I am aproud mother of a dashing and energetic boy nicknamed The Champ and this month when ‘Wacha niKwambie Uzima’ focuses on Parenting in a month dabbed #ChildrenareagiftfromGod, this topic is especially close to my heart, because no one gives you a manual to follow as a new parent when you are presented with that little bundleof joy to call your own – daughter or son whatever the case may be. I am extremely eager to explore and learn and sharpen my saw in matters Parenting this month of February 2016.
This past week . ‘Wacha nikwambie Uzima’ focused on certain critical areas:
· –Are you ready to be a parent?
· – Essential characteristics of a good parent/ good parenting?
· –We flipped the coin and also discovered the qualities of bad parents and the effects of negative Parenting.
·-We closed the week by looking at common challenges of the modern parent.
So this Sunday morning, I am asking myself some hard questions. Am I really ready to be a parent?If the reason of having a child was to solve relationship trouble or get someone who loves me then perhaps, I shouldhave reconsidered being a parent. Am I in a stable nurturing relationship to rear a childor if I am on my own, do I have a sufficient support network to bring upmy child? Am I ready to put my child’s needs ahead of my own? Am I ready to give up some of my time tomy child?Do I have the necessary finances in place to rear a child? Am I willing to gain the necessary skills to be a parent?These questions indeed call for some honest and real soul searching.
What makes a good parent and on the flip side what are the characteristics of a bad parent? As obvious as this may sound, I needed to remind myself on what it takes in this journey called Parenting. A good parent is loving and affectionate towards their child. This parent ensures that they have sharpened their communication skills so that they can read in between the lines of what their child is saying and get subtle hints from body language.Because it takes money to raise a child, a good parent puts their finances in order and is an aspirational role model to their child. Good parents are said to be trustworthy, understanding, supportive towards their children. They call a spade a spade and are frank in all matters that pertain to their children. They encourage their children to be the best that they can be. They are patient and embrace change.
Flipping the coin to the signs of bad parents: Bad parents neglect their children and fail to meet their needs. They exhibit physical and verbal abuse. Parents who do not discipline their children and let them grow like wild weeds fall in this category. Parents who fail to manage their finances for provision of their children are also bad parents. A parent who tries to live dreams through his or her children instead of letting the child nurture his self is a toxic parent. In the same bandwagon are parents who show open favoritism and partiality and distrust their children. Now negative or bad Parenting should not just be taken at face value or lightly as it has far reaching consequences to ones child. Negative Parenting reduces the intelligence levelsand career success of children. Bad Parentinghas a negative effect on the morality of children and may lead to increase in violence and crime prone children. I am on the alert now, as I came to learn this past week that negative Parenting may affect children’s perceptions towards relationships, will negatively affect their physical health and could propel addictions as a coping mechanism to hurt, disappointment and pain.
Parenting is a journey that successful parents do not travel on their own. They learn from their failures and keep on trying harder. They know that the journey of Parenting will not a smooth sail and constantly strive to be the people they hope their children will be. They take Parenting in stride, not as a chore but as something to be enjoyed, despite and inspite. they know that even if they themselves had negative experiences as children it does not mean that history will repeat itself with their own children. They will learn from their parents’ mistakes so to speak and strive not to repeat them.
I live in modern times, my experience in Parenting has unique challenges that my parents may not have faced. Time indeed remains a key challenge; balancing all the obligations that are expected of a modern parent remain a challenge, the falling social and moral fabric and failure to connect with one’s children posesa challenge in modern day Parenting. Technology too presents a challenge. Can you think of other challenges that the modern parent faces? It all boils down to a delicate balance and compromise.
So help me God in this Parenting journey.
Have a blessed Sunday and an awesome new week ahead!
Let us meet again next weekend when we begin looking at the unique needs of different age groups beginning with early childhood (0-5 year olds.)