“Nna mme wa ka nrata abuti Themba” (My mom loves me, Themba)- said a somewhat 9 year old round hunch back boy to me as we walked about 2 kilometers to his home after our first day art session. Tshepo (not his real name), was one of my dedicated art student at a North West province community art class I had just initiated in 1996 prior to finishing my matric.
Approaching his place of stay, I admirably remained intrigued that this humped back lad who knew no disability or at least concerned thereof. Except only for the maternal fact that her mom love her more than anything else on earth.
No chronic spinal deformity could match up with the “home-is-where-the-heart affections he had received despite the daily township ridiculing and embarrassment spitted naughtily by his non-empathetic peers. As it was a norm for kids on the streets to form subcultural groups and wait to tease any disabled child passing by.
These words “Nna mme wa ka nrata abuti Themba” super glued tearfully in my memory to this very this book edition! Moreover what I found surprising is that the hunch back lad was walking barefooted and did not even mention the expensive material toys that his mother likely bought for him.
Confessingly, I cannot recall any moment under the sun when I proudly recited those words of love expression about my single parent mother. Not that she was absent like my father, forever present as she was the only thing is the language of love was never the kindergarten dialect of the day. Inaudibly so, I personally have to remind myself to say “I love you “popo” (nickname) to Neo my son, let alone the beneficial neurological effect of hugging.
Albeit countless scientific researches and psychological analysis on the theory of physical contact among humans, yet as single parents we still continue to overlook the self-autonomy advantages of hugging and cuddling our children. As Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D. Attachment & Maternal Love During Infancy & Childhood remarked;
Loving maternal contact promotes psychological development, maximizes emotional stability and will increase a persons overall intellectual capabilities and IQ. Similarly, the more physical interaction received during adulthood, e.g. hugging, touching, the better is one able to cope with crisis and the stresses of every day life.
http://brainmind.com/AttachmentMaternalLoveInfancyChildhood.htmlThis is the kind of much needed piece of positive child reinforcement nurturing that should resonate with millions of single parents as they raise their out-of-wedlock and those from “my first marriage” boy children.
Could it be that the emotional and physical disconnection is brought to contrast by the daily overwhelming stress of single parenting? Consider some of this nerve breaking routines and that single parents have to undergo in raising their “little man”.
• The strain of using public transport only to arrive late at the nursery or after care school.
TO BE CONTINUED….
Taken from the upcoming best selling book by Themba Simelane.
RAISING BOYS LIKE LITTLE HUSBANDS