to have and engage the will power as primary caregivers to display exemplary lifestyles worthy of emulation for the kids.
Having said this, I believe one of the beautiful products of POSITIVE VALUES everyone desires in our society is RESPECT ! So what is RESPECT?
Google defines it as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Giving it amplified definition we can say it is a sense of worth or personal value attached to someone. This presupposes no mankind is born empty. Every one of us has gotten innate talents and skills to bless others. So if we must do the core duty of our assignment diligently on earth which is to serve humanity we must equip ourselves with life skills to pursue this and same passed to our children. All these are not done in abstract! Do we as parents respect ourselves, our children , or people around us?
So if we do! How do we make our children grow with these life skills? How do we make them respect themselves, others, and elders. Even when majority of us claim we have and are successfully passing same to our Children how functional are the life skills we claim to be passing?
Children won’t catch right values from caregivers if what we teach is different from what they see us do. Values are better caught than taught.
Our deeds, attitudes, behaviors, and relationship with the family and others around us remain the mirror through which kids see us and same form the basis by which they relate to others.
So it is not surprising to see in recent times a clear variant of this positive value from children’s behavior. It is simply because we have not been able to choose the right channel to pass these values to them.
Our children have been branded a generation that has no respect for themselves, the ederly, and the society. They look at adults straight in the face and emphatically say no to whatever instructions regardless of the intentions of the adult. They haul abusive words on elders at the slightest given opportunity. We see children these days fight themselves with all sorts of weapons! Violence to them is normal and a trending order which they must comply with.
As I daily engage families from all walks of life in this advocacy I have come to see a huge value gap between what we claim to be before the Children and what we actually are. Ever wondered why they get bored when they are with us?. Our actions are a sharp contrast to whatever we tell them. Same behaviors resonate in their lives in view of what they see us do. But what must parents do to groom, nurture, and raise generations of children who will imbibe the right values to respect themselves, elders, and society?
Kindly permit me to share few nuggets with us in this medium on what I believe parents will begin to do more inorder to infuse in our children life skills on how to respect others.
Respect your parents. Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land. This we must display for our children. The child that witnesses how disdainful we are to our parents will not know the value in respecting you caregiver and others. It is not good to insist that your child’s tone of voice and actions reflect honor toward you and others if you don’t show or fail to simulate same to them how it’s done.
Tell them your story. Every 21st century parent seems to have a perfect upbringing even when we are not. So if we fail to let our children know our past toxic childhood experiences and exuberance we once had we’d be ignorantly invariably presenting a fake life to them and when they see anyone leaving a social life not measured up to theirs they tend to disparage, denigrate, and belittle such person. Children will always remember your lineage story especially those difficult circumstances, experiences, and backgrounds you had to cope with while growing up.
Place more value on people around you than material wealth. How do we treat our workers? How do we talk to neigbours? What do we say of childrens’ schools, teachers, and others in their school environment ? How do we react to negative situations in the country? The root of honoring and respecting people will only sink deeply in childrens’ lives if we consistently place value in our relationship with people than what we do with materiality.
Treat your children with tenderness. Children remember acts of tenderness and same is likely going to be reproduced in their relationship with others. Comparatively angry words and insensitive actions will resonate in their lives. Children are good recorders of our spoken and unspoken words but the worst processors. Our tone of voice must communicate love, compassion, and empathy.
Gently admit to them when you have wronged them. This will go along way in building their self esteem, self worth, and interpersonal relationship skills and builds up their emotional intelligence.
I always submitt that values and good characters cannot be taught but can be caught. By who?. By our children and those we claim to be leading! Our children are our representatives. What we do they do. Sons want to act like fathers and girls want to behave like their mothers and also look up to see their Dads’ characters in their future husbands. What values system do we possess as parents that are strong enough to teach the children value of RESPECT? Let’s chexk ourselves.
Let us impact the world and simulate how respect is being caught than taught to them in our daily engagement.