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Deadbeat; Responsibility goes beyond monetary support

16 September 2014, 10:02 Pancras Mutuma

Nairobi - The recent hullabaloo about irresponsible parents and lack of provision of support (read money), has been somewhat misplaced. Not only misplaced in regards to how the affected single parents have gone about exposing their allegedly irresponsible fathers and mothers of their children, but also misplaced in the sense that the only thing that the people seem keen on laying bare is lack of monetary support from the runaway fathers and mothers.

While it is important to put parents to task to cater for their children through provision of finances, we are missing the point if that is all we advocate for. Not only is the route we are taking wrong, but it is not very clear how such parents that have absconded their duties will be prompted by Facebook and social media to change their hearts.

Many people hardly care about being embarrassed. Taking care of a child is a choice one can only make and even though they may be prompted by law, it is still not enough.

For any child to have a good upbringing, they need support, mostly moral, from both parents - under whatever circumstances.

It is disheartening to note that the current trend is to have children, and as long as a parent can provide finances, their presence in the child’s life is totally ignored.

We live in a society filled with so much ill and often fail to understand that what brings about this is irresponsibility and general negligence in child upbringing.

We live in a society where young people care very little for anything. Where being respectful is seen as deviant. Where young people lead lives of endless merry making, partying and indecent dressing yet we still sit back and wonder why this is happening.

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Ill morals will be forever present in our society if our focus remains on money.

If we keep on seeing parents as good parents as long as they are able to provide money for their children and forget about the children’s morals and other aspects of their lives, our societal morals will keep on being degraded.

We run the risk of bring up children who do not understand what authority is; what love is.

Since we are nearly opting to substitute our presence in our children’s lives with money, we should not be surprised if we have a generation of people who know no respect, and only live to party and have fun and ofcourse, use money.

While it is important to ensure that children are always materially provided for and live comfortable lives, we should advocate more for moral support.

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The decision to bring up children should be accompanied with the knowledge and awareness that children are not objects.

You cannot equate a child to a landlord who receives money at the end of the month and is happy.

Parents should be there for their children at all times, in all ways.

Pancras Mutuma is a Public Relations Consultant based in Nairobi. 

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