‘You Don’t Own Your Children, So Don’t Impose Yourself On Them’ – Praise Fowowe
As a parent, it could be really difficult to manage children that refuse to act ‘normal’ meaning children that do not make conventional and expected choices or that dare to be different. Author of the book – Out of the box parenting, Praise Fowowe was on TVC’s Your View on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 to teach Parents how to balance their own beliefs and their children’s life choices as well as how to manage when children begin to dream other dreams different from what the Parents expect.
To begin the conversation, Morayo asked how Parents can ensure that their children don’t derail from what the society sees as normal. Praise responded that parents should understand that their children are going into a future that they do not understand and that the parents are most likely not going to be a part of.
“You don’t own a child, a child is a seed. You are just the seed handler, there is a seed owner who has sent the child to the world to be the answer to a problem. When you don’t understand that you don’t own your child, you’ re going to impose yourself on the child.”
“Most Parents do bad things with good intentions because they were also conditioned. Consistently, the way parents were conditioned and scripted, is the same way they try to script their children.
“Sadly, we as Parents were not scripted to observe a child, rather, we were scripted to condition a child to become what we have become. Often times, we take positions without negotiating.”
He was also quick to remind the ladies that children learn from what their parents do and not what they say, therefore, parents should make sure they model who they want their kids to be. He however noted a major problem in our society:
“…we define our children by our status, your child is not you. For example, the child of a pastor is not a pastor. A pastor’s child is simply someone who was born by a Pastor, it doesn’t make him one.”
Obiajulu went on to note that her concern was with parents who act like they know what the destiny of their children is. She quoted the scriptures and purported that the job of the parents should basically be like a guide. Now, responding to her question on how parents can relax from excessively caging their children, Praise buttressed that it is not possible to give what you don’t have. “If you’ve not studied parenting, you will do all these excessive things.”
Nyma, who grew up in a muslim background couldn’t help but wonder how conditioning is such a bad thing. Her father brought her up in a way that she wouldn’t have opted for another religion and after she started activism in school even as a girl, he was her most supportive system. And to top it all, she made the decision to start wearing hijab by herself. Praise interjected that her father did not condition her, rather, he created an environment for her, set her on a path but did not take decisions for her, unlike the norm in typical homes where they take every decision for a child.
These are some of the other tips he shared:
“In correction or discipline, you are supposed to point a child back to his identity but instead, parents set rules and regulations for them. Now, every misbehavior can be tied to 2 things, non-discovery of self or non-remembrance of self. Parents should not allow their children to do everything they want to do but how you say NO is very important.”
“The first religion your child meets is you, if your life is compelling enough, your child will follow your faith. When you teach what you have not lived out, you are a false witness.”
“You will misbehave if you don’t have a sense of identity or if forget who you are. Instead of condemning or shunning a child’s habits, You need to observe who your child is through their traits and tendencies. Take your time to study a child based on the traits he’s showing. Clear your own biases because your children will show you tendencies that don’t even align with your values. Of course, you should guide your child along the right path but be careful not to impose yourself on them.”
Here is an example Praise shared that really struck the ladies: “A 4-year old child that wants to jump from a table would be scolded by the typical parent with words like ‘if you jump, you will break your leg’ but it is better to tell the child ‘you can jump, but this jump is for age 7, let me create the age 4 jump for you’. That way, you don’t instill fear in them forever and they would actually aspire for that age 7 jump.”
The Family Life Expert rounded up the show with these words: “Parenting is basically instructing your child, make sure he masters it and then, make him write an exam for what he’s been taught. Prayers alone cannot do it, Parents should be more liberal. Teach them, expose them and allow them to practice what they’ve been taught.”
See video below: