Opinion

Let’s Intensify Sophisticated Mentoring, Monitoring of Our Children

The dynamics of life today calls for utmost creativity to circumvent it, Writes Mwalimu James Ngugi in his latest latest opinion.

The long list of do’s and don’ts that people of our generation were subjected to won’t work today!

Its utterly simplistic, boring and sounds like hogwash to the ears of highly sophisticated teenagers and generally the more adventurous young man of today.

It is imperative for us to know that the young man today feels ostracised, neglected and grossly misunderstood. They are trying to find a footing in a largely chaotic world which is quick to judge, dismiss and condemn.

In schools, monitoring of the learners is fast fading. The laborious mentoring is waning as many educators are frustrated by their managers, who largely apply the ‘straight jacket’ policy to deal with emerging issues.

Many other educators lack the passion that was distinct with the yesteryear mentors. Lack of passion in them enormously contributes to the lawlessness often displayed by the outrightly distressed youth.

Many parents have resorted to burying their heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. Child rearing is becoming a burden that many would want to dispense as quickly as possible.

They have a perception that mentoring and monitoring their children may not really add value as this could be a “drop in the ocean” initiative as children will interact with other “hoodlums” who will negatively influence them.

In simple words they give up. I have even heard parents exclaim that “my child was wired to be the way he/she is.”

Many other parents fear monitoring and mentoring their children will create a wedge between them and their beloved offspring. They adopt the “see no evil” policy with the hope that in the fullness of time common sense will be fully developed in their children enabling them to become sensible.

This is simply procrastination. Its wishful thinking! It doesn’t work. It has never worked.

Appeasement is akin to endorsing a misdemeanor. It inwardly plants resentment which eventually blurts out dangerously. Some of the cases of violent teen age skirmishes in our schools are attributed to this.

The policy of appeasement is cowardly and it has never worked anywhere yet many child handlers embrace it!

Mentoring involves more than mere once in a while tete a tete. It involves holding someone’s hand, walking with him or her, listening to them, playing and joking with them, giving them tasks, delegating, encouraging- the list is endless.

Mentoring and monitoring calls for deep commitment is unwavering devotion to “production” of a holistic balanced humanity.

I have always told my learners to have two sets of people in life; confidants and Mentors.

Recently I told my students to go home and find a good opportunity to tell their parents to stop fearing them.

I told them to allow their parents and guardians to shape them in democratic one-on-one conversation. From the looks in their faces, the message was home.

Authored by Mwalimu James Ngugi, formerly of Enkii Boys school, and now teaching in Kiirua Boys school, Meru.

 

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