The beauty of intentional parenting
Being married for 21 years and raising three boys hasn’t been a walk in the park for renowned former Sifa Voices Kenya bandleader, James Kahero and now the director of Sounds of Worship, which he founded with his wife Aggie Kahero in 2015
When James Kahero and Aggie got married way back in August 1998, they had planned to stay a year before thinking of having children.
They wanted to first adjust to married life before they could embark on the parenting journey.
But this was not to be as God had His own plans, and they ushered in their first baby three years later.
“Through the challenges of waiting and still adjusting to each other, we gleaned from our pre-marital guidance and we could never be grateful enough,” says James.
“We thank God for the gift of three children. Our first born, Emmanuel Kahero who has just finished Form Four, Israel Kahero, our second born who has just joined Form Two and our last born, Nathaniel Kahero who is in Grade Two,” he adds.
To raise their children, James and Aggie chose to practice intentional parenting in their sons’ upbringing.
“As a father of boys, I naturally started imparting in them the knowledge of God from a tender age, dealing firmly on matters indiscipline as per our prescribed agreement before marriage.
We didn’t spare the rod either. This has paid off well as we have a very closely guarded friendship between us and the boys,” says James.
James describes raising boys as an exciting and adventurous experience. Nothing gives them greater joy and fulfillment than playing this role.
“We are consciously aware that we are raising some wonderful men who we expect to make a difference in this universe, hence the need to do it well,” he explains.
The secret, he says, lies in laying a good foundation right from the time they are born, watching them progress through life’s stages, befriending them, speaking into their lives and holding them up even when they fall.
When they are all grown up, they will not forget how present you were in their lives. “There is no one right way to raise a child; we are just doing our best,” he points out.
James explains that each child comes packaged differently. It will only appear tough if one doesn’t take time to prepare for whichever child God brings their way, whether boys or girls.
He, however, admits that raising boys can push one to their limits and test one’s patience. They are full of energy which must dissipate somehow.
The Kaheros say having teenagers in their home has taught them to keep abreast of what is happening around them.
“As a father, you get a sense of being challenged in your own house by other male figures. They tend to claim entitlement, recognition, and authority at this stage.
If left untamed, it can easily get into their heads and you run the risk of eroding some values instilled in them,” says James.
We engage in decision making together to allow them to participate in the process including how to relate with women, how to be resilient, how to cook and do laundry.
We want them to understand that we are their first line “go-to” persons when they need answers to anything,” says James.
We have been keen to point out that choices have consequences, hence the need to make the right ones.
We cannot be there in all situations of their lives, but we are sure that even when they fall, they will run back to us for comfort.
James works at Kenya Pipeline Company holds a Mechanical Engineering Degree and a Post graduate Master of Science in Energy Management while Aggie has trained in Secretarial, Administration, and Communication and is currently a psychotherapist in the making.
Pressure and expectations
“Marriage is not easy. When we got married, it was very hard to embrace new friendships, some of which the other party held dearly. It was a source of distress to some extent.
Adjusting to living with each other too was not a smooth ride seeing we had come from very different kinds of background and we had to work hard to reach a consensus,” Aggie says of their 21-year-old marriage.
The couple says they have equally faced pressure and expectations from family for various issues.
Another challenge was that we waited for our first child for three years after being married. We also have had a unique challenge keeping the teenagers in check,” James says.
For Aggie, her role as a wife, mother and being in a career and active ministry has been a blessing.
“When I have time off work or when it doesn’t demand as much, I jealously guard the time to be with my family.
The boys also highly value my company and they will sometimes point out when I need to slow down,” says James.
Lastly, the couple says they are keen to involve their boys in God’s ministry so that they can carry on with the legacy of faith to the coming generations when they are long gone.