Many things come when one is a parent, and children in general have a sponge-like ability to absorb not only words, but actions. When children are in your life, there are a few things you cannot do in front of them.
Below are some of these things, courtesy of Victor Salamba whose nice piece did rounds on social media.
- Undressing or Changing Your Clothes In front of Them: This is a common mistake especially when a parent assumes that the child is too young to understand. Yet if they can identify your face and distinguish you from strangers, then they know what they are seeing. This mistake inhibits their ability to make and have boundaries.
- Watching Movies with Sexual Content with Them: This does not mean pornography, though it falls in this category, but I speak of some of the movies and shows that have very high and explicit sexual content. Watching these with your child eliminates your moral authority in teaching them about sexual values.
- Using Curse Words or Insults in Their Presence: I do not know why a human being must use profanity and very degrading words to another human being just to get their point across. But, doing this in front of a child is even worse because you plant a disrespectful spirit and an unruly rough character in them.
- Getting Drunk In front of Them: One very simple fact is that when your child or children see you drunk, they lose respect for you on the spot. They question your authority as a parent, because they have seen you lose control.
- Introducing Them to the Person You are Having an Affair With: One of the most irresponsible and selfish thing you can do as a parent, is to introduce your child to the person who is breaking the family. Your child knows this. This does not teach or show them how cool you are, but how selfish you are. This always leaves a scar in their hearts about you.
- Physically Fighting Their Mother or Father In front of Them: The last thing a child wants, is to see his/her parents fighting. This leaves a lasting effect on them and they get broken for life, and may potentially break their own families.
- Failing to Teach Them to Knock Before They Enter the Master Bedroom: This teaches them to respect boundaries from an early age.
- Taking the Side of the House-help or an Outsider in Their Presence: This does not mean you protect them when they are wrong. This means address the allegation and reprimand in private. Listen to the accusation the House-help has brought, call your kids to one of the rooms, and address it. This makes them feel respected even if you discipline them.
- Branding Them: The names we give our children are good enough. An issue comes when as a parent, you start calling them or branding characters on them, as if that is their name. Remember, as a parent what you call your children, they become. Correct them, but don’t brand them to be the action they have committed.
- Having Sex While They Are in The Room: This ties with No. 1 above. Don’t assume they are asleep or they do not hear or they do not know. Children should never hear or see their parents having sex. That is why I strongly believe that once a child has completed the mandatory 6 months of exclusive breast feeding, a plan should start of moving the child to another room. This builds independence.
- Leaning on Them Emotionally: No parent should seek emotional support from the children. If your marriage life is bad, get help externally. Do not cry to your children. This makes them emotionally unstable because they are not strong enough to carry you emotionally.
- Making a Promise You Cannot Keep: It does not matter how big or small, never make a promise you cannot keep. This teaches them that in life you can get by, by not being accountable; and they will never trust you.
Credit: The above piece which was widely circulated on social media was credited with Victor Salamba.