This morning as I was taking my son to school, I witnessed a few ladies escorting wailing or angry children to school, young between ages 4 and 5 years old. The one who stood out was one whose son who was literally wailing, and this lady was clearly his mother not a house-help. Mum was walking ahead leaving the poor boy to run after her carrying his school bag, though she kept turning a few times to issue threats.

My first thought was to ask the mum to stop, wait for her son and calm him down. This is the last thing you want to do, show another woman you can handle her child better than she can, especially in public. No matter how justified the mother was, taking a wailing child to school is fruitless. You can be sure today will be a wasted day in school for that boy. So who is the winner in this situation?

Why not take a few minutes come down to the child’s level and just listen, make peace, may be even apologize for whatever it is you have done or not done. Part with your child in good terms, you never know what the day has for you. The issue at hand can be solved later in the day after you have both calm down.

What is Parenting to you?

The question sounds off base, but think about it, when do you consider yourself a good parent?

  • Is it when you indulge your children at their every whim?
  • Is it when you provide all their material needs?
  • May when you delegate all the parenting duties to the nanny/house-girl?
  • Is it when you drill discipline into your children, that no one talks when you are at home?
  • Or when you enroll your child in the most expensive school  to fit in with your buddies?
  • May be when you have more children of there than in your own house? (dume ya mtaa)

There is nothing wrong with being a good provider and disciplinarian, the question is what value are you adding to your child’s life daily? Most of us (if you born before the eights) were brought up in homes when you were there to be seen not to be heard. As a child you had no reason, actually could not have entertained the thought of questioning your parents. They always knew best and their word was law.

Times have changed, my 6 year old son makes his opinion clearly heard on almost every issue been discussed in the house. Is this a good thing, I think so and I encourage it since I want to understand why he reasons about certain issue about the way he does. It does not mean I will charge my decision based on this opinion but at least I listened to him.

You child will only be a child for a very short time, so how much of that time are you spending with him/her. I agree times are hard and we all have to work extra hard to provide for them but why work that hard for someone you have no relationship with apart from the DNA connection?

In Parenting, You have to Be There!!

This does not only apply to “the perfect” family set up – nuclear family but also single parents. Every child, of course apart from the “Dolly babies”, has 2 parents. Whether you live with the child or not you should be there for that child for emotional support. We tend to think money provides all solutions but believe me it does not. There are times a child needs a parent just to be there, physically present.

I remember the other night my son turned to me in his sleep and said, “ mummy never leave me, not even in bed” and only after I consented did he continue sleeping. That shook me out of sleep for I don’t where it came from but there it was, assurance for I will always be there for him. Will it always be possible? No, but when such instances present themselves, we will discuss them before hand.

So as long as you have fathered or mothered a child, always remember you owe that child more than just fulfilling your financial obligations. Make them a priority, make time to do homework with them at least twice a week, spend every other weekend doing what they like, take them to school at least twice a week and tuck them in to bed often.

It is the small things your parents did for you or you did with them that stand out in your memories. Create even better memories with your children. Happy parenting, it is not easy, but don’t we all live by it “nothing good comes without sacrifice.”

Written by: 

Pauline is the CEO at Allen Cole, also consults for iWork and Elite Writers Hub. She works with small and medium size organizations to increase their visibility online through corporate blogging, content creation, website development and social media engagement.