Recently, my son and I have had it a little rough as I try to discipline him on matters to do with obedience and responsibility. He has been losing an item daily at school.. little did i know that it all has to do with absent mindedness.
So one night before he slept i said to him, “you’re a good boy and I am sometimes tough on you only because I want you to grow up to be a good person. I want you to grow up to be a man that can take care of himself and not entirely rely on people. I want you to be a responsible young man.”
He then said to me, “mum I know I need to work on obeying and taking care of my things more. But I have this thing that happens in my head. I concentrate on one thing too much that when anyone calls me I cannot hear. It’s called ‘mangoword‘ ” (he likes to invent his own vocabularies).
This had me tongue tied as I knew what my son had just said was accurate. But some people (including me. Shame on me!) Tend to think that he is being outright disobedient anytime he does not respond whenever his name is called out.
After my shame on me moment I said to him, ‘you are right baby and thank you so much for telling me that. We will find a way to deal with your ‘mangoword‘. From now on I will keep what you just told me in mind. Just remember to always apologise whenever you are not able to respond the first time someone calls you. Then kindly ask them to repeat what they had said. It’s only polite.”
That short talk with him taught me the following:
1.That as parents we need and must understand our kids and their personalities. We should not try to change them in the name of disciplining or raising them into ‘good people’ or into people that are easily acceptable to the society. The society is too judgmental anyway regardless of how a person behaves.
2.That you might be unfairly harsh with or tough on your child. Yet how he behaves is not entirely his fault. It could be genetic or as a result of some trauma experienced.
3.Just because you’re the grown up doesn’t mean you can’t learn several things with matters life from your child.
Below is a video of my son introducing himself and his knowledge on the solar system. Enjoy!
When I did some research on absent mindedness i learnt that:
1. A lot of children his age (especially the smart ones) suffer from absent mindedness. Read more on other parents confessions here.
2.Absent mindedness is suffered by children aged between 5 all the way to teenage hood.
3.Absent mindedness is not an entirely bad thing and it does not mean that your child is stupid. Please don’t and never call your child stupid.
4.Absent minded kids are very creative.
5.Grown ups suffer it too. I am a victim because i have suffered depression several times before. I am most absent minded when i remember past events that led to my depression. Also when I am creating or thinking about something I would like to write about or do.
Below are 6 things that we’ve been doing to help with his absent mindedness:
1.He is watching cartoons that educate like Peek a Boo the Dr. Binocs show and less of any other cartoon that adds no value to his learning and brain development.
2.We plan on looking for games or puzzles that will get his mind involved and active.
3.I have bought him Swahili and English story books. We all read them together as a family over the weekends.
4.I am learning how to give him instructions progressively and not a bunch at once. We also go through instructions and rules most nights to make sure that he understands and remembers them. He has also requested that we create a chart where we can list down all the rules and instruction for him to look at whenever he forgets.
5.I am learning to praise him more for things he has done right/well. Rather than pointing out the mistakes he makes. I have realized that I’ve been focusing on how he’s been losing his things on a daily basis. Totally forgetting what a good roller scater he is, how well he performs in school or the knowledge he has on science(mostly on the solar system). This must have been weighing him down.
6.I am learning (work in progress) to let him be a child. To let him learn on his own. And If he keeps making the same mistakes like losing or forgetting his things, then i’ll watch him and let him figure it all out on his own, and teach himself how to remember.
photo/My son Roger and I
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