A voluntary comment by one of my secondary school children’s teachers when I came to the school to take them home for their holidays was that “Juliet is doing well, but the problem is Carol.” My children had been in the boarding house for about three months. So, my immediate response was to seek for more information about their evolving personality issues from one of those who stayed with them in school. My intention was to understand the nature and extent of support each of them would require during the holiday.
“What kind of problem did Carol give?’ I asked with keen interest.
‘Well, her sister is quiet while she is not” was the teacher’s response.
“Please, I will appreciate if you mention a particular problem Carol created or was involved in” I requested.
“It is just that she is bold. Her sister is on the quiet side.’’ said the teacher.
Her last statement was all I needed to understand her confusion. I became worried that this confusion was capable of causing a lot of pollution in Carol’s personality development in the school. So, I went ahead to educate her.
I told her that the respective personality disposition of every child is unique. Bold people are as important to humanity as the timid people because a timid person would be a misfit in a situation that requires boldness, the same way that a bold person may not function well in a situation that requires timidity. It was really unfortunate that the teacher described a child as a problem because the child had a bold personality disposition. This description, if not that it was nipped in the bud, could have introduced such impurities as negative branding, demonization, confusion, unrealistic expectation, frustration, alienation and resentment into the parenting relationship my child had with her parents and teachers.
What should be paramount in the parenting process of any child is that discipline is achieved. The desire of great parents should be to properly develop every child to express his or her unique personality in righteousness.
-Uchenna N. Nduka