PARENTING : The role of a child in the family

CHILDREN are the future of a family and our hidden treasures. When they are born, they are welcomed into the family and as they grow they learn different things from their parents. These lessons include respect for each other and life in general. Unlike in the past, today’s parents allow their children to make choices about things they would or wouldn’t like to do.

CHILDREN are the future of a family and our hidden treasures. When they are born, they are welcomed into the family and as they grow they learn different things from their parents. These lessons include respect for each other and life in general.

Unlike in the past, today’s parents allow their children to make choices about things they would or wouldn’t like to do.

However, back then parents made all the decisions about a child’s life. Parents believed that children must be taught life skills if they were to survive in life. This meant that a larger part of a child’s day was occupied with work.

That was then. What about the kids that we raise today? Do they carry out the same responsibilities like children in the past?

In some areas of Rwanda, a child as young as five can run errands, fetch firewood and water as well as herd cattle. As they mature they are considered important and responsible people in the family.

Boys are taught to help their fathers with basics like roofing the house, preparing the fields for planting and tending the livestock. They were trained to understand the role of the house head, which they will lead as they grew and got married.

Girls on the other hand work very closely with their mothers. This trains them to run a house hold when they grow up.

Through gardening, cooking and preserving food, tending to younger children, cleaning and running the home, girls are prepared to manage their future homes.

Though we should keep our children busy working, we should not forget the adage that, ‘work without play makes Jack a dull boy.’ Let us give them ample time to balance work and play.

A child’s role does not end at only going to school. Apart from the above mentioned roles, what else does your kid do at home? Do you train them to be responsible by giving them roles at home?

Children are important contributors within a family. Parents are the only ones who can train their children to understand their responsibility in life. Therefore, ‘make hay while the sun shines.’

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