I am Rhoda Jemeli, a resident of Wournifa village in Ainabkoi sub-County. I am a widow and a mother of five. The abrupt loss of my husband threw me into oblivion not knowing how the future would look like, how I would up bring my children with no penny at hand. My life was miserable! Some months after his demise, my children started behaving differently. At class seven, my daughter would come home late after school, my son threatened to drop out and even the younger ones became stubborn and could hardly take a word from me. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” I thought. I began canning, shouting and even denying them meals but realized that the more I did this, the worse the situation became. I became an enemy to my children. I could not be there to offer help and guidance especially to my daughter who was now at her puberty. She would avoid me and instead seek advice from her peers. I was losing control over my family.
‘Spare the rod and spoil the child” I thought. I began canning, shouting and even denying them meals but realized that the more I did this, the worse the situation became’, Rhoda Jemeli
One afternoon, a neighbor came to my home. She lamented on how I was handling my children as some had reported to her. I became furious but again amused on how calm and composed she was. For once, I decided to give her a listening ear. Her words were very encouraging. She then informed me to join an ongoing training by I Choose Life –Africa where she had obtained all that knowledge. I thanked her and promised to join the training with an aim of rebuilding my family. The training equipped me with skills on effective parenting to better communicate with my children especially on reproductive health matters. It is from the training that I learnt the need to understand my children and realized that I was not giving them time to share their challenges, interest and other issues affecting them. With the knowledge and skills obtained from the training, I started a reconciliation process with my children. It was a difficult task but worth it.
It was a learning point for me. I got to learn and understand the other side of my children. I discovered some of the potential my children were having and began supporting them. My daughter, Winnie Chebii opened about her encounter with the SEAL project in their school that equipped her with knowledge and skills that empowered her to make informed life choices but couldn’t share with me since I never gave her time or was never available to listen. My family began to transform, the elderly children were now mentoring the young ones. Today my daughters are free to share their challenges such as relationships and even about their sexuality.
I look forward to my children completing their education without getting pregnant or infected with HIV/AIDS as they now have a person to share with. Additionally, with the knowledge I have I promise to share it with other parents finding it hard to effectively parent their children.
I would like to thank I choose Life – Africa for offering the parent child communication training and plea with you to reach out to many parents out there for were it not for you I would have lost my family but here I am today happy that finally I have one!