We owe it to our kids to be the best parents

2017-06-22 06:01
OPINIONThembile Ndabeni

OPINIONThembile Ndabeni

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Musician and soul singer, the legendary Babsy Mlangeni, used to sing: “intliziyo yam ibabuhlungu xa ndicinga ngeemfama ezingenabani ozihoyayo zihlala njalo elusizini. Bawo wethu bavelele thunuk’izazela zabany’abantu”.

I would like to spin this song in reference to absent parenthood, especially for lads who face challenges related to education.

Tripping over my children’s schoolbags coming from work has become a norm in my household.

I get an immediate request to assist with homework. These are the joys of being a parent!

Helping in their homework is considered as part of bonding with my young daughters.

I consider this as very special, and I wonder about children who have absent parents in their lives. Who comforts them in distress.

The absence of parents is something we need to think about in a rational manner when addressing these challenges.

Schooling was not easy for the black child in the past, but the workload for a child was not as heavy as it is today.

The replacement of standards with grades was not just a matter of semantics, but of content as well.

In Sub A and Sub B we used to have only a slate and a pencil. Then in Standard 1(Grade 3) we started carrying books. Today, kids carry books from Grade 1.

The volume of work is high from the onset. It is tough and challenging.

These challenges demand our involvement as parents.

My mother assisted me in Sub A (Grade 1) trying to write the a alphabet, she was there for those simple basics. How much more with the tougher ones for our lads at the same early age?

I make sure to attend to their homework even before having a cup of tea as a fix.

How much more to lads with irresponsible parents. Its definitely hard for the children and this obviously leads to frustration, anger, and health related hazard.

If children at secondary and tertiary levels struggle with accounting, science, and maths how much more with those little ones at foundation levels.

This becomes the basis for under-performance, drop-outs and misbehaviour in the future.

As parents you discover the child’s stream of talent during the process of assisting them.

The first foundation of the kids is their background; a household with sober, responsible parents and other family members.

It’s through our direct involvement in their lives and engagement that we are able to nurture them. It is also the period that we are able to discover their shortcomings and be able to act immediately.

In the past children who didn’t cope with lessons were simply dismissed as stupid without understanding their challenges.

I remember a chap who turned out to be a menace to society, although he came from a well-off family. And we always wondered why he was doing such things.

Now I understand. It was the lack of support from his family.

Our parents have passed, therefore, let’s shake things up for the sake of our kids. Let’s give them love and all the others shall follow.

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