I have some unbecoming behaviours.
One of them is the tendency to pull my beards when I am puzzled and confused about life’s happenstances. It comes subconsciously. Some time back, my wife would point the vice to me, but she failed to help me stop it, maybe due to failure to suggest an alternative action. So, all my deliberate effort to remember not to pull the beards on my cheek and chin failed.
But she helped me to become conscious of the vice.
Since the coronavirus home lockdown, I shifted my office to home. I am the teacher, career guide, and of course the Dad. Whenever I am on the laptop, I subconsciously start touching my chin, cheek, and moustache. It just happens. I find myself touching and pulling.
After working from home during this coronavirus period, the children have been seeing and taking note of all my actions and mannerisms. Yesterday, I was so surprised. I caught my son doing exactly what I do. He sat on the table and before opening the book, he started touching his chin, cheek and acted as if pulling off hair, one by one.
I took offence. I told him to stop doing that. It is bad.
Instantly, he replied, “Dad, I see you do this every day.”
I realize we tell by our actions and not mere words. Recent research shows that “46% of the role models to all age groups are family members.” This means you need to be a great Dad, Mom, Uncle, and Relative. The young ones are looking.
If you want them to read, go buy books and read them. If you want them to watch TV, go and watch the television.
Parenting is tough because many of us want to issue instructions and not demonstrate or act as good role models.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.