Africans can attest to the fact that the parenting style used to raise children, though deteriorating, has yielded high positive output. Some experiences may still keep one awake at night or cause some serious psychological issues but to be frank, all in all, it's one of the best ways to raise a child. Some may disagree.
Cars zipping by, a driver honking and shouting angrily at the inexperienced driver in front of him trying to maneuver her way through a junction unto the road after making a misjudgment and causing a slight gridlock, noise; people talking, laughing and socializing, children running about and getting dirty... It's a Sunday Morning after church.
This little girl goes to her mother who is having a sizzling conversation with her friends and starts pestering her mother holding her leg and pulling her dress. The mother just ignores the child and continues her conversation. The child aggravates the mother by raising the stakes and crying with her arms lifted up obviously wanting to be carried. The mother did something amazing.
A little trick I like to call 'heat vision'. She turned, looked at the child and the pestering immediately seized; like a switch was flipped to the off position. Drowning out all the traffic and noise, for a moment, you could almost feel the intensity and energy emanating from the look. It was enough to silence the child, make her retreat and stay quietly by her mother and the funniest bit, stop some kids, running around at the time in the vicinity of the look, dead in their tracks.
It has some similarities to a death stare or an angry stare, but it doesn't quite sum it up. While the death stare and the angry stare say "you're dead", the heat vision doesn't say. It gives you this sensation that you're heating up quickly and you will burn if those eyes don't turn away soon. It lets you know that, you're in so much trouble, dying won't solve your problems and the person those eyes belong to, doesn't want you dead. You are needed alive and fully functional for what's to come.
If you're an African and you haven't gotten that look ever from your parents ever, then you're not African. That's original as it gets. This technique is mostly used in public when the parent doesn't want to create a scene. You can be rest assured in the comfort, solace and privacy of home, you will be properly and adequately set straight. I learn two major lessons from this.
Firstly, how we conduct ourselves in public says a lot about us both on the parenting side and the side of the child. From a young age, the child is taught not only to not embarrass the parent or elderly in public, but also the proper behavior. You don't beg and disgrace yourself in public just to get what you want, rather you comport yourself and behave like a well mannered human being. On the parenting side, you are thought that, there's a time and place for everything. There maybe an appropriate response to a situation but will not be suitable for the environment.
My second lesson is, find the right method and way to ask for something you want or need. I believe if the child just went to the mother quietly and in front of her, lifted her hands, the mother would have no motivation to turn her away. Our intentions may be right, but the approach is wrong and that would prevent you from getting what you wanted or needed.
I know there are many more lessons to be drawn from the heat vision. Share your experiences and or lessons in the comments below.