In the first post, we looked at the Challenges of Mentoring Your Children. We continue in this post with the M’s of Mentoring your Children.
It is expected they will respect you as a father or mother, but be their friend. Try to know their lingo, music, fears, pressures, expectations, and pleasures.
My parents discussed a lot of things with me. I also try to make my children feel free to discuss issues with me. I try to know which partner of the opposite sex that is associating with them. I express my fears and expectations. The only time this protocol was rebelled against brought a terrible experience that we are yet to recover from.
Even though you befriend them, create boundaries, but create fun and fondness with them.
I have, once, carried my son to meet a lady he wants to marry. They were in the backseat and I was their driver. I took them to a restaurant and he bought food for her, while I sat at a distance, out of view with my friend. At least I know who is in his life, and I expect high standards of behaviour.
I discuss a lot of ideas with my children, Any one that decides to behave otherwise, has him/herself to blame. I will always allow you to feel the pain and pay the price for going against wise counsel, but I will never abandon you.
When you come to your senses, you will know that Time Is an Impartial Judge.
This is a very difficult aspect of mentoring your own child.
You must agree with me that you have character flaws you are battling with as a father or mother. However, demonstrate to them the good aspects of your life. Denounce that aspect where you fall short of expectations. Be frank with them.
I have a friend whose father drank so much, but he hardly drinks alcohol. I know several people whose fathers were polygamous, but have vowed never to be polygamous.
My father and my mother fought a lot. I made it a point of caution for it not to be an identity in my family. The first five years were not easy, but God has helped me. My children know I don’t cheat, I don’t borrow money from banks, I don’t run after people, and I don’t tolerate rubbish. I don’t commit adultery and they know it.
But I have my flaws and they know them. They tactfully correct me, especially my last child and third son.
Money has the following Ms.
You must teach your children how legitimate money is made. That’s a great challenge in Nigeria.
I was in the house of a top politician who gave me some money after I spoke in his house twice. My last child asked me to return the two envelopes, and I did. The politician was shocked.
You will see my last child carrying cucumber on his head in sacks. You can also see me with a bucket of cucumbers on my head. I want to teach him the dignity of earning money profusely. He initiated the movement to harvest cucumbers today, and we harvested about 12 bags of cucumbers. He carried some sacks on his head to the SUV we took to the farm.
My daughter and my granddaughter went in her car to hawk cucumbers. I sent two of my sons to Massachusetts in the United States of America to work during their summer holidays. They washed dishes, served in restaurants, worked in retail shops, and worked on a golf course before going back to Europe. I was deliberately creating the value of work and legitimate money in their minds.
When your children don’t know how hard legitimate money is made, they will squander your legacy when you die. Unfortunately, it’s so common in the Niger Delta.
Management of Money
I have been explaining the principles of frugality and reinvestment to my last child; it’s deliberately done. I put the money in his care. He sees how it is made, and how it is spent. He knows how difficult it is to be made and how painful it is to be spent or make expenses.
When he returned from Europe, I put him in charge of the transport section; within a few months, he understood that it was easier to manage demons than drivers. We discuss how much to pay workers that work for us. I explain to him the challenges of doing business in the street.
Maintenance of Money
There were real financial challenges for us during the lockdown.
He, at least, saw the need to have financial reserves and multiple streams of income. He saw for himself, and those I showed him, people who were in financial difficulties because of previous wasted years.
Mentoring your child must include value for materials, and how to protect, service, and preserve them. If you don’t do that, whatever you laboured for, will be destroyed even in your lifetime.
You must teach them that even though you are a ‘rich’ man, you cannot afford to tolerate recklessness and wastage of materials.
It is also imperative that you provide the best materials for him to work with; if not, frustration will make them lose interest in whatever that are doing,
Introduce your children to your networks of friends, business partners, relatives, and people that they will need in future. Let them know the peculiarities of each of them.
There are those they must avoid or relate with utmost caution in place; let them know, but let them learn to harness their strengths.
Learn to maximise every moment you have with them.
There were moments the current Leader of Dubai had with his grandfather that still act as guiding principles for him.
My last child is an adult, but I try to spend time with him to study the word of God during breakfast; although not regularly, but we reflect on them as we take a walk in the evening or when we are driving to the farm.
I have been travelling with my daughter and granddaughter to speak in several cities within Nigeria. They represent some of the best times we have had together. Ese, Ejiro, my granddaughter, and I went in her car to the farm. My granddaughter saw cassava leaves for the first time.
The names of those who died in COVID-19 in the United States of America were published in the New York Times. A little statement was made about each person.
My wife and I used to go out at about 12 midnight to pick snails in our small plantain farm in our compound. We cracked a lot of jokes with so much laughter. Some of those jokes were memories of what my late mother-in-law used to say.
Create good memories for them. Memories are like diamonds; they increase in value with time.
There are memories of my father that put me in check, and others that act as propellants.
A prominent person died in one of our communities recently; he built a very beautiful country home. He was buried the next day or so in the very beautiful mansion he built. I noticed that the children were very relaxed as preparations for the burial were going on. They were not thinking of money, cost, or materials for entertainment; not at all.
That singular incident will leave a mark in the minds of the children not to be a burden to their own children. There are some landmarks you leave behind that make your descendants, yet unborn, want to be like you.
Provide momentum for your children as you mentor them.
Provide leverage and goodwill for them to take off, even in your lifetime.
My last child said that most parents run until they faint before the children pick up the baton. It is better to hand over the baton while you are still strong and running. If you faint, the children might not know if they should turn back to resuscitate you, or pick the baton and abandon you.
A lot of the expensive schools we send our children to, hardly teach them what works in reality, and the peculiarities of the streets and the outside world.
We might end up training workers and servants, without training our children on how things work. The prodigal son did not know how the father’s wealth was created. You will definitely destroy anything you don’t read the manual, before using, if it is complex. If you don’t know how a drug works, the dosage, and the precautionary measures to take, you are most likely to abuse the drug and die from it.
We are too busy to have time to answer questions from our children. They are so distant from us that we always shout at them. Since they can’t learn from us, they learn from outsiders. Most likely, who they will learn from, and what they will learn, do not tally with your family values or reality.
The Ibos raise millionaires regularly because of their mentoring system in business. It’s so effective and unique that outsiders are now coming to Nigeria to study the Alaba International Market System of Mentoring.
One of the days, Ese cut an okra plant thinking it was a weed. It was very amusing, but I was also worried. Imagine him being a member of the House of Assembly in my state without knowing how an okra plant looks like.
This is one problem we are going to have very soon. We are raising children, overseas and locally, who don’t know what the reality of daily life is.
When there are leaders in politics and business who do not understand hardship and poverty, it will be very dangerous and disastrous.
Nobody is born wise. Wisdom is mostly acquired by counsel and experience.
We, the Urhobos from Midwestern Nigeria, have a saying that what an old man sees sitting down, a young person might not see it, even if he climbs a tree.
A lot of what we copied from western cultures were taught by the proletariat, not the aristocracy. The aristocracy in the UK, USA, South America, and Asia, especially the Jews, have strong family values, business secrets, and practices that they treasure and preserve. They select their friends and those they marry.
The Fulani elite in Nigeria maintain strong family values. The family hierarchy is respected and values are monitored to preserve the legacy.
If we don’t check on some of the decisions our children want to take, we will eventually end up with more of the chaotic families we are seeing in the western world and Christian nations.
God Bless You.
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