Father Of The Century
As old as I am now, I still remember vividly certain memories from my childhood about things I used to do with my parents and it just reminds me to do better because man, those memories are stuck with you for life!
There are many things I can identify now that I was lacking in and that most people might share the same sentiment about growing up where I come from.
I didn’t have everything growing up, but I had great parents. They did their best to provide my basic needs and be there for me when I needed them. But parenting in Africa falls short in a few areas, and those are the parts I’ve come to realize I need to do better at when I have my own kids. The lack is mostly not physical - you eat good, dress good and get toys and everything, but one thing that’s mostly missing in African parenting is …
Psychological And Emotional Care
Parents where I come from are convinced that your most pressing needs are food, physical health and fitness, and roof over your head, and that ones these are satisfied, you’ve been taken care of. But that is just wrong on so many levels.
I wrote this post 5-6 months ago when I just joined Hive, and in it, I detail how your upbringing influences your attachment style, and how that in turn affects your social life when you become an adult.
People are walking around with a lot of insecurities they can’t exactly trace, when in reality, it stems from matters as simple as whether or not their parents were emotionally available for them in their childhood. We have a lot of people with insecure attachment styles that need serious amount of attention and reassurance in their adult relationships. Anxious Avoidant people for instance tend to overthink stuff and might overreact if they feel something threatens their relationship.
See, the thing is that most people are suffering these insecurities because their parents didn’t know the basics of attachment and how it affects their kids in the mature stages of their life.
I got a lot of physical care growing up, but very little to no emotional care. So I’ve struggled a lot with social connections in my life, and I’ve had to read a lot to understand certain things about myself. I don’t want this for my kids, so I plan to be there for them not just physically, but mentally, psychologically and emotionally. I’ll read a lot to help me be a better parent to them and to better understand their needs and help them form healthy relationships right from their childhoods.
Vacations and Holidays are a thing and not just for rich people!
I doubt people here know what vacations or holidays are. And I’m not talking about that period off of work. I’m talking about a period away from regular life and responsibility. Time away to enjoy life a little and have some fun.
I don’t think I’ve ever been on a vacation or anything like that with my family growing up. Lol until I went to High School, I basically never left my town.
But I reckon that these stuff are essential and are great ways for families to bond, connect and have fun! It doesn’t have to be anything big too, even getaway weekends don’t sound bad.
I’ve always talked about the beach and if I had a chance to plan vacations for my family, that would most likely be where I’d take them first time.
Let them be kids
Looking back at my childhood, one thing I noticed now is that there was always pressure for us to grow up and start acting mature even when we were kids. We weren’t allowed to play much, climb trees, go swimming in small rivers, and a lot of kid-stuff.
One thing is for sure - kids will grow up eventually, so why not allow them be kids and do all those kid stuff before they grow up and have to face the harsh reality of the world.
I’ve always felt sorry for some of my friends because when we recall memories from our childhoods and reminisce about the good ol’ days, they seem to have nothing to say. Just that they never did x or y or z. And it just sounds sad that they never really had a childhood.
I don’t want to take my kid’s childhood from them. I plan to allow them enjoy it while it lasts, because they’re not going to stay kids forever.
Take their mental health serious
This point just builds more on my earlier point about being there psychologically and mentally for my kids. I decided to make it a stand-alone point because I wanted to stress how important it is to be there for your kids when “they don’t feel so great but it’s not physical”. To not brush them off when they feel down for no reason and can’t explain why. To teach them about their mental health and help them understand sensitive matters like depression. I didn’t get that, and I’ll be damned if my kids don’t either.
Informal Education. Proper Education.
Now here, I’m going to mention @cmplxty, a hivian friend I’ve made over my past few months here. He’s one of the best dads I’ve seen, and he stands out in how much time he takes out of his very busy days to school his kid the right way. Walks in nature, fishing trips, snow showing, fire building, hunting even(soon I’m sure), subway trips, you name it. The entire package!
Most people just enroll their kids into school for the educational system to indoctrinate them on the full-book way of learning. The kind that suppresses their creative thinking and punishes them for exploring answers outside curriculums and marking schemes. There are just some things
Choosing a career
Ah should I even talk about this?
Africans probably nodded when they saw this talk about choosing a career.
As an African child, your career is one of the fee things you have pretty much no say in. Zero. Right from childhood, your dad is already calling you a doctor and your entire life is planned out for you. And you would think that as you grow older, the power to make some choices will be delegated out to you. You know it’s serious when I’m saying “delegated” about something that basically should be your fucking human right.
A lot of people here will admit that from primary school, they’ve had their entire career planned and dictated to them. Go to primary school A, then high school B to read General Science, and University C to study medicine. Look at that - a perfectly laid out plan. Except you didn’t make it.
We’ve seen a lot of suicides and career failures result from these forced decisions, because people are forced into fields they not only aren’t good in, but have no passion for. People are in universities regretting ever making it that far every morning they wake up.
I don’t want a life like this for my kids. Their life, their career, their decisions!
I can understand that parents mostly think they’re looking out for you by forcing you into the well-paid fields. And maybe you’ll make it there and get that bag. But at what cost? Wake up every morning to a job you hate, cursing your way through exam every semester? I’ll pass for my kids.
Childhood is a phase and they’ll eventually grow out of it.
Sex and Sexual Health - “The Talk”
Again, I don’t know about parents from other parts of the world, but I know African parents and how they’re so blinded by religion and morality that they refuse to teach their children about sex, sexual health and it’s relations. They practically pretend sex doesn’t exist, and keep trying to control their children’s sexual lives, eventually driving them into deeper curiosity. One thing about children, they’re curious, and if you won’t teach them, they’ll fill in the voids someway somehow. Most of the time, someway somehow leads to complications like teenage pregnancies, and unsafe abortions.
A few no-nos
The internet? Yeah powerful tool, both for good and bad depending on the hands you find it in.
I’ve seen many people’s lives get fucked up because they either got exposed to the internet too early, got too exposed to the wrong sides of it, or didn’t get much supervision on their use of it. The internet has created porn addicts, fraudsters, social media junkies and a lot of shouldn’t-bes if you get my point.
I don’t plan on keeping my kids away from the internet. What I will do, is teach them how to extract the full power of the internet and use it to better themselves. Use it the right way, for the right purposes.
The list just goes on and on, but I’m cutting it short because I’m rushing this post to not pass the deadline for this prompt. Sorry about the late submission in advance, guys. Great prompt!
Ps: all images are mine