So on Saturday evening, I went with Lakhia to visit my neighbour and as usual, we had some quality ‘girly’ time out.
As we stepped out of their gate, I felt Lakhia didn’t greet my neighbor good bye ‘properly’. It only came out as an almost silent ‘bye’ which I felt was not only as one would say to her peer group, I wasn’t also sure my neighbor heard her.
As a Family Life Engineer, it rubbed on my ego that my daughter couldn’t even greet ‘well enough’!
I began to jumpstart her to say ‘odaro ma’. All she did was a mere whisper. Say it louder, I encouraged. Yet, all that came out remained so docile.
I was getting ashamed. However, I had learnt that blowing hot in such a scenario may be counter productive.
So yesterday morning, as I shared the story of Prophet Zakariyya as told in the beginning part of Surah Maryam with her, I was excited at verse 14: “He (Yahya or John) was dutiful to his parents and he was not arrogant or disobedient.”
Then yes, we started to flesh out ‘dutiful’ and ‘obedient’ to one’s parents.
Naturally, I took it back to the previous day’s event. “Is it obedience when one ignores her parent’s request to show good manners?”
And she said to me: I was shy to greet her in Yoruba because one day, when Aunty K came to our house and I said “ki le wi?”, she laughed and I was somehow shy and thought I should not do it (speak Yoruba) again when outsiders are there.
Children like and crave for the validation of adults who they value. Apparently, the laughter of Aunty K, who she held in high esteem, had given her a kinda limiting belief which told her that it wasn’t as cool (or expected) to speak Yoruba in public. And here I was telling her to do the exact thing! So obviously, she didn’t want my neighbor too, to think she wasn’t ‘cool’.
So I said to Lakhia:
Language is a skill- it isn’t something to be shy or ashamed about.
Shyness is a conversation that sometimes goes on in our head that holds us back from showing up in our full regalia. Being a multi-lingual speaker is a great thing!
It can open new possibilities for you!
Consider that you are fluent in Yoruba, English, Hausa, Ibo, Arabic and Chinese, have you taught of the advantages these could bring?
You may be asked to represent your country in some international event just because of your language versatility!
Lakhia nods and wears a smile that depicted agreement.
When you begin to hear that voice telling you to be shy, I continued, mentally stretch out your hand like you are blocking/stopping/telling it to hold on. Say thank you to it and tell that voice you appreciate its positive intent but hey, you don’t need it here!
Now, where would you need shyness? When you are faced with a situation to do what God dislikes or forbids. Then you are shy of God’s Presence and you back off.
Fast forward to later in the evening and we met with some other families.
Lakhia came to me and said: what you taught me today has helped me here!
Notice that of the hundreds of communication our children receive daily, a huge percentage is instructional- wake up, brush, pray, take a bath, get dressed, eat, wash the plates, go to school, do your homework, do this chore, help him out, put it there, bring it here etc.
This means that the average child receives communication that are more on correcting, criticizing or arguing.
This leaves only a few for guidance on morals, values, ethics, attitudes and self-esteem.
Children are our future and we have the obligation to guide them as well as we can so they reach their full potential.
Unfortunately, we unintentionally model behaviour that is not resourceful to them and give them limiting beliefs.
When our children show up with certain traits, there’s always a why. Be curious to see beneath the surface (behaviour) and understand what is really going on and their why. When this appears limiting, empower them with something more compelling.
Now, does this mean Lakhia will always always be on point about my new teaching?
I can help her by anchoring this event for her so that when the limiting beliefs creep in again, all she’ll do is to fire her anchor and she’ll be repositioned to be at her best again & again!
This is Parenting… Want to learn more about anchoring?
Falimy Life Engr