Packaging……………….before you disgrace your child.

 I remember attending a course about going back into employment. We were taught among other things; CV writing, how to apply for a job, interview skills, telephone answering skills, how to use office equipments like photocopiers, printers etc. This experience no doubt had a lasting impact on me.

When my children became of school age and I started attending PTA meetings, from my observations, it occurred to me that it would not be out of place to “train”  mothers parents about public comportment especially at fora where they will be representing their children.

One thing I love about Naija and that makes me miss her so much that I can not afford to stay too long outside her shores, is the use of expressions that are very apt and fit perfectly what one has in mind and can not seem to  find words to explain, one word that is  trending now is”Packaging”. Packaging in this post implies comportment and appearance of parents at events and occasions such as PTA meetings, school inter house sports, and even daily school runs. Lets go through the following list to see how we can make our children proud of us so that they would, God helping want to “retaliate”.

1. For the women, lets start from the inside, get a good bra. This might sound ridiculous, but the effect of a good bra goes a long way, we know you have had children, we understand that what goes up will eventually come down, but at the same time, we would not be portraying a good image if we appear in our children’s school with chest all flabby and breasts falling apart inside some imitation of a bra. A good bra does not cost a fortune and gives us the confidence that we need.
2 Save the “shoes and bag to match” and satellite dish headgears for the “owambe” parties that they are meant for and avoid wearing them to your child’s school.
3.Do not engage in a dressing competition with your child by wearing spaghetti tops, cleavage revealing dresses, bum clutching trousers, skimpy skirts and dresses etcetera. You have had your turn, let them have theirs and please avoid a situation where you might be mistaken for the help. If you must wear such, save them for evening outings.
4. Dads too should dress appropriately and avoid undersized clothing and sagging of their  trousers. It is not this type of dressing that will portray you as a cool dad. Nowadays we can hardly tell the difference between the dads and the drivers.
5.  This point applies to both parents but mums are guiltier, if by chance you get the opportunity to lead prayers, either opening or closing, please keep it short, do not turn what  ought to be a simple prayer into a crusade.

5. Avoid any side talk and incessant telephone conversations during meetings, surely we should be able to suspend  phone calls and other conversations for about an hour or two.

 6. Be polite, to the  teachers and to all members of staff, do not wait to be greeted first. It is alright if you initiate greetings and exchange pleasantries, being nice to them makes your child’s sojourn in the school more comfortable.
7. Obey all traffic and parking rules, the rules are for the  safety and security of your child.

 8.This one is for all the “Ipad photographers”, the parents that come for school events armed with ipads, camcorders, cameras, camera phones and all other sorts of recording devices. They do not bother to look for seats for they have come with the intention not to sit at all but to make sure they record all that takes place even if it means obstructing other peoples view while at it. Please let us respect the feeling of others.
There are so many other situations that are not covered but we can not go wrong if we apply common sense at all times. Let me recount a particular incidence witnessed by me; a mum came for a PTA meeting and brought a dog with her (not a guard dog mind you, it was a chihuahua),  and  after a while, the dog grew restless and started whining and making some disturbing noises . Upon being told that dogs were  not allowed at meetings (as if that was not obvious enough), and that she had to leave the meeting if she insisted on keeping the dog with her, she became very angry and almost brought the meeting to an end with the trouble that ensued. Needless to say, her child was the butt of all jokes in the school for the rest of the term.
Which of the above are you guilty of ?
Mum is not the word,  decorum and moderation are the words at all times.