Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It is time that children paid back to parents

A letter to the editor of the New Times (Rwanda):

'It is said that a family is complete with children. So what happens when you have the children back home and there is no house help? It is now holidays they are supposed to ease the workload on your shoulders.

Helping parents should not be regarded as a punishment but a fun to look forward to. In the past, it used to be a kinship obligation.

Cleaning around the house, helping at the shop or shamba will make you appreciate nature and learn how to work.

When children are at home it is time for the house maids and mothers to rest. Watching movies and strolling to town should be the last thing in any holiday maker's mind. Parents toil to get your school fees and other necessities. They really want you to be the source of their strength and not to become a disgrace.

No-one is going to laugh at you when you sweep the compound or wash clothes. Instead, they will go praising you. If one can flash back, a girl would get respect for her hard work, not for lousing or roaming the city or village. Years back it was weird to see a grown woman doing any kind of heavy work like fetching water. Even if she did not have kids, the neighbours would help.

Visiting friends is not bad, but most friends you visit are not good. Anyway, why do you not do some work home then you visit them later. Once a week is ok. Once you over do it even the parent of your friend will think its who teaches their child bad manners.

Practice makes perfect. There is no secondary school that will teach you how to cook or how to clean the dishes. So, better try it at home, it will be easy for you in future, when there is no one to do it for you.

It is not only girls to help the parents, but boys, too.

Staying at your rich auntie in the city won't change the status of the home in the village. Your identity will not change either. Remember your mother spends all her time on the farm to raise money for your upkeep, so you owe her a lot.

Dear mothers, it's you to sent a good example for them. If you are hard working and organised they are likely to follow your way. If the house maid is the answer to everything in the home then be ready for the embarassment. You will have to shoulder every responsibility until you die. Remember a good kid is for the father and a bad one is for the mother. It is better you train them than regretting all their lives why you had to be their mother.

No mother will not be happy if she/he is helped.

Even the house maid will get time to visit her family. It will be a relief for your parents; they will even save their money they are supposed to be payment for the house help all the time she will be away.

Habibah Uwera'

(sic sic sic for spelling and grammar). One hopes she does not have teenage children who would be trying to crawl into a deep hole while we speak!

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