Today’s Children and Toxic Endearment.

Bad behavior should be tamed as early as possible. Photo Courtesy of Parenting Science.

I begin by openly admitting that in today’s article, I will play a plaintiff in limbo. Sooner or rather though, everything will exit silently into oblivion. Yet still, the penal will have to be paid. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, but in the words of one of my lectures back then, ‘the universe never forgets.’

This is quite a strongly worded opening paragraph which comes with anger and devastation. When Babu Owino could be irritated with the Higher Education Loans Board’s (HELB)tarry to disperse ‘comrade’s money,’ such huge vocabularies could be uttered out to register displeasure.

And I must digress a little bit for that matter but will put it all together at the end of it. There is nothing like comrade’s money. In fact, most comrades would tell you that they wish they used the HELB money wisely. At the very least, they wish they used it to pursue an extra professional course or made a small investment with it. Unfortunately, they (we) can only remember the lessons.

I will not go into details of comrades and government money, but I can hint that the money finally returns to the owner; government. On a light note, HELB and the strikes back in the day were the only cases that defied the rule of the owner of the yam being left to eat his own yam in peace even if he felt like not eating.

In other words, the owner of the yam was under every obligation to share his yam by force and violence. The point being that the neighbor or visitor was obviously aware of the need to return the yam with a baby yam in the name of interest. And I can’t blame the comrades. Most could be a product of toxic endearment being that they are modern children.

Back to today’s writing. Last week, I was enraged with a neighbors’ son. This young lad, in class six, was monopolizing the common water point. He wanted to come and tap/fetch water as he wanted without order and in utter disregard of time or even the queue. This happened after the piped water into the houses developed a hitch.

I arrived at the tap area and found skirmishes. I decided to take charge of the situation. This young man was turning out to be a nuisance. I warned him of that bad behavior and even threatened to use a rod. This rascal walked a few meters and said there is nothing I could do to him.

I thought for a moment and decided to teach him, not with the rod, but rather a small lecture. I compassionately told him that this was a win-win situation. Everybody needed the water. I went ahead to try and demonstrate that by ensuring interchangeably that everybody draws one jerrican at a time in a cycle. Most people were happy and became contented with the solution except the young man.

He was unhappy that someone had walked into his path of dominance. Unhappy, he went fighting his young brother who was happy with the small solution I came up with. The reason for the fight? That the brother, almost the same age, had agreed to my point. He wanted both of them to stand against me.

I wondered if the young man took his time to try and check his fact file to know who I am and what I was capable of doing. Nevertheless, I played it cool because I identified with the psalmist. In the Holy Bible, Psalms 22:15 says, ‘Folly is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.’

This young boy had two issues only, he was full of folly in his heart now that he is young and his parents as well as society had deprived him of an essential ingredient called the rod. Something which was becoming dangerous and driving him away on a dangerous path. One of revolt and rebellion.

For those of us who grew up from the last quarter of the last century, we can identify with the role society played in ensuring we grew up disciplined. A child was of society as was everything family. As a matter of fact, society took a collective responsibility in parenting and also building families.

Our parents and elders in society never feared to exercise the power of the rod because to them, they were disciplining the problem not the child, and the ears of the child was (is) the buttocks. To them, Proverbs 23:13-15 was the standard.

When found in a problem a parent could read you the verses, ‘Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.’ It was a discipline out of love. A discipline from a heart wishing the very best of the child.

Now came the era and age of no discipline. A time when a child talks of rights and even charging the parent should they use the rod whatsoever. We are at a time when we think that by sparing the rod, we are showering the child with love. What a pity.

In my day, if I did something stupid, the senior society members around would administer the discipline there and then. If I abused a fellow child with bad language, I received a beating. If I was rude to my seniors, I received a double portion. And today I am a person of value. Unfortunately, that ritual is off in the gutters.

No wonder today we have a breed of big-headed cronies whose end need no calculator to know. In the false gospel of loving the children by sparing them the rod, we are giving rise to rebellious criminals of whose time bomb is ticking only waiting to explode.

As I began to say, such entitlement has led to increased cases of arson, probably the weird behaviors of our so-called comrades to the increased levels of teen hardcore criminals. And the young boy whose behavior was and is irate, his penal will be paid however long it takes unless the parents serve him a late dose of the rod mixed with compassionate talks.

I said I am the plaintiff in today’s article. If you want to know the accusers and defendants, just look at your neighborhood for that young errant boy or girl drunk with toxic endearment and then you can understand my misery.



Hebrews 12:11 ESV, For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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