#Covid19 lockdown has helped parents to know their children better. The opportunity to have a one on one with the young ones, review their school performance in detail and provide parental guidance without rushing to any meeting, is a blessing in disguise.
A good family provides a strong foundation for career success. Teaching values of discipline and hard work is critical.
Growing up with a single mother, I learned to fear God and the discipline of resilience and grit – the ability to complete whatever you start. Our mother would ask us to grind millet, i.e. millet flour after which you boil water and make millet bread. Using a stone grinder, it was not easy. By the time you complete grinding enough millet flour for a family of six people, the fingers would have given way. But each person had a day to do the task.
Another task that taught us grit or resilience was carrying a jerrycan full of water for more than two kilometers.
You go to fetch water with an empty jerrycan from a well or a school borehole located two kilometers from home. We would start the water journey immediately from school at about 5 pm. The people at home would expect you to return with a jerrycan of 20 liters of water full to the brim. They would plan for the water even before you go to fetch it. You had no choice but to carry it on your head or in the hands. If you have ever fetched water from any source in a bucket or jerrycan you have an idea of what I am talking about. Once you commit to carrying the jerrycan, you had to deliver it full of water and complete the task. No excuses. Mid-way the return journey, you would get tired. But you had no way out. At our age, even getting the jerrycan to your head would be a tug of war. You dare not remove it from the head… else you break it — that was grit. You would bite your teeth until you get home and they help you remove the jerrycan from your head. Call it child abuse, it gave us the mental hardening we all need to survive in this #covid19 world.
In our village setting, our parents and elders never gave us an easy way out. You had to earn your lunch.
Indeed recently, I have been reading biographies of many local pioneers and influential people. They tell a story of persistence, struggle, and hard work which would later help them in overcoming career challenges. Any child who makes it from the village, always become outstanding.
Now that you have been home now for over a month, what lessons have you taught your children? At the start of April, we agreed with my wife to have the children prepare the morning meal. I see progress. Now they must mop the house. Already they know how to wash their clothes and clean plates. Even with the house helper at home, such tasks appear obvious but today’s children are lazy. And for some reason, they think they are entitled to just eating. You have to push them. I am happy that this #covid19 lockdown happened. It has helped me share stories and inculcate life skills.
Now is the time to empower your children with life-transforming skills. You must teach them about resourcefulness, responsibility, remembering, resilience, reflectiveness, responsiveness, and logic. Values for life success like focus, discipline, listening, and respect for parents and elders are essential. In the next posts, I will explore more on these values.
May you be a good parent. May your children succeed.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.