Just who is nurturing your baby while you are away?
This phrase is not very scholarly but has just been coined right now by me as I am typing: "Children are like fresh buds that grow to towards the direction of light". This quote implies and can serve as a good analogy to how external environment influences a child's growth. At a tender age, you will see many events and through your photographic memories many things will surely remain stuck in your mind.
Right now I am narrowing down to my late twenties and I can still vividly remember how to prepare African bread using sour milk as one of the ingredients. Our granny exposed us to this a couple of decades ago. Most of the English pronunciations I learnt at tender ages are firmly stuck in my memory. I can spell very well the word 'boy' as 'boy' and not 'bouy' which is a local brand of soap in Kenya.
Virtues and the vices
Depending on our religious affiliations and cultures, we always have diverse ways of determining what is actually acceptable and those that are not. Children develop a sense drawing contrast between the good and bad with regards to what the prevailing cultural regulations and laws are all about.
When we were younger, we were always subjected to serious punishments when involved in cases related to theft, deceit, violence, abuse, sulking,gluttony and among others. On the other hand we were always commended for philanthropy, honesty,benevolence e.t.c
For morality, there is a bigger role being played by the cultural and religious norms. These are the two factors that will give a child direction on how to behave in public, when interacting with family members friends at work place and when enjoying time with a spouse.
Generosity and Greed
Our children can mostly borrow a lot from us with regards to our we treat others. When they are growing under circumstances that they have to share the little they have, they become accustomed to that only to instill that as part of their behaviour. They will learn that giving is a virtue that is followed by blessing, a subsequent virtue.
Children who end up being greedy are those that always pampered. They are not brought up under a culture of sharing with one another. If as a parent, you a buy for your child a snack and asks him or her to share with you; you are actually shedding the probable vice of greed that that may show up. It is a polite way of telling them that sharing is very important.
It is pertinent that we acknowledge that the environment and those who interact with our kids are determinants to their growth. A child that interacts with a greedy fellow will always do the same.
Source:African babies galleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
The influence of house maids
Not every person will have quality time with their children. Some have all the clocks around the week occupied by other work related issues. Perhaps they only have weekends to spend with their children, but other errands crop up in the process like going to church or traveling upcountry.
This therefore makes it inevitable that children have to grow up in the presence of house maids. They take them to and from school especially in African households. They prepare their meals, bathe them and dress them. They soothe them to sleep and wholesome feel the gaps that are left by mum and dad. The character of the housemaids themselves can either destroy or build the characters of the kids. May I make laugh abit by saying that most African teenagers lose their virginity to housemaids?
Yeah! This is because they develop curiosity of exploring with a women and they land on the easy targets around the house. These lady perhaps by thinking that the boy is very safe, they can just have unprotected sex. The repercussion can be disturbing if the maid herself was infected. It is therefore prudent to monitor the children very well so that as a parent, you instill your values on them.
Source:African babies gallery
Now we know that our children cannot spend much of their time with us. The question is" How can parents ensure that their children are growing under the perceived positive influences? How can we eliminate the above vices? Food for thought (Discussion will continue)