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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Children are what we make them

3rd August 2011

Children learn through imitating us. They look at us as role models. Whatever they do or become, we as parents are greatly responsible for their behaviour. It is for this reason that we should act consciously for our behaviour might negatively influence our children and determine who they become.

Children who grew up listening to kind words will grow up to be very compassionate adults. Children who grow up listening to harsh and rude words will grow up to be very hard hearted adults who know no compassion for anyone.

One thing that we often do as parents is argue and fight in front of our children. No matter how angry we are or how badly wronged we feel we are, we should maintain our calm and avoid yelling at each other in front of our children. This will tear them apart emotionally.

We might not agree with our spouse over one thing or another but it is no use demonizing him or her in front of the children. Many a parent often find themselves complaining bitterly about their spouse to their children in the absence of the other party. Whilst this might seem the right thing to do for the wronged spouse, the truth of the matter is, it is not.

You will not solve anything by telling your children that their father or mother is hopeless, terrible etc in fact, you will emotionally torment your children.

They will lose their sense of security. Children need a home where both mother and child are happy, a home where their parents display that feeling of togetherness.

If ever you have to argue or talk to each other about any nasty incident, make sure you do that in the absence of your children. Do that privately and make sure you show smiling faces to your children so that you do not disturb them.

This also applies to divorced parents. Even if you have divorced and feel that you can never get back together again, never talk badly about the other part whenever you are with the children. Oh yes, children might ask why mum and dad are no longer staying together like their friends’ parents are doing.

Answer that in as simple a manner as possible. Just tell them that mum and dad cannot stay together anymore and it is for the good of everyone but assure them that they can visit mum or dad anytime without any reservations.

There is no need to tell them about the problems that two had. These are just children and all they need is love and care from both parents. There is absolutely no need for you to tear them apart because you cannot solve your own problems. Spare them that trouble and ensure that they stay happy always.

I as much as you might be unhappy with your partner, you will not make things better by tearing each other I front of your children. They might appear not to know anything but they are human beings in their own right and will soon make their judgments.

You might talk to them in such a manner that will make them believe you are right but with time they will grow up and learn to make their own judgments.

They will eventually know that you were the wrong one and that you are the one responsible for denying them happiness, the one responsible for denying them the comfort of living in a happy family and they will never forgive you for that.

In whatever we do we should always remember that it has a bearing on our children. Some children grew up hating the marriage institution because of what their parents were doing whilst others grew up to love that institution because of the beautiful way in which their parents conducted their marriage.

Today I would like us as parents to consider the way we are running our marriages. Are we running them in such a way that would encourage our children to have their own families or we are constantly displaying nasty images that will make our own children lose respect for the marriage institution? If so what are we planning to do? Happy

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