Bad Parenting: Nigerian Super Eagles in the FIFA World Cup 2018


“FG Increases Super Eagles’ Winning Bonus by $5000 To Motivate Them.”

It is a given that children are quite sensitive. Handling them takes some level of know-how. It is a skill set on its own; one that could bring the best out of them if mastered and well honed. Sometimes, they need motivation and encouragement to perform exceptionally. This motivation could come in any form. By hyping, rooting for them, cheering, cajoling (which may involve promises of reward), etc.

Now, reward for effort is great. That is what everyone wants. However, in terms of motivation, the reward card must not be overplayed. Especially when the work the child is to do has in itself a reward that surpasses any other.
Take a number of kids. All in the same class and studying the same subjects. It is a fact, that the skills, resources, smartness, zeal, and other things will not be the same for all of them. The idea of success could even be more intriguing to some than others. But the prize and goal is same. It is agreeable, that these differences will determine and influence greatly their charge towards that goal. Bear in mind however, that despite the inhibitions and advantages, none of them is ignorant of the glory that accompanies the ultimate goal.

Now, parenting plays its role. The kid who is less likely to clinch the prize can be given extra motivation, by hyping, cheering, rooting, cajoling (promising reward). Don’t forget, the prize in itself is an enormous reward. The prestige of clinching it, and the fame and the glory. It is first for the child who did the work, and then for the parents who supported and nurtured them. In all of this drama, we must know, that none of the motivational efforts has any use if the child is not by themselves hungry for the prize. This hunger or the lack of it will be evident in the kid’s approach to the quest.

If the hunger is evident in the kid, but there is still failure due to lapses or a not so good luck, motivation comes in again. This time, a re-affirmation of support, and speaking strong conviction and self confidence into them. “You can do it. You just need to work on this and this. You’re doing great. Put more effort and the prize is yours. You’re up to the task.”

A parent can even promise a better reward. Because they see the kid is really hungry for the prize and is trying their best.

BUT! What do we say of a promise of a bigger reward when the kid failed terribly evidently due to lack of hunger and desire for the prize, and an attendant lackadaisical approach? Mind you, the parent and the entire extended family have done all they could by way of motivation. They have hyped, cajoled, cheered, rooted for, and even promised great rewards aside the enormous reward of the quest itself. What then should parents of kids who are doing their best do? When every other kid is fighting tooth and nail and doing their best to do well, and your kid couldn’t be bothered.

It is bad parenting! Promising a child better reward when they are clearly not willing to perform well. It only makes them believe they can get more out of you by performing badly. It makes them more unserious and nonchalant. It is even worse when such parents have a large family of teeming underfed and malnourished and unattended kids at home, yet promising a kid performing poorly more reward as if that one irresponsible kid is all that matters. Reward that could be used to take care of their other children.

Interestingly however, it’s being said that this very kid isn’t a fool, and that these particular parents have maltreated them and their siblings and the entire family, and so they are not worthy of being impressed. It’s been said that the kid can’t come and go and kill themselves for yeye parents. I don’t agree. I mean, if the parents are yeye, can’t the kid do it for the whole family who have cheered, supported and rooted for them?

It’s also been said, rather funnily, that this kid is trying to pay the parents back in the same coin. That the kid is only giving the parents a taste of their own medicine which they have administered to the entire family for so long. The medicine of promise and fail. People say the parents have promised so much over the years but never delivered, and now the kid promised to do well in the quest but turned around to do the exact opposite, so the parents can know exactly how it feels for hopes to be raised and yet dashed.

Sadly, it is a case of when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. Because in the kid’s bid to prove a point to the parents, the rest of the family who are so anxious and are hoping that the family name is made proud are left with nothing but disappointment.

IN ALL, I do not think it is reasonable that the FG is promising the Nigerian team more money. They have enough support already. Several companies even pledged monetary rewards. If they (Super Eagles) can’t do it for the country — since the country isn’t worthy — they should do it for themselves at least.

This mess happens all the time. They fumble in their first performance and leave the entire country anxious and turn us to football analysts with permutations. “If Argentina holds Croatia to a goalless draw, and Nigeria beat Iceland by a 5 goal margin, and Croatia and Iceland play a 1-all draw, and Argentina loses to Kuala Lumpur by 8 goals, Nigeria will advance out of the group stage”.

They leave us begging our God to make other teams unfortunate for our sake so we can stand a chance, when we clearly had equal chances like other teams but prodigally squandered ours!

Anyway, this is the FIFA World Cup, not some ‘The Story Of The Prodigal Son’ bible story. Act accordingly, or pack your things and return home. SIMPLE!

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