Jan 15, 2012

The Art of Being a Parent

Howdy folks, its twenty twelve right? Ooh! I think it is! Sometimes I get lost in the early nineties when I was six. Well, welcome to my read. It’s a roller coaster read in which I will pull no punches; beware.
 
Do you have (a) kid/s? Yes, No! I don’t, I am not a father material just yet. I have lots of love for little ones though. Clich├ęs aside, little children are angels for real. You will make no sense of this anyway until you spend time with them to see how I mean.

If you don’t have your own, you may want to try those of your friend’s. Just give them your sincere attention, don’t act. Clean them, change their diapers, feed them, play with them, ride them around, make them laugh, do whatever you can to keep them happy until they sleep. If that is too much to do, then you can’t be any further from being a parent.

I chose to kick off my year at Kilimani’s New Life Trust, a home like no other with about forty five children. Only thirteen are toddlers. The rest are infants and they were all found abandoned in the streets some as young as only four days old. What an ordeal!

The forty five are lucky to the extent that they are well taken care of. But then I really don’t understand ‘why’ these little angels had to find themselves in strange hands at their tender age.

The fourteen toddlers, Shawn, Lukas, Ephraim, Ankas, Lydia, Christiana, Faggas, Noel, Max, Victor, Zablon, Tabitha, Jonathan and Meshack have become such friends that I can’t imagine missing even just for a day. I recommend you go visit them. Let’s face it; a child is the best friend you can ever have. I mean, all a child will care about is your attention, nothing more.

The forty five represent many more across the country not abandoned by insane people but some selfish and heartless irresponsible men and women.  I don’t belief that tough economic conditions have anything to do with it, its blatant rejection, just a nicer way of being cruel. They clearly do it because they know somebody will rescue them and take them to custody at some point.

For a while now, I have witnessed desperate uptight Kenyan women coming to New Life trying to find perfect children to adopt. They normally walk straight to the kids with smiles and hellos, a really nice gesture. What raises my eyebrows though is how choosy they can get. To them, some kids are beautiful and others are not.

The seemingly malnourished and those with darker skins get no attention from any of them at all. The act of showing open discrimination to innocent kids leaves no questions as to what kind of mothers they really aspire to be if at all.

My meticulous observation at the home has made me realize that I may after all not need a child of my own just yet. Not until that time I would have fully learned the art of being a father. I say this because I can’t be disappointed enough with the kind of parents I see around, not just in New Life.

Just because age is catching up with you or you recently got married and things are going well in your life does not necessarily mean you are ready for a child. You also don’t want to have a child because your folks and peers think that you should have one already. Neither should it be because your life sucks and you need a companion. I need no moral authority to tell you this, I just need pain.

On the other hand, you are probably that person who always provides for your children. You have them in private schools better than those of your relatives and neighbors’ right?  I assume that you also avail whatever it is within your means they need. You also have a nanny for them I guess, just to assist them with all they do!

You are that busy chap who understandably comes late at home and asks them, “Hey sweetie, look at what I brought you- did she feed you? By the way, do you like your school...” so on and so forth till you go to bed.Do you drive them to school? Is that all you do? Great, then you are a characteristic modern Kenyan father. Awesome parenting huh!

Somebody should answer me this, why is it that Kenyan parents and teachers like yelling at kids? I see that everywhere I go. It’s even worse with those who raise hands on them. You have no idea how they boil my blood. I hate my neighbors just for that. It’s really a lousy habit and if it does anything, it deeply develops anxiety in kids as they grow.

As a country, our parenting is obviously below capacity. That is why we have so many abandoned kids roaming streets and in children homes. You shouldn’t think you are a perfect parent because yours are with you. You too need a reality check at your home.

Parenting has got to be more than just keeping your children’s lifestyle better or at per with your neighbors’. It surely has to be better than showing off your son’s/daughter’s photo to friends. It has to go further than just dressing them well for snaps and posting their photos on facebook or buying them candy and ice-cream.

If God has blessed you with (a) kid/s of any kind, please give them all your attention. A child will need your happiness, time, stories and most importantly your friendship. He/she will need you to understand his/her language. Those other material things, any fool with money can do. 

Kosprin