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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Whatever you it with love

28th December 2011

I am sure you all agree with me that if you're a parent, you get plenty of suggestions on how to raise your child. From experts to other parents, people are always ready to offer advice. Parenting tips, parents' survival guides, dos, don'ts, shoulds and shouldn'ts - new ones come out daily.

The truth is there is more than one "right" way to be a good parent. Good parenting includes quite a number of things from showing affection and listening to your child, providing order and consistency, setting and enforcing limits , leading by example …the list is endless.

The most important thing to remember is whatever you do make sure you do it with love. Whether you are punishing or rewarding your child make sure that is done with love.

I have always advocated for consistence in raising our kids because once we lose it our children will soon get back to their bad ways of doing things knowing pretty well that mom or dad only threatens to take certain actions if we do ABC but never does.

The catchword is if you are not sure you are going to take the action then don’t threaten to because it is worse off to set conditions and fail to meet them.

I know this is a hard thing to do but we ought to strive to do that in order to put things right because if you don’t your children will leave your hands to go out into the world without proper preparation.

The world out there is rough and tough, no one really looks after you so you ought to give your children the necessary preparation so that when they go out there they are able to brace the challenges of life.

If you get too protective for your children, you are only spoiling them and this will do no good to them. There won’t be any mother or father to take care of them when they are out there.

Take it from me, I know what it means to be away from home from your mother dealing with people who do not care a bit about who you are or what you stand for and you really have to roughen and toughen up in order to make things work. Would I manage if I had been used to be spoon-fed by my parents? Definitely not, so we ought to prepare our children for the rough life ahead of them.

Two days ago I had to watch my kids go to school without their packed sandwiches for break. It was hard and I felt like running after them but I just restrained myself from doing so and after that I haven’t seen any of them forgetting the sandwiches anymore.

After dressing up my sons were busy chatting and just wasting time and I asked them several times whether they had already put their lunch boxes in their bags and each time they replied, “we will do so mom don’t be freaky.”

So the freaky mum decided to keep quiet but later realized that the so called organized boys had left their sandwiches.

The other one had even forgotten his school diary but I said I am not taking anything to that school.

Let them face the consequences of their actions and believe me now I do not have to yell countless times about the school diary or sandwich or whatever. Before going to bed I only ask once if both of them have packed their books in their bags and in the morning my job is to make sure the lunch boxes are ready no more struggling to make sure the boys have taken them. It has saved me a lot of trouble.

Had I made the mistake of making arrangements for that school diary and the sandwiches I am sure I would be doing that two to three times in a week. Since they know I am not going to do that, they really make sure they have everything they need before going to school.

So fellow parents, just be consistent and you will see things falling in place. You will have a relaxed life and you will discover that you will do less yelling and shouting in order to get your kids to do certain things.

If you wanna be a softie, then you ought to be prepared to chip in here and there to save your children.

You ought to be prepared to run after them to school bringing the forgotten math book, school diary or sports uniform.

Fine, you can do that and you can say I am comfortable doing that but imagine what will happen when your child starts working and possibly is working far away from home? Are you going to take his forgotten laptop or presentation to the office? Are you still going to hover around your child’s office and protect him/her from his boss for the tasks that he forgot to complete?

Happy parenting! Mail your views to

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