The best gift a parent can give to her/his child is a warm, loving, caring home. A home where the child feels safe emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually and physically. A home where the child feels supported and accepted. When as a parent you have means, i.e. financial resources, let those resources not replace you. Let the child not be showered with material things as a way of compensating for your absence. I know the modern parent always finds it difficult to balance between being there for the child and working for the home expenses. No amount of money, no toy, no gadget will replace the need for love and care in a growing child.
Remember what you said at your graduation party – my father bought me a R30 000 iPhone; He took me to the best holidays a child can dream of; He bought me a R100 000 bicycle that I used to ride in the streets over the weekend. I had my own flat screen 150 cm in my room. I thank my mother for making my bed and cleaning up after me. My mother served me sushi twice a week and Queen prawns from Mozambique once a week. Really? What did you say?
You most likely mentioned the values that they taught you. You indicated how they contributed towards you being the person that you are. You spoke about how they motivated you to study hard. If they did not have means and were there for you, you probably do not hold that against them. If they had means and were never there for you, you probably have a serious grudge against them. A fellow citizen tells me about his experience when he celebrated his 60th year birthday. His one son did not attend the party and when he asked the son, now married with children, told the father that he (the father) did not come to his soccer match when he did grade 10 and so he also decided not to come and rather spend time with his family.
Why am I saying this? Everything that the child experienced as s/he grows forms her personality and perception about the world. The many human resource problems at work places could have been prevented from home. Managers struggle with employees who are always sick not because they are physically ill, but that they lacked attention at home and being sick will attract that attention. Unfortunately, it will eat into the productivity rate of the company. Managers will have problems with males relating with females and vice versa because of their perceptions of either gender when they grew up.
Employees struggle with bosses who always want to be recognized and praised because they want to feel important. They were never made to feel important at home and now poor employees are struggling. If as an employee you do not meet this need, it might be a career limiting act. Employees struggle with pleasing everybody at work because they were manipulated at home and taught that to be a good child, you ought to please your parents. That kills one’s creativity and innovation and employees are labelled as dull.
Employees struggle with bosses who are domineering and despotic because they were bullied at home. The work place becomes toxic because of a home that never did its work properly.
So, if you are a parent, or plan to be one, please make time to connect with your child. How you raise that child, is your gift to the child and to the world. Decide what gift you are going to give to your child and to the world.