Yesterday was children’s day, I’m sure that those who have kids would have had reasons to celebrate; take their kids out and do fun stuff together.

For some strange reasons, I kept wishing it fell on a week day, not like I’m a child or anything and I would get a holiday off work but if I were a child, it would have been fun to stay home and get some extra hours of sleep, as opposed to being woken up by 6am or earlier when you live in Lagos, just so you can be ready before the school bus arrives… what a waste of a holiday I thought.! (By the way, I never liked school as a child *chuckles*)

So, earlier in the week, my friend and I had tried to recall some of our childhood memories, and how this generation of children, are being robbed of their childhood. Manufacturing companies who made the best biscuits and chocolates that no longer existed; speedy biscuit, and its cousin coconut biscuit were my all time favorites and goody goody chocolate, best ever made.!

Then we talked about “Polo Park” an amusement park which had existed in the 90s in the Coal City, how our parents used to take us there every Sunday. If you were a child in those days and you weren’t in Polo Park on Sunday, you would go home from school the next day crying, because the other kids will talk about all the fun that they had so much, that you would literally feel like your life as a child was most miserable. (Luckily for me; my mum took us there every Sunday and so I never had reasons to cry, even when we couldn’t afford all the rides, we were just grateful to be there, just so our friends will see us and say that they saw us there in class the next day..lol)

Now, the idea isn’t to bore us with stories of my own childhood but I am grateful that I have some pretty good memories. Yesterday in church, in the spirit of the children’s day celebration, the kids were asked to write about the things that they wanted from their parents and things that they would want their parents to change. After that, some children were selected and asked to randomly read what all the children had written. At this point, I saw tears well up in the eyes of almost everyone around me, as they gradually realized that we are failing our children.

A child wrote: “I want mummy to spend more time with us”, another wrote: “I want daddy and mummy to stop fighting everyday” and another wrote: “I want daddy to say he loves me and hug me more often” and yet another: “I want daddy to love mummy”.

Almost everything that was read could be summed up in these four and you could just imagine the families where these children were being brought up in. Families where the parents are so busy pursuing fame, career, or what not and have abandoned their children, possibly in the hands of maids who are usually the perpetrators of physical and sexual abuse of children. Families where the parents have no love for each other, constantly fighting and the children are exposed to these situations, families where children are not told their worth, hugged closely and love verbally expressed. Little wonder, the destinies of our tomorrow’s leaders are thwarted, they take to drugs and substance abuse, as they try to numb the pain and escape the horrors at home.

The rest take to violence, as that is the only way they know how to live, having learnt from an early age that matters are settled with the fist, they become wife beaters and most likely delve into more vicious lifestyles.

I do not have my own biological children yet but I am a mother to many, and I hope that I will be a good mother to my own children, so here are a few pointers I would want to use when I have my kids:

  • Always remember that your children’s future will be shaped to a large extent from what they see and learn from home.
  • Never fight in front of your kids, you think that they do not see these things but they do and it’s etched deep in their memories. Most times, children do not learn what you tell them, they learn by observation; you must always be a good example to your children.
  • Never get too busy for your children, even when your job is demanding, you must always make time for them, take them out and create fun memories, that’s where bonds are formed.
  • It is not enough to show love to your kids by doing basic stuff for them, like paying their fees, buying them books, etc. Tell your children that you love them, hug them closely and kiss their fore heads, this helps to boost their self esteem as they know that their parents are their number one fans.
  • Be approachable and let your kids know that they are human and it is okay to make mistakes. When you form this kind of bond with your children, it makes it easier for them to confide in you, that way; you are able to guide them properly as you should.
  • Keep your children’s secrets and do not advertise their flaws. When your children tell you something in confidence, do not betray their confidence so that they will be able to trust you with information next time.
  • Never compare your children to one another or to other children. Appreciate their differences and relate with them based on that.

I am really sorry for the long read, the whole point that I am trying to make is that we should not wait for children’s day to celebrate our children; we should celebrate them every day.

Every day is children’s day..!




16 thoughts on “EVERY DAY IS CHILDREN’S DAY”

  1. Well done Amaka! Just to say: you wouldn’t have bored me with your story. It was one I was looking forward to hearing. LOL! I know you will tell me personally anyway.

    That being said, I love children a lot and I dislike it when children are pained. Parents should create time for children and endeavour to give them the best of life. Today, adults who never enjoyed their childhood have some sort stiffness in their nature. There is this thing about them that tells you that all was not well.

    Childhood days are days of construction; when people don’t have it well, it tells for the rest of their lives. Therefore parents should ensure that they aren’t raising robots or animals. Let them raise people who will have the true feeling of living and not mere existence so that our world can be a safer and better place.

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