BY Ife Adeoti-Adeagbo
Productive Parenting as I see it…
Who earns the right to be called a parent? Any man matured enough to donate a viable sperm to make a baby? Or any woman is able to keep an embryo in her womb long enough to bring about a child?
What makes a productive parent? Is it providing food and shelter as much as you can? Is it providing solid education to the best of your ability? Is it giving discipline and punishment when the child misbehaves? Is it giving the child enough money anytime asked?
These questions are very important because we silently judge our parents and judge ourselves as parent based on the answer we give them?
My next question is: who sets the standard? Where do parents get their education from? Is parenting just a natural role or a profession to take responsibility for and study? Who assesses a successful parent? Who chastises or correct the errors of parents? Or are they infallible, flawless and fail-safe? Who can a child report to when he feels ill-treated and abused even by his parent?
I cannot answer all of these questions and many more but this is productive parenting as I see it….
Productive parenting is giving a viable DNA or stretching to adopt one into your space. It is putting food on the table and clothes on the body. It is cooking the meals, cleaning the house and caring for the soul. Productive parenting is making survival and security both in the present and for the future possible. It is ensuring that there is material provision and protection from all forms of physical harm.
Yet it is going beyond the peripheral and the surface, it is moving past the necessities and drilling deeper into the core of parenting. Productive parenting is giving more than fishes to teaching how to fish. Productive parenting is being the source and therefore helping the child to connect her true identity. It is creating an environment where authenticity and genuineness can thrive. If a child has to pretend in his/her home, then I question that parenting style and substance.
Productive parenting is protecting from emotional and spiritual harm. Sensitivity is the tool and compassion is the way. This parenting breeds pure and wise children not innocently naïve ones who fall prey to every deception. This parenting does not create vulnerable children by ignorance and self-satisfaction but it goes ahead of its offspring, travels the journey and comes back to take along with careful instructions and direction.
This parenting is about being matured enough to have the adult language but skillful enough to speak the child’s language in order to communicate effectively. It identifies the uniqueness of each of the entity within its dwelling, respects individual’s space and celebrates the exclusivity in everyone. This does not allow for anyone to be oppressed by the shadow of another’s strengths or to feel empowered only by feasting on other’s weakness because everyone is rare, matchless and exceptional.
Productive parenting transcends flesh and blood, instincts and ego; it seeks to live a worthy life, reproduce itself uniquely through its offspring and leave a legacy. It is not a matter of age or marital status; it is about being the source and sustainer of worthy citizens.
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