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Having identified the problem it is obvious that we
want solutions.  It may surprise you, but
the solution this book proffers is no quick fix, it is that we teach our
children a number of skills, values and principles that will ultimately build
them up into the responsible adults, that we so desire them to be.
Who is to

My mother used to quote her mother to me as having
said in our local tongue, “no one will give you their good child”. This means
literally that you’ve got to work at making your own child a good child.
Finding that the ball is now squarely
in our courts, we may want to find out exactly what we have to teach our
children. The duty falls on us as our children’s life coaches to determine our
curriculum, stick to it and cover it.
At this point, we should acknowledge that
there is a myriad of help available to us in Nigeria. There are school teachers,
nannies, uncles and aunties, lesson teachers, grannies and grandpas. Regardless
of all the help however, but we must take our children’s lives in our hands and
do the teaching ourselves.
Furthermore because of the endemic problem of
corruption and a loss of values in Nigeria, which has been more fully
discussed in other parts of this book, it is particularly important that we plant
the right values in our children. Too many people have lost all sense of right
and wrong in Nigeria
and so we dare not leave our children’s upbringing to chance!
appeal to Dads
It is important here to make a special appeal to dads
who for some reason tend to avoid direct involvement in raising their children.
Being raised by even more traditional fathers, they believe all they are expected
to do is to monthly provide the money and hand it over to their wives. Wives
are to do all the raising, talking and communicating with the children. This
will no longer do. Fathers need to get involved, teach sex education to their sons
and communicate with both daughters and sons. They need to get involved with
the disciplinary procedure in their families and not just in a stern meting – out
– the – punishment way. They need to take part in the day to day running of
their families. Wives as much as possible should lovingly involve their
husbands in all children’s issues, to ensure that they raise balanced children.
must teach ‘life’ not ‘school’
A lot of parents tend to harp on about
school and academics which at best ends when the child is about twenty five. Anything
beyond that is usually extra and mainly out of scope of the parents. We do
little or nothing to teach life which ends at an average of seventy years. We
must teach age- appropriate life skills that will equip them to be successful
throughout their lives, long after school is over.
Under-listed here is a guide for a teaching curriculum
that can be easily adapted to suit each family and the suggested ‘subjects’ to
be taught are as follows:
Clearly this is an area that only you can teach. In
the first place this presupposes that you know your family history and this
includes the family history of both parents. If your grandfather was the head
hunter in his village you have a duty to inform your children of this fact and
let them be proud of it! You can then show them the progression and let them
know how they can become the first rocket scientist of their town.
Even where there are bad (events, stories, facts),
in our family’s history we have a duty to tell our children so they can rise
above those circumstances and learn from their forefathers’ mistakes.
Needless to say, if your grandfather was the first
doctor in the village then they even have more to be proud of!
Stories that show the hard work, diligence and honesty
of our forefathers must be emphasized.
Your family values must have been identified by you
and spouse! It is important that you know what you stand for!
Cultural, social and ethical values need to be identified
and taught.
Values like truth, honesty, diligence, respect,
persistence, fairness, and responsibility must be taught. 
It is also important that you begin early to teach
your children that you value marriage and also teach them the value of both parties
(the mother and the father) in the marriage.
Your family needs to have a driving goal. As Africans
we have a healthy respect for our elders. Where our ancestors do not contradict
God, we should be proud to say that we will not disgrace the family name by
relegating such (family) values to the background. For example, we would rather
be poor than be caught engaging in credit card fraud! And if your grandfather
was a rogue you certainly should tell your child that none of you (both parents
and children) you should ever be found going that route again!
It is extremely important that we re-establish the
value of hard work. Much as I do not want to dwell on school education in this
book, I will say that as parents we often spend a lot of money on teachers at
school and at home without inculcating the habit of hard work in them. I find
is extremely worrisome that children, even of secondary school age, have not
formed the habit of sitting at a desk for 40 minutes, talk less of an hour.
Children have not cultivated the habit of study and hard work.
Teachers in most of our schools have done their best
to enforce this habit whilst they teach them in school. A lot depends on the
parents to make it a life – long habit.
A child that cannot sit still cannot suddenly become
an adult that studies through a University degree and finally sits at an office
desk for eight hours a day. Dignity of labor was thrown out of the window when
briefcase carrying businessmen began to make deals worth millions, from their
close association with a serving minister or governor.
Nigerians need to get back to the place where the
sheer drudgery of hard work is valued and rewarded. It starts from school, and
our duty as parents is to actually turn off the television and ensure those
kids are trained and taught to sit in one place and study!
This is one place where so many of us have failed.
We must make a conscious effort to teach our children
our local dialects.  I remember clearly,
that when I was growing up, the house helps all used to be from the villages.
We therefore listened as our parents spoke to them and somehow managed to get
an understanding of our local dialect.
Now, however, most of the house helps are from neighboring
countries, and do not necessarily speak our local dialects. In addition, we
often send our children away to school abroad rather early so our children are
growing up without an understanding of their local dialects!
This may not appear to be a major problem but a local
dialect does help to integrate our children into our system properly. We must
also remember that our children as the architects, doctors, politicians and leaders
of tomorrow that we pray they will become, will have to interact with
bricklayers and other artisans, and patients who may not speak any English at
In addition, there is some native sense that our
children often do not have. If they are to compete effectively with children who
are streetwise, they will need that native sense, part of it comes via the
native language!
Along with our native language our culture should be
taught. Whether we like it or not this country is still ruled by people with
highly cultural backgrounds. If we are breeding children that we expect to be
leaders of tomorrow, in addition to the western education, we should equip them
with native education that will enable them to stand as leaders.
Many young men and women have failed at critical
stages in life because they did not understand the culture. They did not know
how to say the right thing in the culturally correct way. They did not hear the
innuendos in the words of the elders.
Many technocrats failed their interviews for ministerial
appointments because they did not understand the culture and did not know how to
culturally address the senate which is largely made up of culturally indoctrinated
men and women.
Many a marriage has failed because the young men and
women did not know how to traditionally respect their in- laws by kneeling down
or prostrating appropriately, or calling them by the right appellation.
Many a potential politician who could have offered
real value to their community did not succeed because they could not dress
right, tie the proper ‘gele’ and wrapper, or don the appropriate hat.
It is unfortunate that we, who are political animals
and who have got to the top of our fields by observing political and cultural
etiquette, now overlook the fact that our children will need these same skills
to excel in our country.
Tales of woe abound of wives who cannot cook and who were
kicked out of their husbands’ homes for this simple reason.
I do appreciate the fact that working mothers sometimes
simply cannot find the time to teach their daughters (and indeed sons) to cook.
(If you find yourself in such situations you could find out where courses which
teach such culinary skills and other cultural niceties are run.) I cannot
overemphasize the need for our daughters to become women who can care for their
homes. This care starts with providing Nigerian meals that the husband of the
home requires.
In a country where labor is cheap and the standard is
to have one or two house helps as well as a driver in an average middle class
family, it is actually quite difficult to get children to do any household
chores unless the parent is particularly committed to the idea. We must however
remember that chores are a form of training for the children’s adult years;
when they are in college, as a young couple and indeed for the rest of their
lives, irrespective of whether they have house help or not.
Chores give them some sense of responsibility, and let
them know that they have duties in the family, the accomplishment of which
should make them feel fulfilled. The woman is usually the house keeper and
maintainer of the aesthetics of the home and so, tidiness, cleanliness and
housekeeping skills need to be taught to our girls especially. Boys also need
to be taught to be clean, to wash their clothes and bathrooms, tidy their wardrobes
and generally know how to keep a home looking decent. It may appear to be an
uphill task, especially in teenage years when their rooms look like they have
been struck by a hurricane, but we must continue to insist that our children’s
bookshelves, wardrobes, bathrooms and even schoolbags are tidy. They should
also have chores that are outside their immediate environs or rooms that will
make them feel that they are contributing to the general good of the family. A
chore as simple as drawing the curtains in the entire house every evening. They
must be taught from very early to tidy up after themselves; to put away their
toys after playing with them, to pack away their video games at the end of
every game. It is never too early to start or too late to stop, you must do
your best to train them to be tidy and clean!
Caring is something that we usually think is an innate
quality. It is often so but where it is not we need to teach it.
We need to teach from early childhood that mummy can
sometimes be sick and that just as mummy looks after the child when he or she
is ill, the child can also look after mummy when the need arises. We need to
let teenagers know that they can do holiday jobs that actually earns them money
and that they can actually buy their parents presents that are appreciated.
They need to remember and celebrate (sometimes by
sending cards or buying gifts) special events in the family such as birthdays
and Christmas. Children need to be taught that the world does not revolve around
them and that their demands will oftentimes be met after the needs of the larger
family have been met. It is important that children are not brought up
selfishly and that, from early years, demands are made on them. They also need
to be told that they will be expected to look after their parents and siblings.
These are principles which once inculcated into them will always be remembered
and applied.
This used to be an African practice but with us middle
class parents we seem to feel it is no longer necessary that children look
after us. The sad truth is that it still is very important and no matter how
strong we feel we are today, the day will come when we will need our children
to care. They are likely to care only if somebody has taught them to care.
Teach them to care now.
It is important that children begin early to
understand the value of money. When children understand the value of money they
begin to appreciate the value of the things they have and the need to work for
the things they do not have.
For some reason, some parents seem to think that
children’s pretty little heads should not be bothered by money, yet, experience
has shown that once children understand the finances of any situation they get
a lot more reasonable about the situation. They cease to make unreasonable demands
and when necessary even begin to help you cut costs.
When children understand the value of money they begin
to appreciate the value of the things they have and the need to work for things
they do not have.
It is important that they are taught to know that they
need to work hard to acquire the finer things of life and that school/education
is a means to that end. Children also need to appreciate how their parents
started their lives (perhaps from one room apartments), and how they created their
own wealth.
They should be taught a savings
culture, saving from their pocket money,
money from gifts received from uncles
and aunties, and they should be
made to pay for some of the things that they want, from such money. You
will be surprised how much longer the toys and other things they pay for
themselves last.
In a country with extremes of poverty and wealth, children should be exposed
to the poor side of life as often as possible, by visits and donations of their
own things to the motherless babies’ homes, orphanages and disabled peoples’ homes.
This will help them to further appreciate what they have and will encourage
them to take better care of their belongings.
Though it is difficult to give
a definition of a spoilt child, somehow we recognize a spoilt child when we see
one. One characteristic of spoilt children is that they have everything, they
have the latest toys, shoes, clothes, gadgets etc. Indeed if your child lacks
for nothing and has the most and latest of everything you may well be on the
way to spoiling him, (see also comments re S.V. mums under discipline). Parents
should not over-indulge children either in a bid to make up for their own
deprived childhood or as guilt offerings to make up for their lack of
It must be emphasized that too much, too soon, makes a child lack
a sense of value and a drive to achieve.
we over- achieve on their behalf, they cannot but under- achieve as, they will
have no incentive to work hard.
as we may earn ten times what the next parent earns there is an appropriate
amount that can be identified as adequate, or average, in respect of pocket
money and allowances for a child. There are toys and gadgets that are
appropriate for a child vis- a vis those that are appropriate for an adult. The
children need to understand that there will always be someone that has more
money than they do or more gadgets than they have and that they cannot always
have all they want.
need to know that there is a clear difference between ones needs and ones
wants. Whilst as parents you may struggle to meet all their needs, you
certainly should let them know that all their wants ‘need’  not be met. For instance our children may
want the latest Michael Jordan basketball boots in each available colour, but
we may have to tell them that one good pair of Nike boots every year are all we
feel they need, even if could afford their want.
Parents must educate themselves on the
economy of both their country and the country where the children go to school, where
such countries differ. They must also be very knowledgeable on careers and how
the economy affects the choice of career. Parents must be able to help their children make good choices as to
what careers to pursue. Subject choices are made in school between the ages of
thirteen to sixteen. At this point the child has little knowledge of himself
and what potential he has. It is therefore imperative that the parents are
sufficiently involved in the child’s life to help the child. Where they are do not
have the skills to help the child they should get professional career
counsellors to assist.
It is imperative to teach the importance of appearance
as well as general etiquette. There are correct ways of speaking (not loudly,
not rudely), of eating (table manners need to be taught), of sitting and walking
(correct posture and gait), and certainly of dressing (correct dress sense).
We are often shocked at our children’s choice of
clothing. We should be very involved in their appearances until they can be
seen to have imbibed a reasonable dress sense.
They must learn how to dress appropriately for each
occasion. In addition to laying down the law you will find that children are
more ready to comply when they are complemented for dressing smartly rather than
they would be when they are yelled at for dressing appropriately.
If you complement your daughter when she wears
something that is appropriate, she will be less inclined to wear a sequined
spaghetti strapped mini dress to church. If she does insist on wearing it,
however, do not just shrug your shoulders. Rather, insist that she change it (there
are some words later on about resolve: we must not lose our resolve)! Similarly
boys need to be corrected when they acquire unwholesome dressing habits such as
‘sagging’, etc.
Again, we find that encouragement and appealing to
their sense of importance and vanity works better than simply laying down the
law but please remember, where persuasion fails insist on the rules.
Girls must be taught good posture, and boys must also
be taught to walk tall and not slouch, bounce or fall in with whatever is the
current gait fashion!
This may seem to be too adult or mature a principle to
teach children, but is indeed the solution to a lot of the problems we see
manifest. A teenager’s room often looks like a disaster zone because she has
not allocated time to put things away, after the last party and before the next
one! A child fails his exam because there is no study time on his time table.
He apportions his time wholly between school time and football time!
Time management must be taught and the attendant
discipline required to adhere to a daily time table must also be instilled in
the child.
Of course the child will still be naturally averse to
doing homework and chores (let’s face it, who isn’t?) but once some principles
are put in place and time is actually created, the child may have to wake up
half an hour earlier to tidy the room. The chore will, hopefully, gradually
become a habit!
We must teach our children about God and his laws early!
To my mind this is the only way we can remotely begin to hope for the best
concerning our children. There will be a time when the children will begin to
seek knowledge themselves and the only thing that will stop them at that stage
will be the knowledge of God’s laws and the fear of God that are entrenched
early in their systems.
When our sons study philosophy in University and
others begin to expound theories about the existence of God, only the word of
God entrenched in their system can protect them from doing ungodly things.
When they begin to meet ‘gay’ boys and ‘lesbian’ girls
in school, only what you have taught them and the word of God will shield and
protect them. When friends offer them drugs, again only what has been ingrained
will make them resist the temptation.
Children will be born with different types of temperament;
they could for instance be timid, shy, bold or upbeat. There are other
classifications to describe temperament and wider reading of this can be undertaken.
For the purpose of this book however we need to explain that irrespective of
the child’s natural temperament they can be encouraged to change sufficiently
to become successful adults. A timid child needs to be taught how to stop
projecting fear and attracting the class bullies. A shy child needs to be
taught that he will have to come out of that mold to enable him adequately pass
oral interviews, or sell himself at a job interview, some day in the future.
A child’s
temperament should be carefully studied, and he should be taught necessary
skills to help him develop good and resilient character, which will enable him
cope, with the challenges of life.
It is amazing that a lack of knowledge could actually
be the difference between, perhaps, a Mozart and the ordinary girl next door.
Expose your children to as much knowledge as possible.
For instance, If you cannot play music, you may get them a music teacher,
especially as your child could be a budding Mozart.
This is the age of technology and we are supposedly
moving into a paperless society. Nonetheless technology is not a substitute for
a reading culture.
The reading culture is dying; expose your children to
You may also teach them to swim. It is safer to have
taught them than to worry every time they go out with friends that they do not
get pushed into a pool. Knowledge does not kill, it is the lack of it that
It is amazing that parents
often play the ostrich and refuse to address one of the most important
decisions their children could ever make. We would rather avoid the issue of
dating till the child comes home with the wrong choice. We then explode and say,
‘how could you?’ We must start
teaching on correct dating before the children leave home, which is usually about
Choosing the right partner is one of the best decisions
our children could make. There are some guidelines that we could give our
children that would help them identify Mr. or Mrs. Right.
We may suggest that they consider the under listed
headings, and we have treated them under girls and boys for;
1.     Family background and social
2.     Tribe
3.     Education
4.     Temperament
5.     Finance
6.     Health
7.     Religion and Values
Our children will immediately
tell us that they are not at all interested in marrying their first date and
that they are only dating, but it is wise to tell them that they should
actually only begin a relationship with someone they think they could marry.
Sometimes kids fall in love with someone they should never marry and cause
themselves and their families great pain.
Background, family and social
It is suggested that girls
look for partners with as close a parental background to theirs as possible.
The reason for this is that
there where there is a wide variance in  behavioral
patterns in the families of the boy and girl, a girl may not be able to adapt
to easily to her husband- to- be’s family, unless he or she is particularly ‘wise’
or ‘native’.
It is also important to
establish that there is some higher family authority that the date respects.
The way a date respects and
responds to his family’s authority is a clear indication of the type of family
man he will be.
 Same social
It may appear that snobbery is
being supported here but differences in social class have been found to be
responsible for the breakup and problems in several marriages in Nigeria. In the
first place the male African ego is severely compromised if the man’s social
class is seen to be clearly below the wife, therefore minor problems become
major ones when this  problem is the
underlying factor. There are occasional situations where the man is big enough
to be accommodate his wife’s social class being above his but they are few and
far between and this must clearly be established before such a wedding takes
Tribal issues
If both parties are from
different tribes it must be agreed that this will not be an issue. The good
news is that since we have not been raising ‘native’ children usually the two
children coming together are not ‘natives’ and where they come from usually
really does not matter to them.
Hopefully, therefore, once the
extended families can accommodate non indigenous children, this should not be a
problem. However, both children must be sure that the other side doesn’t mind a
non- indigene as the extended family really does still have a big part to play
in the marriage!
This usually tends to be
related to social class as most classes will usually have similar educational
backgrounds. My advice to girls is that they should not marry anyone of a lower
educational status unless these issues have been well discussed and it is
obvious from the person’s temperament that it will not be an issue in future. Where
a male school certificate holder marries a doctor, for instance, it is most
unlikely that there will not be serious problems.
Education also usually has a
direct influence on finance and the earning capacities of both sides, so it really
must be carefully examined.
Usually, at the early stages
of dating it may be difficult to identify a partner’s financial propensity. However
one can begin to look at his goals as well as his record for hard work etc, as
evidence of his future ability to work hard and support a family. 
One should be looking for a
hard worker, planner and thinker, someone that is going somewhere. Someone that
is not just a dreamer waiting for lucky breaks and contracts that may fail
later on in life.
He must be responsible and
committed, ready to take on the responsibility of a wife. This can be quite easily
identifiable from the way he treats his date.
It is so important that a girl
understands the temperament of a prospective husband, in order to know whether
he is boisterous and outgoing or quiet and reserved. Opposites often attract at
the beginning and then become the problem later.
It would be desirable that a
future partner is identified as being kind and compassionate, tender,
considerate and attentive to his partner.
A hard or tough boy is
unlikely to become a kind and compassionate husband in future.
It is desirable that the boy
does not have a temper that may escalate in future to violence. It is important
to observe his conflict resolution methods, as there will definitely be
conflicts that will need resolving in future
Where there are negative
tendencies, for example, if the suitor is moody, the girl must be able to confirm
that she can live with those evident behavioral traits. Suffice it to say that there will be more problems as there will be more traits that she did not even
Health issues can be quite
serious if one party for instance has an AS genotype. It would be wise not to
marry another AS for fear of the possibility of raising children that suffer
from sickle cell disease.
There are other hereditary ailments and sicknesses
which a girl may want to be sure do not exist in her husband -to -be’s family.
Girls must ensure that they
share the same religious beliefs with their dates and that the dates are not
just faking such beliefs to win them over!
Their dates must respect God.
If he is a ‘self made’ man as we are wont to say in Nigeria, he must have a real
relationship with God. He must have some one he can answer to, some superior
being he fears.
Religion will also often
determine the kind of morals and values that govern a person’s life so it is
important that parties are in agreement in this important area.
The advice to girls given
above concerning tribe, education, health, religion also applies to boys.
There is slightly difference advice
for a boy in the other area’s as under listed.
A boy needs to examine his
girlfriend’s background. He may want to observe the relationship between the
girl’s parents; is it a loving and respectful relationship. He may want to
examine the domestic habits in the girl’s home as this will averagely show the
type of homemaker the girl herself will be. Sometimes girls with untidy mothers
vow to have tidy homes, but usually you recreate what you grew up with.
Although the husband is supposed
to be the bread winner, he should look out for a wife that adds value to his
life, either by her personal industry and hard work or by virtue of her
background (and this is not necessarily financial, it could be educational). She
should be an asset, rather than a liability, even if she is a housewife.
It is very important that boys
find girls with even temperaments.
Respect and humility are attractive qualities in a
Girls who are well brought up
are neither saucy, rude, hot tempered nor disrespectful. It is important to
know whether the girl is hospitable and tolerant or accommodating. These are some
of the qualities of a good homemaker and a wife that will accommodate the
African closely knit family.  
We may want to ask where the
place of love is in all this. Romance may be important but one should also be
In Africa,
the practice was for suitors to be ‘checked out.’ Families were checked out for
character flaws, sicknesses and illnesses such as madness and epilepsy and
other similar diseases and even spiritual diseases!
This is not a custom that
should not be thrown out.
‘Love on the street’ must be brought home and
carefully scrutinized in the harsh light of day!
Romeo met Juliet in London. Romeo had been in London long before Juliet so he showed her
the ropes. In addition, Romeo lavished affection on British- born Juliet and
took good care of her throughout their courtship period in London.
Romeo thus ‘blew Juliet’s mind’ and captured her
heart, as she had been pampered by her parents all her life (even though she
was not a spoilt brat). Although Juliet’s parents visited from time to time
throughout her stay in London,
they never met Romeo, Romeo always had an excuse. Romeo’s mum never visited.
Romeo studied zoology whilst Juliet obtained a first
degree in finance and an MBA thereafter.
Eventually Juliet came back home with Romeo (they had
secretly and quietly gone to the marriage registry in London because Romeo is “quiet and introverted”)
and Juliet begins to make some “startling” discoveries:
Romeo is “boda” to six younger brats and “oko mi” (my
husband) to mum.
‘Big Daddy”, who had paid Romeo’s school fees in London, is Mum’s boyfriend
and Romeo’s father had actually disappeared during the civil war.
Juliet bravely decides to go on. After all, this is
her Romeo.
Then reality
Ø “oko mi” suddenly becomes cold
when Juliet call his sisters-in-law (whom she is at least 8 years older than)
by name.
Ø He also began to complain about
her housekeeping methods, insisting that she was sloppy and dirty and she
suspected he and his sisters (who seemed to know how to do everything) made fun
of her behind her back.
Ø Romeo complains that she
cannot make the local delicacy, ‘moin-moin’.
Ø He complains about the stew
she makes during the week and wants ‘Ikokore’ (another native delicacy) and
dried fish every weekend.
Ø The truth is that Juliet had
never made any ‘local’ dishes in London
but he had never complained. When she attempted to remind him of the good old
days of chicken and chips in London,
he gave her a dirty slap and threw out the chicken she bought.
Now she is wondering whether or not to go back to Mum
and Dad’s at Victoria Island.
Incidentally Romeo seems to have settled into the two bedroom
flat with his siblings in Ketu. He does not seem interested in looking for
their own place, especially since Mum has moved into Big Daddy’s house.
The initial agreement on arrival from London was that they would
only spend one month with Mum and then get their own place.
He also does not seem to be interested in looking for
a job, claiming to be doing business with Big Daddy; what kind of business, she
does not know. When she begged him to go to her parents for help he refused,
claiming that they had at sometime sneered at his zoology degree.
1.     Did Juliet choose wisely, re
their backgrounds?
2.     How well brought up is Juliet
especially in terms of housekeeping issues, traditional African values.
3.     Career issues, and educational
backgrounds – is Romeo’s zoology degree going to be very helpful to the
4.     Are they suited re their
Streetwise and Naive are first cousins aged 10
and 8 respectively.
Streetwise has suddenly developed a liking for Naive’s
house – a place she hitherto loathed having to visit as she considered Aunty
(Naive’s mum) too strict. More so as Aunty does not indulge her over-eating
habit. Now, Streetwise is visiting almost every weekend, and when she stays
home Naive is sleeping over at Streetwise’s .
On one of such visits to naive’s house, his young aunt
who lives with the family catches them ‘pants down’. She quickly separates them
and observes that Naive is still ‘erect’ and Streetwise is panting.
Small Aunty is the household talebearer and no amount
of cajoling or subtle threats will pacify her. She promptly tells Mummy as soon
as she returns (Mummy barely has time to take off her ‘gele’). Mummy flies into
a rage, gets a horsewhip and beats them both within an inch of their lives,
uttering unprintable words as the beating progresses. When she has calmed down
she finds out the full details. Apparently Streetwise seduced Naive (Streetwise
To avert a family feud (Mummy loves her brother and
his wife and theirs is a closely knit family), Mummy goes to her big aunty and
mentor, who is the kids’ headmistress (Streetwise and Naive attend the same
Mentor sends for Streetwise’s
parents and the issue is duly resolved. The kids are reprimanded and counselled
and appropriate sanctions are imposed. All parties agree that the extended family
need not know. Not even Naive’s dad (he was out when both the incident and the
beating occurred) who might not share his wife’s “unwarranted” love for her
brother and sister-in-law.
All is well that ends well. (Does it really)?
What went wrong?
Is Naive really naive?
Is Streetwise really streetwise?
What did the parents do wrong or not do prior to the incident?
Where do the parents and children go from there?

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