Time immemorial, humanity has tended that a child is no full human being and that the caretaker or parent’s responsibility is to raise them into a decent and fully human being. However, observing other creatures one can see nature’s way when it comes to nurturing offspring. It appears that, naturally, the parental role is to keep them out of harm’s way as they orient themselves with their environment – But, at the same time, allow them to learn from hands-on experience.
On top of not allowing the child to fully experience their orientation with the environment, we also tend to run to pampering a child especially when they encounter a painful experience as they explore. This, in turn, gives the child the impression that they are not supposed to experience pain and robbing them off an opportunity to register that in interaction with life there will be moments of pain and pleasure and that both are sides of the same coin. Allowing them to feel without pampering allows them to take responsibility for their action, accept and own their pain as well as emotional independence. It also allows them to enhance their abilities to get in tune with their instincts and intuition.
In our raising of children, with the entitlement that since we are older we know everything, from the onset we are simply belittling the child’s pure and authentic existence as well as robbing them of a chance to grow into a fully-fledged version of themselves. The least we could do is sit and watch in wonder what this new life has come to bless this world with and only give guidance when it is necessary and with their involvement – Without trying to turn them into mini versions of ourselves.
Without this awareness, however, we become enemies of our race’s progress by instilling the new with the ancient – more like putting old software into a new computer. And for this, every next generation gets to recycle and relive the same experience as ours by thinking as we have been thinking and getting the same results that we have always had. Often such a cycle is repeated under the guise of culture or tradition and hence disallowing every opportunity for new ways to human progress. And how about our raising of children, where there is always a one-way authoritarian communication – that we must do the talking and the child must do all the listening. We miss out on the opportunity of picking up hints on the new consciousness that is representing itself in front of us and assist us in paving for a world that will meet its needs. Instead, we get caught up in our old ideas, which may be based only on our view of the world, and in the process, we become oblivious to the possibility of incorporating their worldview.
What we also do not notice, though, is that the children can see through it all. They see it when they ask questions, we may not have answers but still try to vaguely answer in the pretense that we know it all. As a result, they feel betrayed and that their thoughts, ideas, and views are of little importance – unless they have our approval. As the child continues to see through our hypocrisy, they may start to express themselves out of frustration or they may even start acting it out in absurd a behaviour – which they may even eventually get punished for. But maybe all these could have been avoided if the parents also took the time to pay attention and listen to the kids.
• Oshimwenyo is published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka.
2020-06-05 10:34:50 | 2 months ago