Sunday, 24 May 2015


If there is a person who can write with insight and authority about the relations between students and their parents, it is one who has been a parent, a teacher and a school director for more than 20 years.
One such person is Ms Beth Kanyi, the director of Gilgil Hills Schools who recently launched her book on parenting, Smart Parent. 
The book, launched at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, contains tips and advice for parents on how to bring up wholesome children and the qualities of a good parent. It also gives red alerts on how not to go about parenting.  
 “Teachers, while striving to mould holistic students tend to concentrate more on academics, which is their job,” said Ms Kanyi at the launch. “House-helps, on the other hand, have a lot of work to do and cannot be blamed for being impersonal,” she added.”
 Due to the reality and demands of today’s living, most parents work long hours, the book says.
At times, toddlers as young as two years are sometimes entrusted to daycare homes.
When the family meets again in the evening, the children are busy with their homework and the parents are mostly worn out, creating a vacuum in communication.
 Even during weekends, many parents leave their children to their own devices, which in modern times include television and social media.
These are unsuitable as tools for bringing up children, and it is from them that they pick up their morals and living habits, of which most are negative.
Instead, parents should engage their children in outdoor activities which make it easier for children to learn and communicate between themselves and adults.
 If a family stays together (where the children are not in boarding school) parents should always set aside some time everyday to interact with them. They will come to understand one another through talking and engaging in common activities such as doing homework.
For those in boarding school, parents should make time during school holidays to be with their children.
Communication helps children to understand what is expected of them and forms early childhood bonds, morals and beliefs which children carry into adulthood, Ms Kanyi says.
 Children look up to their parents to learn the facts of life and, if this interaction is missing, the children will not grow up to be fitting members of society.

The book is recommended for every parent who is raising a family. It is available in major bookshops in Kenya.

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