Farewell 2012….Welcome 2013

And finally the last tick of the seconds timer on our clocks finally brought to an end the year 2012; and the next tick ushered in the much awaited moment – shouts of “happy new year!!!”

tank-God.jpgBy the amazing grace and mercies of God Almighty, the giver and taker of life, me and my family, you and millions of other fortunate people across the globe were amongst those who were blessed to cross over into 2013. This is really an awesome act of God.

For me, 2012 was a mixture of the good, the bad and the urgly. I guess the worst thing that happened to me was the passing away of my sister on the 8th of May, during delivery. However, some measure of good feelings came when my younger brother became a father on the 1st of July. God further comforted us with the birth of my daughter ten days later, and the birth of my niece on the 20th of October. You can say it was a year of babies. Halleluyah !

Aside from this, God showed his presence in several other family matters for which I am very grateful for. His awesome grace, mercies, protection, direction, provision, peace, good health, and fatherly love, were our portion throughout the year. He also fought our battles and brought shame to the devil. Halleluyah ! Indeed we are very grateful.
I specially thank God for my kids, who enjoyed His fatherly love during the year. Even in their “childishness,” God was with them.

I cannot forget His grace, favour and mercies at work and his hands in my wife’s business.

One blog post can never be enough for me to tell the world how grateful I am, but it suffice it to say that I am very grateful to God for being a priviledged beneficiary of His awesome magnanimity in 2012 and look forward to a very wonderful 2013 – My year of Divine Recovery Of Loses.

Thank you for reading my testimony and may your 2013 be filled with testimonies.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Building A Strong Relationship With Your Child

In my last post I dwelled on ’’parent-child relationship gone awry’ where I discussed a common problem in most homes – troubled parent-child relationships. There I highlighted common signs of troubled parent-child relationships.

Image courtesy photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here, I want to share with you proven remedies to such unproductive, destructive and unenviable family problems.

Below are tips on building a strong relationship between a parent and the children:-.

*it is a parent’s responsibility to do everything within his power to make his child happy. Doing this always sends a message across to the child that you care and love him/her.

*No two kids are the same. So, do not use the character of one to serve as a bench mark for the other. It has the negative effect of creating enmity and unhealthy rivalry between them. You are obviously going to be caught in the middle of the acrimony.

*it is a parent’s responsibility to do everything within his power to make his child happy. Doing this always sends a message across to the child that you care and love him/her.

*Be slow to punish to your child. In fact, my experience with working with teenagers for the past fourteen years has shown that punishing children has been less productive as compared to talking to a child. Talking has really been very helpful in my own relationship with my son and other children I have worked with. Talking builds up parent-child bonding and lets you into some problems of the child which punishment can never bring up.

*remember that in adulthood, there is a word called mistake. Children make tons of mistakes. If you can make mistakes and expect understanding, then your child deserves much more understanding.

*make yourself accessible to your children. Where you create a wall around yourself, then, apart from straining your relationship with your children, you leave them with no option than to take their problems to outsiders. This can be really dangerous.

*Bonding can be boosted by regularly taking your children out. Eat out once in a while. Take them to the zoo, museums and other recreational facilities. Sometimes, when you go visiting friends, take them along. If you ask me, one of the things I am known for in my community is the fact that I always go out with my son (my daughter is yet to join the outdoor fun. She is about two months as of date).

*As much as you can, praise, and sometimes reward your child when an outstanding feat is achieved. A durable and very useful gift would be adviseable.

*Never run down a child who did not do well in school or who has not been very helpful at home. This could create in the child a lasting negative attitude towards you. Encourage such a child and inculcate in them an “I can do it” attitude.

*When you are not at work, spend quality time with your family, especially your children. This has a very strong role to play in bonding. This is my favorite pastime.

*Always make your children feel important in your decision making. It simply shows that they mean more than just being children to you.

*Call from work when you can. Ask how school went. Just say something nice. I do this every day.

*If you are into one bad behavior or practice, like smoking, excessive drinking, keeping late nights or indulging in criminal activities, you could be sowing the seeds of hatred in the heart of your child. Children naturally feel very bad when someone outside taunts them because of their parents’ actions.

*Make your child appreciate the difference between discipline and hatred/wickedness. No child likes being scolded or punished. Your child can hate you for it if you do not handle the situation very well. I do a lot of talking with my son. In fact I talk more than actual punishment.

*Do not feel unconcerned when you notice sadness on your child’s face or where you notice that all is not well with the relationship between you and your child.

*It is not out of place when you say you are sorry to your child. It does not reduce your father or mother figure. It humbles your child and builds up the trait of humility in the child.

*Allow your children guided freedom around the house. Do not be too unnecessarily strict in the usage of home appliances. Do not make feel restricted like visitors.

*Explain every rule you set in the house. Make them see the rules as guides to good behavior rather than rules. Do not turn your home to a military barrack.

*Every time your children need your attention, please give it to them. If you are busy, politely explain to them, and ask that you attend to them later, if the issue can wait.

*Last but not the least, always pray for, and with your child. Prayer time is a solemn moment and an ideal bonding tool. Also, it affords you the opportunity of committing the relationship between you and your children into the hands of God. Make use of it.

I have applied most of these tips and they have yielded wonderful results. I have also seen other wonderful relationships that are premised on a combination of these tips. I strongly believe that you would also have good stories to tell if you apply any of these tips that is appropriate to you.

Happy parenting.

Parent-Child Relationship Gone Awry

Image courtesy David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigital Photos

Image courtesy David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigital Photos

One of the greatest sources of joy in any family is to have children. Their presence in the home is a sign of the mercies and grace of God as no one, I repeat, no one, can say he or she can pay God the right price for a child; or that it his/her good deeds that bore him a child (or children). Indeed children are a heritage of the Lord.

The nature of childhood is unique: they make us happy and sometimes they really get us really annoyed. The first ten years or so, of the life of a human being is really a period that requires a lot of patience and tolerance on the part of the parents. It calls for a lot of maturity on their part. It also calls for a lot of restraint on their part. In addition, it calls for a lot of understanding and acceptance of the fact that children will always be children, especially during the first ten years of their life.

Be that as it may, it hurts me when I see parents want to change the unchangeable – that children in their early years cannot reason like adult, or behave or accept that they are adults. I feel a pain in my heart when I see parents curse or use vulgar language against their children, irrespective of their age. It hurts more when the children are in their earlier years.  Why should parents use expressions like : idiot; you are mad; you are stupid ;fuck you; ass hole; bastard ; useless child; it will not be well with you; you must be out of your mind; foolish boy/girl; and such other vulgar language on their child? Why do they make negative pronouncements on a child?

The word of God, the free giver of these wonderful gifts says that that ‘’the tongue has the power of life and death ‘’ (Proverbs 18:21, NIV)

It thus follows that whatever we say to our children are actually seeds being sowed, either for their good or their destruction. I cannot think of a blessing or curse which someone can place on a child that is greater than that of the parents. Why would a parent wish his or her child evil, like being mad, unsuccessful, stupid or useless?  It hurts.

Closely related to this is an unusually hostile relationship between a parent and the children. This creates extreme fear rather than respect for the parents, discomfort for the child, life of sadness for the child, concealment of personal challenges/problems by the child, absent mindedness in the child, withdrawal tendencies in the child, lack of confidence, and in very severe cases, a child can think of suicide. 

Picture the life of such a child in your mind.

For me, I love my kids a lot. Everyone around me knows I do. They make me happy. Their happiness is my happiness, and their pain is my pain. Their success is my success and their failure is mine too. One thing I have done for the past four years is trying as much as I can to strike a balance between being a strict and no-nonsense father and being a caring and loved farther. I have tried not to allow my four year old son (my daughter is actually about two months old) to fear me, but to respect me as a father. I discipline him when he misbehaves after repeated warnings, and later I lovingly make him see why he is being disciplined, so that it will not seem like I did it out of hatred. I guess I have I have succeeded in striking that balance. Praise God !

What about you? If you are not married, perhaps this post will play an additional role in preparing you for successful parenting.

Permit me to share with you signs of a bad relationship between the parent(s) and the child:-

*where the child feels sad when the parent(s) is around, and the sadness is because of the parent(s)

*when the child cannot discuss personal problems with the parent(s) 

*when the child always prefers to sit far from the parent(s)

*when the child finds it very hard to play with the parent(s)

*when the child enjoys the company of one parent more than the another

*when the child never feels the absence of the parent(s)

*When the child rejoices when the parent wants to go out, and the happiness is related to the parent(s)

*When the child is unfriendly with the parent(s)

*When the child easily is unnecessarily rude to a particular parent and not to the other.

*when a child is only active – plays and talks – when he is in the mist of his friends, and not with his parents or a particular parent.

The list above is not exhaustive. It merely presents some commonly found symptoms of parent-child relationship gone soar. The good news is that all of them have remedial actions (see my post on “building a strong relationship with your children’’). It is just a matter of self-examination and resolve that you want to have a wonderful, rewarding and God-fearing relationship with your children.

It is my prayer that God Almighty, the free giver of our children will give us the wisdom to raise them up in the way that is pleasing and acceptable to him.