Grooming simply refers to preparations or trainings for a purpose. There are series of activities that lead to learned behaviour, and this is what grooming helps to achieve.
In psychology, it is stated that children come into the world ‘tabula rasa’. This means that children are born as clean slates having no innate ideas in their minds. By implication, a child is gradually filled up as he or she develops in defined environments with specific people. Aside from genetic factors which account for traits picked by a child from both parents, grooming happens to be the next measure for raising a child in the right or wrong way. There are key aspects that require attention in the place of nurture —these include:
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#1. Physical dimension
This has to do with attributes that focus on the body, such as outward appearance and other traits perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind. Physical attributes are more or less tangible or concrete. For instance, teaching a child how to brush his or her teeth or how to dress appropriately will fall under the physical dimension.
"...a child is gradually filled up as he or she develops in defined environments with specific people. Aside from genetic factors which account for traits picked by a child from both parents, grooming happens to be the next measure for raising a child in the right or wrong way."
#2. Psychological dimension
Relates to the mind; it focuses on the mental and emotional state of a person. This aspect of grooming is sometimes not given appropriate attention, and this ought not to be considering that the mind is the place where most of our actions and reactions emanate from.
Children are great imitators; hence, the need to ensure that their minds are trained in such a way that it builds the desired behaviour in them even as their minds get matured. In my opinion, any trait that is exhibited physically actually starts from the mind — the powerhouse of most of our actions. Therefore, the need to address the psychological needs of a child is extremely important.
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#3. Spiritual dimension
This has to do with key principles, values and beliefs that give purpose and meaning to one’s life or existence. It is not hinged on faith alone, as many people assume. Just as with other dimensions mentioned above, the spiritual aspect of a child’s life is vital in shaping the views of the child as it relates to living in a way that is consistent with acceptable perceptions or standards in general (morals).
Most importantly, it goes beyond self-centred approaches to life and transcends into how one treats others irrespective of their (own) beliefs or values. This dimension plays a great role in angles of objective principles and acceptable standards; it encourages fairness, trust, justice, and peaceful co-existence. It is key in moulding a child who is empathetic towards others or happenings in his or her environment.
The dimensions discussed above are interconnected; when these aspects of a child’s life are given the required attention in a positive manner, then a total child will emerge. Note that a total child is not one that is infallible or without natural tendencies of acting in a way that connotes that he or she is a child; it, however, relates to a child exhibiting good and acceptable manners, showing virtues of integrity, responsibility and respect expected of a well-trained child.
While it may be difficult to achieve a hundred per cent (100%) success rate in training a child since learning is a lifelong process, it is important to ensure that some measure is put into the vessels placed in our care —our dear children.
While the responsibility of grooming a total child is collective, it definitely starts from the home (with parents or guardians), which is the cradle of nurture before a child interfaces with the world. Let’s pay the price now to get the yield we desire, as the impact of each child leads to what we see in our society today. The exhibition of nature is inherent in every child, but nurture plays a major role in the life of every child.
Mrs Uchenna Ikeanyi is a mum of three, a relationship counsellor, and a seasoned human resources practitioner with over 13 years’ experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and Literary Studies, and a master’s degree in Industrial and Labour Relations. Mrs Ikeanyi’s knack for organisation and strategic planning and her extensive education have supported her impeccable career in the financial and education sectors.
Currently, she is harnessing her passion to see more successful families and relationships by building networks of people with a similar passion. When Uchenna is not serving as the senior administrator of a leading school in the Mega-City of Lagos, she spends time with her husband and three lovely kids.