Weeeeelllllllll…if anything, I’ve learned what not to do.
The basic stuff like feeding and clothing is a default action, so it shouldn’t be something to learn, it’s a given. But all the other important stuff, I can honestly say there is not one thing I can take from my parents and say “You know I like the way they did that, I’m going to do that with my child.”
So because I have nothing to say to directly answer the question. I’m going to tell you what I learned not to do, and what I am going to do because of it.
1. Set the precedent from young: Right from the jump I will make sure that it’s always an option for my child to be able to talk to me. My child should always be free to tell me how they feel and what’s going on in their life. They should never be “scared” or “forbidden” to tell me anything, ESPECIALLY if it’s in disagreement with me. My child or not, they’re their own person first. And my job is not to restrict or constrain them as an individual. Because these will have negative effects in the future.
2. My child will always be free: What I mean by this is that my child will be free to choose how they want to live their lives and become the person they TRULY should be. I will never restrict my child to certain occupations, or tell them not to do something because of another person opinion that does not even matter. A parents job should be to guide their child to be in THEIR best position possible, and not to place their own insecurities onto them. In African and ethnic households especially, they think their children’s accomplishments is a reflection on them when that should never be the case. Your child is not a “product,” they’re their own human being.
3. Words are important: Please please, please. Never ever will I talk to my child the way my mum would address me whilst I was growing up. And for all my African brothers and sisters, you know it would always be in the third person. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT WOULD ANNOY ME!! “This stupid boy can’t even….” “God, what have I done to deserve this…” (let me not even go on). Instead, it should be “You are a King/ Queen,” “You will do better next time.”
Positivity from the jump.
Some people laugh at DJ Khaled with Ashad, but I’m telling you, just him hearing those positive affirmations from that age will do wonders for him in the future.
(and it’s not that she didn’t, but it was extremely in the minority compared to the other shit)
4. The only competition is in the mirror: This one is very important. COMPARISON IS NOT MOTIVATION! Especially when the people my mum used to compare me to WERE WORSE THAN ME! The negative effects of comparing your child to another are so damaging mentally. My child will only be compared to their yesterday. Because everybody is in their own lane, so what is there to compare?
5. My child is not my personal maid/ butler: I had to come back to this post because I forgot to add this. The amount of times I’ve been called for tedious tasks in the house is mind-blowing. I’m all for helping people, but when you’re being taken advantage of it’s an absolute piss take. Unless I require my child’s help, I will not call them to do tasks because “I have the authority” because in actuality, more time than not its because you can’t be bothered, which isn’t right.
I have to add this in because just by reading this you’ll think my Mum is a monster. She is a lot better now than she was before, but at the same time, there is still a bit of a journey to go. But like my first point says, you have to set the precedent from young. Because once you get to a certain age, it’s a bit more difficult because it’s a bit too late…
But on the flip-side, your experience might be different from mine, so tell me what you’ve learnt from your parents? Or what you’ve thought of adding onto it. I think it’ll be beneficial for everyone 😊.