Highest parenting lesson learned

By Chukwuneta Oby

A particular parenting insight dawned on me from a casual conversation with a teenage girl that often comes to the house.

I had noticed that even after dismissing her, she hovered around or would reluctantly ‘be going home’’.

One of the days that she was at it, I asked why she didn’t like going home.

Her response was ‘‘my daddy’s wahala is too much. He is always nagging’’.

So, I said to her, ‘‘it means you do things that make him nag’’.

She responded ‘‘I am even the one that is always caring for him. Our eldest brother beats him. It’s me and Anthony (not his real name but he is the second son of the family) that are always nice to him.’’

I said, ‘‘What about Daniel’’ (not his real name…he is the last child of the family, who also comes around). And she said, ‘‘that one that shouts at our Daddy any time he annoys him.’’

Finally, I asked, ‘‘But what are those things Daddy does that make your brothers to be mean to him’’.

Her response was… ‘’that one that calls himself a Pastor but every night, he would be ‘tapping’ people’s light because he doesn’t pay electricity bill. When I tell him it’s wrong, he would shout at me to go and sit down.’’

That’s it!

The easiest way to lose respect in the eyes of children is to not live above board as a parent.

A parent is like a god to children. And they have expectations of you.

What they don’t handle well is a disconnect between what you claim to be and who they know you are.

In all you do as a parent, do not allow yourself lose your moral ground with children.

If you have a habit of doing a ‘bad thing’ before them, they will resent you to high heavens, especially when what you profess out there is far from who you are, behind closed doors.

One way to retain respect in the eyes of your children is minding the manner in which you conduct your affairs around them.

The fact that the father who is a Pastor (and probably shouting himself hoarse on the pulpit every church day) could be stealing from people has deposited enough resentment of his person in the girl and her siblings. It’s just that her nature has not emboldened her to act it out like the rest.

This and other similar encounters have taught me that one way to retain your respect in the eyes of your children is minding the manner in which you conduct your affairs around them.

Once you lose it, their respect for you is gone. And most likely, it’s their irritation that will start greeting any attempts at morality from you.

When parents complain about disrespect from children, I point them back to their conduct around those children. It’s often the starting point.

A parent should have that moral authority on which they stand to rebuke a child.

When your self-respect is not there, you are incurring your children’s resentment by talking a talk that even you know you don’t walk.

‘’We are all human and have flaws’’ is not a realization that children are quick to embrace when they are still impressionable.

The best way to earn your child’s respect is to be conscious of your conduct around them.

Nothing does the magic better than living by example.

Another thing is how much of mum and dad fight they witness!

The easiest way to make a child become a toxic adult is to keep saying ugly things about others before/to them, especially their other parent.

Unfortunately, this is the stock in trade of so many of us women…who use children as weapons against spouses and in-laws.

The music you should be ready to face someday is the monster you are raising because there will be consequences.

Children exude the energy they are raised with!

One parenting resolution to make this year and beyond is to stop dumping unwholesome words in the mind of a child, for their own sake.

When you need to vent to someone, find an adult who can even help you cuss out whoever has been unfortunate towards you. But, leave the children out of it.

Negativity does not make a child closer to you. It damages them.

If you are looking for an ally, seek out an adult and not a child.


You are not going to live with them forever. We won’t always be here.

Don’t choose to close their minds towards persons they can have a wonderful relationship with.

Life is not better when strife is the order of the day.

Let’s begin now to impact qualities that will enable them to handle life better.

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