Instilling good values

2016-11-09 06:00
Adv. Kuni Ditira, social observer

Adv. Kuni Ditira, social observer

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Many couples are struggling to conceive and have a child of their own. Infertility can be due to a lot of reasons. Sometimes fertility treatment can be used, which may include in vitro fertilisation, which involves fertilisation in a test tube, after which the fertilised egg is implanted into the woman. There is also surrogacy, which means another woman may carry a fertilised egg of another woman. Other people go for adoption. In our black society, we do not understand these developments. There are divorces, because a spouse may feel that he or she wants their own children. In other cultures, people adopt. We would rather take a relative’s child and raise the child as our own.

Someone who is said to have adopted told me how she was drinking medication from a certain nationality which helped her to conceive. I am not sure whether that story is to protect the child or to protect herself.

People are sometimes loath to adopt, because they do not know who the parents are and what genetics or characteristics the child may inherit.

However, this can also happen with your own children. Speaking to a friend about the issue, she was saying sometimes the parents will discourage you from marrying someone, but fail to give reasons. Then later your children end up in prison, because they “inherited” certain characteristics from the spouse’s family.

I am one person who believes that you can teach a child good moral values. There are characteristics that you may inherit from the parents. However, your integrity, your values and ability to discern what is right and wrong are what you learn. I may be wrong. I have stayed with other people’s children from as long as I can remember. While at university, I stayed in a single room sharing a bed with my niece. Later, I had to share a bachelor flat with children whose ages ranged from those at primary school to one who was at university. When I eventually got a house, I had other people’s children staying with me. I have learnt that a child will listen to one and respect one even if one is perceived as being strict. There are those, however, who have their own minds and who are stubborn. They will undermine your rules. It doesn’t matter what their parents’ values are or what they had been taught at home. Instead of showing gratitude for what one has done for them, they will react in an unpleasant way.

Adopted children, when they get older, will tend to be curious about their origins. They will want to know, amongst other things, if their parents loved them. This I believe is part of an identity journey each teenager undertakes. They may still love their adoptive parents, but they would want to know their real parents. The adoptive parents may feel that the child does not show gratitude.

Having been in loco parentis for more than 30 years, I know that you can adopt and have the joys of parenting. You can instil your good values in the child, especially from an early age.

) Express welcomes anyone interested in contributing to the weekly column. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words in Sotho or English) via email to teboho.setena@­

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