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Parents in Kibera share challenges of raising boychild in informal settlements

Raising male children in Nairobi’s informal settlements has become a big challenge for many parents in these neighbourhood.

One of the biggest headache for most of parents in these informal settlements is instilling discipline on male children.

“It is difficult raising a boy child in an informal settlement,” Jael Moraa, a resident in Kibera Slums in Nairobi, lamented in an interview with Nairobi News.

“Staying in the informal settlement itself poses a lot of challenges to my children, especially my sons, who feel the pressure to join bad company, the mother of three said.

Behavioral changes in their male children due to peer pressure, more so during their teenage years, is another challenge that parents like Moraa keep grappling with.

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She cites her 13-year-old son whose behaviour, she say, has changed noticeably.

“I’ve noticed the way he handles conflict has changed lately. He used to be a calm person but now it’s easy for him to throw stones if someone steps on his feet,” she says.

Another parent, Joan Otieno, has faced similar challenges in raising her sons in Kibera.

“I have two sons who are aged between 17 and 14 years old. They used to be very disciplined and calm. But they have since become very violent. Sometimes they fail to come back home. As a single mother, I am not able to beat them because they might harm me,” she told Nairobi News.

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However, some parents also blame the indiscipline exhibited by their male children on the current political heat in the country.

They argue that their children have been negatively influenced by political leaders who are known for their inflammatory remarks.

In Kenya, every year election brings forth violence of its own kind. After last year’s polls, for instance, political tension was heightened by the hardline stance of the rival coalitions.

However, it is after the 2007 polls that the country experienced its worst ever post-election violence that led to the death of at least 1,000 people, mass displacement of many more, not to mention widespread destruction of property across the country.

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