Other Articles from Joan Thatiah
The 5 Valuable Life Lessons I Have Learnt From My Son
A parent leads, a child follows. At least this is what I imagined would be the tone of our relationship when my son was born.
Over a period of seven short years, my little one has taught me invaluable life lessons. Lessons I never would have learnt otherwise.
On giving second chances
I was excited when my son and I finally moved out of my folks’ house to our own home. My happiness however short lived as I realized just a few weeks in that my then five year old had become a target of bullying by bigger boys in the neighborhood. I was bitter and I even considered moving houses. Then I observed something interesting. Each evening, I would come home bearing goodies for my little one and each evening, like clockwork, he would dash out to share with his tormentors. When I asked him why and yet he knew that they would be back to bullying him the next morning, he told me very simply that they were God’s children.
It turns out that at this very young age, he understood that holding on to anger would only hurt him and not them. So I started teaching him how to hold out for himself. Two years in, he has managed to make friends out of them.
Finding joy in life’s simplicities
If you are a new mother just setting out on this journey, my advice to you is not to splurge on toys especially in younger children. As a new mother, I did it thinking that spending a lot would show him how much I loved him. Shock on me, my little one would lose interest in a new toy in about ten seconds but spend hours playing with the packaging. It clearly didn’t matter that the latter was worthless. If you do not have money to splurge on those toys, do not stress. Your little one will probably appreciate more if you spend some time with them.
It takes a village to raise a man
When I became an unwed mother, I promised myself that I was going to work so hard that my son wasn’t going to feel that gap in our lives. And I did. But as much as I made sure that he didn’t lack, he was consistently seeking to spend time with men. I thought I was doing something wrong until a friend opened my eyes to the fact that even if I was the best mother on earth, I couldn’t teach my son to be a man. And this didn’t mean that I was a bad mother. With this insight, I have since sought out strong male role models for him to look up to.
The love languages
A year and a few months ago, I was one stressed Mum. Reason being that my little one was acting out. He would be so princely when we were out visiting but was repeatedly throwing tantrums and had episodes of what I considered bad behavior when we were home alone. I do not spank him, I prefer reasoning. So I sat him down and asked why he was misbehaving only with me. He said it was because I was his Mum. It became all clear to me. He wasn’t throwing tantrums with me because he disrespected me but because he loved me and felt safe enough to bare it all with me. Instead of getting frustrated, all I needed to do was teach him better ways of communicating his anger and frustrations.
What’s life if it isn’t shared?
When my niece comes over to visit, the two of them are usually a handful. There’s the running around the house, the screaming and also the fights. These are many and are usually about either what cartoon to watch on the television or what activity to do. Usually, one of them will win the argument and the other one will stomp off to the bedroom in a huff. Interestingly, if my little one is left to watch the cartoon he wanted, he won’t until his cousin agrees to come and watch it with him. He fought to watch it, but will only enjoy it if it is shared.
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