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Have you ever been caught in an embarrassing moment whereby a child shames you for a lie that you have said or what you hid from others? Well, many parents have been caught in compromising situations as such. It could be that day you made him or her stay at home because you were expecting visitors and the next morning you lie to the class teacher that the child actually had a fever. But just suddenly, he blurts out “but I never had a fever mum! You forgot we had visitors?” and you glare at him so hard that he shuts up that same moment. Well, it’s too late. Your secret has been exposed and not by anyone else but your eight year old son! You start stammering and the teacher just listens to you bluntly; they have seen search scenes quite a number of times.

Children are always observant to everything you do. They might not even mind to follow you wherever you went just so they acquire information. Just like how my baby sister would sit by the window for hours and keep asking my mother about everything that she found odd. She would ask how the next house is being constructed, why the ducks are chasing people around or why the door isn’t properly closed. She could actually be a good journalist for she is always alert on everything that happens. It is even more interesting how children challenge our minds with questions, leaving us speechless and this reminds of the day my baby sister went to the shop to buy sweets. She had carried the one shilling coins and the shopkeeper refused the coins, saying that they are of no use nowadays. The only thing she asked was, “if they are not being used again, how comes when you give me change sometimes you give me the same one shilling coins?” the shopkeeper obviously had no response to that and just accepted the coins.

Nonetheless, there are those other questions that don’t just leave us speechless but leave us wondering on the child’s thinking. Another question by my sister, one day just all of a sudden was ‘When people go to heaven, where do they use as the loo?’ Children actually have a wide imagination and they sometimes out smart us in what they ask and say.

If you want to know how a family lives, they say, look at how the child behaves. This is quite true and many times, the children adapt their parents’ behaviour around them and if not so, they will grow aggressive from what they see from their parents. I remember recently at a graduation when I saw a class two girl who kept glancing and perusing at storybooks at display for sale. It took me a moment before I asked her why couldn’t she tell her father to buy her one and she quickly blurted out a loud ‘no! He can’t!’ I slowly asked her why, and she answered me in the same loud tone, ‘ni mlevi’ and that really touched me. Maybe I will never forget how she said it because I realized that it must be affecting her terribly that she now considers it normal to say. It is clear that she has probably given up on her drunkard father and that he will ever buy her what she likes.

Children make up the brighter part of the world. They are the joy of the home and actually the reason why most girls ever want to get married. They have that special effect in our hearts and just look lovely as they fashion parade during their graduation ceremonies. Parents should take their responsibility and always remember that children are much sharper than adults could ever be. They need to see the best of the world at that age.


A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'

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