Every Tom, Dick and Harry must have heard his parent(s) say things like “Junior, when I was in school, I came first in this subject or the other,” or you hear, “When I was your age, I never offended anyone.” Ah, so we still have perfect people in this world? I reasoned in my subconscious. But every sane person knows that is not true.

How come every parent tends to blow his or her own trumpet; even to the extent of lie-telling? I am in my mid 20’s and I have never fathered a child so maybe I don’t know the requirements of child raising. I plead guilty. But I do know with all surety that example is the best teacher, not exaggeration. How could every parent come first or be of good behaviour? Then obviously they were all very good. What a poor script!!!

The million dollar question therefore is, if parents are as good as they claim, how come we still have cases of fraud in banks, corrupt policemen and government officials who embezzle public fund like no man’s business? The culprits in the scenarios painted above are all parents who will still go home and brag about how good they were as kids even though their adult life is not reflecting such claims.

I know some people will let their mouth react before their mind, which will lead to abuses being rained on me. But not to worry, I have such people in my thoughts. Perhaps, your lie-telling helps in bringing out the best in your kids, thumbs up! But if that is not the case in yours and you desire a change in your child’s behavior, I guess you should change your own behavior because kids learn best by what they see and not what you say. Some couples fight right before their kids yet, when they want to scold the same kids, they claim to be very well behaved in their childhood.  It does not work that way. In life, sometimes, the best way up is out.

I am pretty sure I am not going to interpret that same script written by parenthood since time immemorial. I am an optimistic realist; I don’t fantasize. It is not necessary. I will try to bring my kids up in the way of the Lord which does not include lie-telling.

There seems to be a similarity between the parent who came second and the cure of aids – neither has been found.

Image via Thy Black Man


  1. Uche
    Let me just say my mum genuinely came first. I hate meeting her schoolmates for this reason. “I hope you’re doing well like your mum oh”… said classmate goes on to list all the great things about her.
  2. Kelechi Ochulo
    There’s this saying I love by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Example really is the best teacher. And so your choice to bring up your children in that way is wise.

    Speaking of these “myths”(for want of a better word) that have been passed down from time, I have a question. Is it true that if you give your parents headache your kids would do so times two? If one gives his/her parents headache, doesn’t it then mean that they must have done so to their parents?

  3. G B
    I remember the case of a friend’s dad. The man is an accountant but was so ‘brilliant when he was in school’ and ‘won so many awards’, he knows everything. So, he has an opinion on every discipline, whether Chemistry or Literature or Botany. He offered to help everyone who passed by with homework (but never did get around to it). Needless to say, when his son uncovered his WAEC result (or should I say WASSCE?), it went viral in the neighbourhood! Not one subject above C5! In fact, the man flunked out of the sciences before settling with the Accounting that he knew.

    He should definitely have come clean. We’d have respected him more.

  4. Gidi Mallam
    Neither of my parents told us they came first in school. They were pretty real with us about their academic achievements.
    However, like Uche above, meeting any of my dad’s contemporaries or students was pretty daunting, cos you’d never stop hearing how wise and amazing he was (which he truly was), and how they hoped you were just like that (like sey na so e easy)
  5. Jay
    My parents never told us they were first in school. Quite the opposite actually. lol. They always preach for us to aim higher than they ever did!
  6. ibiela
    My dad came first and has the results to prove it. Wasn’t hard to impress him cos I liked schoolwork as a kid. And my mom was the perfect child, as my aunt confirmed some years ago. I’m a bit of a mix and match of them, which is totally awesome.

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