Holistic Nurture to 5 - 13 Years Old Children and Subtle Underlying Factors Hindering their Development in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Mumo, Mary Namukoko
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This study dealt with contemporary developments in holistic nurturing of children in Sunday school (SS) teaching in the Nairobi Baptist Church (NBC) which is one of the major support systems for church growth. The researcher was motivated to study Holistic Nurture to Children (HNC) because of the many issues and challenges which hound children like fighting, stealing, unruly behaviour patterns, wrong morals, drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, and evil vices among others affecting the traditional beliefs in children ministry globally. These problems make the approaches adopted for children ministry a great challenge in Kenya. The empirical basis was defined by 5-13 year olds in NBC. To understand the complex and dynamic nature of such phenomena, the study endeavoured to unravel and understand the HNC in NBC. The assumption of the study was that there were some subtle underlying factors that (might) hinder effective holistic nurture to children in NBC. These include history, handbooks and materials, leadership and activities. The conceptual framework for the study was drawn from three key theories: Kelvin E. Lawson (Cognitive Spiritual theory), James Fowler (faith development theory) and Ivan Pavlov (Social learning theory), for the four domains and four objectives of the study. NBC was the study site. The conceptual framework deduces that history facilitates the importance of teaching children, handbook and materials nurtures discovery in the child in all areas, the leaders are facilitators of faith formation and activities help children to construct knowledge. Purposive sampling was used to select three hundred (300) participants. The sample was in proportion to the population size which was 3000. This study adopted a descriptive survey on HNC in NBC. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed. The primary research instrument used were questionnaires, interviews, and Focus Group Discussions. In the analysis of the data, the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 16.0 was used. The primary and secondary sources were consulted. Holistic approaches included preparing the process for examination of the whole person: physical, mental/emotions, spiritual and social. The findings of the study dispelled obscurity on issues that affect HNC on the holistic formation, as well as providing a safe alternative on how children should develop in the four areas to experience balanced growth. Thus, the study proposed useful ways of handling children for their holistic development. They included: first, the support by the whole congregation; secondly, children make early decisions to know God when guided with holistic approaches. The study further suggested the need to incorporate the biblical values which are unified in the integration of a child’s learning. Moreover, the study identified the vital need for all the nurturers and opinion leaders/professionals to take up the challenge for a paradigm shift on issues in HNC that would help put spiritual formation into its perspective. It is hoped that the findings of this study will contribution towards policy formulation in regard to spiritual nurture of children. The findings may contribute to existing literature on holistic nurture of children.