Kenyan parents should copy what their Jewish counterparts teach their children 

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In a heroic book titled The Jewish Phenomenon, Steven Silbiger presents poignant points on parenting with purpose. Apparently, when chance manifests itself, parents should have candid conversations with their children. They should swing swiftly into action and play their part with clock-like precision. Being keen about well-being of children is what I would describe as proper parenting.

Aptly put, parents should cherish, counsel, compel children. Again, parents should not throw caution to the wind by contracting a deadly disease called TB — Too Busy. There is no common script for parenting, but remote parenting is not the way to go. Parents who want to win the war should be intentional in nature. Children do not grow up like trees. Instead, it is prudent to bring them up through strict training and tutelage.

When schools are closed, parents should pick the ball where teachers have dropped it. For philosopher Seneca said, “A teacher is a second parent, and a parent is a second teacher.” Parents should not abdicate their royal roles. It takes God, parents and teachers to raise children with the best attitude and right morals.

Furthermore, parents should prioritize their children, provide for them, protect them and pray for them. Largely, parents should track academic performance of their children. They should also be concerned about their talents, gifts and skills. Parents should introduce children to God the way Lois (grizzled granny) and Eunice (mother) did to Timothy,the protégé of Apostle Paul of the Bible.

Again, parents should check forms of entertainment children savour. They should encourage them to gravitate towards edutainment — educative entertainment. Movies and music must be didactic and rife with life lessons. Parents should help their progenies to understand that minds obey the GIGO Principle — Garbage In, Garbage Out. Input equals output. Children should not allot a lot of time on entertainment and forget about books.

Wise parents should sit down with children, and carefully craft daily timetables that focus on personal study, home chores and leisure time. As Sonya Carson did to her son Ben Carson, parents should encourage children to brood on good books.

Just to augment this argument, I take you back to the great text I quoted right at the onset: The Jewish Phenomenon by Steven Silbiger. It presents The 7 Keys to Enduring Wealth of a People. This great text teaches why Jews in America are wise and wealthy.

The author postulates that Jews understand that real wealth is portable: It is knowledge. Therefore, at a fledgling age, Jewish parents train their children to appreciate the wonder of the written word. Jews make up only 2 per cent of the total population of the United States. Yet, 45 per cent of the top 40 of Forbes 400 richest Americans are Jews.

20 per cent of professors in Ivy League universities are Jews. 40 per cent of partners in the leading New York and Washington DC law firms are Jews. 25 per cent of all American Nobel Prize winners are Jews. One-third of the American multi-millionaires are Jews. The percentage of the Jewish households with some handsome income greater than $50,000 is double that of non-Jews.

Consequently, right from the onset, Jews become sedulous in studying Talmud and Torah and Mishna. Talmud collates books of detailed rabbinical commentary on the Bible. Tora is the collection of the first five books of the Old Testament. The Mishna houses books codifying Jewish laws for religious observance such as orison. Other holy books include: Zohar, Midrash and Kabbalah.

Lastly, in the Jewish religion, parents recognize their children in the synagogue as adults at the age of 15. Jewish parents encourage their children to value reading, hobbies, rituals and routines. Children watch news and read newspapers with real zeal and trenchant zest; no wonder they stand out of the crowd, walking heads held high.

Parents instruct children never to live under the shadow of other mere mortals. A classic case is Albert Einstein, a top-flight physicist, who at age 26, became the creator of the Law of Relativity that ushered in the Atomic Age, because he read popular science books during childhood.

He is Also a Jew.


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