It’s that time of the year when, even though our weather is “summer-ish” all year round, my people will still travel for summer, have summer school and literarily ‘summer up’ everything. I found out that our children know more about other countries than they know about Nigeria. Whatever the topic of discuss, we have come to pass on to the children that Nigeria is all negative. So this holiday, let’s tweak our activities a little.
Let children rest from all academic work. It’s vacation! Hey let’s have some. Let the children play, shout, run, interact with other children, go to camps, go to farms, visit a bakery, visit a building site, go out in the rain with them… let them get wet, visit some hospitals or even orphanages, get to the dustbin village in Ajegunle... let them see life.
All conversations within the family should be done in person. No phone calls or chats with family members. Step out of the car and ring the bell when you get home instead of honking or calling on phone to say you are by the gate. Greet everyone with a hug, a fist bump or a high five.
Make dinner compulsory and together. Yes, we eat together and if possible cook together this holiday. No phone calls, texting, WhatsApping or TV while we eat as a family.
Watch a program on local television. Did you know we have a wealth of programs your children can watch, critique and learn from on local television? Plus, it will take you down memory lane, reminding you of the likes of Cock Crow at Dawn, The New Masquerades and the rest of them.
Let the children learn a trade; Barbing, makeup, photography, printing, baking, sewing etc. If the your child spends 2 months in a year learning any of these trade, by the time they graduate from secondary school, they’d be vast in at least two of them.
Get on public transport with the children. Have you asked children where they live and how to get there lately? Even older children do not know how to navigate through town. Sweat it out once in a while with them. They’d thank you later.
NTA still works! Did you know that? Hahahahahah... yes it does. I tried to find a program online only to find that DSTV is same as TVSA.‘I hope I’m not paying for the SA citizens to watch TV’…was what came to mind. There are good programs on NTA. Watch with an open mind... remember the good ol’ programs? Well, they are still there!
Get the tapes of ’94 Eagles ... watch with your children. Don’t forget Atlanta ’96. Yeah, I know...Not to worry, we’ll get back there someday. Let the children watch and enjoy with you.
Do some of these and others I’m sure you’ll come up with and you would have started a good conversation with your children, educating them on the history and greatness of Nigeria. You’d have given them a need to find solution to... concerning the nation. You’d relive yesteryears and be a lot younger by the time the holiday is over (thank me later). You would have bonded more with the child you thought was growing apart from you. What’s more, when school resumes and the teacher reads the famous essay ‘how I spent my last Holiday’ from your child, he’d do so with a big smile on his face.