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Co-parenting in times of Covid- 19

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No doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it unique dynamics in the family. As a result of lockdowns and social distancing measures, families are forced to adjust to new routines. And for those who have been co-parenting, it is proving quite a challenge.

Popular Mombasa-based artiste and father of two, PDay Hurricane shares how difficult things have been since his daughters, aged seven and two, have been separated from their mother after the partial lockdown in the coastal town.

“It was my turn to have the children, so I took them to my mum, that is their grandmother, after the schools shutdown since she had missed them. We had no idea there would be a lockdown. Since the children were enjoying the time with their grandma, we decided to wait for the 21 days of lockdown, but when it was extended, the kids started missing their mum. I have tried getting a pass for her, but it’s been hard. I keep lying to them every day their mum is on the way, but the truth is she cannot cross over from Mombasa to Kilifi. The situation is frustrating, especially for the two year-old. It is important for her to be closer to her mother at her age,” he shares.

PDay Hurricane, an artiste and a father of two. His baby mama, who he coparents with has not been able to come for the children following the prolonged partial lockdown in Mombasa.
COURTESY

The mum, has however, kept communicating with her children. “Their mother calls every day to talk to them, but that’s not enough,” says the musician.

Children oceans away
Janet Kingi, also known as Ronet, is a mother of three who has lived with her family in Bayern, Germany, for more than 14 years while running a music production business in Kilifi. Due to challenges in the industry, she is often forced to fly to Kenya to ensure things are running well. Only this unfortunate time, she couldn’t make it back on time and now she has to be away from her children indefinitely.

“I co-parent with my baby-daddy though I’m the one who lives with them. I miss my children dearly. I video call them everyday. I was supposed to go back on March 30, but due to Covid-19, there are no flights. It is a difficult time to be away from my family, especially with the current situation,” shares Janet.

For co-parenting families where children are not able to be with one parent, there can be an increase in stress and anxiety. In such instances, children might be defiant, throw tantrums and some might show symptoms of depression such as having no motivation for doing day to day normal tasks, such as taking a bath, school work and the like.

According to psychologist
Tracy Nyaguthii, there are still many children who are dealing with stress since Covid-19 separated them from their parents. In cases where

there are indifferences between parents, there is an additional burden of conflict.

“Co- parenting parents with special needs children are having an even tougher time. Extra care is required to protect them from contracting the virus. As a result, their normal routine visits to see a physiotherapist or clinic visits are now reduced. Normal routine visits from the other co- parent will be few, to reduce contact. This can bring a lot of stress and exhaustion to the primary care parent. Children with special needs require support from both parents, as it positively impacts their mood (they are happy) and ensures their general wellbeing,” shares the psychologist.

As a recommendation, Tracy shares that it is important for all parents to accept that these are unique times. And the casualties of failed parenting are children.

Forging ahead
“Already there are reports of a surge in child abuse cases in the world. It is important that co-parents set aside their issues and work together to ensure the wellbeing of their children. Families are different and there is no one particular method to manage families. As difficult as it is, co- parents need to discuss on how they can adjust for the benefit of their children. The focuses of their discussions need to be children-centred and solution oriented. Co-parents need to be transparent about exposure to the virus, and discuss steps on how to protect their children.

Parents need to follow safety precautions such as hand washing and sanitising and communicate to each other that they are maintaining safety. It is important that parents accommodate each other and are open for the sake of the children. If there are money issues or suspected symptoms of the virus, they need to communicate,” she advises Additionally, co-parents can use technology such as FaceTime or calls to maintain contact with their children. Families need stick to regular routines such as bed time, meal times, prayer time and screen time to make children comfortable and alleviate anxieties. Where parents are angry or having stress issues, Tracy says it is important to take a step back, relax and catch your breath.

She also emphasises on the need for parents to take care of themselves. “Self-care is important. Parents need to take some time to do something special for themselves that helps them relax and makes them happy. It could be a hobby, or fixing a special cup of tea,” she says.

By PD

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Entertainment

Ben Githae opens up about marital issues that almost left him depressed

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Gospel singer Ben Githae did not have it easy in 2019. This is after his alleged side chick exposed him for neglecting their twin daughters.

According to the baby mama identified as Rose Wanjiru; the singer had been neglecting his responsibilities as a dad. She went on t0 add that the singer had even been threatening of killing her; after she refused to have an arbortion when the pregnancy was still young.

The serious allegations left Ben Githae ready to share his side of the story; but when you cheat on your wife of 18 years, how do you explain yourself?

Ben Githae (left) with his baby mama and Twins

Ben Githae speaks

Addressing this issue, singer Githae denied all the stories shared by his baby mama. He went on to claim that everything said was a lie aimed at making him look bad. According to him, he has been supporting his girls and has not reason to abandon them;

Contrary to what Wanjiru says, I have constantly featured in the lives of our girls. I have always taken care of them.
I have been taking all the responsibilities. I have been paying the house rent for her, doing everything for her. This woman is out to tarnish my name.

Became a Laughing stock

After his affair with Rose went public; Githae says life changed as he became a topic of discussion among his friends. He went on to add that some would even remind him of the mistakes he did.

Ben Githae’s other family

But after seeing what depression had done to a few celebrities and pastors he knew; Githae recollected himself and decided to work on becoming a better person. This is because he was not ready to kill himself over mistakes that had already occured.

“It is deeply eating them in the present. Sh*t happens as it happened to me a few years ago and was exposed early last year. I became a laughing stock but I refused to die. I remained strong. I refused depression. I prayed for forgiveness from family, friends and the public. Most forgave me but a few keep reminding me of that bitter past,”

In conclusion Ben Githae said;

Believe the report of the Lord for He is a God of a second chance. Be resilient.”

 

By Ghafla.co.ke

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Business

Anxiety high over Uhuru speech

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If there was a day Kenyans have recently looked forward to, it is today. This is the day the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on the country to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus is supposed to end after President Uhuru Kenyatta extended it for 21 days last month.

But recent statements by senior government officials have tended to dampen the expectations of a majority of Kenyans, with some resigning to the possibility of the perpetuation of the status quo or a new order with just slight changes.

Friday, Cabinet secretaries seemed to be managing the people’s high expectations, with hints that a wholesome opening of the economy could lead to a spike in Covid-19 cases and put the vulnerable members – such as old parents – at risk when they host their kin from the cities.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha Friday hinted that schools will not be opened any time soon.

“The ministry will advise the level of preparedness that will be required of all stakeholders involved in the running of schools and teacher training institutions,” he said.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho earlier in the week said the government was considering a phased easing of the Covid-19 restrictions to help people to generate incomes.

He said Kenyans should not expect a sudden return of normalcy.

President Kenyatta has also been facing pressure from religious leaders to open places of worship. Religious organisations have formally written to him asking for a review of the measures and promising to adhere to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and his Health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe met with religious leaders ahead of the handover of the report from the National Coordination Committee on Coronavirus to discuss how to proceed with religious activities in the event the government agrees to relax some of its guidelines.

Dr Matiang’i said the contents of the report will be communicated by the President.

Mr Kagwe urged religious leaders to assist in effecting home-based quarantine, a measure that the government is advocating as it moves to ease the Covid-19 restrictions.

Kenyans took to social media to express their optimism – and pessimism – about today’s speech by the President.

From making merry at entertainment joints to travel and reuniting with loved ones and lovers, expectations were so high that the hashtag #June6th was the number one trending topic locally on Twitter.

Tweeters filed their wishlists, a majority of which were hilarious.

Yet others just wanted the economy to be opened up.

By Nation.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Dr Amoth attends burial with 400 people to represent Kagwe – PHOTOS + VIDEO

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The government is on the spot for applying double standards in the enforcement of Covid-19 prevention protocols, giving preferential treatment to particular politicians and well-connected individuals.

This was evident in Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe’s backyard in Mukurweini, Nyeri County where more than 400 people were allowed to attend the funeral of a retired teacher on Friday.

The government set out regulations banning all social gatherings specifically limiting the number of mourners attending a funeral to 15 close relatives.

However, for this particular funeral, a crowd of more than 400 locals from the Kihate area were allowed to gather at Mutwewathi Primary School grounds right under the watch of police, leaders and even senior ministry of health officials.

Health Ministry Director General Patrick Amoth led a delegation from the ministry to represent CS Kagwe who was also expected to attend the ceremony.

Mukurweini MP Anthony Kiai and Nyeri County Assembly Speaker John Kaguchia also attended the funeral.

A contingent of police officers from the National Police Service and the Kenya Forest Service had been posted at the venue to beef up security.

About 20 ushers had been posted at the entrance to screen mourners and hand out face masks to locals, many of whom showed up without.

DN and NTV crews were roughed up for taking photos of the funeral where at least 400 people were in attendance. PHOTO | NICOLAS KOMU

Hired goons were also later deployed with apparent instructions to separate the crowd from journalists and bar the press from accessing the school grounds.

Journalists from the Daily Nation, Joseph Kanyi, and NTV’s Melita Ole Tenges and Charles Muriithi were roughed up by the rowdy youth backed up by a gun-toting KFS officer for recording proceedings of the funeral.

They were demanding that the scribes delete all recording and photos they had taken.

“We are here to observe just how the government is enforcing its own directives. It is sad to see police officers harass journalists for doing their job,” Mr Tenges said.

The funeral went on uninterrupted and leaders present allowed to give speeches, including Dr Amoth.

Ironically, this comes barely a week after a widower was forced to spend a night at Tigania Police station with his wife’s body after relatives were barred from proceeding to their home for burial.

Charles Mwenda was forced to proceed for his wife’s burial at Kianjai in Meru County alone after a night of horror in the police station.

A similar incident was witnessed in Mathira, Nyeri County where Konyu Ward MCA Eric Wamumbi was forced to cut short his tribute to his deceased wife by police.

Police were deployed to ensure a limited number of mourners attended and the time for the funeral limited to 45 minutes.

“I am saddened that the police have no respect for the church and no feelings towards a family that had lost a loved one. It is very sad as to how low we have gone,” Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said during Mr Wamumbi’s wife’s funeral.

By Nairobi News

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