How do we raise resilient children?

For the first time in the history of the world, half of the World is in the middle class or wealthier.

Africa too is making progress. What we have not paid attention to are the consequences of wealth and raising resilient children.

Many of the emerging wealthy people are known to swear that they will never allow their children to experience the kind of life they grew up in. Such statements undermine long term sustainability of the family.

While I have seen parents protecting children as old as 15 years from boarding a matatu to some destination in Nairobi city, at 14 I could travel from Kisii to Nairobi, and change buses to my final destination in Nyeri for secondary education. I then stayed the entire semester in school and somehow showed up at home without ever communicating to my mother if I got to Nyeri in one piece (there were no mobile phones at the time and landlines were rare).

I know that my mother loved me but she wasn’t modern enough to be highly protective of me with her love. In her own way, she was modelling resilience in me. By this I mean the capacity in me to adapt successfully to the challenges that threaten the survival, or future development of myself as a person.

Without it, I will never have been who I am today. Although many of our parents then had little or no education, they were great parents that natured us into useful creations not as eminent psychologists but by wisdom.

This article was firs published in dailyNation