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Teaching your child accountability



It was one of those things you hear by chance. You did not mean to eavesdrop but you hear it anyway. That was the way I got this information. However, I think that it is not what should pass by without examining it a little.

From the discussion between this mother and a young man whom I guessed to be her neighbour, the woman’s son gave her some money to pay for some pressing family needs. But as it is the habit of some women, the mother kept back some of the money. She was found out, that was the much I gathered. Some things, mostly unpleasant, might have happened, I suspected and as she moaned and complained to her young neighbour.

He told her repeatedly: “Your son should not have revealed how much he gave to you.”In reply, she poured invectives on her son who was not there.“Don’t curse him, he is your son”, the young man counseled her.


I have thought about this and I have come to the conclusion that it is not a matter so simple to overlook. On the whole, I don’t think that the mother is right- she is wrong, really.

First, the son may not be aware that the mother wanted to misappropriate that money meant for an important expenditure. As a responsible adult, he expected that she should pay the full amount. Secondly is all possibility that he told the receiver, “I will give my mother certain figures to pay you. However, not getting same, the receiver called the confused young man, “But you said I should expect this amount. I got something lower.

“I gave my mother the exact amount”, he replied, taken unawares.He got back to her: “Your son said he gave you the full amount, give me my money.”

Another thing is that the mother may have been in the habit of misappropriating money meant for important things at home, hence the son alerted the other person on how much to expect.

It is, therefore, difficult to defend mothers who want to cheat their children; it is an attitude that shows lack of consideration for their children. Money is scarce but that is the more reason you should cooperate with a son who is willing to pay for basic needs like your shelter and contributing to sponsor younger siblings through school.

When you put money meant for one purpose to pursue another, you are not teaching the child financial responsibility, you are not exact for accountability or what do you think government means when it says that an official has misappropriated funds?

It means that someone who should know better has spent money voted for electricity supply to pay for government praise singers. He may not have taken it for personal use. So the government complains because it thought that water and electricity had been taken when in fact a reckless and irresponsible official had put the money to frivolous use.

It is the same for mummy when your son provides money for house rent; he thinks that the problem has been solved for the next one year. You, therefore, do him a disfavour when you take part of the money to pay club dues when you knew that you could not pay back.

As a fresh starter, he has foregone some personal pleasures to help you. He has his life ahead and your prayer should be that things should be easier for him. Your coaching which financial responsibility should form a strong part of will help him. You don’t want to raise a child who embezzles public fund.

He needs blessing, not curses.
And talking about curses, someone once observed that they really mean no harm. In the days when African mothers had many broods and loved them equally, curses, invectives or plain verbal abuse she used to wake up, first thing in the morning.


“It means nothing”, the woman maintained. “A child, who was slow to wake up, straightened up and did his morning chores with alacrity when he heard his mother’s sharp words; what she cared about were alert children. But you dare not attack her children with violent words, never, not in her presence.

However, we should be able to differentiate curses, verbal abuse and meaningless sharp words. And the woman in the above was cursing her son because she was pained of his betrayal; she felt that she was entitled to spend his money the way she wanted.

We advise that she should not use tricks to get money from him, the same way she got money out of his father. It is terrible, manipulative and you do him injustice. Respect him as an individual, ask nicely and he will give you as his mother. Be thankful that you have a child who takes your welfare to heart; some parents are not as lucky. It is not that their children do not care, but they may not have the means.


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