Dear parents, I write this to you; for you bear the sword of an authority over your children. I address you with honour because you have a heavenly previlege not only to procreate but to bestow blessings upon your children. But here I have a word for you.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Bring up your child properly. Inculcate right values in them while they are young and don’t forget to lead by example. The children’s brains are far more powerful and intuitive than you can ever imagined. They remember more of your examplary deeds than your words. They look up to you as a role model. Father don’t raise your hand on your wife; your son is watching. Mothers don’t backbite your husband relatives your daughter is hearing. What you do Infront of your children matters. Show them how to behave when they’re as young as from age 1-7 and you will never regret when they grow up.
On discipline you shouldn’t spare the rod for your children. They say spare the rod spoil the child. None of you should take side with the children when they did something wrong. Mothers don’t defend your children misconduct when your husband what to chasten them, and this goes also to the fathers.
Speak quietly so children can hear your words instead of just your voice. Yelling silences your message. Punish them with one hand and bring them again close to you with the other one. Don’t push them away; Avoid using abusive language. Be controlled not to hurt them either physically or emotionally. Remember they’re still your children.
BE CLOSE TO YOUR CHILDREN
Build friendship with your children when they’re still young. I direct this especially to you fathers. Instill in them respect not fear. Take notice when they do something good and congratulate them and don’t be in a habit of scolding them all the time. Boys needs affirmation from their fathers lest they seek it somewhere else. This is one of the reasons your sons join gangs and keep bad company in a quest for affirmation. It is discouraging I once handled a case of a young man who abuses drugs and he told me his close friends who are also into drugs praise him and this keeps his spirit high; thus why he keeps hanging with them. He confessed they’re bad influence to him. But guess what he needs them inorder to be affirmed.
Mothers your daughter is a precious jewel. You too knows that. Teach them sex education as early as possible. The father can handle the boy child. If you don’t teach them, the world will do it in there on way, and you know what? Your baby girl will get back to you with another baby. Just continue to be shy but your daughter won’t be shy when she will tell you to your face that she’s pregnant with another baby boy.
If you won’t be friends with your children when they’re young forget it when they become of age. Infact your children will never share their inner secrets with you instead they will confide to someone outside. Anyway how are they going to trust you in the first place when all you know is to yell at them at the slightest mistake? Well, trust me you’ll live with your children as strangers under the same roof; and to know them you will have to ask other people outside.
TAKE INTEREST IN THEIR AFFAIRS
Children behave better when you are involved in their education at home and at school. This habit of you not attending school meetings should be reformed; the more you encourage them in their education the more they will strive to put a smile on your face.
I do understand you watch news with your television but I won’t understand you if you allow your children to stick on it more than three hours a day; because such children have higher chances of conduct and relationship problems. Restrict their access to TV on a time they need to do homework; and monitor the programs they normally watch. In this century your children are at risk of being exposed to
violence, inappropriate sexuality and offensive language.
Encourage creativity on your children. Identify their strengths and support them.
Tell your children who they are, what they need to know about the family. Introduce them to those they are related. Atleast walk with them sometimes and how you interact with other family members they will pick some few lessons. Don’t hide any of your close relations to them because they’re cases of people marrying their blood brothers and sisters. Do the necessary and avert this from happening.
In conclusion a Swahili saying says “hoja si kuzaa ni kulea”….and I will add mine that “mtoto hafugwi analelewa.” The family institution is the primary level of of socialization where children learns the do’s and the don’ts. Be a responsible parent.