Monthly Archives: August 2016

Excellence in Parenting

Excellence in Parenting

Making excellence in parenting requires some basic knowledge and skills in the field of parenting. Having a good qualitative standard in parenting demands special skill and ability to nurture people from childhood to adulthood where they can be a replica of your true identity as a parent and makes you a role model.

Good viable parents do not fall from heaven, neither were they taken to a special school of study in parenting, but they are the individuals that took their time to build their homes and the lives of their children. They are the people that understand the principles of parenting and work towards it earnestly and accordingly, against all odds.

Parenting is not just an act of giving birth and raising children, but an art of ensuring that those kids become responsible in the society and fulfil their purpose in life.

In our society today, we have fathers and mothers whose major responsibilities is to give birth and ask God or Government to care for their children. So also, we have single fathers and mothers, dormant fathers or non-residential fathers and irresponsible mothers. These set of people cannot be called parents because parents are the people that stay together ensuring the welfare of their children are met and discharge their parental responsibilities accordingly. We have few people that can be called parents in our society today.

The act of parenting which should be called “parental studies” should be included in our Educational curricular where people can be taught on qualitative manners of parenting.

THE CONCEPT OF PARENTING

Parents are the Sheppard who nurtures and care for the gift of God in marriage. Parenting signifies the responsibilities of parents at a due time, ensuring efficiency, proficiency, diligence and discipline that characterized a charitable life that can influence their children positively. Marriage is about vision while parenting is a business. Parenting is not just an act of giving birth or childbearing, but an art of taking full responsibilities of the family needs and necessities i.e. feeding, caring, training, education, shelter and so on. Parenting simply means, fulfilling the purpose of childbearing in its full capacity through nurturing, caring, tutoring, loving and discipline.

Although, something unprecedented cases do happens in the family which might not have been envisaged or prepared for, but it’s a fact that every family must experience some level of challenges in life.

It is obvious that all of us have something to say about our past, like those days where we were told to place our belly flat on the floor while hungry. We are trained to coddle with hardship and suffering as part of the process to greatness in life which we must not go to the street to beg, even if you attempt to do so, you will be quickly caught and be beaten up to faint. But nowadays, parents don’t care much for their children; even some of them knows nothing about the affairs of their children because they are not always available.

Children are not meant to just be born, grow and take care of their parents, children are to be nurtured, tutored, empowered to be good ambassadors of their family and their society, also to be responsible to themselves, to the society and their parents.

Children are the investment of pride, from the beginning you keep investing in them, train them, teach them, educate them and give them all it takes to be great in life which is their inheritance in life. In the process of these, it cost parents lot of money and time before a child can be independently viable to take care of him/her.

By this time, the parent might have grown old where you can now be proud of your children achievements and point hand unto them as your true son or daughters. The child must have been established before coming back to bless the parent. The financial pressure given to children by their parents without being properly established contributes to the menace we found in our society today where corruption, crime and unlawful activities that lead to social degradation and insecurity in all sectors of our national life.

Having understood these as parents, and also understand the economic condition/situation of the country, do we still need to give birth to children we cannot cater for? A child we cannot train, nurtured, tutored, and empower financially, materially, morally and educationally will surely become a menace to the society.

It’s of parental negligence if a parent failed to plan his family, numbers of children that can be catered for and always work to meet the necessary needs of the family.

WHO IS A PARENT?

A parent is a name of persons in the business of parenting at its full capacity. As parenting is an art of grooming kids to greatness with the available time and resources. Therefore, a parent is a synonym of someone or somebody in the position of grooming the seed of life through the process of formation into a responsible adult.

Parent as a name has no connection with irresponsibility where an irresponsible person can be called a parent; a parent is a person that discharges his/her responsibilities towards his/her children accordingly.

TYPES OF PARENTS

We have two major types of parents, they are

1. VISIONARY PARENTS

2. NON-VISIONARY PARENTS.

1. VISIONARY PARENTS: These are the individuals with distinguished characters and attitude towards training and upbringing of their children. They are the people with a sound mind and viable skill of grooming their children.

They are filled with a vision for their children and prayers in order to make their children great in life. They usually have an interpersonal relationship with their children and lead as good examples for their children emulate.

They are friends to their children, they plan for them and even for the whole family, they manage the available resources and always available for their children.

Visionary parents ensure that their children get basic needs with care and then nurture them in Godly manners. They plan the numbers of children they can cater for and also plan for their future. They love their children all together and show them love without disparity, they give their children the necessary discipline in order not to transgress and encourage them to be successful in life, in fact, they are role models to their children.

2. NON-VISIONARY PARENTS: These are the set of people that lacks qualitative manners of parenting. Their marriages are usually based on casual relationship and their children are out of wedlock. They exhibit same characters they possessed before their union; they lack the ability to discharge their primary duties and responsibilities at home and for their children. They drink alcohol heavily, some indistinctly. They talk out of order, they break moral precepts and the rule of good behaviour. They still engage in extra-marital affairs and give birth to unknown children and bastards. They lack a moral standard, sometimes very ignorant about the economy; they are spectators in life and ruthless arrogant. They are illiterate or educated ignorant with no common sense of social responsibilities, they have no plan for their children but love to eat from their children’s sweat, and they love to have numbers of children which they cannot cater for.

They usually kill the special gifts and abilities in their children; they ignorantly enslave their children, they always allow the society to train their children while their children become problems to the society. They always depend on other people to watch over their children and take care of them, sometimes they train their children base on a social contract.

What You Need to Know About Parenting

What You Need to Know About Parenting

Parenting twins provides twice the joy and fun but also, twice the challenge. It is perfectly normal for parents to feel a little overwhelmed when first bringing twins home from the hospital but with a few tips, they can quickly learn to manage this new situation like a pro. If you are expecting twins or recently gave birth to twins, we believe the information provided in this article will make it easier having twins in the home.

Of course, just as it takes time to learn about parenting babies for the mother, the father of twins also needs to learn what does and does not work. Just remember, while being parents of twins is more difficult and it requires more time and effort, the rewards cannot be measured. It simply takes patience to learn the personalities of your children and finding techniques of parenting that work best for your situation.

Remember, even if you gain insight from this information and you read some of the best books sold today, because every child and parent is unique, parenting twins is something that involves learning. As a part of learning come mistakes and while no parent wants to do something wrong, it happens. As long as the twins are being loved, protected, fed, and dressed appropriately, some of what you learn, as parents of twins will come through trial and error.

Now, in saying that, one of the first things we wanted to share when having twins is that you want to recognize and appreciate the differences between the two children. As they age and you are now parenting twin toddlers, you will see unique personalities emerge. Unfortunately, many people think that even the closest of twins share the same opinions, like the same foods, and enjoy the same things and while the babies will have a special bond they are also two individual people.

Additionally, when parenting babies, whether they are identical or fraternal twins, you should never turn down help. For the first six months or so, you will have little sleep, especially if the twins end up on different schedules. Therefore, if you have close family members and friends offering to help wash clothes, make meals, prepare bottles, and even give you and your spouse a break during the day, accept it with grace.

Accepting help when having twins is not a sign of failure but a sign of being smart. After all, you want to be the best parent you can be and if you are tired and grumpy all the time, then you are missing your goal. By having someone watch the twins for a few hours during the day so you can sleep will help you be better parents of twins than if trying to do everything on your own.

It is also critical that you as parents of twins not forget about YOU! The number one problem when having twins is stress. Without much sleep and finding the financial situation has changed, it is easy to feel completely overwhelmed. Therefore, when you have help come into the home, take time to go for a walk, get a massage, or the two of you go to a movie. It is always hard for parents of twins to do this but it is essential and when the time comes that you are parenting twin toddlers, you will be glad you took opportunities to enjoy life along the way.

Parenting Styles

Parenting Styles

What is Your Parenting Style?

In our respective roles as counselors for both children and parents in private practice, we have found that a parent’s style of parenting strongly contributes to their child’s well-being, resiliency and over-all behavior. A style of parenting that provides love and support coupled with discipline and structure has been shown to be a reliable indicator of raising children that are happy and confident. In addition, we have found that a parent’s approach to discipline, level of warmth and nurturing, communication, level of control over the children, and the parent’s expectations with respect to maturity level are contributing factors in their child’s behavior and functioning.

In a series of studies conducted in the 1960s, clinical and developmental psychologist, Diana Baumrind, identified the four basic parental behavior components of responsiveness, unresponsiveness, demanding and undemanding, which she combined to create three principal parenting styles. Maccoby & Martin later identified a fourth parenting style, which is distinguished by neglectful or uninvolved parenting. In our private practice, we commonly see parents who parent using these four primary parenting styles. We ask you to ask yourself: “Which parenting style are you?”

Authoritarian.

The authoritarian parent imposes many rules and expects the child to obey without question. Misconduct is not condoned and punishment is frequently used to reinforce rules and manage the child’s behavior. The authoritarian parent has high expectations and requires the child to live up to high standards. The authoritarian parent exhibits the parental behavior components of little warmth and high control. A child being raised by an authoritarian parent may appear to be very well behaved, however, this may not actually be the case, as studies have found that children raised by authoritarian parents may only be less inclined to admit their transgressions and misconduct to authority figures. Our child counselor has repeatedly found that children raised by authoritarian parents had more difficulties feeling socially accepted by their peers, were less resourceful, had lower self esteem and were less self-reliant. One can therefore assume that even though the child may appear to be well-behaved on the surface, he may be troubled on a deeper, emotional level.

Permissive.

The permissive parent makes very few demands on the child, imposes few rules and permits the child to regulate his own activities. Following externally defined standards of behavior is not mandated and expectations are low for a child raised by a permissive parent. The permissive parenting style is nonpunitive and extremely accepting; the child is often treated as an equal. Components of caring and warmth coupled with low control make up parental behavior.

A child being raised by a permissive parent has likely been indulged and is typically irresponsible and has poor self-discipline. Our child counselor has found that behaviorally inhibited children who were being raised by permissive parents are also more likely to develop depression and anxiety.

Authoritative.

The authoritative parent has clear expectations of behavior and conduct. The child’s activities are directed in a reasonable, logical manner that allows for verbal give-and-take and reasonable discussions. When necessary, the authoritative parent exerts firm control, but this is accomplished through healthy communication, not in a rigid, disciplinarian manner. The parent encourages the child’s autonomy and recognizes the child’s own interests. The authoritative parenting style is rational and affirmative and combines the parental behavior components of control with warmth and responsiveness.
We have found that a child being raised by authoritative parents will likely be well adjusted. We can assume that he does well in school, that he is self-reliant and responsible and that he has a friendly, open disposition. This is the ideal parenting-style because it is well-balanced.

Neglectful/Uninvolved.

The neglectful or uninvolved parent meets the child’s physical requirements but is otherwise disengaged, disconnected and emotionally distant. The unresponsive, neglectful parent places few demands on the child and exhibits very little warmth and responsiveness. A child being raised by a neglectful parent typically fares worse than children raised by parents who parent with the other three parenting styles. Typically children raised by these types of parents will function poorly in nearly all aspects of life; interestingly most juvenile offenders have been raised by uninvolved or neglectful parents. In addition, a child raised by a neglectful parent will likely have poor cognition, social and emotional skills and may struggle to form healthy attachments later in life.

Counselors for both parents and children in our private practice have found that parental responsiveness as well as parental demandingness are integral factors of good child-rearing. Clear, appropriate demands and expectations balanced with warm emotional responsiveness as well as an awareness of the child’s autonomy, are considered to be reliable predictors of well-being, achievement, competence, resiliency and self-reliance in most children. Warm emotional responsiveness along with clear, age-appropriate expectations help to form a balanced platform for successful child-rearing. For these reasons, authoritative parenting offers the leadership and guiding principles children need. When parents provide achievable benchmarks with support, fair consequences for misbehaviors, and instructive guidance with clear expectations, children thrive and are more likely to internalize the behaviors their parent’s desire.

Parenting Essentials AKA The 30 Commandments

Parenting Essentials AKA The 30 Commandments

Whether we are soon to be parents, new parents or have been parents, we want to do the best job possible at raising our children. Children don’t come with instruction manuals and parenting doesn’t come with a manual or infallible guide. Every situation and family is unique. We as individuals are different. There are different parenting styles and variations. There is varied parenting education and knowledge which we utilize and process differently. We basically parent with instinct, knowledge and wisdom. At first, we usually parent with instinct and our personal experiences. This is usually what we learned (consciously and subconsciously) from our parents, family members or others. We also parent around our beliefs, morals and values. Many new parents and even seasoned parents undergo parenting training and education. This knowledge is a very valuable tool, as it teaches parents how to be effective parents and helps them cultivate their parenting skills. Parenting is a very extensive subject with a vast abundance of information and opinions. Even with proper parenting education, we need to be naturally adaptive, resourceful and I provisional. Good parenting will produce good individuals, who will continue a positive cycle when they are parents.

So what does it take to be a good parent? From what I have experienced and learned so far as a child, person and a parent, I created a list of things which I believe to be essential for being a good parent.

Be dedicated and passionate. Good parenting definitely takes dedication. Dedication and passion comes from the love for our children and drive to put their well being first. Being dedicated takes a lot of sacrifice. As parents, we need to sacrifice a lot of our time and personal lives.

When I am dedicated to my child’s life, I know that the sacrifices are priceless investments and for an extremely important cause. I have known many parents who could not sacrifice their pleasures for their purpose. Children tend to view that as selfishness or weakness. These characteristics are learned and absorbed. With this said, it’s important to be our best as individuals and to be good examples as parents.

Practice self discipline. We teach our children to be well behaved and disciplined. We teach them to be honest and trustworthy. We teach them many things to help them be healthy, happy and productive now, and into the future. We use discipline to ensure all of these things and more for our children. If we want our children to be well disciplined, we must be self disciplined. In addition, we should expect the same from ourselves, if not more.

We must remember that we can (and often do) lead more by our example than by what we say or instruct. We must practice what we are teaching. I know that when I am peaceful and positive, calm and strong, I am at my best. My children see this. I know that when I am frustrated and negative, out of control and careless, I am at my worst. My children see this. This is how I know self discipline is extremely important in parenting. It is best to control your emotions (especially anger) and learn how to deal with stress.

Discipline your children. Discipline does not only mean punish. Discipline means to teach. It is important to teach them to learn from natural consequences. They will also learn this naturally. I personally prefer to use the word consequence instead of punishment. I found it very important to set fair and logical consequences (punishments). This will keep the child focused on the lesson and make it less likely that they will be distracted or focused on their emotions, anger and resentment.

It is also important to set guidelines and expectations enforced by a rewards and consequences system. This can consist of simply rewards and incentives for good behavior, and consequences and corrective action for bad behavior. Make sure to be consistent in your parenting.

Be a good and positive example to your children. Children have many influences. We can be responsible and be an icon of positive influence to our children. It’s important to understand that it is not only what we say that influences. Our vocalization is not the only message we send. Relaying our intended messages can be difficult. Most of the time, people need to make personal changes when they become a parent. They find themselves changing how they react to things or express opinions and feelings.

Always use communication. Be an active listener. This will enable you to be more effective and productive at being a parent and solving problems. This is when children learn and also when parents learn. It’s very reciprocal. I found that my children teach me a lot about my parenting. It should be assertive and constructive communication. You shouldn’t use criticism, contempt, aggressiveness or defensiveness. Passive-aggressiveness is also very counterproductive. Communication should be used for conflict resolution and problem solving. During communication, everyone should express their feelings openly.

Show you children respect and teach them to respect others. Just you showing them respect will automatically teach them to have respect for others. I know that when children are shown disrespect, they can learn to not respect themselves. If they don’t have respect for themselves, it is likely that they will not have respect for others. I’m sure that we can all recall a situation where we were disrespected and lashed out at others because of it. It’s the same for children and they can form habits (good and bad) very easily and quickly.

Respect your children as individuals. They have their own minds and lives. The will have their own personalities, ideas, and feelings about the world. Always remind yourself that they are individuals, and they are their own person. They are not you and may have different thoughts and actions. Always respect their dignity. We must be very careful not to oppress our children. We should treat them how we would like or expect to be treated.

Instill happiness and self worth in your children. Show them positivity, not negativity. Be careful and thoughtful of your children’s feelings and needs. It’s terrible when parents inflict damage on their children’s psyches. It’s not fair to children. Oppression is wrong. Many children carry these emotional damages well into their adult lives and even spread it to their own children.

We need to make our children feel loved, wanted, needed and useful. This will give them a sense of importance and self worth. We equally need to encourage them and teach them to be confident and love themselves. We should always want to lift them up when they are down. We need to be an inspiration to our children.

Do not humiliate your children. We want our children to be proud of themselves. At time, children make mistakes or do things that are not good or shameful. We should still treat them with dignity as we teach them right from wrong. Humiliation and shame are painful emotions for children to deal with. Our main focus in our disciplinary tactics should not be to make them feel ashamed of themselves. This can permanently damage their confidence and self esteem. I like to use privacy and confidentiality when disciplining a shameful act.

Give your children praise. Compliment them. This will encourage them and let them know when they are doing the right thing. It is also important to receive praise well. This will show them how to react to praise. This is simple because we all like to make our children feel good. It makes us feel good. It’s wonderful when all family members are happy together.

Teach your children good values and morals. This goes along with teaching them right from wrong. Teach them the importance of honesty and fairness. These traits can stay with them for life.

Teach your children self control. It’s important that they can express their emotions, but there should be limits and a level of control. This is especially critical to children who act on their emotions. In essence, you are teaching them to control their actions. Teaching them self control will greatly benefit them throughout life. Teaching patience and control of anger are popular lessons for young children.

Teach your children to be kind, gentle and empathetic. Teach them to be understanding, patient, accepting and tolerant. Teach them about social awareness, social injustice, differences and diversity. Teach them about giving and taking (reciprocation) and the rule of action and reaction. Teach them that what they do as an impact on other people or things.

Instill a sense of purpose, duty and citizenship in your children. This will help them be, and feel like a good member of society. All their lives they will be around other people and have to properly function in a society. We like to see our children to grow up to be helpful and prolific people. It is good to teach children to get along with others and to work as a team at an early age. Recreational and community activities can be great ways to learn these values.

Teach your children responsibility and a good work ethic. Most parents do this by assigning chores to their children. It’s good to hold them accountable for their actions and to make them responsible for things in their life. As children grow, we should give them more responsibility and further their understanding of the importance of having a good work ethic. My children may groan about a certain responsibility they have, but when they complete it, they feel happy and proud. Chores and responsibilities will give them a sense of duty and usefulness.

Teach your children the importance of education and learning. Starting at an early age is ideal. Implement a study time for them, as well as times to read. I started reading to my children regularly when they were very young. It as proven to be very effective in helping them develop a love and an interest for reading and learning. I also set up reading and study times for myself, as this provides a good example. It is also pinnacle to monitor and be aware of what your children are learning and being taught. A quality education is essential and is something every child should have access to.

Teach your children about finances. This goes along with lessons about how the world works. Children are born into a world that has systems already in place. One of the most important and powerful systems is the economic system. Most civilizations were built on money and are controlled by money. I feel that it is very important to educate children about economics and finances. We want our children to know how to control their money and lives so they won’t be controlled by money or those with money and power. I have read many studies regarding children whose parents did not teach them these skills. The studies showed that those children had significantly higher odds of having financial difficulties as adults. When lecturing about basic survival skills, it is necessary to include modern day survival skills.

Teach your children to be skilled decision makers and problem solvers. I encourage my children to make decisions and solve problems on their own. I even use simulation to enhance their skills. If they are unable to solve a problem or need guidance, then I step in and help.

Teach your children to be independent and self sufficient individuals. Most children love to do things by themselves. They are full of zeal to learn and experience. We should always encourage them to do things on their own, as long as it’s safe and within their capability. We should also instruct them on how to do things on their own. As long as it’s reasonable and completely safe, I tell my children, “Think about it and figure it out” or “Try to do it yourself.” This challenges them and very rewarding when they acknowledge that they did it themselves. It also shows them that you trust them and have faith in them. Children and people alike need to feel that others believe in them. Encourage your children to be free thinkers, think for themselves and not just always believe and think how others think or tell them to think. Encourage them to question things, research for answers, investigate, seek the truth, stay true to themselves and to their beliefs and morals. Also encourage them to always defend and stand up for the truth as well as their beliefs. Individual autonomy is something that should be taught. They should also be encouraged and warned to think about things rationally, realistically, and carefully. This will help them make better choices and decisions in life.

Guide your children well. Give them good guidance to help them live and think in a positive and constructive way. Be careful not to misguide them or misinform them. I always encourage my children to research and investigate to figure things out for themselves. I also encourage them to ask a lot of questions and even question a lot of information. I encourage them to be autonomous (a free thinker).
We teach our children to walk, talk and think. We then teach them to restrict movement, words and thoughts. We need to be careful not to prevent or stop our children from developing their minds, curiosities, creativity and passions. Of course we should be reasonable, but we should let them explore and experiment to learn about the world around them. We should let them ask many questions. When we answer, we should answer well and let them form and cultivate their own thoughts and understanding. It’s unfair to deprive them of that.

Encourage your children’s interests, talents and skills. Encourage them to follow their hopes and dreams. Support them in their activities and ambitions. Support them throughout their development and phases, as they are finding their sense of self. Encourage them to set goals and strive to achieve them. Motivate them and help them keep their momentum. I find myself lecturing with what I learned from not doing something more than what I learned from trying something or achieving something.

Be a dependable and reliable parent. Be there for your children no matter what. Help them when they need it. Never abandon or forsake them. Be in their corner and at their defense. Our children will face a lot of adversity and learn disappointment and disgust from disloyalty and mistrust. It shouldn’t come from us too.
Show them stability, as this is greatly needed in their lives.

Spend time (quality and quantity) with your children. Play with them and have fun with them often. Fun parents make happy children. Create fun activities and traditions. We are parents, teachers and authority figures, but we can also be fun friends. Cherish the times that are spent together. This will create memories that will last in the hearts and minds of them and you for life.

Be attentive, vigilant and observant to your child’s life. If you see problems or potential problems early, they can be more easily corrected. Teach them those skills to use in their own life. Prevention is usually easier than resistance or correction.

Keep your children safe. Provide them a safe environment. Protect them at al costs. There are many dangers and threats, especially when they are young. Be observant and aware of your children’s surroundings. When my children were young, I was often referred to as worrisome. But I always believed in being passionate about my children’s survival and well being. Like the old saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Teach your children about self preservation. Children develop natural survival instincts, but it is important to explain to them the physical dangers in the world. It’s also important to teach them about the limits and vulnerabilities of their bodies. I taught my children at a young age about their anatomy. I also taught them about unnecessary risks and dangers. Examples of unnecessary risks would be: Riding on motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, and other dangerous/risky activities for thrill only.

When children get older, then it’s important to teach self preservation in many forms from keeping themselves alive and healthy to maintaining all aspects of their lives.

Take your children’s health seriously. Keep a healthy environment for them. Be an advocate for health. Be weary about what your children eat and drink. Healthy habits are learned as children.

Be extra attentive to your children’s physical and mental health. I have had many experiences with physicians and health care professionals either overlooking or misdiagnosing health problems or disorders. We often need to be proactive and research and examine things ourselves.

If a health problem is discovered, have it treated with the best course of action. Take it seriously and work diligently to solve and correct the problem. Be thorough and comprehensive. Seek the best health care possible and never procrastinate. With serious health problems, time is of the essence.

Teach your children to love and enjoy life. Teach them to be happy and positive throughout various circumstances. Help them learn to be resilient and persevere through difficult situations. Help them learn how precious life is. Help them learn that it is best to make the most out of life and to enjoy life to the fullest. Teach them to be grateful and appreciative. Help them to possess peace of mind and know how to find and keep happiness and comfort in their own mind.

Learn from your experiences and the mistakes you make as a parent. Also, learn from the mistakes of others. You can learn the right way to do something from someone who did it wrong. Learning from other people’s experiences and examples can be a great teacher and help you cultivate your parenting skills and ideas. Your children can also be great teachers. Listen to their words and think about their reactions. Be observant and receptive. I once wrote a questionnaire for my children to answer. It pertained to my parenting and how I was doing as a parent in their minds. Some answers were funny and unrealistic. Other answers were very interesting and gave me some good insight. Over all, it was very informative and beneficial.

If we are making parenting mistakes, we can make changes now. When we realize a mistake, we should change that way of parenting immediately. We must be assertive while making sure not to make the same mistakes again. We need to take the most important job of parenting seriously, while having a lot of fun at the same time.

Love your children unconditionally. Love them regardless of the mistakes they make or who they become. This comes naturally, but children really need to know it. The first sentence in this paragraph could then be; show your children unconditional love.