Parenting through the Eyes of a Child: Memoirs of My Childhood by Tabitha Ochekpe Omeiza
|Parenting through the Eyes of a Child: Memoirs of My Childhood by Tabitha Ochekpe Omeiza|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Engaging memoir and a twist on the usual parenting book as Tabitha Ochekpe Omeiza recalls her childhood through the prism of the parenting strategies pursued by her mother and father.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 110||Date: July 2017|
Tabitha Ochekpe Omeiza was brought up in Nigeria and came to Britain to study for her A levels when she was 18. Her parents used their savings to give her this opportunity and called it an investment in her future. Now a qualified pharmacist, married and with a child of her own, Tabitha looks back at her childhood and reflects on the way her mother and father raised her. And she gives their parenting top marks.
Parenting through the Eyes of a Child is a collection of anecdotes and memories that illuminate Tabitha's childhood as a product of parenting. It's warm and affectionate but it is also clear-eyed and honest. Some of the stories she tells are lighthearted and some have a very serious message. As a whole, it flows nicely and I enjoyed reading it.
What I found really interesting about Parenting through the Eyes of a Child were the many similarities between how I was raised by my atheist parents in Britain - and indeed how I raise my own children - and how Tabitha's deeply religious parents raised her in Nigeria, and also how we see those similarities, now we look back on them, and appreciate them for the good parenting strategies that they were.
For example, Tabitha's parents emphasised the importance and value of extended family and made sure to involve them in the lives of their children. Tabitha even called one of her aunts Mummy 1 because they were so close. Trusted extended family members can share childish secrets safely, children will often listen to them when they don't want to listen to their parents, and they can be a safety valve in times of conflict. My parents knew this and fostered extended family relationships too.
And again, Tabitha's parents encouraged responsibility by providing her with an allowance. But they didn't bail her out if she misspent it. My parents did this too - I agree that it is a sign of trust from parent to child and it also allows children the room to make small, relatively safe mistakes and then bear the consequences for them. I recall spending all my allowance on silly fripperies in the early days of being trusted to manage my own money and having to miss out on a trip to the cinema with my friends because there was no cash left. A good lesson learned and nobody to blame but myself!
So many of Tabitha's recollections and anecdotes resonated with me and it was very interesting to see that what adults can look back on and recognise as good parenting is so very similar, despite huge differences in place and family background. In fact, I can only think of one thing mentioned as a possibly positive strategy that my parents - and also myself - would have disagreed with. Tabitha feels that corporal punishment in the form of a light spanking has its place and I and my parents very strongly do not. But that was really the only point of difference.
Parenting through the Eyes of a Child is an interesting and engaging read. It also gives plenty of ideas and advice for anyone embarking on the commitment of parenting a child. As Tabitha herself is currently in the early stages of this journey, I'd like to thank her for the book and wish her well.
Parents faced by challenges might also look at It's Not Fair! Parenting the Bright and Challenging Child by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock. And if you're in need of some light relief, you could look at The Aargh to Zzzz of Parenting: An Alternative Guide by Joanna Simmons and Jay Curtis.
You can read more book reviews or buy Parenting through the Eyes of a Child: Memoirs of My Childhood by Tabitha Ochekpe Omeiza at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Parenting through the Eyes of a Child: Memoirs of My Childhood by Tabitha Ochekpe Omeiza at Amazon.com.
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