The impact of parental involvement on the development of a child, is a topic that highlights the crucial role parents play in their child’s growth and development. Research has shown that children who have involved parents tend to have better outcomes in areas such as academics, behaviour, and mental health.
Mosope Oduwole, a father and an eDiscovery Solutions Engineer shares with us how he relates with and is involved in his child’s life.
“I have a two-year-old female tornado. That’s the best way I can describe having a two-year-old child.
Thinking about it, I am pleased with her current emotional and intellectual development. Although, since this is my first child…, I’m not sure what the benchmarks are, and it’s a tricky one because you don’t want to compare your child. Still, there are certain milestones I can use to measure that she’s on track. So far, I’d say yes. I am quite satisfied and impressed with her emotional and intellectual development.
There has been a lot of experiences that show that she doing well in that area; Every day is a new experience for us. Let me think of a recent one. – Yesterday, she woke up from her nap, and I asked her if she slept well. She said she did, then proceeded to say, “daddy, I have a great idea.” I was wondering what the idea was, but she is yet to share it. I’m still waiting. I will tell you the idea when she finally shares it (laughs).
Another was that we recently moved into a place, and the freezer door of our new house has a water dispenser. She had been noticing that we get water from it but didn’t know how to go about it.
Two weeks ago when she wanted water, she took her cup there and just put it beneath the faucet. Of course, nothing came out. She looked at me, confused. I did not say anything. Last week, I was walking by the fridge and I heard water dispensing from the fridge…Guess what? My daughter had learned how to get water herself!
My reason for not helping her figure it out was that if she learned it, she wouldn’t use it properly, and might make a mess. When I informed my wife that she had learned how to use it, I told her we should lock it. My wife did not think we should lock it; She said we could use it to teach her obedience. I listened to her. Now, my daughter only goes to the dispenser when we are there. She also takes her cup away when we tell her she’s had enough water. She has not even made one mess!
Emotionally, she has learnt to let us know how she’s feeling, and she also reads our emotions from our facial expressions. When she’s hurt, she runs over and says “painful”, then points at what or where is hurting. Get this, you have to kiss the place to make the pain go away…even if the pain is in her bum, else, she’s not going anywhere.
Did I have a major role to play in this development? My modesty wants to kick in, but yes, I did. We both did. My wife and I played our separate roles in different capacities.
What it required from us to ensure that our child is growing in all areas of her life, is summed up in one word: Intentionality. You have to be intentional in every aspect of their life. In learning, be intentional about what they are being taught. You are in control of it to a large extent in the early stages of their growing up. In food, be intentional (although na God o. If you are blessed with a picky eater, God save us!) These children are monkey see, monkey do. They hear what you’re saying, but they do what you are doing more than what you are saying. I found out that who we are is a huge result of what our parents were or were not.
Our kids are mirror images of what we teach them or what they learn from us, consciously or unconsciously.
When my daughter was about 1 year old, she started walking like me…not because I told her to, but that’s what she saw, and started doing it.
Also, God’s design for the family is that the role of the father is to shape the life of the children and the entire family as a unit. I guess that’s where I had to understand the place I occupy in her life. I think a lot of it has been to work on myself on the things I do when I’m around her. An example was when I asked whether she wanted to read a book, and she said yes, that we should both read a book. We lay on the bed to read our separate books. I held the book the way my own teacher taught me to hold a book (thumb on the left page, pinky finger on the right page, remaining 3 fingers at the back). My daughter looked at my hand and tried to do the same thing, but the book was too big for her tiny hands.
I adore these about her: She’s a smarty pants. She just keeps amazing us daily. She’s assertive. She knows what she wants and does not give a hoot about what it takes to get it; She will go for it until she gets it. She’s independent! I’m still coming to terms with this one because it can sometimes be annoying, but I need to let her grow into it and not take it away from her, especially in the climate she’s going to grow up in.
We didn’t instill those traits. I think it’s just who she is. We have allowed her to be herself and grow up knowing there is nothing wrong with who she is, and to keep her affirming her positive traits. We didn’t instill those ones, but we are damn sure we will nurture them to the best of our abilities, so help me God.
I am totally involved in the upbringing of my child and I plan to maintain this all the days of her life. My role in her life is too important not to be involved. There is a book I was reading about the role of a father in a girl’s life and how much her development is dependent on my involvement. I cannot remember the name of the book, but I am completely involved.”