I’m Not Happy With My Son’s Progress In Life

I hope the title isn’t uncomfortable for anybody. But I am comforted by this notion that parenting doesn’t come with a manual, so I guess I will write my own parenting guide book. Perhaps this right here will part of that chapter. By the way, he is five (5).

Do you guys ever feel like your children are not achieving what you think they should be excelling at already? I grapple with this concept of what kids should or should be able to do at a certain age. I struggle because we are all different, and who is to say what kids should or shouldn’t be doing?

I have anxiety about raising a black boy in this world. Apart from natural competitiveness (survival of the fittest), I am anxious about raising a wholesome human being. A strong-willed black man who will have the confidence of a gentle superhero (just look at my cute little Batman superhero – I hope he gets to be rich like Bruce Wayne).

I am scared for him and myself. He doesn’t know it yet, but I am already carrying his fears for him. He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m carrying his pressure of being a black man who fights to be seen and noticed for just being a human being that happens to be male. He doesn’t know it yet, but he has a lot cut out for him. He doesn’t know it yet, but he has a lot of work ahead of him.

WHEN DO WE START PUSHING OUR KIDS TO BE GREAT?

At what age is it okay to push our kids to do the best that they can do. My anxiety has me calling and WhatsApp’ng his teacher, asking, and checking in on his progress. I am pushing him now, but I’m hoping to get a place where he wants to push himself. I want him to demand greatness from himself. I want him to start realising that there’s actually no time to play with toys. I want him to play with the knowledge that whilst he is playing, work awaits him.

I don’t want him to be perfect, I just want him to have a perfectly clear picture of the real world. For him to know that Pepper Peg and Mr. Bean are just distractions. Just entertainment.

“HE’S JUST A KID”

I’m not sure what it actually means, but people always say this. When I call or WhatsApp hi teacher, the response I get is that; “He’s just a kid, so relax”. How do I reconcile that feedback with the knowledge that a kid who is backed by a stronger developmental foundation is more likely to succeed? How do I just accept that “He is just a kid”, when I know that my limited resources means a limited worldview for him, which means limited opportunities for him?

He might be a kid now, but he has the rest of his adult life to live, which forms the majority of life. Soon, he will no longer be a kid. I have fears an anxieties. I don’t want to relax. I want him to know that factually, as a black boy, even though he is cute now, after some time, he will no longer be cute. He will be older and how people view and perceive him now will be the complete opposite.

I just want to prepare him. If parenting doesn’t come with a manual, and in my WIP manual, I have written; “This boy needs to understand that in this world, it matters not what Pepper Peg says, but how strong and confident you are is the sauce”. In this parenting manual of mine; I want to write; “empower yourself and give yourself the best chance, because when shit hits the fan, you only have yourself to fall back on”.

Does anybody else have anxieties about their children, especially boy children, getting things right? Do you have a mental rubric against which you measure your child? I feel like there are some basics things he should easily be comfortable with, or am I just stressing about nothing, and my son will be okay, because; “Ke ngwana”?

If indeed; “he is just a child”, whose responsibility is it ensure that he becomes his best self? Who is going to encourage him? And when will they start doing it, if I stop and don’t do it, because; “he is still just a child”. Is there a signal that one gets to signify that a child is now ready to be pushed?

When do we as parents can start having “healthy” expectations of our kids? I don’t mean ones where I want him to be like me or do what I do, but where I help and push him enough to a point where he actually isn’t dependant on me as a parent? When is it the right time to build a competitive nature in him?

In my parenting manual, this boy of mine needs to know whats up.

My theory is that, a lot of young boys were not channeled properly at an early age; because; “they were just kids”, and now the world is left to deal with adults who think that they are just kids.

Writer: Bogosi Motshegwa

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