Cecilia was trying to finish typing her report on the laptop and send it to her boss before her deadline expired. Beside her was Bobo, her two-year old son crying and demanding Cecilia’s Samsung phone to play with. The woman didn’t want ‘disturbance’, so she gave her phone to Bobo.
Minutes later, she heard a smashing noise; Bobo had hit the phone on the tiles. The screen shattered.
She told me about it later, lamenting how she had to spend over forty thousand naira to fix the broken screen.
David was driving his children home from school one Friday, his four year-old son, Edu, in front seat; two year-old daughter Oge, and six-year old son Nnaemeka both at the back.
Edu would touch everything on the dashboard, and cry if his father told him to stop.
Next, Edu started to touch the gear lever. At the traffic light, David slowed down and waited for the red light to turn to green. Just as the light cleared and David was about to drive off, Edu drew the gear lever backwards. With David’s foot on the brake pad, Edu successfully, albeit unintentionally, changed gears to reverse; David released his foot to move forward, but the car moved backwards and hit the front bumper of another car behind.
David told me about it, lamenting how much he spent at the mechanic to repair the car his own had hit.
In each instance, the question I asked was:
“Does your child not have a toy to play with?”
In defence, both Cecilia and David had said they didn’t want their children to cry.
I asked again:
“Would your child have died if you didn’t let him play with your phone/gear lever?”
Cecilia and David are examples of parents who let their children play with everything, and we can see how it ended for them.
The essence of buying toys for children is, among other things, for them to play with specific objects chosen by the parents. This means that children are not meant to play with everything, no matter how much they protest. It is necessary for parents to stand their ground too when refusing children playing with objects they should not play with.
It is, in fact, careless, weak, and risky to allow children play with certain things, like David allowed Edu to play with the gear lever.
Being a loving parent is commendable, but being firm in decisions concerning safety and discipline is never negotiable, especially when dealing with children too young to understand these things.Nice one
Everything Is Not a Toy for Your Child