This article is an excerpt from my book “Love and Fidelity in the Family, a guide to family stability”
Dos and don’ts in nurturing affection:
Tenderly call his name.
Parents are to bear in mind that to little children only little things matter. How parents address their children is very important to them. I recall someone saying he was stubborn as a child but could never refuse anything to the mother whenever she tenderly addresses him as “Nna” (an affectionate way of calling a boy in Igbo). This is a very important point. But because of the prevalent disregard of the internal needs of children, most parents are accustomed to abusing them even in very little things, where they could try to be friendlier with them. Every word from the parents becomes to the children an occasion for fear.
Down here in this part of Nigeria, we are very used to hearing parents call their children Ewu (goat), fool, etc. Some parents even go as far as labelling their children “failures”. Children learn, yes, but the speed differ by nature, environment, mode of teaching, and lesson taught, for instance its very hard when such lessons are contrary to the child’s strong habits. Children learn faster when there is fun in the lesson, when they are taught within a joke or song. Otherwise, they need time and patience to swallow the harder ones, especially things that demand a change of habit from them. It is because of the serious effect of this that I have repeated it.
Seek their opinion/advice:
Parents who seek their children’s advice, consent, and opinion are sowing good seeds in them. It makes children feel valued and esteemed, It also causes them to think. Parents will have little trouble in instructing them because the children will see the humility in their parents and consequently be almost compelled to follow their words wholeheartedly.
Never tell lies or make empty promises.
Parents must never lie to their children or make promises they cannot keep, even when they fail in their promise, as is wont to happen, they must sincerely apologize. Children should be filled with a sense of commitment, which sense is adversely affected by lies from their parents. People often complain of having bad leaders, of having “heart breakers” in general, this is the source of all that. When parents do not have this quality to pass on to their children, the effect will likely be revealed in them upon maturity. You cannot always tell whether or not this or that child has this problem until an occasion of unfaithfulness presents itself.
Add more thoughts and experiences below 🙂