Teaching children a positive (or negative) trait or habit is not a one-time affair I have realized. We have to keep at it till it becomes part of them. Then keep at it for jara sake. I have been pushing my children not to give up but still hear things like: “I cannot do it” when faced with a new task.
So, as I am not going anywhere anytime soon, I have decided to oblige by pushing.
Last week I told Tori to pull off Samuel’s shirt. She looked at him and then at me and said. “Mummy, I cannot do it”. “That’s not true, try.” I replied. She did and pulled the shirt off. She was surprised and happy. “Mummy I pulled it off myself. Nobody helped me! “Yes you did!” I said giving her a high-five.
Weeks later, I was driving. For those who know Lokoja the sun is not smiling at all. I picked them from school. I glanced back at them and felt Samuel was too covered up for the weather. I told Tori to pull his t-shirt and leave the singlet on.
She stood up, she looked at me and then at Samuel. “Mummy, I cannot do it.” “Have you tried?” I asked her. She kept quiet. Moved to his side and pulled the shirt. “Mummy I can do it!” She exclaimed. “Is it good to say you cannot do it when you have not tried and tried?” They both answered “No!” “Can you do anything if you try?” “Yes!” That was our song the rest of the way home.
Will she say I cannot do it again tomorrow? Maybe. But be sure I will be there to keep pushing and helping the way I can. Until puzzles and tasks become an exciting challenge for them.
I remember a five-year old girl in a school I taught while I was single. She could speak Hausa, Igala and English. It was beautiful to hear her switch. I asked the mother how she did it. She told me her father speaks Hausa to her, the woman’s siblings speak Igala to the girl while she speaks English. You would have thought that will confuse the girl but no… she held her own. I borrowed this when I started having children. Now my children can speak Igala and English and I love that they are not restricted to only one language. When they have opportunity, they can learn more.
Children are capable of more than we give them credit for. But if we do not give them room to grow, they will remain at the level we keep them.
How have your children surprised you or themselves?
How do you encourage your children to be or do more?
PS: 89 more days to the launch of Evados children storybook
PPS: Jara – Extra