Shaping the Generations, Raising a Disciplined People by Mercy Igoki
Raising a Disciplined People It is my pleasure to welcome you all to read my first book: Shaping the Generation, raising a disciplined people . Shaping the Generation, raising a disciplined people was born out of my interaction with students. As I grew in my teaching profession as a teacher of Mathematics, guiding students in their career choices, Patron of True love waits club and Christian Teacher in charge of Christian Union, later working with students at the university, I realized that there seemed to be a relationship between discipline and performance and general student behavior. At some point of my life, I felt I was earning very little after putting so much effort to teach Mathematics, so I enrolled for a Bachelor of Commerce so that I could get a job in the bank and buy myself a car and built a big house like my friends. That is a story for another day, but when I got to third year, I knew that was not what I wanted to be doing all my days. I desired to work with the students , and help shape them in my own small ways. To cut the long story short, I quit and pursued my career to where I am today. This desire to shape generations has continued to grow. When I was doing masters, my supervisors Professor Thuranira and Dr. Kibaara helped me research on students discipline in high school in Embakasi County. I thank Dr. Suleiman Mwangi Kairu for always challenging me to try one more thing. I am grateful to Dr. Rebecca Mwikali Wambua for remaining forever my mentor and friend. I thank my sons with whom my parenting skills have been tested. I thank all my esteemed parents for allowing me to teach and partner in parenting their children. I appreciate the different fora that the Lord has given me to partner with friends, schools, churches, colleges and Universities to do this noble job. For my relatives; Siblings, nieces and nephews and all, indeed it has been a journey of small and big contribution to the generations. We have had a lot of conversations with my sons; They have kept asking me when I will write my many books. Of course, I have had several excuses, one being II love to speak and teach and NOT write. One of my friends told me that I do not need to think much, JUST SPEAK ON PAPER. It was said in my mother tongue. It sounded very easy and I made up my mind I was going to start with one and do later write several others. That was the premise of my writing. So, God brought Pastor Richard my way, through a lady called Sarah Kimani. Pastor Richard has been my publisher , I thank him for patience and understanding. I would sometimes feel like telling him whatever I want to say in my mother tongue. He has helped me to organize my thoughts and ideas and write this book. I am grateful to him and his wife. Sometimes we have worked up-to past 12 midnight. Dear reader, Shaping the Generation is not just a book. It is a life we ought to live. It is a journey every one of us is supposed to walk. It is a calling each one of us is supposed to answer. As I speak here , I am aware I may not have covered much, but it is not how much we have contributed to the generations but the willingness to partner with God to shape the world in our little ways. This call is for teachers, to become more intentional in raising a people in educational institutions that are disciplined. It is a call to parents; to consider it their first responsibility to discipline children and not blame on the school and media. The call is for the Church to take its position and realize they have a duty to disciple children and not put them in a mabati room when adults are stepping on Carpets in the sanctuary. The call is for the society to go back to the roots where the child was born by one woman by raised by a village. Disciplining a child was a community thing. In my chapter one where I have explored The Disciplined Society, I have defined Discipline” as: using reason to determine the best course of action regardless of one's desires. Discipline provides you with rules to live your life efficiently and effectively. The chapter gives us the value and importance of discipline and a disciplined society. In Chapter 2 I have talked about The Indisciplined Society. (I call it the postmodern of where we are… what’s eating us) Every society has a way of measuring acceptable behaviors. Some of the cases of indiscipline include aggression towards self and others siblings, parents and teachers, and blatant disregard of property including theft, vandalism as well as drug and alcohol abuse. These trickle down from the most pervasive vice in our nation. Corruption, it seems to have been accepted in the society. It is shocking how corruption has been entertained even in our homes. Parents bribe their children to eat and do homework. Parents remain silent when they children who are young professionals own so much money that can not be fully explained the source. These are the small acts that encourage corruption. Parenting is a continuous project . A child can never outgrow the need for a parent no matter how educated or wealthy they become . The Process of growth of a child is therefore very essential to parents. Each stage brings along different milestones. In Chapter 3 I have pointed out to us about Child development that occurs from birth to adulthood and how we can nurture and mold a disciplined person in all the milestones of growth. In chapter 4, I have majored on Children as the future – This is a call to Invest in them. I like to look at a child today and imagine 15 years later. The Wealth of a nation is not so much in its economical and natural resources but it lies more in the kind and quality of the wealth of its children and youth. It is them who will be the creators and shapers of our nation tomorrow. They will be adults of tomorrow. They will be leaders and activists. We shall find our president in our children some day in the future. Discipline your child like you are dealing with 2032 president of the republic of Kenya. Bill Graham said, “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” I dare to say, a child who has been given legacy of character and faith will comfortably find money anyway We ought to see our 3 , 10 , 20-year-olds beyond their age and see a generation. I have explored various Parenting Styles in chapter 5. Every parent and child is unique — and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to raising and caring for a little one. While, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each parenting style in relation to discipline your child, at the end of the day what matters is how much time you model life for your child. Discipline is best modelled as you get to do life with your child. Spending quality and quantity time with your child is a good place to start training on good discipline. In Chapter 6 I expounded the Effects of the Neighborhood to your child’s discipline. Our neighborhood shapes our character and mindset and also shapes the character of our children. While my children were growing up, I believed in kids Bible Club at the neighborhood. I would host my children’s friends for Bible Study and prayer. We used to have so much fun together. Chapter six sums up that a good environment and neighborhood: Improves child development: and Enhances community connections and networks. Very close to my heart is The Relations in the family as explained in chapter 7. Allow me to share a personal testimony about positive and intentional relationship in the family. I never lived with my biological mum and biological dad. I was born out of wedlock and left behind at my grand ma and grand pa’s home. So mimi ni mtoto wa cucu. I met my dad later in life when I was 38 years of age. I am talking about relations and what they can do to a child’s discipline and life. My dad passed on last year, I had him for only 15 years . I value the time dad was with me. He had a personal relationship with me. He mentored me more than any other person who has/was in my life. Dad taught me adult discipline. There is no excuse whatever to not having a relationship with your child. Relationship is intentional. In my book, I have made an attempt to explain that separation and divorce is not reason enough to prevent a parent from relating with his/her child. Even in single parenthood, I have pleaded with my readers to allow children to have a relationship with the other parent even when it hurts. The teacher is an important stakeholder in child’s discipline. I have explained this in chapter 8 about The School. School is important in child development and it is the secret to a positive growth. We need to know the importance of education for children. The school is important for: Sociable behaviors such as empathy, fellowship, engagement, and encouragement that are essential in adult life. Matters Mental health learning about different fields of Education, contributes to increase the thought processes of children. The teacher therefore must embrace intentional discipline and more so, model discipline. In Chapter 9 where I covered Indiscipline in Educational Institutions, it has been observed that Indiscipline occurs due to ill maintenance of discipline in the educational institution which hampers the success of management of any educational programmes. Indiscipline in schools is the violation of school rules; it is the complete opposite of discipline and it is not welcomed in any school. Indiscipline in schools can be observed in different ways: In my 2013 thesis for the master’s degree, I found out that most indiscipline cases include: School dropout Drug/substance abuse Smoking & Alcoholism Use of vulgar language Disobedience, & rudeness Improper dressing Lateness Misbehavior Bullying Hooliganism Damaging property Other immoral acts In this chapter I have made an attempt to suggest to educational stakeholders to work together to not only create A’s in academics but also raise a disciplined generation. There is a call to the teachers to be humane and kind when dealing with school discipline . I have also called parents to work closely with the teacher with respect . The Church and Religion have a big place in discipline as explained in chapter 10 Religion can affect more than a particular person’s habits. Religion helps in creating an ethical framework and also a regulator for values in day-to-day life. This helps in character building of a person. Religion helps in building various social virtues and values like truth, honesty, love, non-violence, service, discipline, empathy, respect, and harmony - which later on when adopted by an individual becomes his character. Chapter 10 also discusses on how to Develop Christian character in young people and the aspects to understanding about Christian Discipline. Praying for a child’s discipline is a must do activity. Teaching children prayer is a good way of training self-discipline. The church can work with the parents in introducing children to church and religion which helps to control behavior. Mentoring and Coaching involve one-to-one support for young people on an ongoing basis. In this chapter , Types of mentoring, Beneficiaries of coaching and mentoring, Why Mentorship, how to be a great mentor, Coaching the Youths, Youth coaching methods, and the outcomes of coaching are discussed in depth. Chapter 12 discusses ,The Wholesome Person. A wholesome person is stable mentally, strong emotionally and is just in his judgements. He is gracious in speech and carries himself with wisdom. A wholesome person will listen to others attentively without having a divided attention. He also acknowledges his faults and doesn’t justify himself over issues. A wholesome person values humility and is not moved by his accomplishments, money, grades, and other material things. In a nutshell, SHAPING THE GENERATIONS , raising a Disciplined People is concerned about developing a disciplined life as an individual, and then influencing others by helping them be a disciplined people. This is done over and over again until it becomes a way of life. Let us rise up and together raise a disciplined people.