Be mindful of what you say before the children

Be mindful of what you say before the children. People who are
fond of using sexual expletives need to turn a new leaf.

Agatha Emeadi

I cannot forget a trip I took to the southeast for a family ceremony.
 My sister and I went round to say hello to our relatives. When we got
to the door of one of our kinsmen, his four-year-old son ran out to
 say hello to his big aunties who returned from the city. We were 
pleased with his smartness in recognizing his relations at a tender
 age. We asked him cheerfully, ‘where is your mummy?’ Playfully, the
 boy said in vernacular, ojere ebe ndi iko ya! Translation: “She has 
gone to visit her lover.” Imagine such atrocious thing being said by a 
four-year-old about his biological mother. How could he know what it
 means for a married woman to have a lover, an indication of adultery?


READ ALSO: Man kills wife over adultery

We were furious at the little boy’s statement. There was displeasure 
on my face, I called the little boy, held his hand and said, ‘Don’t
ever say that again, your mother has no lover outside her home, your 
daddy is her lover. Is that understood? He nodded, but said, ‘that is
 what my daddy used to say.’ I went to explain to him that his father 
did not mean to insult his mummy, rather he was teasing her. It took 
me a lot to correct my little boy.


It was obvious that the poor boy did not even know what he said;
 neither did he know the magnitude of his utterance, not to talk of the
import of the statement. He did not even know that what he said to us
being Umu Ada (great daughters of the family) was enough to send his 
mother packing from her matrimonial home. That was what he was hearing 
his father say very often. But his innocence saved the day.

Meanwhile, the woman earns an honest living through her petty trading 
in the village. It is also possible that it was a joke between a
 husband and his wife. But when their child picked it up and repeated 
it to the hearing of the parents, what was their reaction. Was he 
immediately corrected or the error allowed to pass as one of those 
things and he carried on with it until the day he embarrassed the 
mother before outsiders.


Frequent misunderstanding and altercation at home could also be a
reason for the couple to use foul language. Now the only son of this 
family picked the dirty part and it took external teaching to correct
and wipe away such from him. The innocent boy was in his little world
 enjoying himself unknowingly.


In the same manner little children learn and parrot nursery school
 rhymes without knowing their meaning, they could also pick up foul
 language. Many cannot even pronounce the wordings of the rhymes well,
 but they merrily sing them and jump to the beat in class and at home.
 What they know is what they hear from their class teacher; whatever
 she sings and reads out to them, they repeat.


It calls for concern that couples misuse language, particularly in the
presence of their children. Both husbands and wives are guilty of this 
sin, especially when either spouse feels hurt. What we fail to 
understand is that children at this age learn by what they hear and 
see. At tender age, they are not capable to understand the reason or 
import of what they hear, and judge between right and wrong.

Imagine a family scenario, where the wife always calls the husband ‘Honey’ as a pet name and their under-aged children then joined their
 mum in also addressing their father as honey because they always heard
their mother call him that way. There are children who call their 
mother ‘auntie’ because they followed the language of the house-help
who calls her madam, ‘auntie’ until they were corrected.

There are many ways spouses can express displeasure without using 
vulgar language before the children. It will save the couple from 
embarrassment. 
Even single parents who live with family members or friends are not 
spared. Be mindful of what you say before the children. People who are
fond of using sexual expletives need to turn a new leaf. The danger it 
poses is not only in the shame that it could generate when your foul
 language is being repeated but also in hindering the child from being 
properly equipped to grow with wisdom, knowledge and understanding. When children are well brought up, it shows in the character and
 activities.

Parents need to know that if their language is humane, polite and
 decorous or rotten, the children will naturally follow their example.
 Nothing could be more embarrassing than when your own child puts you
to shame by revealing a particular secret they heard from you.

A young pastor was once sanctioned by the elders of the church after 
he preached a sermon. It was a wedding ceremony, and the pastor 
charged the bridegroom to be a responsible husband to his wife. Then
 he said, if not other men will put hand in her “nyash”. That was such 
a horrible and vulgar thing for a cleric to utter from the pulpit for 
that matter! This was the language that had stuck with him from his
youth even after he had become a pastor, but it did not go down well
 with the congregation.


A week to the birthday party of a neighbour’s child, the little girl
 came back from school and told her mother that her class teacher
 (‘aunty’) said her birthday cake should come with her to the school to
share with her classmates. The mother flippantly said, ‘all these your 
beggy-beggy teachers! The next day, the girl transported her mummy’s
 message to her class teacher: ‘my mummy said you are beggy-beggy 
teachers.’

The teacher boiled in anger. Who wouldn’t be? She reported to the
 school management and that mummy was invited for questioning because 
they knew the child said the truth. The altercation between the woman
 and school was textbook case confrontation.

By the end of the day, she 
lost her face with the school authority due to a careless statement
 made in the privacy of her home, and which her innocent daughter could
 not process well and could not have been expected to know that she was 
not supposed to repeat to the hearing of the teacher. Today she finds
it difficult to walk around freely in the school, and learnt the hard
way to bridle her tongue. This goes to teach parents to be mindful of
what they say before the children to avoid humiliation.


A woman who tags her husband a ‘useless man’ over a slight 
disagreement needs deliverance. A child was asked what his father does
for a living and he said: ‘My daddy is a useless man.’ If the ‘useless
man’ father tries to correct his teenage children, they would of
 course quietly mutter their mother’s language, to insult their father.
 That is power of wrong maternal influence on children.

Parents who haul verbal insults such as ‘stupid, idiot, fool’ at each
 other need to change because the children are watching and imbibing
 this unwholesome practice. They begin to deploy the practice at school
 against their fellow students. Adults and parents who also haul such
 words at children for a little error or mistake need to desist from 
this wrong practice. Correct your children with the right words.

When in-laws say these in reference to a child, “like father, like 
son; like mother, like daughter,” then something is wrong somewhere.

Children are the little watchdogs and copy-cats in the house, so watch 
what you say around them.

Apart from abusive language, parents who talk carelessly, boastfully
 with arrogance and pride before their children are giving their
 children the wrong upbringing as the children would easily learn such
boastful character.


What about parents who tell their children lies? Greatest offence of
 our time! Remember the story of the medical doctor who was told that
his uncle passed on in Ghana. The first thing he remembered was the
wristwatch the dead man promised him when he was 15 years old, that
he would give him if he came first in his class. The dead man never
 fulfilled his promise.

A sister in the church testified of how God delivered her from 
embarrassing begging. She had gone to her own maternal cousin who was 
financially steadier to ask for monetary support. After she left, her
cousin made jest of he. The next time she came around, as soon as she
 entered her cousin’s sitting room, with smiles thinking she was home,
 her cousin’s daughter said, ‘my mummy said you always come here to
 borrow money.’ There was pin-drop silence in the house. The two 
cousins were embarrassed and became sworn enemies for years.

Some people are masters with the use of foul languages. At the least
 aggravation, hell will be let loose and all manner of foul languages 
would fall out.

The danger of this is that words spoken out cannot be taken in again. 
It would rather spread like harmattan fire and cause more havoc. We 
all need to moderate our utterances.

READ ALSO: When foul is fair

The post Be mindful of what you say before the children appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news

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