By Ifeoluwani Funso-Adeolu
When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I was awed by the realization, and I knew my sisters would send me all sorts of notes, yummy quotes and add colors to my eyes.
People sent me all sorts of thoughts and prayers. Little boys love their mamas, they said. Boys are adorable, they warned. Little Lords, they joked. And my friends, more seasoned mamas, more experienced sweethearts–were all right. Ifemide, my son, whom I also nicknamed Bubbles because he’s the most bubbly child I’ve ever known plus he blows cute bubbles with his mouth all the time is all of these things
Before I had kids, I knew exactly how I intended to parent. I wouldn’t raise my voice because my kids would be good listeners. I would not succumb to the pressure getting unnecessarily mad but I also wouldn’t let my child get spoilt.
We would engage in stimulating conversation, pray together, be honest, share and give. I would help my son and it would be a team effort to keep the house clean. We would be eager to connect with each other, my children would, unprovoked, tell me every single thing going on in their lives. They would be my best friends, ours would be a democratic government and I would encourage them to have an opinion always.
In my heart of hearts, the trait that I think makes the world go round is compassion and empathy, and I’m under responsibilities to instill that in the nooks and crannies of my little son’s heart. There are other more manners to be taught
- Thank You
I’ll teach my son good manners, he must learn first of all to be thankful, to show gratitude and graciousness to God. He must know how to say thank you for a good deed done for him even the smallest ones.
He must know how to say “I’m sorry”. He will know that a good heart is better than gold. My son must be able to humble himself and do the needful at all times. Saying sorry isn’t age restricted, if you wrong your kids, learn to say sorry as well.
He must be able to say Please. I’ll instill in my son to be brave enough to say please. For everything he wants, he must be polite enough to ask with decency.
He must be respectful to everyone and any age and if he grows and meets a woman he wants to marry, he must respect her, and he must cherish her and be good to her.
- Excuse Me
I’ll teach my son to recognize the power in being mature. I believe asking for excuse before changing a TV channel is essential or trying to pass especially near an elderly person, you should always say excuse me please.
Don’t snatch things out of other people’s hands, don’t be snide, offensive, brazen or sarcastic, they are ugly traits.
The simplest manners are the most taken for granted and yet they are the most important ones that tell the background of a person.
My son must know that If you want something, be polite, ask nicely.. Nobody is in the world to serve the other, hence you must respect the space of other people, no matter how little they are.
I heard a story once of a woman whose son refused to help in the kitchen over the holidays when they had guests…he told his mother that that’s a job meant for girls and his father hailed him, they high 5ived each other and strolled out of the house. I just couldn’t picture doing that at my house while growing up without my mother smacking the shit outta me. What I’m I saying? Render help….Help isn’t gender oriented or restricted to a particular age, without asking, help your mother in the kitchen, and help keep the house clean, help your wife when you have one. Ease her burden. There is something sexy about a man that helps out and trusts me, it is beautiful.
- Never take anything or anyone for granted.
Everyone on this earth is here for a purpose, and as long as there is day and night, peoples tide will always change. Hence, never take anyone for granted. Even if you don’t trust anyone, believe in them
- Serenity Prayer
He must learn to accept that some things just won’t change because we want it, but he must learn to pray for wisdom to deal and accept the things he can’t change, to change the things he can and the ability and wisdom to know the difference.
- The 10 commandments
In my part of town, my culture colours some things and make them seem as though it’s the norm, but I live in a black and white world, its either these or that, not this and many other things. I will let my son know that the 10 commandments are real and they aren’t the only commandments to follow. It will help shape him to be disciplined and accepting.