One of my favourite movies of all time is The Help, an awesome movie in which Aibileen, the main character (a black maid) would often reaffirm a little white girl with the following words:
You is Kind
You is smart
You is Important.
The little white girl found solace in her black nanny than in her mom, who would always ignore and treat her badly. Perhaps, Nigeria as a nation would have been much more better, if we had more parents who fully understood the importance of building their Children’s confidence
I am currently reading a book, Those Who Inspire (Nigeria), which celebrates people who contribute to making our nation a better place by sharing their stories, beliefs, emotions, ambitions and visions. In many of the stories written, the characters often mentioned their parents as sources of inspiration, who inspired, believed and encouraged them to be all they could be; interestingly, a significant number of them referred to their fathers as their heroes.
Our grandparents, perhaps parents too had excuses, they could get away with the fact that they were ignorant – they believed “as long as you were fed, you were led” – failing to realize that leadership in the family setting goes beyond being able to provide food, clothes and shelter.
They failed to realize a destiny had been committed into their hands to nuture, and left everything to time and chance.
But as parents of the 21st century, it is high time we taught our kids to believe in themselves. To believe in their dreams and purposes. Help your child know that he is capable in himself – he is kind, smart and important. He doesn’t need to belong to that group to fit in. The fine shoe won’t make him rule, neither would the ipad make him a fine lad. Help your child see that his values are in his virtues and vice-versa.
Hey Parent! You are coach. Know what a coach does? It means you walk closely with your kid. Show your child the ropes of self confidence. Let him know self-confidence stems from self-respect. Never be caught putting your child or bashing his self-esteem, tagging him by his mistakes. Rather than focus on his mistakes and failures, open his heart to possibilities.
Ignite a passion for life in your kids. Many opportunities abound in life, it is mostly the self-confident that are found taking the bull by its horns. Teach your child that fear is normal and help him walk through his fears.
Finally, dear parent, Never, never never! That’s three ‘nevers’… Lol. Never compare your kid to another. That’s domestic terrorism. I know you like that other kid – He seems like the perfect kid and you wish yours would just be like him but don’t compare yours to theirs; it can be a really slippery slope from there.
Not only do you create an enemy for your kid, you make him feel unwanted, unloved. And in the words of Mother Theresa, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty”.