We are all born knowing nothing about most emotions, our innocent hearts like blank sheets. We touch a sharp object and discover pain; we have something given to us and feel what others describe as happiness. The human mind develops by what it sees, hears and experiences. If not properly checked at certain critical stages of development, the mind gets fed by dangerous, life-limiting things that look good but do nothing to develop the mind, stuff that encourage the mind to explore negativity, makes the person think he is worthless, undeserving, nobody loves him/her- and we have youths who are out of touch with the good around them. These stuff get portrayed on the media, the TV stations, in comic books and journals, usually when guardians or parents are caught up in the system in order to provide their kids or wards with the “essentials” of life. And it is sad that we have limited ourselves to thinking that if we can send our children to the best schools to get the best education, get them good private tutors, enroll them in the best higher institutions, then we have done the best for our children. However there’s one more essential of life-the parent himself, his presence and his actions that show his/her being there for the children in “awkward” moments of their lives.
Let me stress this: spending time with your children in their childhood, teenage and early youthful days builds so much more than today’s school system can ever offer with all the billions of dollars been spent on it. Understanding your child’s love language cannot be achieved when you are at a job for 15 out of your 24 working hours. Some parents today regret the fact that they barely know their kids today because they never got the leading to spend more time with them. The child had all the logically provided resources to grow but because no one was there to show him/her how to properly use his/her emotions, they regressed and the child grew into a distant adult who does not want to talk about what he feels, or how he feels, even when he has a pressing emotional crisis that can only be solved by his speaking out.I have never been a parent myself, hehehehe. But I am writing from a place of experience as a child, a teenager, and now a blooming young woman who as a firstborn has a responsibility to be a role model to two other girls and an 8-year old boy. If you are going to have children, mini-you’s jumping around your bed and calling you Mommy or Pop, then you have to learn to have time for them, with them and around them. Find out what ticks their fancy, beyond the good school you enroll them in and trust fund you set up for their entry to Harvard. Children actually appreciate the simplest things in life, like being there at their puppet recital or riding their favorite pony with them, or telling them how adorable they are, freckles or not, pimples or not, excess hair or none. When you show your interest, and I mean genuine interest in their little world and what goes on there, they would truly understand that you care, and trust me, getting them into Harvard will be a piece of cake frosting, because they understand that whatever kick, push, shove, shout or simple cooing order you give them is for their good because you love them, and you speak their love language. They become free to share even the most embarrassing moments of their lives with you, because they know you won’t turn them away or not have time to hear them out.
A child raised with a full understanding of his emotions and love language spoken at the right moments will grow into a young person who will be willing to spend his time learning about a person he truly admires, because he was shown the way over the years. He will have utmost control of the sheep in his yard and definitely recognize a waterleaf-chewing, muscle-building goat of an emotion from miles away. And as parents, we can’t give to our kids what we don’t have or what we don’t understand, hence you have to learn to use your unpleasant and pleasant experiences as lessons, guide-sticks to what you will need to work on so that you can pass down the right virtues and habits to your children.
Is it going to be easy? No. Is it going to be frustrating sometimes? Yes. Will it be worth it at the end? Yes and yes again. If 10 families can trust God for wisdom and patience, and a sense of creativity and spontaneity, and end up raising 10 or 18 emotionally-stable youths who will repeat the process with another 18, and the cycle goes on, there would be less crimes and suicides, and other unpleasant scenarios that we have today.
Because it starts with love. And true LOVE, be it for a child or adult, requires TIME, SACRIFICE and WORK.
Till I write again to conclude this post, I remain
Efunnuga Henrietta Adedayo.