Why you need to stop the 'kamama' and 'kababa' mode of parenting [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

Millennials and parenting

Graphic on parenting

“I would never want my kids to have the kind of life I had growing up”. This is a phrase that you will hear most parents uttering often enough.

In all honesty, every parent wants their children to have a better life than they did. That’s why a parent will take two jobs or juggle between a job and business just to give their children a high quality life.

Fair enough! However, parents are too busy focusing on giving their kids a happy life that they forget to instill crucial values and skills in these children they so love. I call it the “kababa and kamum” kind of parenting.

In this kind of parenting, kids get what they want. Kababa wants to watch the telly from dawn to dusk? Kababa gets that! Kamum is too tired and doesn’t want to do her homework? Daddy will do it for her and call the teacher to complain about “unrealistic homework”.

Parents find it extremely difficult to say no to their kids even if it’s very necessary. I bet they fear getting the child angry or making them feel less loved.

What can a 10-year-old do?

These kids will talk back to their nannies and even their parents. You instruct them to clear the table after dinner and what you get is eye-rolls!

What ever happened to good old parenting? We have spared the rod in the name of love and now we are bringing up messed up children.

What sort of adults will they be? They won’t be kids for eternity for sure. At some point, you will have to let them go out into the world. Do you think they are going to manage?

By the age of 10, I would do most of the house chores without help except for a few things like making ugali and milking the cows.

Today’s 10-years-olds must be followed, pushed, and still, they might not do the chores you allocate. It’s such a pity that some of them can’t clean their underwear.

These children want to play the whole day and if you dare ask them to fetch you a cup of water, it will be as if you’ve asked them to dig a one-acre shamba.

Times have changed and I wouldn’t expect a 10-year-old in 2021 to do what a 10-year-old would do two decades ago. But they should at least be in a position to do a few things here and there other than just playing.

Parents are entirely to blame

Let’s call a spade a spade for once. If your kids are irresponsible, you are at fault as a parent. Let’s stop blaming technology for our failed parenting. I am not saying that it should be all work without play. Far from it. However, balancing is paramount.

Teach your child basic skills and values such as cleaning after themselves, helping with easy chores such as folding laundry and spreading their bed. Imagine, it’s not going to kill them. On the contrary, they will grow into responsible adults and you will also have an easier time parenting.

Also, the world doesn’t like messed up children. Parents with undisciplined kids at times think that teachers and other people are picking at their children when they call out bad behaviour in them. The truth is, nobody hates those children. It’s only that you have failed to instill proper values in them and unless you play your rightful role as a parent, you are not helping them.

The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via contributors@pulse.co.ke.

Anne Wangechi is a freelance Content Specialist based in Nairobi. With six years of writing experience, including a considerable time working for Pulse Live Kenya. She finds joy in creating impactful content and helping others live their dream of becoming published book authors. The mom of one holds a BA in Linguistics, Media and Communication, from Moi University.

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