By Gloria Mwaniga
So it’s here again. The season when they’ll start scuttling into the house with boots full of mud, tear stained cheeks and bleeding limbs. The four year old with his toothless grin; reminding you to mark the calendar so he doesn’t forget to report to school next term. The twelve year old busy reading for her class seven exams and the sixteen year old whose only wish is that you leave him alone so that he listens to music and texts friends.
The school holidays, just like household shopping, bring with it a well blended mixture of pleasure and pain to any mother. Seeing their sweet faces after a long term is a satisfying experience. Knowing that they are warmly tucked in bed as you leave to face cold mornings; fills your heart with joy.
The fair share of trouble comes in many different forms. It could be in the name of broken utensils(usually your best set of china falls victim always) , or frantic phone calls from your house help reporting that your four year old hit his face while playing and that you need to do something, to make the bleeding stops. It could even be the sleepless nights you spend waiting up for your teen; whom you had granted permission to go for a daytime party, to arrive. Or worse still, the daily fights and confrontations over TV time vs. study time, house chores and dressing
Whatever it is, everyone bearing the title mother will agree that school holidays are a balm that clears every mother’s sore eyes. So, no matter what, this august, every mom should mark her diary to do at least one of the following:
Spend a day with every child and listen to how school was for them. Enquire about their friends, best subjects and favorite teacher then just sit back, listen and laugh at the adventures. Don’t judge or give advice. That will be done later. Each of us loves letting others into our worlds, and who better than your own mother.
Let your child invite their friends over and make them a meal or a snack. This way you will get a free pass into your child’s social life. This will be especially important when conversing with the child as you will not use general assumptions like, don’t hang out with bad people. Instead, your child will listen to you as they know you have met their friends and even know them by name.
Take a day and discuss what you value as a family and where you are headed. You will come to the realization that even the child, who seems uninterested and participatory actually takes in some what you discuss, after all as someone said; at every a thousand hacks at the leaves of evil, there’s at least one fruit that is hit.
Don’t rush and enroll your child into a tuition class, discuss it with them and hear their point of view first. This way, your child will not assume that you are rushing to get them out of the way. They will also understand the importance of making decisions after consulting with you because you do the same.
Finally for Pete’s sake, make an effort to talk to or even just complement your child every day. Last year, I was speaking to a group of teens who told me they are just housemates with their parents and nothing more; you don’t want your child to say this, do you?