4 things you cannot tell your children
07 May 2015, 16:11
Nairobi - There is the educating them bit, then there is the creating
awareness bit, there is the one about informing them and there is also the one
that they just need to hear because it affects them.
Being a parent is like being in school. You are always
learning something new, how to apply it in different situations and the exams
are there-when the child goes out and interacts with other human beings or not
so human beings. At times, it is like a CAT-Continuous Assessment Test or a
RAT-Random Assessment Test; you know it is there you just do not know when it
is coming- it surprises you. Like when you tell them not to do something, they
do it then get you in trouble; that call that comes in because they are about
to suspend them yet you read for that exam and informed the child. Do you see
how it is like being in school and just like school-you never have all the
information it is a continuous process. The PhDs are the grandparents yet they
also still get surprised with new information.
In order not to fail that exam (when your child is out
there), there are a couple of things that they should be taken through.
Like Sex- Your child needs to be aware!
As a child, from Africa, in Kenya- African parents do not
talk about sex with their children.Ever! If a sex scene comes on, we all go to
the bathroom or remember something we forgot in another area. If a commercial
by Durex or Trust comes on we flip channels, even now.
I do not know if that contributed to me not engaging in sex
at an early age, or it might have per.… (okay this is not about me). Our
parents ignore the reality of sex or the fact that pornography is there and you
can stream it from the internet. Which is why I think you just need to make
your child aware. Closing your mouth creates a confusion in a child. They will
wonder what homosexuality is about- I do not think you will want them to
educate themselves on that.
Sit down, talk to your child and find out where their mind
is but do your research. You cannot have this conversation and when they ask
you a question you become a blubbering idiot. They will ask, it is your duty to
make them aware of everything; pornography, masturbation, homosexuality,
diseases, protection and what they can and cannot do with themselves or others.
Money problems and issues- they just need to hear especially
when it is going south
There is a fine line that needs to be toed when it comes to
talking money with your children. You cannot talk to them about your financial
woes, what went south business wise and how you may have bankrupted the family.
On the other hand, if you need to cut costs and their allowance might be
dwindling, you need to sit them down and tell them. African parents are not
into explaining themselves. At times you have to so that your child does not
resort to doing some things out of resentment just to get money. They need to
understand where you are coming from as a parent and why you made a certain
call on some decisions. This will breed them into being wiser in spending and
When one parent fouled the other-this one you cannot tell
It is not their business to keep tabs on your business.
Parents are everything wise but parents also know the best way to get back at
their partner is the children.
If someone cheated, if someone is cheating, if someone
swindled the other-deal with it among the two of you. Do not ‘trash-talk’ a
partner to the child and make them look bad.
It is right to tell your child the family is breaking up due
to irreconcilable differences but not get into the what, who and how of it.
Discussing your partners problems with the child-that is not
At the end of the day, the child will look at them as a
problematic individual who needs help. A child can lose respect for a parent
just from what you tell them. That is when they start
getting an attitude when they are sent by them, sneering when they are called
or mumbling under their breath when they speak. Do not make a child lose
respect for the parent because they end up dishonoring them and you played a
part in it.
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