Opinion by Luyimbaazi Issah Katungulu
My words are going to be direct and as straight to the point as possible. Parents please, stop whining! I am a parent; therefore, I can authoritatively express this sentiment without feeling guilty that I don’t know parent’s struggles or pain. Because I do! But you’ll never hear me complaining in terms of the length must I go in order to provide for my child? never! I believe a parent does whatever is needed without public outcry, especially!
I have talked to friends and associates who work within the public school system or in some sort of after-school initiatives or child care programs and expressed how parents consistently complain about one thing or another in regards to remote learning. I also know parents who act as though they have options for being present and assisting their children with expanded learning within their homes. They sound as though they rather be doing other things than being their kid’s primary educator, role model, and mentor during this unfortunate and unexpected occurrence of the Coronavirus pandemic. They act as though they’re the only ones making untimely sacrifices.
This is absolutely stunning to me! How can parents complain about being everything to their children? Today, they are their children’s teachers, tutors as well as the parents. This is exactly what they asked for when they decided to have children. So what is the problem? Yes, it’s probably uncomfortable. So what? It is probably taxing and time-consuming. So What? It’s most likely confusing and parents actually don’t have the mental capacity to even help their child learn. So what?
This is the time when parents can demonstrate their undying love and commitment towards ensuring that their children are given the best possible attention necessary for growth and guidance. You can get them help to learn. But as a parent, I want to be the primary person in my kid’s life. This would be a challenge that I would openly accept. I get to script and dictate how my child sees the ‘complete’ world, which most parents don’t get a chance to do when their kids are in schools more than six-eight hours a day, five days a week.
I’m not going to express how much parents love their children or not. But I will say that this is the time when we see all of the lazy and careless parents who mostly look forward to shipping their kids off to schools, regardless of how effective the educational institution is or not, as long as children have somewhere to go -away from them. And this is mainly to facilitate parents finding their own private space away from kids and reflect or do nothing. I get that. Everyone, including
parents need time when they can escape life’s struggles and hustle.
This however is not about that and now is not that time. I don’t think so. This is about change; an unexpected change that was imposed on us. Ok, again, parents are not in this COVID-19 disruption alone. Everyone has had to adjust to life’s pandemic trauma over the last six months.
Because the virus is plaguing Africa and other nations regardless of their economic conditions, it’s a time when parents must step up and be better than they ever could imagine. Parents and employees do it when their bosses ask or even demand they perform tasks or over-perform responsibilities like working extra-late, last-minute travels, or layoffs due to cost-cutting measures. Parents should stop whining! You had the babies through some momentary pleasure acts or even you planned to have kids with lovers, husbands, or wives.
Today, as schools are yet to resume and it’s about the new normal of remote learning, your child needs you more than they ever have. You are expected to over-perform as though your jobs depended on it. Embrace the responsibility as your kid’s new best friend. That’s what you’ve become as you spend countless hours each day/or night, to ensure and/or demand your children become everything they and/or you dreamed of when they were conceived.
Parents please don’t fail your child. A bar, a night club, a salon, health facilities, that planned vacation and that worthless man or woman will be there or not when the pandemic has gone. Your child will be there and you cannot afford to be a disruptor of your child’s future!
The writer is African Youth Ambassador and Communications Specialist