PARENTING: Unlike in the past, children nowadays are disrespectful and they never listen. Racheal Irene Nalubega spoke to some parents and they give their opinions about what might be the cause of this behaviour and how to deal with it.
Evelyn Lufafa Kharono, counselling psychologist at Ssubbi medical centre, Namugongo
Today, children’s behaviour is rather out of order. They have no respect for not only their elders but also their peers.
One of the reasons is that unlike in the earlier times when one of the parents especially the mother stayed at home with the children, today both parents leave home and the only option is to leave children with a maid. Yet informal education is best taught at home, where children learn politeness, self-restraint and respecting the rights of others. Home is where bad behaviour is corrected early in the life of children, but this is no longer a concern to many parents.
Secondly, there are also over protective parents who do not want anyone to reprimand their child for misbehaving which has led to an increase of bad behaviour among children unlike in the old days where it was every community elders responsibility to discipline a child whether theirs or not.
However there is hope if parents spend a day or two uninterrupted with the family to be able to deal closely and impart good morals to children. Children learn through modeling or what they see, therefore parents should be what they want their children to be for example, do not lie in the presence of children.
And if both parents are living together, then they should treat each other well for the children to emulate. In order to reinforce the new positive behaviour, rewarding children through praise of good manners and negative reinforcement would be an alternative to boost this behaviour rather than just pretending not to have noticed.
When children get a good education, it easy for them to respect elders and others at large because they are groomed both through what they learn and also from teachers as well especially in this period where parents are too busy to care. However, if parents have no time to instill the virtue of respect and there are also no teachers to do this, then these children are bound to be disrespectful. Personally, I make sure I instill values in all my children right from childhood so that it is easy for them to put what was taught in action.
Gasper Songambele Lucamucoo, Security officer
Children need both harshness and calmness from parents when being disciplined or brought up for them to be respectful, but parents now days concentrate on only being harsh whenever the children are in the wrong. They forget that they are also humans that need to be reasoned with in a responsible way. Another thing is that children often learn a lot from their peers so as parents, it is up to you to vet your child’s friends, you can reasonably explain to your child why and also clearly state punishments once they are disrespectful.
Aisha Ali, Kiosk owner
Disrespect in children depends on the child’s upbringing especially those raised by single parents tend to lack on certain values. Single parents have no time for their children since they have to support the family financially all alone, they spend time looking for money and leave children to be raised by maids who also have no manners at times.
Single parents can seek help from other relatives available to instill the virtue of respect in their children or spare some time from their busy schedules to talk to their children and model them into upright citizens.
Ronah Ainembabazi, Restaurant owner
Children are given a lot of freedom which leads them to do disrespectful things such as being disobedient to parents’ rules. But as parents, it is not wise to give children a lot of freedom to do what they want because it is from not restraining them that they pick up whatsoever vice due to the exposure. Ask them about what they do when with friends and always invite their friends over for your own personal monitoring during your time with the children. When not available especially if children stay home, make it a point to ask the neighbours around about your children’s behaviours.
Esther Ayo, Cashier