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Should your kids be better than you?

24 March 2015, 17:38 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi -  Long ago when I was a child, there was this soap opera; La Mujer De Mi Vida. It was one of the first Mexican soaps to hit our screens, so obviously the novelty of this different culture played a part in making me a fan. It was a treat when my parents were never around so that we would not have to go head to head on who would hold the remote. I should also add, as long as my parents were at home, they were the ones who would end up with the remote no matter who won the argument. My mother’s favorite phrase was, ‘Kama unataka kuwatch chenye unataka how about you go buy your own television.’ She also knew you could not afford one, but she enjoyed saying it.

The neighbor’s house became our other home, but we had to sneak there otherwise we would get a thrashing. On the odd days that we would convince them to watch, we would technically end up not watching. Not because they changed stations but because of the love scenes. If any love interest looked like they were about to start their romancing business; we would all over a sudden remember something we had left either in the kitchen or the bedroom. We would stand in the corridor until they finished then get back. I never watched a love scene with my parents. Also, I have never seen my parents kiss or hug or pecking each other. If I needed something in their room I would pick it while they were out.

Now the digital children look like they would teach me a thing or two even advise me if the opportunity came up in all matters love. It is partly not their fault or even what they see on screens. When you grow up in a certain kind of household some things just become ingrained in you. I do not think I will ever be able to romance my husband while my children are around. Or make-out with my husband while the children are watching or touch my husband in a provoking type of way in front of them. I will think I am sullying their young innocent minds. I might educate them about sex but I doubt I will give them a personal view.

The new age parents though, I do not think that they think like I do. Blame it on what we think parenting should be. We work with different norms and we scorn the traditional way of doing things. We believe proper parenting should be about being open with your children and making them your friend but we do not know how to screen. We think our children should see us being affectionate with each other to show them that they come from a loving family. We think just because they have already seen it on television then there is no reason as to why we should behave differently around them.

I think that I would cry if I saw my baby girl dancing to ‘bend over’ with her age mate. I do not know how to beat kids let alone my own. I think I will take them to my mother when it comes to discipline. I am worried she is getting old though and she will not be as effective as she used to be.

In all matters romance; what about the people sharing a one roomed house with the children? Theirs is the situation of more than 60% of our population. Not many can afford good living arrangements especially in the urban areas. So most young couples are forced to share their bedroom with everyone else. It will be the living room, the television area and in a lot of cases also the kitchen. In such cases that is when parents get an I don’t care attitude and give children tales to tell us.

It would be so embarrassing for me if my child found me in an entangling situation and broadcasted it in a family get together.

The new age children are brought up under new rules, I might shelter mine when they are at home but they will have their age mates to educate them. In other words children are no longer raised by their parents but children are raising each other.

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