Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Beautiful Parenting in Africa: One Day at a Time

never give up, One Day at a Time

I have a 3 year old and if anyone else out there has a 3 year old or remembers what it’s like to cater for one, you will agree with me that it is HARD work. I contemplated quitting my job a thousand times because I felt I wasn’t giving him the right attention. I was seeing certain behaviour I didn’t understand, which I knew didn’t come from me and I kept struggling with responding properly.

When and how do I discipline? As a Nigerian, different people have different opinions about spanking. My opinion is, when you do it when you are angry, it defeats the purpose. Imagine if every time you sinned, God struck you with His lightening whip and gave you a bruised arm so that every time you see it, you will remember not to sin again. That’s what we do, our child misbehaves and in anger we beat and in the process bruise. It doesn’t deal with the behaviour, it just instills fear, so does it really work? Anyway, so back to my 3 year old.

One thing I realised early is that reading about what to do and being in the classroom working with children of the same age does not automatically guarantee success in parenting. For a teacher, it’s still hard work and a lot of times you’ve spent so much energy on other people’s children that it seems you don’t have time for yours. So you’ve got to work twice as hard.

Sometimes, you seem like a hypocrite because you end up not practicing what you preach. For example, I tell parents:

“too much television will fry your child’s brain. Don’t let them watch on weekdays, only on a weekend (for children 0-6 years)”

Then on a Thursday, I am back from work totally exhausted and my ‘non-stop talking’ 3 year old is going on and on about school. I just want to be alone for a minute so I turn the TV on and feel guilty until I have another week of no television.

So yes, we make mistakes, and when we do, we must dust ourselves up and then try again. Indeed, It’s hard work but we have got to do what is right for our children.

The moral of this story is this – don’t give up! Even the Education Gurus make mistakes.

As a parent, you google up and read all these things you should be doing to/for your child(ren), and it seems like, ‘where am I going to start from?’, Don’t beat yourself up. Do what you can and take it one day at a time.

But it is important to get the knowledge. People perish for lack of it.

Meme Boham
Meme Boham
Wife, Mother, Childcare Scientist, Montessori Educationist and Leader. Meme Boham is a Passionate Teacher who is excited about the discovery of the potential in children when given the right response. She consults for parents, childcare workers and schools across Nigeria.

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  1. I’m watching this space, I’ve benefitted a whole lot from going the Montessori route so being able to get information within an African context is definitely something of value. Keep doing the good work Meme

  2. Very nice piece, I look forward to reading more of your parenting series. It also struck me that you have almost 10 years experience in this which means you are an authority.

  3. Thanks meme…I have even started to think the non spanking idea is only applied outside Nigeria. it really instill fear and what happens when you are not there to spank that child?

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