Love shared equally between children, is the best of bliss.
Our kids are our pride and we will do all things to make them happy including loving them equally.
However, we fail at this at some point.
Before this time, I thought it was only Africans who favoured the male child over the female. I never knew that other race still gives significant attention to the male child also.
Why don’t we love our children equally?
Some people will argue with me that they love all their children equally but you and I know the truth.
Loving our children equally is what we want but sometimes, circumstances and traditions force us to do the opposite.
As a parent, we tend to love the child that gives us more peace, obedient and calm but we forget we are not all the same.
Apart from the stated reasons above, the favouritism bestowed upon the male child, it’s still a debate I can’t seem to get my head around.
When I try to question the norms, I get responses like this.
It has been ordained from creation, men are superior, men are the ones to carry the family name, men have more strength, so they are more capable of protecting the family and so on.
I do not disagree with the reasons stated above but never the less I do believe that a female child is also valuable and should be treated as such.
Whatever reasons the parents of the aged generation have that made them favour the male child over the girl is left to them.
I am more ever concerned about this present age.
Shockingly, even the society does not favour the girl child. Especially the African community.
Sometimes I feel that there are certain things a female must do to derive respect. If she does not, she is not accepted.
Like I said earlier, am not here to question the old ways but am here to question mothers or should I say, parents.
A mother wrote in a forum that she loves her younger child more than the eldest daughter. According to her, the daughter is adamant.
To the mother, I ask, Is the kid being unreasonable? Or you just choose not to overlook her wrongs? But can overlook that of the son?
A Lot of children have suffered emotionally due to this favouritism game. The game of not loving children equally.
Parents fail to see how they hinder the growth of both children when they don’t love them equally. The less loved child, depends on the outside world for advice, thereby standing up for herself on time.
While the beloved fail to learn on time because he feels the parents will always be there.
What could be the cause of not loving children equally
Could it be the mentality that has been placed hidden in our subconscious, that a male child is more precious? Or the fact that we just love the character of a particular child over the other?
I believe is the mentality. Some mothers just favour their male children over females. They are still tied up to the old ways even with a lot of civilisation.
This habit is still kept alive in one way or the other in them. Although this does not take place in all homes, quite some children are not loved equally.
In Africa, if you have not given birth to a son, your position as a wife is contestable. If after three children, and no male child, the woman is in big trouble.
Is either her husband marries a second wife or gets another lady pregnant in search of a son, or the family gets him another wife. Either way, an heir must be produced.
The painful part of it all is that some African men will not even inform their wife they have a male child outside the marriage until he is dead.
Most times, she finds out during the funeral ceremony. She will then be introduced to the other children by some of the man’s relatives or the lady involved will come forward.
If she happens not to have a male child at all or the male child is not the firstborn in the family, but that of the other woman, the wealth will be given to the first son from the other woman.
An example of the tribes that practice this tradition is the Isoko people from the south-south and the Igbo’s from the Eastern part of Nigeria.
This then means that whatever was acquired by both parents, will be transferred to a none legitimate son and the daughters are left on their fate.
This is not fair but what can we do? It is the custom and as a woman in that community, you must abide by it.
Sometimes ago, I ones witness a man who refuses to discharge is wife from the hospital after finding out that she gave birth to a girl for the third time.
Even when she managed to discharge herself from the hospital, the man wanted to kill her and the baby. She ran out of the house for her dear life.
Even if am not enlightened enough to know the process of how the gender of a child is determined, I do understand that it does not revolve around the woman alone.
Having a male and a female child comes with his unique features. One can not replace the other. In that case, it is unfair not to love children equally.
They both have distinct roles and when trained equally with love and respect, they grow up to be wonderful personalities.
Let me share a tale about two families and their kids on how they loved each child equally irrespective of their gender.
A few years back, I was the children teacher in my church. On one of the children shows, I called some kids that can speak to come forward. I then asked them to face the congregation.
Mind you, the oldest among these kids was just seven years old.
I asked each of them if you are in a position to save one person between your mummy and daddy who would you save?
I believe if you are the mum or dad sitting in the congregation you will want to know who your child will choose. Right?
Like you, all parents sat quietly listening to their kids. The auditorium was quiet as a graveyard. You could hear a pin drop.
I asked the first family which is made up of all girls. I said Nyerowo if you have just one life jacket and you have to save either Mummy or daddy who would you save? She said, my daddy.
Why did I ask? She laughed and then said I just know I will save my daddy. She was just seven years old then.
And then I asked the second sister who is about five years old and she also said she would save her daddy. By now the church was no longer quiet.
Everyone was wondering how come two daughters wanted to save their dad? What has the dad done right that the mum failed to do? I continued, however.
Then I asked the last daughter which was about three years old and she said her daddy too. All eyes were on the mum. she bowed her head to escape the direct steer of people.
I for one was not surprised though and I will tell you why as we journey on.
Between both parents, the dad was easily approachable. Even with his busy schedule, he makes sure they are happy. Sometimes when they come for dance rehearsals, they tell me so much about their dad.
He takes them out, talks with them play with them, drops money for them should in case they want to buy anything, he brings them for rehearsals, which they love by the way and a lot more.
Where is the mum when all these are taking place? Some say she is transferring aggression on the kids for not having a male child. Or better still she prefers to have a boy rather than a girl.
She got her reward on that day most definitely. I hoped she changes after that scenario towards those kids because it was a lesson learned.
I went to the other family. I asked the eldest child which happens to be a female and she said, I will save my Mummy. Then the second child which is a boy said I will save my daddy.
Then the last born said, he will save both of them. I pressured him to choose one but he insisted on saving both. All three kids are of the same age range as the first family.
What does this story give an account of? It was obvious that in the first family, the female children were treated with love, care and respect more from their dad.
The second family proved that both parents were sharing the love equally among the kids. Which made them confused in choosing one of them.
It would be a loss if they lose any of them and this is how it should be. You can’t imagine the smiles on their faces and the accolades given to them by members of the community.
The gold of Loving Children Equally
1. They feel confident in themselves and to you as parents.
2. Because of the love shown towards them, they also extend the love to others.
3. No one carries the emotional burden of being left out.
4. They become strong independent children.
5. They face the world with positivity and determination.
6. They learn to trust and lean on you for good counsel.
7. They treat themselves with love and respect.
Even though culture and society have favoured the male child, we as parents, mothers and fathers we can choose to love our kids equally irrespective of their gender or character.
Note: it is not an easy task especially when the child is proving difficult but we can do it. We can love all children equally. Just find their love language.