Teaching Children Responsibilities: Sharing the I’m D-SMARTTEESSTT™ Principle (4)

Opening Charge

‘By self respect here I mean a child being taught to treat himself with the dignity his individuality deserves. When a child is grounded in that, he extends it to others and he demands it from others.’

Dear friends and stakeholders, I was not able to come to you on Friday. I was pressed beyond measures. It took the grace of God for me to retain my sanity on this day when I could identify spirit, soul and body with the statement of Jacob when he said, ‘all these things are against me.’ I give God the glory that the mountain moved at last and disgrace was not allowed to tabernacle over us.

I am back today fresh and shining, ready to exhale and pour my heart out on this matter of our children. I beg to continue where I stopped the last time we met here. Please enjoy the day. I will continue to share with you I’m D-SMARTTEESSTT™ Principle as a template for teaching children responsibilities:

  • Advance daily: to teach the child to defeat ignorance one day at a time like Ben Carson’s mum; Sonya Carson did to forever make a mark in the lives of her children. Billy Graham said of his mother in his autobiography, Just As I Came thus ‘At home, from my earliest years, Mother encouraged me in the habit of reading. The exploits of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest entranced me. I read the whole Tom Swift series, and the Rover Boys… Before I was ten, she had made me memorize the Westminster [Presbyterian] Shorter Catechism…Mother also prodded me to read The Book of Knowledge, an encyclopedia.’
  • Respect Yourself: to teach the child that nobody is going to respect him above how he respects himself and that he will never be disrespected by anyone until he disrespects himself. By self respect here I mean a child being taught to treat himself with the dignity his individuality deserves. When a child is grounded in that, he extends it to others and he demands it from others.
  • Think beyond yourself: to teach our children that if they live to get, they will get. But if they live to give, they will get more. This is a point we need to dwell on with our children. We live in a country, where the majority of our people are always thinking about what they can get. I think it is a mentality that has been successfully passed down. A six year old was once asked what he would do if voted as the president of Nigeria. His response was very instructive: ‘If I am voted president of Nigeria, I will buy one car for my dad, one for my mum, one for myself and I will resign.’
  • Tell your stories of victories:  to teach the child to encourage himself with the stories of his personal victories.  The other side of the coin is to admonish the child that the world is looking for hope and it (hope) is written in his stories of victories told.
  • Exude your flavour: to teach our children that he is unique and should promote their uniqueness.
  • Empathy- it refers to helping the child to always put himself in other people’s shoes and be touched with the feelings of their infirmities. It will help the child to desist from being victims of the normal and destructive tendency of interpreting an unfavourable situation from his sense of pain.    It helps him to always seek and see the full picture in every situation before taking a decision.
  • Seek meaningful relationships: We must teach our children to seek meaningful relationships. A relationship is meaningful when it becomes a reference point to progress. We are all created for relationships. Therefore, we cannot run away from them; we teach our children how to make friends and influence people.
  • Speed-limit conscious: to teach the child that there is not fast lane anywhere. Therefore, he must pay his dues if he wants to make difference and climb the ladders of life.
  • Take it easy with yourself: we must teach children that they will make mistake and must be comfortable with their mistakes. We must make them understand that no one is perfect and they must embrace their mistakes and be ready to make corrections.
  • Turn to God: we must teach our children that God rules in the affairs of men and for them to make a difference in life they must cultivate a rich relationship with Him.

I am out of here friend. I hope you found your visit today worth the time. I will be here tomorrow to share another lines of thoughts. Till then, I charge you, live INSPIRED.

I’m Taiwo Akinlami & I Lead the TeacherFIRE™ Revolution.


‘A relationship is meaningful when it becomes a reference point to progress.’


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