Welcome to the New Year everyone!!
A few days ago as I was driving my children to school, my 4-year old asked “mommy, are we better than them?” I was confused as I wondered what she was talking about this time. Having learnt to not ignore my kids ramblings, I attempted to decipher what she was on about and proceeded to probe further. I asked what she meant. She paused for a while then as an SUV passed by us she pointed to it and said “is that nicer than ours?” To say I was stunned is an understatement. I couldn’t figure out how she knew one vehicle to be ‘nicer’ or ‘better’ than another and where she had gotten the idea from in the first place. I then told her the SUV was nice, but so was ours. Then she asked if ours was the best. I decided to try to put an end to whatever was milling round in her mind and said “ours isn’t better, it’s just as nice as the other one”.
She then decided to ask if our SUV was better than every other kid’s in her school…..literally, one by one, name by name. By then end of our painstaking conversation I believe I had managed to convince her that everyone’s car was best, irrespective of size and condition; I also learnt the names of all her class mates where I may have previously been ignorant of a few.
This brings me to what I intend to tackle over the next few months of this year: VALUES! You know……that moral / ethical / character code we all want our kids to have but often have no intention of living up to ourselves? Sigh! I wish instilling values in my children was as easy as telling them what to do and giving them ‘what for’ when they don’t. Sadly (and rightly so), it’s not. Children draw their value system from what we as parents and influencing adults do and not really what we say. Our every move is watched and so are those of our friends, relatives and generally anyone we allow (or who lets themselves) around them generally, or let them get involved with specifically.
Next week I’ll kick off on the first and most important (in my book)…..???
In the meantime, I’d like to share a few stories I recently came across that made me think:
1. The importance of eating together as a family (I’m so guilty of neglecting this area) – http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/15434
The news has been rife with stories of adult males molesting children all over the country. This isn’t new or unique to Nigeria. What I disheartening however is how the cases are reportedly handled. Very often the wife ‘reports’ to her in-laws or church when it’s her maid (why people still hire children as maids when it’s child labour and against the law is a topic for another day) or even her own children fathered by the rapist in question. The aim of ‘reporting’ the man, being so he can be “talked” to by his families or church and be compelled to stop. My anger in these cases arises from the fact that first off, it’s criminal and should be treated as such. Secondly, if as a woman you are raped and decide to forgive your rapist and indeed keep living with him, that choice is yours and you get to deal with the consequences. To subject your child(ren) or maid to even be within 1,000 meters of their rapist is not just irresponsible, I think it’s plain evil and you have at that point collaborated with your spouse and become a co-rapist.
In the case of a maid, if you intend to remain married and keep living with your rapist pedophile of a spouse, then you should do so without hiring any more maids. If your children were raped, then you owe it to them to not keep them under the same roof with him. If he has repented, he can do so from a distance until your children turn 21 and are old enough to decide how they want to relate with their repentant father, but to subject them to further torment and molestation (in all the cases I have come across, the so-called repentant man repeated his offence in even greater measure the second time around) is akin to destroying their psyche and mental state in addition to the physical trauma their immature bodies suffer. I am of course aware that sometimes the perpetrator is the wife and so I hope the husband in this case can take the necessary steps to protect a ‘house-boy’ or children from the depraved woman. In the end, someone has to speak for children for a lot of these atrocities to end and if it can’t be both parents, it should at the very least be one of them. You owe them that little for bringing them into this troubled world.
3. This third story leaves me speechless so I’ll just share the link: http://pulse.ng/gist/shocking-man-gives-out-13-year-old-daughter-in-marriage-to-man-who-raped-her-id3401825.html
Children are gifts and should be treated as such, not as cattle to be moved by any wind that blows us.
More on values in my next post. A Happy New Year to you once again!!