Letter To My Future Daughter PT. 7
You don't get it do you? Abuse comes in different forms. A child can be brought up well clothed and fed with all his necessaries supplied except for the all- important need for love and approval. No physical harm is ever done to him, yet, as each year goes by, his spirit shrivels up inside him more and more, as a plant will shrivel without sunlight, desperate for the smallest demonstration of affection. Eventually, he grows to adulthood; everything seems to be normal, yet he is crippled inside by the indifference of his parents.
Children are a wonderful breed. They remember a lot more than we give them credit. You were a child once. Think back to your childhood. There are things you remember no one knows you do. The same applies to your child. There are things she’ll remember about you, you can’t imagine. With the way things are going, you may create a lasting egregious image of yourself in her vernal subconscious. I know you are trying to tug the best in this child. But are you such a nitpicker you can't even see? The more you try to exert your views on her, the more you lose her to the cozy hands of depression, jealousy and hate. Children sometimes incubate this feeling and project it on their partners in matrimony. Some of the most hardened women are people who refuse to forgive their parents. Sometimes, it is not what we say to our children but how we say it. Have you forgotten you also went through this phase in your life? Of course, it is the rebellion years – usually the teen years, though not every child goes through this.
Click here To Read Letter To My Future Daughter PT. 4 (VIRGIN MARY)
Learn to appreciate her individualism. Her abilities may not be good enough, but it is what she has. When you constantly tell her how useless she is, she'll believe you. Every young child believes what their parents say about them. She may grow up, never suffering from physical abuse at your hands but nevertheless crippled in the spirit. You need to stop putting her down by constantly comparing her unfavourably with others. You are emotionally abusing this girl without knowing. She soon begins to push back in symbolisms of rebellion, which further affect your relationship with her. That's why on your recent appointment, she didn't felicitate with you. On your anniverary day, she did not congratulate you. It’s important to have an honest relationship with your child. Sometimes that’s all children want. When she knows of your struggles to give her a good education, she’ll appreciate the education more. And it will give her the impetus to succeed, to justify your investment. And show appreciation. She’ll want to succeed in life, if only to take care of you. You’ll be surprised how deep these things run. Please, understand she has her on script to act in life. Try and understand she is not in competition with anybody. She too has limitations. When you do, she'll blossom effortlessly in her métier. Just let her walk at her own pace.
Remember you were once sophomoric? Did you forget you once walked in her shoes? You threw caution to the wind too, fell in love not minding the consequences. You've forgotten you were once like her. Except when you want to remind her that you know better. Have you forgotten that at 18 you still couldn't make what you wanted to do with your own life? And when you were 25 it was patience and timing. How come those principles doesn't apply to her? You didn't pan out exactly how I envisaged, but look at you. You've done well for yourself. She looks up to you as her teacher and her leader. Yet, the one person who was supposed to be her biggest fan is never in the gallery.
Children are heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb are his rewards. She is bound to honour you as her parent. She owes you that moral obligation. But what happens when we stretch the elasticity of that commandment? We unconsciously lead them to develop secret resentments. Do not provoke her into anger. It's provocarmtive when you compare her with your other children and another's child. Haven't you heard the story of Isaac and Rebekah? They both have their preference when it comes to their kids. Isaac and Rebekah did many things right in their parenting, but one incredibly wrong thing they did was to be divided on their loyalties to their children. Isaac loved Esau more than Jacob. Rebekah loved Jacob more than Esau. Though not recorded, it can be imputed that at one point in time, there must have been unfavorable comparison. This caused competition in the lives of the two boys to the point that Jacob fled in fear of his life when he convinced his brother to surrender his birthright (or right of inheritance). Though biblical injuctions has it that it was ordained by God. Taking a pragmatic approach, Esau could have been the object of envy and hatred from his sibling. Esau just to annoy his parents got married to a Hittite.
I once remember a man who wanted his son to be like his friend's son back in College. Before graduation, he wanted his son to avoid his friend's son so bad, like a plague. Living in such a morally depraved world, we never can tell what the other person is up to. There's more than what meets the eye.
Click here to read Letter To My Future Daughter PT. 3 (WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING TO THE TABLE)
It hurts to be compared, yes. But you expect your child to turn the pain from it into constructive energy. I cannot blame you for wanting the best for her. So, inspite of the negative feelings it may brew in her at first, I know it is for her own good. Even as I grow older, I do compare myself to others to motivate me. Imagine life without motivation. Perhaps you just overdo yours, and perhaps, she overeacts to it. It would be great if we were given the full, unabridged instruction manual for parenting when our children are born. But regrettably, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. We must endlessly strive to be good parents to our kids, irrespectively of our own upbringing.
Till I write you again next week. I remain:
Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine,