From the conversations I have had with friends, family and colleagues, many parents agree that the December holidays are just too long and children are becoming unmanageable.
From what I have seen on social media, school-going children have become a big nuisance at home. Many parents are of the view the holidays need to come to an end for the minors to go back to school. From what I have seen with my daughter, I agree it’s overwhelming for parents.
My girl Tasha is generally sober and manageable, but this long holiday has brought out her stubborn and naughty side.
I mean, the dramas and horrors Tasha, who is going to Class Four is unleashing at home, makes me call home every day to ask about her whereabouts.
Disappearance act: I don’t live in a gated community so the houses are not secured with one fence. The challenge with this is that if not monitored, the children who are playing outside can wander out of protected spaces. So Tasha has formed this habit and my pregnant house girl Eshe has to go round blocks of flats looking for her. But I recently issued an ultimatum that she does not play outside the compound.
Wastefulness galore: When kids are idle and have played in the estate the whole day, the next thing is hunger pangs. I know a friend’s son who, when he comes from his playing escapades, rummages through the fridge and helps himself to everything including the baby’s food. And if there’s nothing appetising enough (other than last night’s leftovers), he settles on the tomatoes for the week. Some teenagers cook all the eggs in the fridge and eat them.
Avoidable accidents: With all the freedom, time and energy, the children are engaging in all manner of games, some even dangerous. I saw a post on Facebook about how a 10-year-old boy broke his leg when he fell from a tree while playing with rowdy boys in the estate.
False/broken promises: Every day before I leave for work, I offer instructions to my house girl on Tasha’s programme. It entails playing and later in the evening, some reading and an assignment. But the depressing thing is that she gets so carried away she overdoes the playing and forgets about the reading bit.
Deadly mischief: Oh! The mischief these children are unleashing on us can only rival those in Hollywood movies. The other day, I learned of a naughty Class Seven boy in our neighbourhood who took the keys to his dad’s car and started driving around the estate to impress girls. I hear he even gave some of the girls a lift and had the caretaker not intervened, it would have been disaster.
To reduce the mayhem, my daughter is unleashing on us, for the next part of the holiday, I have enrolled her in a church vocational programme where she will be kept positively engaged for a while until I start my leave.
The writer is a young married career mum of two. She shares her experience of juggling between career, family and social life