Children are naturally inquisitive. They want to know everything around them. And there is an age they reach where this inquisitive gauge is at its peak. My nearly eight-year-old daughter Tasha is at that, sorry to say, irritating stage.
So the other day she blurted out, "Mum what is Eurobond?"
At first I was tempted to reply, "Eish, ask the President my child."
I mean us ordinary Kenyans are yet to grasp what this Sh140 billion monster is and what the government has done with it. Before I could even attempt the response, she threw another salvo, "Why does Raila love this Eurobond?"
Clearly I had been cornered here. There is no way out, I had to budge.
"Eurobond is a loan from Europe," I made a lousy attempt.
"Muuuuuum..... What is a loan?" she dug deeper.
You see there is something about children that the more you explain something the more questions they ask. And the more you evade the question, the more they corner you.
"OK. A loan is money you have borrowed. For instance, when I ask Mama Shiro for some money, that is a loan and I will pay back," I tried to simplify it.
"So a Eurobond is a loan the government borrowed from a place called Europe and it will pay later," I went on.
"So why does Raila have a problem with it? Is it because they did not share it with him?" she asked innocently.
"Not really. Raila has a problem with it because he says it was used badly. You see, the money was supposed to build big roads and highways but the government used it for other things," I mumbled almost getting there.
"What things mummy..." she dug deeper. But now I was getting irritated because that is where my knowledge of the Eurobond ends.
"I have no idea, my dear," now go and sleep you are waking up early tomorrow.
Now those are some of the challenges with parenting, you are sometimes cornered so badly you wish to call your mother to rescue you. What I have realised is that our children are alert to the topical issues going on around them thanks to watching prime time news every day.
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They watch news with us and they have noticed that one theme that has taken centre stage for some time in almost all local channels is Eurobond. Corruption is another central item in all news bulletins. The sad thing is that all this news is negative, mostly.
As parents, we always try to instill values like honesty, integrity, compassion in our children and condemn vices like greed, cheating, stealing etc. It is therefore quite depressing trying to instill such values in your child, yet when they watch TV there are leaders exemplifying all the vices mummy and daddy condemn.
I think if you watch too much Kenyan news you will realise there is so much vile, sometimes you want to switch it off, to prevent the blemishes from rubbing onto your children. I know parents who do not allow their children to watch TV at all because of the many negative stories aired. Though that is an extreme, sometimes as a parent, I have to say, I am tempted to do the same.
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