Growing up, Monica Lubega, a mother of three, says it was everyone’s duty in the community to instil values in children. Today, the trend seems to have shifted to parents alone because not even your immediate neighbour knows your name or family members. However, Lubega says as you revise set goals for 2019, you can learn a thing or two from other parents, depending on the age group.
Teach them how to save
Sarah Kisauzi, a mother of three, says growing up she was extravagant because she was not taught how to save. Thinking that anyone would give her money was close to impossible.
“Teach children the value of every currency denomination however, small it might be,” Kisauzi says. Some children think parents have all the money they need to spend hence mishandling their property such as scholastic materials.
“When you teach them how to save and value of money, they will look at every chance they have to save an extra penny. This way they become thrifty and responsible,” Kisauzi explains.
Depending on their age, you can buy them a piggy bank and teach them that every shilling accounts and it is that, which adds up to make a million. However, she says, let them work for their savings. “Assign them roles at home and once they do well you can pay them. Giving them money for free would not be a good idea as they will not find it necessary to work hard. Some might develop a habit of begging for money from relatives and strangers,” she warns.
Elijah Kakande, a father of two and a paediatrician, says as parents focus on their children’s performance, they should also consider keeping them healthy. He says back in time, schools had Physical Education which was part of the school timetable, something that kept them healthy.
Kakande says, encouraging children to work out reduces cases of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, among children.
“Get them involved in your daily workout routine, run, jog or walk with them because when you work them they will do it with ease,” Kakande highlights.
Stephen Mukasa, a teacher, says parents should teach their children to be appreciative. He believes children ought to learn not to cry or get annoyed because their parent cannot get for them certain items.
“Politely, let your children know that they cannot just have everything they want but can be appreciative of the little offered to them,” Mukasa says. Continue to help them know that with or without certain things, life goes on.
To teach them about gratitude, Mukasa says, expose them to situations of scarcity or crises.
“Take them for a visit in the prisons; different wards in hospital, shelters for needy or vulnerable children,” he explains. That will help teach them how to appreciate there is nothing small for a thank you.
Children love to explore and getting in their way might hinder them from learning, especially with home chores. Lubega says let them mess up first, then step in to correct them. For example, let them wash clothes. If they are not clean, then teach them and let them redo the washing.
“Assign them responsibilities depending on their age. Assuming they are still young will not help because the world is not fair to anyone,” she says, adding, “Teach them that with or without their parents, they have to work independently.”
Listen, decide on what is right
Lubega says as children grow they are easily influenced by a number of things and at times they assume they only have to listen to their teachers and friends who at times misinform them. At school, they are told to listen to what their teachers have to say but must they listen to everything? What about at home, are they listened to or do they still have to just listen without being given a platform to express themselves? Listening is two-way.
“My children are between 15 years and 22 years. As teenagers, they are easily distracted but I sit with each one of them and listen to their side of the story. This way, they can pay the same attention when someone else is talking to them,” Lubega explains.