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Dealing with children’s embarrassment is one of the herculean tasks of parenting which most parents dread to face.

I recall the experience of my friend, Amaka.

Amaka was travelling with her five-year old nephew in a public bus.

As was common with women, Amaka had two big bags with her, and because there wasn’t enough space inside the bus, the bags were loaded in the boot of the bus, while Amaka and her nephew sat at the back, close to the boot.

The bus was speeding when it suddenly ran into some potholes, so the boot flew open and bags fell off, including one of Amaka’s bags in which she had packed her underwear.

As the bus stopped, there were panties, brassieres and other underwear belonging to Amaka all over the road. She nearly died of embarrassment.

Weeks later, Amaka and her nephew were plying that route again, and as they got to the area where that incident happened, her nephew tapped Amaka and said aloud:

“Aunty, see that place that your bag fell and your pants scattered on the road.”

Silence.

People in the bus turned to look at the aunty.

Amaka was dead with embarrassment.

*******

 I also recall a story my friend, Cecilia, told me.

Cecilia and her husband had three children in their twelve years of marriage. Their last child, Benjamin, came late and was only seven years old.

One day, Cecilia and her family visited her husband’s younger brother, Anthony’s family in Aguda, Surulere. While they were at the table eating, Anthony and his wife were occasionally feeding each other. They were just a few months into marriage, so everything was still so novel to them.

Benjamin was watching the open display of affection, and suddenly he asked:

“Mummy, why is it that you and Daddy don’t use to feed each other like this?”

Cecilia and her husband stared at each other red-faced.

*****

So what are steps to be taken in dealing with children’s embarrassment?

  • Raise Your Child to Talk in Public Only When Asked to:

Most times, children say embarrassing things when they say things they haven’t been asked to say. Amaka didn’t ask her nephew to remind her of the spot where her bag fell off the bus. Cecilia didn’t ask Benjamin to remind her and her husband that they were no longer feeding each other during meals.

If you can stop your children from talking without control in public, then you have taken a big step towards dealing with children’s embarrassment.

  • Raise Your Child to Speak in Low Tones When Not Speaking to More Than Two Persons

It is somehow annoying to hear people who shout when they speak to just one or two persons very close to them physically, when they are not even arguing. It’s common with phone calls.

Children observe these things and imbibe them while growing up. But parents can raise their children differently.

If Amaka’s nephew had spoken to her quietly, maybe only one person would have heard him, and the embarrassment would have been very minimal. Besides, speaking quietly while in public transport is the proper way to behave.

So, there you have them –two steps to take in dealing with children’s embarrassment.

I hope they are of help?

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3 Comments

Flora Ndiwe · May 7, 2019 at 3:58 am

Lovely article. I always look forward to the stories

    Chike Justin · May 15, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Parenting truly is hard. Thanks for the piece, its really nice and helpful. Cheers

Cynthia Amuche · May 10, 2019 at 6:24 pm

Amazing. I’m sure going to practice them on my kids.

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