Thank you for your advice

People are full of goodwill. Most people. More often that not, they are full of goodwill. Sometimes. Ok, maybe some aren’t. But, some are.

So, they will offer their advice of how you should raise your child. This I imagine they do for several reasons:

1. They are older than you so they believe they know more than you, “and young people of nowadays don’t know anything about raising children”.

2. They are men and they believe that they can and should teach you one or two things about child rearing (this, I find the most interesting because the average Kenyan man is not hands on when it comes to their children).

3. They have older children and believe that they have done this before and so can provide insight.

4. They are your relative.

In any case, people give me advice every day regarding Kendi- ‘mvalishe sweater‘ (Put on a sweater for her), ‘toa mtoto kwa barabara‘ (take the child off the sidewalk), ‘feed her, she’s hungry’, ‘you should cut her hair’, and so on and so forth.

I struggle to remain positive in the face of all this ‘advice’. I struggle to filter the good from the nonsense. I struggle with worrying about people’s motives, rather than just relaxing and realizing that people are allowed to talk until the cows come home, that shouldn’t make me feel one way or another.

But sometimes it does. Sometimes it bothers me so much that I tell people to go play marbles on the highway (ok, maybe I don’t, but I’d like to).

I love my cousin Sachela; she made Kendi a bib written ‘My mother doesn’t want your advice’. I laughed so hard, I cried and almost threw up. They were mostly tears of happiness.

3 thoughts on “Thank you for your advice

  1. I know exactly what you mean!

    Just the other day, someone went too far with the “takes a village to raise a child” ideology and called my daughter a name. I will not repeat that statement because it may just immortalize it. At first, I just wanted her to go play marbles on the highway-actually I wanted to grind her with my teeth! But I did the good-mommy thing and found her phone number and called her. What got me so incensed is that rather than explain what was wrong, this negro woman tries to tell me ” no, my dear, you are panicking…” and other such condescending statements, but would not answer my questions.

    OK, so us younger mummies have a limit to what unsolicited advice we can take, and when it comes to making any negative insinuations about my parenting or about my daughter, I WILL TAKE YOU ON.HEAD-ON. Even if you are Michelle Obama. And take on madam “you-are-panicked-dear”, I did. I don’t do things in half measure, and so I imagine her ears are still ringing from our conversation, and though she went ahead and continued her campaign and wouldn’t talk to me but held a full-court press about my baby and her friends, she knows how I feel about her brand of village-raising my kid. At least she does now, I hope.

    Still this is how I wanted her (and anybody else who ever meets my Gabriella) to look at my daughter:
    My daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me – aside from salvation. The very best. So you do not have permission to call her by any other name except : Blessed, Precious, Honoured, Loved, Special,Fearfully and so Wonderfully made, she is a blessing to everybody around her. Does she make mistakes, yes-she is not perfect; is she young and in need of guidance-most certainly yes, but she has a mum for that reason and if you feel she is doing something wrong-come and talk to me-that, is how the village raises awesome babies – TOGETHER with the moms, not in spite of the moms. In CONSULTATION with the mums, not behind the mummy’s back because you think you know better. Negro, you don’t know my child, you only know yours and how to raise yours! What works for you will not necessarily work for me either, so there. Take that home with you today.

    Kitt dear, is there a sweatshirt version of that awesome bib? I’d like to have two. 😀

  2. Joey Buwalda – Proverbs 19:20 – New International Version for verse 20- Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.Proverbs 1:3 – for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair;
    Proverbs 4:1- Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.
    Proverbs 8:14 – Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.
    Proverbs 8:33 – Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
    Proverbs 12:15 – The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
    Proverbs 19:19 – A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.
    27 mins · Like

    Joey Buwalda You are upsetting the apple-cart here- for decades we in the “West” have listened to the wisdom of Africa: “It takes a village to raise a child….”! Titus tells us that in their older years older women are responsible to become teachers of the next generation. They are to mentor, disciple, model, and be an example living out the advice we get from the Bible in regard to marriage and the family and the home. So, listen to your Mama, wise Apondi, and your Papa, wise Justus… and your other “elders”… weigh the advice scripturally, certainly, but there will come a time that you will be very grateful for advice… Let us do our God-appointed jobs, too, is MY advice… We all have to remember not to just “lean on our own understanding.” Are you not giving us all advice in your blog? Let us be ready to learn from each other. Note: The smiles are to show this message is cushioned in love. Joey Buwalda

    1. Oh yes Joey, I completely agree with you. I struggle with weighing what is good advice and what is bad advice. I also struggle with getting advice that sounds like ‘instructions’ or ‘commands’ from complete strangers. I have to then wonder why they feel the need to shout at me, rather than simply offer their advice. These are some of the aspects of ‘advice’ I struggle with. Many people have goodwill, and many others just don’t. I wish I didn’t have to worry about which you know? For surely, it takes a village

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