DAD STORIES: I enjoy home-schooling my daughters

Wednesday June 6 2018

Steve Kiteto poses with his wife Lizzie Njeri and children (from left) Sere, Hachi and Heri. PHOTO| COURTESY

Steve Kiteto poses with his wife Lizzie Njeri and children (from left) Sere, Hachi and Heri. PHOTO| COURTESY 

By Margaret Maina
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“They are angels to me, the biggest blessing a father could receive or ever hope for. When I feel like the world is crushing me, I look at their beautiful faces and all that sadness disappears.”

This is how Steve Kiteto feels about his three lovely daughters Sere, Heri and Hachi who are eight, six and 17 months old respectively.

SPONTANEOUS FATHER

Steve is happily married to Lizzie Njeri, the mother of his children. He describes Lizzie as a great role model to the girls. Of the two, Lizzie is the more structured parent as Steve tends to be spontaneous. He is constantly in the habit of conjuring up parenting activities for the girls in the spur of the moment.

Steve describes fatherhood as being responsible of the upbringing of the children and moulding them into decent people.

“I strongly believe that children are a reflection of their parents. I want my girls to be successful, independent women who are not afraid of going for what they want but still remain polite and mindful.”

CHILDREN’S COACH

Steve is an outdoor experiential trainer by profession. His skills as a trainer have helped him in coaching and equipping his children with the necessary skills needed to succeed in life.

“In my line of work, you learn to be patient and understanding but firm. This has had a positive influence in my parenting skills. It also helps to have the right partner in the journey of fatherhood; Lizzie has been a great team player.”

CHOOSING TO HOMESCHOOL

Steve and Lizzie decided to home-school their daughters. The decision was partly influenced by the nature of Steve’s work. He felt it would be a great opportunity to be actively involved in his children’s education. He adopted an organic learning process to home-school his children.

“My girls learn more than just the normal textbook curriculum. Organic learning means they draw lessons from each of their normal day-to-day experiences. I believe that this is the best way of educating my children and ensuring their learning is all-round Nothing sticks in a child’s mind more than what he or she has learnt from their own experiences.”.

Steve has trained his children to read the bible every day in the morning. He reads them a story every night before they go to sleep. This has helped the girls grow spiritually and equipped them with strong moral values.

CAMPING OUTSIDE THE HOUSE

Steve recounts the memorable night a while back when he and the girls camped outside their house.

“My girls were very excited. They had their sleeping bags and we spent the entire night outside the house right in our compound.  The teachable moment that night came when I drew their attention to the beauty of the stars and nature as a whole. I could feel the awakening of their of sense of adventure. To date, they still pester me on when we will do camping again.”

He adds that the outdoor activities are very important to children especially in a world where technology has taken over their mind.

“I do not allow my children to watch a program we have not vetted. We do not allow our children to spend the whole day watching television. Once in a while they watch cartoons, it is important for their normal growth and childhood experience.”

FATHERHOOD CHALLENGES

“Sometimes I come home very tired but the children want me to play with them. Kids do not understand fatigue. When they see daddy, they know it is playtime. When I give in, we have so much fun and they go to sleep with smiles on their faces. What more could I want?”

His parting shot?

“I believe that parents should make sure they are present and available for their children, spend quality time with your kids that way they feel and know that you love and care for them which goes a long way in building their self-confidence and esteem.”

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