Parenting: You are your child
Written by Timothy Makokha
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How does it feel to be a parent? Being a parent is one of the most pleasurable things in this world. The destiny of a child lies in the hands of a parent/guardian, in other words the power to alter the behavior of your child is with you.
Sometimes when dealing with children, words alone are not enough. Show rather than tell what you exactly want your child to learn.
Parenting involves instilling a culture in the child. When this young one grows up, there is a likelihood that he/she will treat others and/or their children the same way you did to him/her. Provide a favorable atmosphere for your child to exercise self-direction yet set limits so that they can develop self control.
Sometimes I like the Swahili saying ‘mtoto umleavyo ndivyo akuavyo’ (life of a child depends on the way he/she is brought up). That’s why in some cases when a person becomes a public nuisance, people question about the person who raised him/her. At times the concept of a teacher and the school someone went through is questioned depending on character of a person.
Don’t wait until too late in order to shift blame on others. Teachers have a role to play in shaping individual but other partners including parents, and the community at large should as well do their part to raise responsible citizens.
Towards the end of last year, we received news through newspapers that a single mother from Kisii County burnt her three teenage daughters with a hot panga on the buttocks. How do you expect such girls to handle their children in future when they grow up? Which attitude did they develop towards their mother?
Whenever things get tough, it helps to get back to the basics to address issues from the very beginning and build upwards towards a desired solution.
A child in most cases will see her own parents as role model; will always look unto the eyes of the mum/dad when doing anything to see the kind of reaction that will come from you as a parent. Your character as a parent would definitely have a bearing on your child’s behavior.
As much as it is advisable to love children, but it should be with moderation in the sense that too much love can spoil a child.
Adapt your parenting style to fit your child. The world is changing and one should not expect own child to behave the way our grand fathers were brought up. Although care must be taken with moderation and precaution to avoid conflicting interests between parents and children.
As a parent, it is important that you set rules governing yourself and the family at large. After setting rules, then be consistent in following your standing orders. At the same time, ensure you have explained your rules clearly to members of your family, introduce them to your child as early as possible.
Being strict is different from harshness. Avoid harshness at all cost in order to create good rapport with your child. Be very careful while administering negative reinforcement to your child, take time first to explain the mistake made before administering punishment which should be appropriate depending on the age of the child. Combine affection and discipline to reduce negative traits in a child.
Praise a child who does anything good or behave well. If possible, reward a child by buying him/her a present immediately after an act in order for the child to make a connection between your reward and what she/he had done.
Child upbringing is a God given privilege which should not be abused whatsoever by anyone. Treat the young ones with the care and affection they deserve in order to create better citizens and future leaders.