Few tips for Parenting
The most amazing thing happened over the last month!
To launch our parenting series, we had an interesting discussion with a special woman who is not just a parent, but a family life expert. Read on and enjoy the brief but eyeopening conversation:
1) What is your opinion on the toughest periods to raise a child?
Hmmm! I think the toughest period is at the formative stage between age 0 and 13 especially because you are trying to understand each of your children’s personalities in order for you to deal with them appropriately.
2) What are the general fears parents have about their children?
Mingling with the wrong friends and being exposed to ill and carefree behaviours. Wandering away from home (not necessarily physical) and becoming so grown up that they tend to not need the parents anymore.
3) What could a child possibly say or do to weaken his/her parent’s esteem?
The one statement that comes to mind right now is, “you are the worst parent anyone could have”.
4) How should parents balance between showing love and anger in disciplining or correcting their child.
What works for me in this kind of scenario is making them understand the reason for my anger and the consequences of their behaviour. When a child observes that you get angry only at specific times for specific reasons, he/she would not be in doubt of your love for him/her.
5) How does the relationship between a couple impact on their parenting methods?
The relationship between couples has a huge impact on children, no child raised under a hostile environment would turn out right and since they are like foams, they just soak up all that is being displayed, this not just affects their view of marriage but it also goes a long way in altering their personalities. Most of the marriages failing today is as a result of what the individuals involved in it learnt at their early stage of life.
6) The rise of the digital age, rapid urbanisation and social change are trends that are mitigating against good parenting as we know it. What steps can today’s parents take to achieve success in spite of these?
My simple answer to this is, as a parent get involved, be internet savvy, you cannot raise a 21st century child with ideas from the 19th century. You have to be in tune with the trend and be ready to address all of the questions your children will throw at you correctly. No parent should be clueless about the happenings of this day and age. As you are in tune with trends, you can engage in meaningful conversation with your kids and disseminate good morals and sound advice subliminally. Always allow them to come up with solutions to their challenges themselves, that way they learn to take responsibility for their actions. The mind is naturally resistant to change, so for change to come, it has to happen on a subconscious level. As much as possible dishing out instructions should be erased because it would always meet resistance and defense mechanism will kick in once the mind senses that its about to be corrected from what it perceives as right.
7) Words of advice for young parents
Parents need to study and understand each of their children; they all come with different personalities and preferences. What communicates love to one child may not mean the same to another, generalization when handling children should be eradicated. Seek to understand each of your children’s model of the world. My three children are very different, at first I was dealing with them at the same level just the same way my parents did, but I wasn’t getting my desired results, so I stumbled on several parenting books that pointed out the fact that each child is different. My daughter would be just fine with a hug whereas my son has to be told nice words for him to understand that he’s loved. Parenting is not an easy task but it’s a worthwhile one that pays off at the end of the day, so all parents should brace up. It’s not enough to provide all they need physically, you also have to be there both physically and emotionally.
So, what do you think? Do leave your thoughts and share your opinion in the comment boxes below:
Ijeoma Ajibola is a Neuro Linguistic Programmer, speaker, author, c
She serves as an in-house counselor at the Center for Sex Education and Family Life; she hosts monthly Breakfast Meetings for couples as well as an annual ‘Love Ball’. In addition to speaking at couples’ events, she runs an online personalized therapy for couples.