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It is not unusual to have children with a strong desire to explore their different skills and abilities while still quite young. It is discouraging, however, that the presence of all-rounded children has not inspired complete change in the frameworks meant to support them. The Kenyan education system, especially, is yet to adjust to fully accommodate the needs of such children, since the priority is still set on only passing scholarly exams. So what can you do to when established systems cannot cater for the needs of your all rounded child?
Be Brave and Mother Up!
To be able to raise an all-rounder, you will have to brave up to your family, friends and even your child’s teacher. Everyone who would rather have the status quo retained. Your desire to nurture your child’s diverse interests, be they in fashion design, sports or dance alongside her academics, will likely be discouraged by your community due to end year exams taking center stage. This is when your loyalty to your child will be challenged, so mother up!
Be present and build confidence
Unto mothers, God endowed the ability to nurture children from the deepest vale of their hearts. As a mother, your words are the best flavor to build confidence in your child especially when coupled with actions. Your attention to their performance in their academics should equal that given to their other abilities so that they do not downplay that which the system does not address. Just as you would burn the midnight oil with them as they do their scholarly homework, devote to singing along as they practice even if you can only croak. That effort will go a long way into instilling confidence in their performance.
In Mombasa, one Mariam Mpaata began a football social enterprise in support of her son’s football endeavors. Her desire to see her son enjoy football beside what the Kenyan education system offered gave him the confidence to pursue his football career without despising academics.
Be the book or find a book!
Are you an all-rounded parent too? Besides rousing confidence, go ahead and live your life as their role model. Mothers who go out of their way to live their lives to the fullest naturally inspire their children to do the same. Helping them to identify other role models, learn about their ups and downs will also help them grow.
Understand that just because the current education system lacks some of the ingredients necessary to nurture your child into mastering sports, art and academics at the same time, it does not mean that you only push them through one beaten path. The most successful people on earth bear witness that it was due to their mother’s faith in them that they kept going. It is up to you to help your child become the best they can be even if it means a hundred different careers in just one child.