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Research Reveals Why Busy Parents Must Find Quality Time for Their Children

In Kenya, the high rate of unemployment has been a big contributing factor toward most parents finding little time to spend with their children.  

Across the African continent, most parents spend most of their time looking for money to take care of their children.

According to research done by the London times, parents who show personal interest in their children’s schoolwork and social lives end up producing motivated and optimistic children who have confidence and hope.

The study conducted by Tomorrows’ Children Project on 1,500 children who are aged between 13 and 19 years reveals that more than 90 per cent of the children who felt their parents spent more time with them and took an active interest in their progress had high esteem, were happy and confident.

72 per cent of the children who felt that their parents did not or rarely showed any interest in them had the ‘lowest self-esteem, less happiness and little confidence and were more likely to feel depressed and may dislike school and get in trouble with the rules.

The Tomorrows Children Project found out that the actual amount of time a parent and child spent together need not be great.

“It is all about making the child feel wanted, loved and listened to,” revealed the research.

An individual remembered being hurled abuse such as ‘You stupid snail’. Another remembered that she used to feel depressed due to the name-calling and the insults thrown at her affected her deeply.

The mean treatment and unkind words made a child on the receiving end. Though the damage may not be immediately visible, it is long-lasting,” said Ibrahim Sheikh, the Deputy Director of Education in Wajir County.

Sheikh participated in studying five-year-olds whom they tracked down in midlife to gain insight into the long-term effects of their upbringing. They concluded that the children who had the hardest time in childhood and who had a hard time in marriage, friendship and even at work were obviously troubled in childhood.

“They are children whose parents were cold and distant and showed little or no affection, said Sheikh.

Besides rejection and mistreatment by parents in some cases, parents bombard children with constant humiliation and criticism.

Beatrice Mutinga, a nurse, revealed that new parents are often beside themselves with excitement as nearly everything about the baby thrills them.

“In the absence of such love, a child may conclude that they must be bad if mom and dad do not show affection, and this may become a deeply held belief that may cause lifelong damage,” said Mutinga.

Mutinga explained that the modern parent is under constant societal and economic pressure to make ends meet, leaving little time for the children.

Sheikh concluded that while discipline is not a new thing, the modern parent must create quality time to listen to children and experience human emotions with them.

This research gives a deep insight into how Kenyan parents can influence the success of their children just by creating the conditions of trust, confidence and feeling loved among their children.

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