‘As a way forward, I strongly advise custodians, particularly parents to promote interaction with the children under their care children in the native dialect. We must recognize that the greatest weapon of cultural preservation is the language of a people.’
Custodians of the Child must as a matter of necessity EMBRACE the Triple M Principle: MODELLING, MENTORING and MOULDING: This begins with understanding the purpose of raising children…
Mentoring: mentoring is one of the inevitable responsibilities of every responsible custodian of the child. By mentoring we refer to a WISE and TRUSTED counsellor or coach. I will like emphasise the inevitable roles of WISDOM, which must be deliberately acquired and TRUST, which must be build with faith, time, discipline and patience.
Here are the words of Susan Wesley: ‘I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family… I cannot but look upon every soul…under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am neither a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe, the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles…’
In accomplishing mentoring I recommend The Susan Wesley 16 Rules with which she raised her children, who included John Wesley, the founder of Methodist Church and Charles Wesley, who wrote more than 6,000 Christian hymns:
- No eating between meals.
- All children in bed by 8:00pm
- Take your medicine without complaining
- Subdue self will in each child.
- Work with God to save the soul of each child.
- Teach child to pray as soon as he can speak
- Require all to be still during family worship
- Give children nothing they cry for
- Give them only what they ask for politely
- To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed
- Do not allow a sinful act to go unpunished
- Command and reward good behavior
- Preserve property rights, even in the smallest matters
- Strictly observe all promises.
- Require no daughter to work before she can read well.
- Teach children to fear the rod.
Before I leave the issue of mentoring, I will like to share with you something we are all overlooking today-our native language. The truth of the matter is that our traditional languages are going into extinction. Nobody wants to touch them with a long pole. We have all fallen for foreign languages. It is considered a sign of civilisation when a child cannot speak his/her mother tongues. We see it as a major disgrace if our children cannot communicate effectively with foreign language. It is a pathetic sign of neo-colonialism. It is call voluntary colonialism.
As a way forward, I strongly advise custodians, particularly parents to promote interaction with the children under their care children in the native dialect. We must recognize that the greatest weapon of cultural preservation is the language of a people. Please note here that when I talk about culture, I mean the values of a people, which agree with the universal principles of how God created this world to function.
I share the lucid thoughts of Olakunle Soriayn that a foreign language should not be the determinant factor of progress in one’s own country. It is important to note that language has been identified as a tool of cultural and national emancipation. Here is Frantz Fanon’s view on this matter of language: ‘I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language. To speak means to be in a position to use certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization…Speaking French means that one accepts, or is coerced into accepting, the collective consciousness of the French.’
Modelling: It is an established truth that childrenlook to the custodians for direction. Such direction is not necessarily by what the custodians say but by what they do. Let share with you profound principles on modelling:
- Margaret E. Stephenson in her forward to Maria Montessori’s ‘The Secret of Childhood’ as follows: ‘in whatever country a child may be born is endowed with what Dr. Montessori called the ‘the absorbent mind…’ This absorbent mind does not only take language and reproduce it. It absorbs all that makes for the culture of the country and creates the native, the man of a particular time and place. Did the Frenchman learn to be French, the American, American, the Hindu, Hindu after he entered school? The absorption of culture, of customs, of ideas, ideals, of sentiments, feeling, emotions, religion, take place during the period of the absorbent mind, in the child from zero to six. This quite obviously is going on all over the world.’
- Dr. Wade F. Horn in his article, ‘Why There Is No Substitute for Parents,’ in the book Profiles of Success as follows: ‘Parents socialize children through two mechanisms. The first is teaching through direct instruction reinforced by a combination of rewards and punishments for acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The second is teaching by example. Of the two, the latter is the more important mechanism since most complex human behavior is acquired through observational learning. Children are much more likely to do as a parent does than as parent says. This is why parents who lie and cheat tend to raise children who lie and cheat, despite any direct instruction to the contrary. As Benjamin Franklin once observed, the best sermon is indeed a good example.’
- Brian Mast wrote as about Zig Ziglar as follows: ‘His mother worked hard to keep the family going, and Ziglar adds, “She was not only the hardest-working person I’ve ever known, but she was probably the wisest person I’ve ever known” Though she had only a fifth-grade education, her insight helped shape Ziglar’s thinking. Even at a young age, he remembers noticing that some children had things he didn’t have, but he was grateful for a loving mother who had great faith and raised her children on hard work and character.’
In view of the recognition of the impact of modelling on children upbringing, the custodians of the mind of the child must make a commitment that the entirety of their life will be defined by visionary existence, purpose and principle-based living and missionary dedication in The-Best-Interest-of-the-Child.
Moulding: thegoal of mentoring and modelling is moulding of the child in godly image. Mentoring and modelling is to provide a mode for the child to conform to. It must therefore be the ultimate goals of the custodians to ensure that children are moulded into a complete child.
I hope you found your visit and stay here today worth your time. I hope to see you here tomorrow. Stay INSPIRED.
Think the child…Think Today…Think Tomorrow…
POINT 2 PONDER:
‘It is an established truth that children look to the custodians for direction. Such direction is not necessarily by what the custodians say but by what they do.’
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