When Should Kids Be Allowed To Pick Their Own Clothes?

I remember one Christmas many moons ago. As custom with our African mothers, my mother already bought my Christmas clothes weeks before Christmas. I totally fell in love with the outfits –a pair of jeans and jacket—that when she showed me, I instantly wished I could fast forward Christmas so I could rock my new outfit! The prospect of wearing my new clothes was thrilling coupled with the general magical ambience of the season, I was beside myself in joy! Couldn’t stem the excitement. Finally, it was Christmas day! But the unexpected happened. I developed a strong distaste for the outfit. I suddenly did not wish to wear jeans trouser and jacket on Christmas, and told my mom I wanted to wear something else entirely. Wait for it, one of my old dresses! She couldn’t believe her ears. Imagine a mother that already meticulously arranged her daughter’s outfit the previous day, arranging the shoes and other accessories only for her to wake up and turned up her nose at them. But trust African mother, the Nigerian breed especially; she heard me quite all right, but she was having none of that. I was seven year old. I started crying, throwing all manner of tantrums and even succeeded in winning my grandmother to my side. She, tired of my persistent wailing, sued that I be allowed to wear my desired outfit which was a dress I wore for my fifth birthday two decades ago! Okay, I added a bit of drama. It was two year old dress. I’m rocking a mighty grin right now at the memory of it all. If this is not funny, then I don’t know what else is. I was willing to dump a new gorgeous outfit that I was initially excited to have in favour of a two-year old dress, a beautiful one, but still an old dress! My mom was frustrated but then, she was not ready to tolerate my ‘nonsense’. She instead decided to negotiate with me. Told me we should reach a compromise; that I wear my new jeans and jacket clothes to the Father Christmas grotto she wanted to take me, then I change to my beloved yellow and black dress when we get back. That stopped the flood of tears instantly as it appealed to me. And now look at us today, we all live happily ever after! A Father’s Opinion on When To Allow Kids Pick Their Own Clothes According to this dad, allowing children to choose their own clothes is a way of teaching them critical decision making skills. He said he will rather guide them along this path by helping them group their clothes into 3 categories, so they know which category to choose from and when. As long as the kids choose from the right category, he is not bothered about how they combine it. He however hinted at the ‘war’ he had to face from the mother who apparently always have a better alternative on whatever outfit the children turn up in. Parents need to note that it is not always tantrums when kids insist that they do not want a clothing piece. It might be that it is too tight or scratchy, or just plain uncomfortable. They are the one wearing it, so they should know better. That is not ruling out stunts like what a 7-year old me did though. In such cases, parents need to be firm while not being brash. Guided Decision Making as The Way Out Some kids could be pretty much opinionated quite early on. I have seen a case where a 3-year old would not allow adults pick her outfit for her. You pick this, she picks that and will insist she is wearing what she picked. Otherwise, your ear drums won’t have peace from their persistent wailings. So what do parents handle this situation? Do they hang up their hands in exasperation and allow them unmitigated freedom? Can that 3-year old be able to pick weather appropriate clothes? Say for instance, we are in harmattan and your kid whom you have given unbounded freedom decides on knickers and tank top only, will you, as a responsible parent, allow that on the altar of ‘I want her to start making decisions’? I guess not. This is where their budding decision making skills still need a bit of adult guidance until they are old enough to be given complete freedom. You can go the route of that dad I mentioned earlier, or that of a mom who prefers to lay out three different outfits for her kids, then step back to allow them pick. That way, there is room for them to cultivate critical decision making skills while they still end up in suitable clothes. Thank you for reading! It’s a super beautiful Thursday and we are so grateful to be alive, and well! These days more than ever, that can no longer be taken for granted. Being alive and bubbling in good health is indeed a great gift, and we hope everyone gets to enjoy that for a very long time.


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Aug 13 · 7 minutes, 10 seconds Read
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On German Carmaker Audi Controversial Ad Featuring Female Child Model

![](https://helpintime.org.ng/public/storage/36/Audi-Banana.PNG The advert, promoting the Audi RS 4 Avant, featured a little girl wearing an animal print dress and a jacket; she was leaning on the car while eating a banana. Many people expressed outrage as they took offence at the implied meaning they interpreted the ad to give and Audi had to apologise for offending people’s sensibility. My initial reaction to people who took offence was that they were sick to think anything or take the interpretation of that image beyond a little girl eating a fruit which happens to be banana. I absolutely did not understand why anyone would see the ‘innocuous’ picture beyond what it plainly was in the literal sense. I followed it up by putting up a post on my Facebook page expressing disgust on why Audi was forced to apologise for what I thought wasn’t deserving. I felt it was an assault on my right to simply see it for what it plainly was; a little girl eating a banana and a drive by twisted minds to force everyone to see things from their twisted perspective. Though I must admit I was a bit puzzled on how the child model is supposed to help sell the car with that advert. Then the comments started rolling in traversing people who share my sentiments and those who did not. Also, there were people with entirely different perspective who plain think the outraged people are mostly racists who are angry a white girl is photographed eating a banana that they have associated with Black folks on the background of their derogatory belief; equating black people with monkeys. They felt the people in this category resorted to making it a sexual thing because they could not outright state their racist reason. However, one comment in favour of Audi apologising explained that in a society like the West where paedophilia is so rife, and sexualised photographs and videos of young children are shared all over the place by sick people, Audi’s ad whether deliberately or not, is sending a coded message to paedophiles. The comment also went further to point out the fact that some fruits have further interpretations aside from the obvious. Fruits like bananas, cucumbers, and nuts have further meanings that are far departure from the old innocent meanings as such brand like Audi should have done better and not allow anything that could be further interpreted in a skewed way into their ad copy. If a Nigerian talks of tiger nuts, another Nigerian immediately understands or thinks it is a reference to an aphrodisiac, therefore if folks in Nigeria see the advert of a child being given a tiger nut drink with adults hovering, they should be worried as to the embedded message being passed. In short, every society knows their own language and the extra symbolism attached to objects that is away from their original meaning. Even in this part of the world, we all know cucumber, banana, watermelon, orange etc., are no longer just what they are. It is a sick world where we have to read in between the lines and form the meaning looking at the context of usage. For instance, you saying someone has gone nuts has absolutely nothing to do with groundnuts or cashew nuts. You are simply saying the person has gone crazy. So after reading the varying opinions on the subject, my stance shifted from what it was initially. Though I still think it is a sick world where a photograph of a child eating banana and cucumber cannot just be left at that. However, in the light of our new reality, I understand the angst of people who are genuinely outraged. We have an obligation to keep watch on our world that is fast sliding off dangerously. We have a duty to halt this dangerous trend and protect our children. Those that shared my initial sentiment said they looked the picture over several times, turned it over, spun it around and could not see anything wrong with the picture. Someone out of pure exasperation asked if there was anything left on earth that has not been sexualised. The fellow further expressed worry at the innocence of language being destroyed by people’s personal insecurities, thereby making communication increasingly difficult. Some expressed distaste at the dangerous trend of a world sliding into a state where people define hate speech or inappropriateness by what they feel comfortable with and their own self centred narrative.

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‘Mommy Calm Down’ Video: What Do You Say?

Mixed reactions have trailed the video of a young boy which made waves across the social media last week. In the video, the boy was being scolded by her mom for an act of disobedience, and the boy not wanting to be beaten as threatened by his mom told her to ‘calm down’ and sit down to relax. Later he went on his knees to apologise both in English and hilarious Yoruba. The boy who cannot be more than five did not stop at apologising. Seeing his mom was having none of that as she was keen on beating him this time, insisting that was not his first time committing the same misdemeanour, he then went on to negotiate the terms of punishment! OMG! That was the clincher for me. The boy was brave! Everyone who knows African mothers know you do not dare negotiate your punishment. You do the crime, you serve the time as spelt out by them. They won’t even give you room to do that, but this boy here broke the rule gallantly! Even though we are not sure whether he succeeded or not -- he was beaten while the camera was rolling, however we do not know whether he was beaten right after it stopped. But the fact that he tried at all is enough! The boy is a winner any which way. I say that because even if he ends up being beaten, it would not be as serious as it would have been, because while the back and forth was going on, some of the mother’s anger would be evaporating with it and that will be in the boy’s favour. So however way it ended the boy did not lose. Personally, I enjoyed the video for the entertainment value and for the inherent message in it. Life is not by ‘gragra’. We get better result when we calm down and are not solely pushed by the heat of the moment. We do better, take good decisions and are generally the better for it if we are mostly calm. It is easier to make fatal errors in a moment of unclear head and hot emotions. The water is always clearer and mostgg useful when it is calm. However, some people feel otherwise about the video which is still making the rounds. They are of the opinion that the video being out there in the internet space is injurious to the child. Some also frown at the mother’s mode of diciplining which they consider abusive. They think the video will come back to haunt the young boy in the future as they feel some years down the line, it could be used as a material to bully the boy. These opinions are valid, but the Lagos State governor think otherwise as he has built a whole message to Lagosians around the video. Governor Babajude Sanwoolu admonished Lagosians in his Sallah message to ‘calm down’ and be measured as they go about celebrating eid-el-Kabir seeing the cornavirus pandemic is still very much out there. He then finished it up by asking to meet the boy so he could be their ambassador in Lagos State campaign against domestic violence in the state.

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What is the Most Ridiculous Question on Parenting You Have Ever Heard?

I have come across many unbelievable questions on parenting that have gotten me reeling in utter disbelief, but this one right here takes the cake as the most ridiculous! Who asks questions like ‘Can parents sue their kids for the money it took to raise them?’ Really, who? I know people say no question is stupid, but I honestly don’t think this is not stupid. Pardon me if you think this is harsh or me being judgemental, but I just can’t help it. It is beyond ridiculous! You want to sue a child that didn’t beg you to be born? A natural consequence of an action that occured between you and a sexual partner? I would like to ask the fellow to please swerve to the left, but I am feeling nice today, (like I have always been. lol!) so I will give a lovely comprehensive answer instead. My Answer to the Most Ridiculous Question on Parenting I have Ever Heard 1. You are required by law, in most countries on planet earth, to care for and support your children so there is absolutely no grounds for a suit on that basis. You took the decision to have them, and that comes with a responsibility to care for them as bets as you can. The law says you have to spend some money for basics like feeding them, clothing them and sheltering them. You ensure they are educated and expose to proper healthcare. 2. Any money you spent on them beyond basics was a choice you made as such you cannot hold them liable to your own wilful choices. You chose to bow to whatever pressure from wherever and the kids are not to blame for that. You are the ones who chose to engage in an activity that leads to the production of a child. You and your sexual partner knew what you were doing and what it could lead to. Even if a party was forced to have sex, a party chose to keep the pregnancy. What I am saying essentially is; the child didn’th ask to be brought into the world. You are one of two people who made that decision for them. And since children are not capable of taking care and supporting themselves, you have an obligation to provide adequate support for them. Always remember sex is a potentially expensive endeavour when you are not using any form of contraceptive – your decisoin not to use protection which led to the birth of the kid cannot be blamed on the kid! That your cornmeal got badly burnt cannot be blamed on the cornseller. The one who is to blame is the man in the mirror staring back at you. You really do not want to pursue a course as foolish as this because then, you risk the danger of being counter-sued by the same kids for bringing them into the world without their consent. Sometimes, it takes two to be foolish. Basically, they have a very easy defense against such a silly misadventure for in this kind of civil suit, the burden of proof will be on you to provide evidence that they are indeed at fault rather than yourself. Let me state this in conclusion, it is way more honourable to make conscious decision not to have kids and stick to it religiously than have one or some only to be asking questions like this.

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14 Salient Lessons Adults Can Learn From Children

While we spend a lot of time teaching children, we fail to see that we also have a lot of things to learn from them as well. We mostly get caught up with all the chores asssociated with ensuring they are well cared for that we miss the salient lessons that flash in between the cleaning, wiping, changing, school runs etc. Here are 14 good lessons that children can teach us: Laughter! Don’t I love this one? Children can haha at anything. Even when they fall down, they get up then give a hearty laughter. If that is not adorable and worthy of emulation then I don’t know what is. Adults laugh on average 5 times a day, while children laugh average 300 times a day! Wow. While laughing at a problem will not make it go away directly, it makes the problem a little less serious for one, then affords you more clarity of mind to go on to tackle it effectively. Trying to solve a problem when one is uptight hardly helps. To eradicate toxic people from life. If children don't like someone, they show it openly. They either fight or ignore or pick up their toys and go home. Simple! No pretenses, no needless drama. They don't let anyone drain their energy and make them angry. How something so easy like this becomes so difficult for most of us adults is bemusing. Even dogs, when they like you they wag their tail, and when they don’t, they bark at you. Pretty straightforward, no complications. Children are never angry for days or weeks. I find this trait particularly admirable. They will cry and scream but an hour later or even less, you see them watching their favourite cartoon. Their earlier anger or source of it totally forgotten! There is simply no way you can be like this and have emotional baggage to lug around. We adults are wont to hug hurtful memories tightly to our chest, we emblazon it on our heart like a form of badge and got rewarded with a sour visage – our emotional health suffers for it. Children do not tolerate boredom. They are always in action. The reason they do not have the time for moping about or lugging emotional baggage about is; they keep themselves busy with their own sort of busyness or what busyness is at their level. When they are not playing with friends, they are making craft, drawing stuff or watching cartoon. Children are willing to do something new and suck at it. While we are not encouraging mediocrity, I think the bane of many adults starting anything worth the while is the word ‘perfection’. They either want to start very big or picture perfect - every ‘i’ dotted and ‘t’ crossed. Again while this is good, fixation with perfection at the beginning of a venture could be a big problem. Sometimes, ‘good enough’ is just okay to get things going, one can then improve as one journeys as perfection is never a destination, but a journey. This is another instance where children are a complete contrast to adults. They are willing to make a complete fool of themselves at the early stage of any venture that catches their fancy. They don't think they need to be professional singers to sing their favourite song or expert dancers to sway to their favourite music in front of everyone. They just care for fun. Children are curious. They ask a whole bunch of stupid and smart questions unapologetically. Even the questions we call stupid are only stupid to us adults. Not to them as that is how they learn and discover. Children are genuinely grateful. Although the society transforms them into thinking that they will be happy only if they get the newest Batman, Barbie, Luke Skywalker or whatever is trendy, children are inherently happy creatures. And it doesn’t take much to get them gushing in utmost happiness and gratitude. I once bought a pair of earrings for my niece and she went about telling everyone including our dog how it was ‘OY’ that bought the earrings she was wearing, and how she liked them very much. Children are joyful by default. They find something to enjoy and be happy about every single day. They get up psyched about the day ahead – fully alive! They might get upset and cry in the course of the day, but they always find their way back to their default joyful mode. Many adults seem to be dour by default. Laughter and sunshine punctuate the sad run once in a while after which they promptly revert to default settings. They are artists and they are aware of it. They are making one sketch after another, one lego structure after another. They play, they destroy, they start over. They never wonder: "OMG, does this sketch truly represent me? Am I really an artist now?" They just do they work. Of course they are artists. Children look into the world with new eyes and the beginner's mind. They don't pretend they understand how things work. They are not trying to prove their expertise. They look at what is happening right in front of them with curiosity and ability to astonish. According to Jostein Gaarder, that's what makes them philosophers. They pay compliments and they mean it. My 3-year old niece once told me ‘OY, I like your lipstick. You are beautiful.’ It was one of the purest compliments I have ever gotten in my life. I could see it came straight from her heart. No guile, no pretenses. What about their books and cartoons? There are a whole lot of lessons to learn from there. So while reading them their favourite storybooks, don’t forget to grasp the simple but salient lessons that you can apply to your adult life. They teach you that you learn more from losing than winning. How many times have we fallen down when we were kids? 10 times? 50 times? 100? If you do not remember your own futile attempts at standing and walking, look at children around you who are in that stage to have a clue of how it was for you then. They stand, fall, stand, fall and many more repetition of that motion but they don’t give up. We never gave up then, so why then do we lose faith in ourselves when we encounter failure? Failure is part of life. Life doesn’t promise anyone a smooth run; it only promises it would be worth it. Children question and stand up to stereotype. And you had better had good and satisfactory answers or they would not relent. You either convince them or be ready to bin your stereotype. Reference: Quora

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How Orphanages are Useful to the Community

There is an ongoing controversy about orphanage children still having at least one parent alive, and that many people opening orphanages are better off empowering poor parents instead. I think both interventions are valid and can co-exist. They are anything but mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact, the world needs both very much. One just need to study the situation to know which approach to take and how knowing the same problem might require different solutions in different context. In an ideal world, every parent should, within their means, be able to provide for their children. It should not matter how lowly or highly placed they are, making the decision to birth children should automatically means you have evaluated the consequences of that reasonably and you have seen that you are able to care for them. Many will not take in pets they do not have the capacity to care for, how much more babies? However, many of our fantasies on an ideal world will remain in the realm of dreams. Many will not come to pass and we have no choice but to work with the reality we have and make the most of them. A Case for the Importance of Orphanages in Our Society The reality is; the percentage might be different from country to country, region to region, state to state but we will always have teenage pregnancies amongst us, and unwanted pregnancies across all ages. The possibility of the said teenagers eventually becoming young grandmothers will also be high as they most likely will not have what it takes to properly raise their children, especially if they do not have solid support system. Also, pregnancies from rape, pregnancies influenced by parents shirking in their parenting responsibilities leaving their children to find their own way through life practically unaided will not cease. This is not being a little miss doomsday prophet, but it is what it is. A case in point is that of 22-year old Adisa Oluwafunmilola who murdered her 1-year old plus daughter in the most cold blooded way. In her story, she said she did not want to keep the pregnancy initially having been impregnated by a guy who did not accept the pregnancy, but she was prevailed upon to keep it by family and friends. According to her, her sister who was most vocal about her keeping the pregnancy did not do as much as she expected, and she felt the girl was a needless baggage impeding her progress in life. All these culminated in her taking a decision to end the girl’s life. Many have opined that she must be a mentally disturbed person, and with the way she was so bright eyed narrating to the police how she killed her own daughter as if she were recollecting how she merely spilt a can of evaporated milk, they might not be very far from the truth. There is a saying in Yoruba language that ‘a o ri iru eleyi ri, a fi n d’eru ba oloro ni’ which roughly translates to ‘there is nothing new under the sun’, nevertheless some incidents would still knock one’s socks off. This is one of the cases for me. It is traumatising imagining what the poor child must have gone through as she fought for her life; her confusion as life slowly ebbs away from her. Orphanages: To Continue or Not to Continue? I once read an article condemning the continued existence of orphanages. The writer was of the opinion that many of the so-called orphans in homes have one or both parents still alive and that they voluntarily bring their wards to the homes as a result of economic deprivation. Therefore they would rather the children live at orphanages where they will have better chances of going to school and being fed than they continue staying with them. So, this school of thought opined that instead of establishing orphanages, why not empower these parents so they are able to take care of their children who in turn have the opportunity to grow up among families? It is a good and valid point, but my problem with this school is; many of them have not taken into account parents like Adisa Olufunmilola who might not want to have anything to do with the child; parents who outright hate their children. What do we do with these ones? Will it be enough to just empower them financially? Will financial empowerment be enough to keep the child safe with them? The answer, for me, is a resounding no. A parent who hated a child or the history surrounding them will likely behave like Adisa. Wouldn’t it be better if she had gone to abandon the poor girl at the gate of one of the orphanages around? It is not ideal as no child should be abandoned, but she would have at least had a chance to life instead of being drowned in a plastic container like the poor girl. Would anyone have minded that the girl is not really an orphan knowing the fate that would have befallen her continued stay with her mom? In this wise, I think it is immaterial whether the children in orphanages are real orphans or not, so far we are able to prevent this kind of unfortunate incidents in the future.

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Children as the Salt of the World

Take a moment to imagine a world without children. Just how would the world be without the vibrancy they add to it; their innocence, their high-pitched laughter, their piercing questions which sometimes make adults squirm. I was standing outside my house the other day and my neighbour walked over to say hello, her cute daughter in tow. The girl was chewing on a mango and looked to be thoroughly enjoying herself. Her mother and I were exchanging small talks when she suddenly pointed the half eaten soggy mango at me: ‘What is this?’, she asked smugly I did a double take. This was a 3-year old asking me if I know what a mango was! ‘Excuse me, were you talking to me?’, I asked in mock indignation ‘Yes.’ She replied impatiently. ‘Do you know what this is?’ ‘No. I don’t. What is it please?’, I answered calmly having lost every will to 'fight'. Really, what chances do I stand against such a formidable questioner? ‘Mango!’, she declared triumphantly and walked back to their house majestically. I looked at the mom and we both burst into hearty laughter. I have had all manner of experiences with children, but this one is a first and the quality laughter I enjoyed that day is the stuff many pay through their noses to enjoy at comedy shows; so I ask again, what is there not to love about children? Would this world even be again if nature has not set up a way to perpetuate humankind? Of course they come with humongous responsibility. No one under God’s heaven should birth them thoughtlessly. They take their toll on every aspect of the parents’ life – emotionally, financially, physically and the rest of the relevant –callys. Once they are in your life, your life changes forever. Now imagine how good and how pleasant the world would be if every adult on the face of the earth only gives birth to the number of children they can cater for knowing the phrase ‘cater for’ goes beyond money. One has to be emotionally and physically there for them too. There are lots of children the world over who are in good schools, eating nourishing food, wearing lovely clothes whose love tank is completely empty because their parents are mostly absent. The little time they are present too, they are still absent. The only times some talk to their children is when they want to bark orders. The best way to enjoy your meal is when the salt is just enough. Therefore, as much as we agree they are indeed the salt of the earth - the world would have since lost its savour without them – we will also agree that too much of salt is as bad as its absence in food, if not worse. There is a saying in Yoruba language that one cannot because one owns a truckload of salt, add more than it is meet to food lest one ruins the meal. In the same vein, we cannot because we can or because we love children procreate mindlessly. As a matter of fact, everyone who can should advocate against it because at the end of the day it comes back to haunt all of us without leaving anyone out. Children being a very important part of the family unit must not be treated like a burden we are forced to lug around. They are humans and they deserve to be treated as such. They deserve to be understood. The time they are irritatingly difficult, they deserve our patience. How many times have you as adults been faced with another difficult adults who will not listen to reasoning? You encounter them at work, in the mall, in social gatherings etc. Don’t you always find a civilised and sensible way to get out of the conundrum? If the difficulty is with your child, find a way around it while being civil. A child throwing tantrums now will not throw tantrums forever. You most likely threw tantrums when you were a kid too, are you still like that? You grew out of it; they will grow out of theirs too. Having said that, all these can only be possible when one has not bitten more than one can chew. Some people are emotionally wired and financially strong enough that they can cope with raising 5 or 6 children while some can only only cope with 1 or 2. However, nothing is cast in stone yet because at the end of the day, the person who think himself emotionally strong enough for 5 might have a change of mind and opt to do just 2 and the fellow who says 2 might discover he has room for more and birth 4. Children are precious treasures that should never be within the reach of swines - people who don’t value them. God bless all the children in the world! Meanwhile, I am beginning to feel I’m being targeted by these fiery 3-year olds. Last week it was about a 3-year old too. I feel threatened already.