And just like that we are in the middle of August & the year 2017 is fast approaching the final bend to the home stretch.
I have been very busy over the last 3-4 weeks & hence my long silence as regards this series. Now things have simmered down a bit for me to make progress as we continue on our discuss.
I will like to thank everyone who has read my posts & made comments across the different platforms, you have all made my day & encouraged me to continue in this path & I am super grateful.
Now let’s add a couple more points to those earlier shared in this series.
My last post was about KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT in which I highlighted the need to cultivate a reading habit in our kids & how they can benefit from information we share with them in an age appropriate manner when they ask us questions as we gradually expose them to more information & to the information super-highway, THE INTERNET.
One side of knowledge management is having a grip on what information they access or are exposed to, the other side is gauging what information have already filtered in from outside.
Your kids interact with a lot of people outside the home & no matter how much you try in protecting them, they still get information from others as well. You can gain access to that information by having ENGAGING CONVERSATION with your kids.
While my wife & I were dating, we spent a lot of time talking, we talked about our childhood, what we experienced growing up & the good things we will like to keep & transfer to our kids as well as the bad things that will not cross over to them.
One of the things we both agreed on was that we both did not like the way we were talked to as kids growing up & we decided that we were going to constantly talk to & treat our kids as adults by engaging them in conversations.
We dont talk down to our kids & we ensured that we explained things to them in age-appropriate ways instead of saying “Daddy or Mummy says so!” We had no scientific proof about this, but later discovered that engaging your kids in conversations was one of the ways of raising them smart & intelligent.
These conversations help us as parents to access those information that might have filtered into their minds outside our sphere of influence.
About 4 years ago, on our way to the barbing salon, my son asked me, “Dad can I ask a question”? Knowing that this was a chance to access his world, I say “Yes”, then he said “What does it mean if someone gives you a peck? I wasn’t too shocked, but then I probed further & discovered that he had helped a girl in school with her books & in saying thanks, the girl gave him a hug & a peck.
So I took the time to explain that it seems the girl liked him, further probe showed that this particular girl was our friend’s daughter & they get to see regularly in school as well as in church & they like each other.
I didn’t blow him away, I just explained that they are far too young for those kind of physical contacts & it will be nice to just limit it to handshakes. It also opened the door for us to talk about friendship & respect for the opposite sex.
He understood it, there was no damage to his self-esteem & this gave him more confident to come ask me more questions about other things.
As he is getting older, our talks are getting deeper as we talk about faith, spirituality, prayers, etc, imagine if I had blasted him away earlier.
About a few months ago, he came to ask me about speaking in tongues, because one of his Sunday school mates says he was speaking nonsense. I opened the Bible to 1Cor14:2 & explained the scriptures to him on that topic & he got it.
Now as he is preparing for high school, we need to have THE SEX TALK & this will not be tough or embarrassing as we’ve been engaging in these conversations before.
In relating to leadership skills, these engaging conversations we have with our kids gives them the boldness & confidence to have engaging conversation with others.
This is a very controversial area & I will just give it as it is. There are a lot of aspects of authority management but primarily discipline is the anchor, others include respect for rules, understanding cause & effect,etc.
Two camps exists when it comes to discipline, some say “don’t spank your kids at all just talk to them”, others say “talking doesn’t work , you have to whip them into shape”.
We have discovered as parents that the best is the combination of both & the one to be administered depends on the severity of the situation.
Because we talk to our kids regularly & engage them in conversations, when they do something bad & we express that, they are sincerely sad about it & they come around to apologise & in that state we further engage them by asking questions like “Why is Mummy mad with you? Do you think this is right? What is the right thing to do? etc.
We fondly have this expression “DO THE RIGHT THING!!” as a safe guard for our kids to indicate that they are on the border line now & they should get themselves in the good zone quickly.
But there are days that just talking alone doesn’t work & MR. DO GOOD!! has to show up. Mr. Do Good is (Prov 22:15 & Prov 13:24) the rod of correction & everybody knows where it is kept.
This is an example, about 5 years ago my son was playing with the TV remote in his room while watching TV & I could hear him using the remote to hit stuff in his room. I went to him & told him not to that as the remote was not a toy & He said OK daddy & continued watching.
A few days latter, he did the same thing & this time around threw the remote at the TV & broke the screen, I was so annoyed & told him to go get Mr. Do Good & he so got it on his hands & bum.
He was without a TV in his room for about 6 months & so much cherished the new one when I finally got it back in his room. Now he knows from experience that the remote is no toy.
One thing to note is this: Don’t spank your kids out of anger or in the heat of rage, It will defeat the purpose of correction. Let them still feel loved as you administer the punishment.
We will go further on this aspect in the next post.
How well are you managing the information flow to your kids?
What side of the discipline divide are you on?
This is my snippet, I AM SHALOMESQ!!!