Did I tell you about my last trip along Northern Bypass?
It was chaotic.
In a bid to get closer to my children, I asked my wife to let me drive them to and fro School starting this term.
For long, my wife has done the role very well without any complaints. Waking up daily at 5:30 am to drop, and picking them from school at 4 pm sharp.
I did a social life audit and realized that much as I gave ‘strangers’ a lot of my face time, I was scarce to my children. It should not be like that. And on I took up the responsibility from wifie.
I am sure you know some parents who are strangers to their families. You live in the same house, pay the school fees on time and other home bills. However, your daily routine of waking up at 8:00 am, when the kids have already gone to school, and returning home at about 10 pm, when the kids are already deeply asleep, make you a stranger to your children. As Africans, we say, our children are an investment. You want them to become better citizens in the future, live decent lives and help their siblings. If you don’t make time for your children they will not make time for you if God blesses you with good health and you live longer!
We all know that children once they become of age, get their own aspirations and priorities. However, if parents bonded and showed care during the formative years, in old age, the children tend to listen to them as well as provide support in terms of visiting the family home often, celebrating family holidays together and generally helping out cashwise, in case the parents need a leg up. You don’t want to be alone in your old age because the children forgot about you!
They say men tend to be lonely and suffer a lot from women when it comes to senior citizens. Children tend to remember, think and give support more to their mothers. I think because mothers spend a lot of time than daddies with their children.
Now I know, you cannot say you are a good parent if you don’t know what is happening in your children’s lives? Here is a simple test. Get a pen and answer? If you score 10 out of 10, you are a fantastic parent. If you score 6 out of 10, you are a fair parent. If you score less than 6 out of 10, you are a poor parent. You must attend a parenting forum ASAP
Here we go;
- Write your children’s names in full and their respective dates of birth?
- Name any one teacher for each of your children? Do you know their contact numbers?
- What is your children’s favourite meal, colour, and game?
- For each of your children, what is the name of their best friend?
- What is your child’s best subject?
- What do your children do, immediately they return from school?
- What is your children’s favourite meal?
- When did you last go out with your children? What outdoor activity do they love most?
- Do your children know your favourite meal?
- Can all of your children tell your mobile number off the head? (for any 5 years old and above).
How did you score?
You have an opportunity to improve. We all do. It is never too late to do the right thing.
As I drive with the children to school daily, I get to learn a lot of things about their small worries, aspirations, and requests from Dad. These little ones know so much about the family and their teachers know everything about us. It is so mind-blowing.
They know when dad is annoyed or when is happy. When to ask for money for the next trip or a new book. You cannot be a good parent if you don’t get to know your children well. Are you a stranger to your children?
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.