May 18, 2024
News

What Are The To Do Or Not To Do Chores For Children?

By Bob Kisiki

The debate raged, spanning a surprising fortnight. Oh yes, that’s two weeks of debate which, if you consider, might not be too much, until you discover what the topic was. We debated (on social media and other communication channels), and what we debated was whether a man had the right to raise his (own) daughter the way he chose to.

We debated, and what we wanted to determine was if a girl should live life the way her father told her to. We debated and the matter on the table was if a woman was obliged to clean and cook and wash and cut her hubby’s nails and trim other places that needed trimming. That was the debate. You know it, don’t you?

So, if it took that long, we cannot sit wherever we might be and pretend that it was a trifle; some fleeting idea that came and, when the time was due, left. No, if people don’t feel passionate about something, they don’t dwell on it too long. So, let’s ask ourselves; who do we raise our children for? Why do we teach them the things we teach them; equip them with the skills we hand to them? Whose children are our children, anyway?

When you observe the life curve of a child, you might want to be humbled into the unflattering realisation that the children you have under your care might not exactly be yours, beyond the responsibility handed to you to raise them.

You will give them birth, take them for inoculation, educate them and feed and dress and love them whichever other ways you know how.

Then, just when they become significant members of the global community, they will step out. Some for a while; many for good; save for the occasional visit home. This, to me, seems like we raise children for society; we groom and skill and educate them to live alongside other people who form the global family.

What this means is, that before we choose what to do with them, we need to ask ourselves, where will they spend their lives? Who will they co-exist with? What will they need to accomplish?

A child washing dishes. Children should be able to live without any limitations and inhibitions and encumbrances

First, education and all the attending skills children gather as they grow up should be for their comfort and convenience. They should be able to live without any limitations and inhibitions and encumbrances. But also, we should be cognizant of the fact that nobody is sufficient in themselves, through and through. We study with other people. We work with other people.

We attend church fellowships with other people. We even travel on buses and trains and flights alongside other people. Humans are a gregarious species, so we cannot ignore that critical fact when we choose what to teach our children and what not to teach them.

While it is true that nobody will live your child’s life for her, you can’t run away from the fact that she will need to belong with others, and that if what you handed her does not facilitate her efforts to belong; to fi t in well and to enjoy community, she will be a lifelong misfit.

The writer is a parenting counsellor and professional teacher

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