Holiday time semantics

Min Atek

What you need to know:

One man of the robes asked a fundamental question to every parent. How can you wash your car from a washing bay when you have relatively grown children at home?

Many years ago, and it’s quite amazing how quickly the time has flown by, my dearest friend Nantale who has since rested from the physical world told me that she always took leave when the children were on holiday. At the same time, she gave her domestic assistants leave and took on the role of spending quality time with her children. Because they were all by themselves, she together with the children worked together, played together, fought together and bonded together.

I was always amazed by this ritual. It gave her quality time to grow with them, to instil in them her set of values and beliefs and also allowed them to bond together and to connect at different levels

The thing about this parenting journey is that when you’re going through it, it is easy to miss the fact that it is a very fast paced season. One moment the children are little and completely dependent on you and the next moment they have grown taller and bigger than the parents.

This is something I exercise myself too. To continually and regularly review my relationship with the children. I check myself on how well I am relating, communing, communicating, grooming, grounding, guiding, nurturing, inspiring, motivating and directing them.

I often throw them in deep end situations to challenge them to be thoughtful, to be creative and to innovate. Last night, I sat with them to speak about the fact oftentimes, children bring insects and bugs from boarding school which affects all of us.

One man of the robes asked a fundamental question to every parent. How can you wash your car from a washing bay when you have relatively grown children at home? How can you have a maid cooking all the meals at home when you have children who could confidently clean the house and make food?

The holidays are times of rest for the children but that should not translate into simply sleeping endlessly, watching television into the wee hours of the morning, eating everything in the house and roaming the entire neighborhood.

Holidays should be double edged. There’s times to rest from the rigours of school and academia but also offer the time for the children to strengthen their social and hospitable skills.

In a generation where everything is worked by technology and artificial intelligence, it’s critical that the children are empowered to know how to live the day to day life. To be creative, to be sensitive, considerate and mature. How well can they hold and sustain conversations? What is their emotional intelligence like?

Can they slaughter a chicken, feed goats or milk cows? Are they familiar with the running of day to day errands at home? Do they know what after sweeping the compound, the leaves can work as manure or mulching for the vegetable garden? Can they rear rabbits at home and do they know that rabbit meat is a great source of in. The holidays offer us valuable learning time for the present and future. May God help us all.


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