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Beautiful Parenting in Africa: The Power of Patience

Meme Boham

When we were taught about repetition during our training, we guessed what it would look like but when we experienced it in the classroom, it was even more surreal.

We observe the children closely, how and why they would repeat an activity over and over again. We watch and even take notes, recording how many times the child repeats the activity.

As a parent, I often do not take as much note of my child’s repetition or discoveries as I would the child in my classroom;

But there are some golden moments that get my attention.

For the longest time, my son had always asked for help when pouring water from a bottle into his cup. When it is from a small jug, he doesn’t find it as challenging as when it is from the ‘Eva’ bottle.

One day, we decided we would have rice for lunch. So, I asked him to get the rice ready (as he normally does). He poured the rice into the pot and asked me for the water to turn into the pot.

Usually, I measure just the right amount into a jug for him to empty into the pot, but this time I gave him a bottle filled with water. To get this right, He would have to gauge just how much water he needed to pour into the pot.

I showed him how to hold the bottle and pour carefully (giving a lesson as we would say in school), then I handed the bottle over to him. He successfully poured just enough to cover the basmati rice and put the bottle down.

Then he called to me, ‘Mummy, is this enough water?’

I could not hold back my excitement that he had successfully poured from a bottle but I held back my praise. It’s not about me and what I am proud of. It’s about him and his accomplishment.

After we had placed the pot on the fire, he said, ‘Mummy I am thirsty, I will like to drink some water’.

He got his cup and poured some water from the bottle. This is something he has had difficulty doing no matter how many times I gave the lesson, but now he was doing it without any prompting.

He poured himself the first cup of water and drank it all. Then the second and the third. After his third cup of water, he sighed and said ‘Thank you God for water’.

I have no idea why he said that but I could see he was proud of his accomplishment.

My biggest relief was that the idea to pour into his cup came from him not me.

My own reason for thanking God is that I was able to be patient with him to learn to pour a bottle of water into his cup by himself and in his own time.

Not only has this process built his self esteem but he has learnt the unconscious lesson that he can do and accomplish whatever he decides to.

With consistent proper response from the adults around him, only God can predict the things he will accomplish in the future.

Are you patient with your children? Is your patience achieving the needed results? Do share with us in the comments.

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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