Home Engineer: Of parenting and the "new normal" of sexuality

Happy Family

The birds and bees analogy just got more complicated. 

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • As parents, we expect our children to grow up in the traditions, culture and religious affiliations to which we have time immemorial belonged to.
  • When our children tend to diverge from this, we as parents either shun them or try to understand and accept them for who they are – regular parenting.

I have this live and let live attitude as I go about my life, but we cannot overlook certain things, especially as parents. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't every other movie and TV series these days contain characters that promote same-sex affiliations? As a parent, I am at odds because even animation films and cartoons embrace gay-culture themes. As human beings, we continue to be mindful and respectful of every individuals' personal choices. Even with reservations, we tend to give a wide berth and avoid confronting specific issues lest we be labelled anti-this and phobic-that.


But, let's address this rationally and let's speak as Kenyan "Africanised" parents. The simplicity of life in the African content is enshrined in culture and tradition. The life cycle entails parents, their children, eventual spouses, a conjoining of in-law's families, and the subsequent fruit of life who come in the form of beloved grandchildren. As a parent today, and in particular parents in Africa, we have to confront ourselves with the challenges of modern-day society to enable us to nurture our children in the most acceptable and morally upright manner possible. What we consume today is not merely promoting inclusivity and acceptance of liberal views and respect for personal rights. Instead, consumers of information, be it through entertainment or otherwise, are actively being subjected to embrace the new normal in society by ensuring we are fed what the unbeknown forces deem worthy of disseminating. While it can be acknowledged that one cannot live in a bubble of misinformation or lack thereof it, by continuously and consistently promoting a particular agenda, it begins to mould a thought process that can either be beneficial or detrimental to the ultimate receiver.


As parents, we expect our children to grow up in the traditions, culture and religious affiliations to which we have time immemorial belonged to. When our children tend to diverge from this, we as parents either shun them or try to understand and accept them for who they are – regular parenting. But, how do we parent a system that is slowly and steadily challenging our children's thought processes by somewhat creating a path whose end seems to have already been pre-determined? Are we expected to adapt to what western society deems as basic human rights to which we either toe the line or be subdued under the guise of the famously coined "choices have consequences" mantra?


Twenty-first-century parenting is by far the most arduous and challenging because we need to find a balance between raising our children right and raising children who have rights. For the sake of our children's futures, as parents, we have no option but to address every new challenge headfirst and ensure we keep an open mind to every decision we take. Remember, this is the reality of the day; turning a blind eye is no longer an option. So, the next time you think of "parenting", remember it is a whole new ball game, and you better bring your aces to the table because it will be a rough, challenging ride. The birds and bees analogy just got more complicated.

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