Author Archives: parenmark

Taming Teen Suicide

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The lasting and greatest legacy any parent can bequeath to these precious children is the reinforcement of positive behavior in the child for the purpose of rendering quality and excellent service to humanity in any of the spheres they find themselves.

Parental Invasion

Invasion is defined as a state of invading a country or region with force. The objective of invasion is to conquer, liberate, or re-establishing control or authority over a territory. This is the whole nature of invasion.

From the definition it is obvious what validates invasion is the word force. But for the purpose of this work and for better understanding of the central theme I’d like to introduce us to a new dimension by which invasion derives its strenght and this is done through the power of subtlety called attitude. Yes our attitude. Our body languages, spoken and unspoken words at times speak louder that no one hears a word we say. While majority of us attributes invasion to force quiet few of us have only come to the reality of how strong individual’s attitude can be as an influential weapon of invasion.

How do parents invade? What constitutes invasion in parenting? You’d ask! One of the many qualities the person occupying the office of the parent must have is to know his/her limitations in parenting administration. Regardless the higher office one occupies there are limits. The commonest way by which we unleash our attitude to invade kids lives is through our involvement in the way we perform our oversight functions

I have heard it over and over again that parents should get involved in kids lives. It has been proven to be the best technique to get the best out of kids. This is evidently needed for the purpose of mining and nurturing every bit of their innate potential.

No doubt our involvement seeks to provide  the lead, guide, and chaperone, in the way kids should go. The whole essence understandably is to make them familiar with the terrain of life just like a duck take to water.

To a greater extent our children’s success or otherwise depends on the quality of time, resources, and energy, dissipated to harness their abilities to productive ventures.

Our involvement in their lives gives us inroad to their heart to connect with their dreams and desires in lives. While some of us see involvement as one of the guiding principles to reinforce positive behaviors in kids, still I see many abusing this to mean doing it for the child. This is the crux and the heart of this article. Please pay attention.

However sacrosanct the principle of involvement is it should not be seen to be an experience that is beyond human flaws, defects, and imperfections, especially when it is seen or seems to suppress or suspend kids initiatives. Reason I want us to discuss this day how our genuine intentions of involvement could be mistaken for over-functioning, invading, and encroaching their innate territory and at the end of it all it spells doom for our precious kids.

the great expectation is to launch out adjusted adults ready to take up the world and not the adults that have grown up with entitlement mentality. These children will not be under our roofs for life. We’d have to let go at one point when the stage is ripe. By this time no one can hold them back. Not even the parental love, compassion, daddy’s or mom’s act of endless benevolence will be soothing enough to trade off that long awaited moment. They will leave one day.

We erroneously fall into this trap of excesses of involvement simply because we often see the child the way we were when we were young at their age. Our worldview is shrouded in mysteries of sort and we are ready to use same perspective to grow them. We see suspicions and distrusts around us. Even we get to the level of doing what they can do at their relevant appropriate age for them mostly. Not discounting the risks associated with our environment as a result of the inherited socialization nevertheless, ours is to create safe environments for them to converse, explore, and possibly scrutinize such with the aim of having a safer platform of expression.

Please think with me as I explain few nuggets on stages to exercise cautions as our precious kids grow up.

  • Examining. Every task given to kids requires close monitoring but we often inadvertently mistakenly use this to gauge the level of their excellence as against their peers. We at times go nuts, over analyzing every cough, twist and turn. I urge us to refrain from this and just balance the job. Evey child’s gotten their speed.
  • Correcting. This is stage where we may be tilting to being obsessive as parents. Reason being that parents want the best for their children. It is possible kids may find it difficult to comprehend with the instructions on how to accomplish a task given by parents but we must allow them to fashion out their permissive methods they can easily adapt to. The purpose afterall remains to get the job done. This isn’t to condone an act of laziness though. Let’s watch this keenly.
  • Shielding. We soon come to their aid from making reasonable risk. But they need to experience appropriate level of  risk and failure in order to mature in a healthy way. Otherwise we will be progressing brazenly in error of preparing the path for them instead of kids for the path.  Example given, we should introduce them early enough to cooking, going to the market, and engaging in a moderate freedom of association but under appropriate supervision.
  • Guessing. It is wrong to get suspicion over what kids are innocent of. Where this normally takes place is the adolescent stage. Entrying adolescence has no general rule as to the age. Some enter at early age while majority at preteen. Adequate parenting knowledge is required to unravel this because certain behavioral traits will be noticed and that shouldn’t mean waywardness. Savvy lifestyles and different vocabulary soon replaced their innocence. I have seen an eight year girl entrying adolescence early enough but unknown to parents they felt she’s been obdurate in her attitude. Thanks for timely intervention that neutralized their fear. Parents be careful. This unfounded opinions can breed distrusts, wariness, and lack of confidence in our parental acumen.

Here’s my thought. Why not engage kids and determine what they mostly care about life, then offer guidance. Patience is equally needed from us which we are often guilty of. We want quick compliance for us to have peace.  This won’t always happen.


Helping Children Develop Sense Of Self Worth

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Nothing sustains mankind in the face of disappointment, depression, and displeasure than one’s self worth. Your self worth is a total sum of your self esteem. It is the overall subjective emotional evaluation of your worth.

The concept of self worth underscores the fact that what defines you is who you are and not what people think or comprehend of you. Your real you is further strengthened by your inner strength. This is what keeps you going whether the environment you operate in is favorable or not. Your locus of control is from within. There is never identical you in real sense with regards to who you are; your place of purpose, vision, dream, and mission.

self worth like any other values knows no color, race, age, or social status. It is gender neutral. The benefits of self worth to one’s life are evidently seen; your inner strength is intact, sincere compliments of sense of feeling good radiates in all fronts. With self worth great opportunities gravitate towards you. You are in charge of your life. As impressing as the benefits of possessing self worth are so also the result of its deficiency is weighty as could be seen in both old and young; rich and poor; famous and unpopular.

That a sixteen year old boy committed suicide a week ago in one of the highbrow schools in Lagos, Nigeria, is no longer news but the indelible hole the unfortunate incidence has left in our hearts and more so how to put our thoughts together in functional capacities to be able to anticipate, predict, and foretell the possible causes , also by taking a holistic approach to forestall further future occurrences is our major disquiet

Tongues have been waging on what could have led to the possibility of a teen having the audacity to take his own life. I have read comments of many blaming the school internal organization of failing in assessing and further  handling of the boy’s psycho level. “ where was the school counselor, tutor, and the class teacher, they queried” I listened to a radio report where a legal giant described the whole saga unacceptable and pressed for prosecution of the school. I have read and heard lots from parents casting aspersions on the person of the victim’s parents for haven failed in their duty of care. Every aspect of the vituperations was either the parents have been insensitive, thoughtless , and uncaring……or they’ve been ignorant of what real and intentional parenting is all about.

Many submitted the parents were not close enough to the boy to understand his feelings and what he was going through. That too may be true but getting closer isn’t enough but having the right content to dispense. It will rather be a case of a Volkswagen outrunning a Ferrari if the right button isn’t pressed on a Ferrari. If a child isn’t equipped with necessary life skills when the effects of the environment pushes the child is likely to cave in.

In all of these comments the only one apart from the above is that Parenting is a hard job-one silly mistake can spell doom and makes the rub of your skills. I think I’d agree with this submission to a limited extent though. But the truth remains what we don’t have solution to is always difficult and what becomes familiar to us our minds make a decision to ignore.

Synopsis of all these is familiarity. Bags of us caregivers are too conversant with our parenting obligations in all ramification, hence we tend to discount the need to know our children better than we do presently. What we need is to continually submit ourselves to parenting education. Don’t disdain the place of knowledge. Continuity is contagious. This is the beauty of it. It is the name of the game. Once you have started there’s no stopping you until the kids are fully grown and gone. Kindly think with me below as I give few nuggets on how to help our children develop sense of self worth.

  1. Taken charge of pre-adolescence. Kids stages in maturity is key. This is where psychological and somatic development occur. Every child needs skill to move to the next stage. Example given in anger. A child that has difficulty in curtailing his/her anger with no or little training in emotional intelligence may find it difficult to share his/her feelings with others even parents. Because no one listens or pays attention during the moment of rage and the likelihood he/she will keep to him/herself is high. He/she feels neglected and unheard. Their mental health status is critical at this stage.
  2. Sensitive/Emotional life. No matter how ‘stupid or foolish’ a child’s request or question is, we should never shut them out. Eveybody desires to be heard and appreciated. I am most possibly going to lock myself indoor as a child if I don’t feel connected to the adult around me. This is where we need to be careful about being ‘strict’ (I dislike hearing this word because of its abuse) a child sure will subdue to this and to parents he/she’s submissive. What next? The child waits till he/she leaves the house and get set to get even at the parents. We must be sensitive to their emotion. Especially at teen level. Ask questions about what borders or gladdenes their heart.
  3. Life skills. Values and virtues are strategic in raising kids. But we ignorantly think our duty only is to raise successful adults, No. we are to raise successful adults laced with life skills for the benefit of humanity. Kids are to be fed with right values  from day one of their life. Then from age 11+ they are attracted and challenged by anything that requires initiative and creativity. At this level, we are to watch and get involved for mentoring sake. What movies, games, music do they watch or listen to that gets them creative? What challenges or spurs them to do more in life? Who is their best friend? And why the choice? What do they think about in their lonely and silent periods? Question then is how do we solve this? I have few suggestions!  Encourage them to write whatever they see, think, and comprehend of themselves down in a diary , then engage them in processing such into positive perspectives.
  4. self love. Teaching kids to develop the attitude of self love is making them to be conscious of who they are according to the design of God. The drift is to consistently helping them to seek within themselves personal happiness,  personal respect, contentment, pleasure, and ultimately being realistic of oneself along the lines of one’s strengths and weaknesses. They should know they have no input of their total configuration from inception; their height, structure, facial, size, are basically of divine nature.

Truth is our children must be taught through our daily engaging that in life relatively 10% is related to what is going on around us. The rest has to do with who we are and what we do. I believe strongly our children need to be nurtured in this line. Enough is enough of wanting to raise success out of today’s kids. Life skills are superior to success.