Being An Intentional Parent

The word ‘intentional’ has been on my mind for several weeks. It means being deliberate, calculated or conscious. In the time, space and environment we presently live in, I believe as parents we have to be intentional towards our children; otherwise, several mundane things will take up our time. As I stroll through the different social media platforms, I see how easy it is to be distracted and allow what is visual govern the mind. You must make up your mind to:

  • Be intentional about speaking with your child.
  • Be intentional about listening to your child.
  • Be intentional about engaging with your child.
  • Be intentional about playing with your child.
  • Be intentional about being firm with your child.
  • Be intentional about showing love to your child.
  • Be intentional about the wellbeing of your child.
  • Be intentional about helping your child to learn.
  • Be intentional about being consistent with your child.
  • Be intentional about taking a family break with your child.

There are many distractions in society today, and this does not exempt the family. Severally, I have been approached to take on more demanding professional position. However, I weigh it against my work-life balance because I am intentional as a parent not to have the scale tip over. It is understandable that not everyone may be in a position to pick and chose when to make income; however, the ability to be intentional ensures we as parents give it a second thought before going ahead with a decision. Being a parent does not always come easy, but, the act of being intentional helps develop the culture of family principles and ethos that the children can later appreciate.

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5 Things A Woman Should Do While Having Children

1. Learn to Drive

Especially in a cosmopolitan town/city with inadequate public transportation. I believe women that have children and do not drive have extra special powers. For a woman with young children, driving is a necessity and not a luxury.

2. Be Economically Viable

Great that maternity leave payment, zero or work contract hours, and in some cases, government supported payment can help support women financially. Learning a skill or trade can contribute to keeping the cash flow coming in. There is always something to buy when you are out with your child or yourself. The internet is full of cash flow opportunities for women, however, ensure it is a genuine stream of income. It can be time to sharpen that passion or skill you have and make it financially viable.

3. Develop Professionally

This is called CPD, continuing professional development. When the child/ren are all of school age, what happens to you professionally? It is never too late to continue or start a new profession.

4. Positive Mind Feeding

Women tend to have low self-esteem, depression or psychosis during this period. Reading a book can help elevate this. Romantic or motivational books are suggestions as it feeds emotion positively and helps release feel good hormones. Also doing something you enjoy or a challenging task, when accomplished, can contribute to release these positive hormones.

5. Liaise with Professionals

Majority of professionals working with a woman while raising children are there to help and offer positive support to the family. Use these professionals to your advantage. We are glad for the World Wide Web but these individuals have gone through rigorous educational process and have hands on experiences that can be taped into to benefit you and your family.

Torn Earlobe from Participating in Physical Education!

Pic: Pixabay

In my almost two decades of being in childcare education, I have not come across a child having torn earlobe from participating in physical education in the UK. My aim on this topic is to bring a balance equation from both a professional and parent perspective. Research shows no incident or accidents of pupils wearing earrings or studs has occurred during physical activity or swimming. I will be glad to be proven wrong, and the evidence based on a real ratio. The keyword such as ‘Serious accidents have occurred as a result of contact between pupils wearing earrings or studs’are included in school policies and educational establishments., but none on a real accident that occurred. It bothers me that the same swimming pool the public swims is the same pool our children’s activity takes place. The public is not told to take off their earring before swimming, just a thought. In a nursery school setting, I can understand toddlers pulling other toddlers earring, which can result to torn earlobe. However, a more realistic explanation should be provided as to why children in most UK primary schools are being instructed not to wear stud earring.

The Department of Education suggests that ‘Common sense should be used in assessing and managing the risks of any activity.’ Some UK schools have lost common sense when it comes to the health and safety of children activities. The UK Health and Safety website supports this on pages 9-11 of their newsletter.

Pic: Pixabay

Parents are baffled as to why this rule exist and have asked questions on various parenting forums on if a child has being hurt from wearing stud earring. As a parent, I have experienced this too, thou the earring was the tiniest nose stud. I believe it is more unhygienic to keep having the earring taken in and out of the ears due to an infection transferred from day to day hand germs. As a childcare professional I understand rules of risk assessment are put in place to prevent any litigation. However these rules have to be based on common sense, cultural diversity and respect for the choice of parents for their children.

What Book Is Your Child Reading?

teddyreadingThis question is not directed to fiction and imaginative books such as Harry Potter, Star Trek, The BFG, Matilda, The Lion the witch and wardrobe. Ofcause fiction books help children expand and develop their imagination of the world. Providing opportunities and realities that they may never be able to imagine. Fiction books help children think outside the box of normal to the abnormal, where anything imaginable is possible. It develops the creative and the what if of any world within the child’s imagination. Fiction ensures that all things are possible and helps to continue with the development of children’s imaginative and creative process. Fiction book can help children develop the understand and ideology that a world might exist outside the realities they know or associate to. Fiction books can help children link with happens around them that they never knew existed, between reality and non-reality experiences.

On the other hand, non-fiction books are about facts. Things that have to do with real occurrences, when fiction comes alive in real life situations that happened to individuals. Non-fiction books are informative to children. It provides history, cultural and educational information facts to children. It should be said, most children are not a big fan of non-fiction books outside the class or educational setting. Most non-fiction books found in homes with children include the dictionary, encyclopaedia and books related to subject specific topics.

The question, what book is your child reading? Focuses on the non-fiction books children are reading. As a parent and childcare consultant, it is a concern when research shows that the number of young children suffering from depression, bullying and self-harm is on the rise. Is it because children are being labelled more easily by the establishment, parents want a named problem for their children’s unappropriate behaviour, or these cases are being detected and recorded better based on research? Whatever the answer, the non-fiction books children read can help have a positive impact on their mental mindset. It contributes to providing them with facts and truthful information on how past circumstances may have improved and gotten better. Non-fiction books can help children solve problems better and equip them to develop a stronger mindset on emotion, relationship and peer pressure. Is it easy to get children to read non-fiction books, obviously not? However, when parents put in the same effort to reading non-fiction books as compared to fiction books to their children from a tender age, it is possible for children to be interested in non-fiction books continually.

It seems strange when parents express they find it difficult discussing certain topics with their children e.g. how babies are made, sex, drugs, alcohol, depression, bullying, pornography, friendship, relationship, etc. Schools are discussing these topics with your children so why not add your parental voice to the discussion. If it is not an easy process for you, start with a non-fiction book on the topic that is age and developmentally appropriate. Whichever way you want your child to read the book, independently or with you, provide your child with the opportunity to ask questions, which helps to start the discussion.

In the very fast and informative world we live in now, it is important to equip our children with the correct information that will help build a positive and balanced mindset. So, what book is your child reading?

Is Home Schooling an Option?

It has been said that home schooling gives parents more control over the influences that affect their children. With home schooling, a parent alone can decide what the child needs to do or learn. Tailoring the teaching program to suit the lifestyle, needs and interests of the child are among the most obvious options for home schooling. A child that is home schooled has the benefit of focusing more hours to the subject that may be difficult without additional pressure. Learning time is spread out based on the needs, abilities and interests of the child. The child receives more quality time in a familiar and homely environment, free from peer pressure and making choices and decisions based on needs.

Competition is great for children, but when it comes to home schooling, this is limited or does not occur. This is also the case of interaction with peer groups. When it comes to teaching style, home schooling is very one way centred. Teaching is always focused on how children learn best, which can be great. However, it reduces the child’s ability to process information in different ways that the child is not used to. A child that learns through moving objects or kinesthetic may find it challenging processing information that may include discussion or social activity.

home schooling| rent adejuwonWhen children are home schooled it allows parents the control over the moral, beliefs and ideologies instilled in their child. From a parent’s standpoint, this ensures there is no confusion in the child’s mind and no variation between what is being taught and what is being practised.

Schools are an excellent environment for children to develop different views, interact and learn something different outside their circle. However, parents that opt for home schooling are disillusioned with the system. They believe that children are being pushed too hard or too little. However, when children are in an excellent school system, they are welcome to try different experiences, activities, discipline and ethics.

There are pros and cons of homeschooling your child. Is it an option? Yes, it is if you have the time, lifestyle, finances, ability and interest to follow through with the education. After all, nobody can understand or appreciate your child as much as you.