Child emergencies are the most harrowing. Not only are the patients frightened, uncooperative, howling at the top of their voices, their parents are another issue. They are anxious, either crying and rolling on the floor, or barking out questions, or getting in your way by carressing the child. As much as you feel their pain, crying won’t help, will it? Someone has to mask their feelings and do the dirty work.
My pastor told us some time ago, of a child whose father’s driver came to pick him from school with a particular car. He refused to get in but insisted the driver go home and get the Mercedes. A child less than 10 years old.
The driver called his boss, who barked, “What are you waiting for? Go and get the Mercedes! I am busy”
Where do you expect that boy to be in 10 years? In clubs popping champagne for strangers, with his pants halfway down his butt, his whole body tattoed and pierced, and his hair dyed 6 colours. He probably has no traceable source of income, save for daddy’s money, is hooked on drugs, and either a drop out, or doing poorly in school. The new generation of Nigerians is afraid to discipline their children. We are towing the path that led the West to where they are. The sense of entitlement children now have, is going to destroy them morally and otherwise.
Some years ago, I was called to the A &E to find a boy of about 3 to 4 years, screaming loudly. He had a huge laceration on his forehead, bleeding actively. His parents were trying to hold him still, while the nurse cleaned the cut. He was having none of it. Struggling, howling, kicking, he tried everything to get off the couch. I kept looking at his father, waiting for him to take charge, but he did not. My father only had to give you a look, and you knew you had it coming. I decided to step in.
“What happened? How did he get the cut?”, I asked
“He was playing close to a stack of crates”,his mother replied.” I noticed he kept trying to remove 1 of the crates and warned him. How he managed to pull 1 out, I don’t know. The entire stack landed on him”
I stepped closer and held his hand. He looked at me suspiciously. I pretended not to have any interest in his injury and engaged him in conversation. When he let down his guard, I examined the wound. It needed suturing. I had hoped we could bandage it and let him go, as he was a handful. Alas, it was not to be. He resumed his tantrum when the instruments were assembled. I decided to sedate him mildly. That was the only way we were able to treat him.
Why am I relating this story?; Because of the statement his father made during the procedure. I was lecturing them on safety in the home, and so on, while suturing. His father was not listening. I asked why he was allowed to play near a potential source of danger. His mother replied that she never thought he could pull down the crates because of how heavy they were. I was still thanking God they were empty, when the father said:
“My son is very strong like his father! How many children his age, can do that” I could not believe my ears. He went on to boast of his son’s prowess, how he often fell and felt no pain. In fact, he was not surprised we had to sedate him, because he fully expected him to fight like a tiger! He went on and on about how his tribe and kindred were populated by warriors. It was unbelievable.
A parent should not be in awe of his own child. Do not love him so much that he can get away with blue murder. He will drive a stake through your heart. Did I expect him to punish the boy for his ‘mistake’? No, in that case, he was too young to know what he was doing. However, going ahead to celebrate him, showed a pattern of “mal-parenting”, if I may coin the word. He would probably congratulate him at home for nearly killing himself, since he was a warrior!
Why must we speak up? We are not immune to the consequences of the mistakes of others. Your child, nephew, neice, whatever, must know when he or she has gone wrong, and must accept responsibility. All from a young age. Do not be afraid to punish, else that child will grow to punish you. Often I tell my son, “I will discipline you today, so that you will make me proud tomorrow” Let’s nip this trend in the bud. Teach children to be courteous, respectful, thankful, and obedient. Show your displeasure when they disobey you publicly. Don’t smile and shrug, speak up boldly. Sometimes, they act up in public, hoping you’ll be too shy to stop them.
Proverbs says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of the child, but the rod of correction drives it far from him” Choose your own method, just make sure it works. Here’s to a better society, cheers