Why are you shouting?

When my 1st son was much younger probably before he turned 3 years old. He used to ask his grandma – my mum anytime she raised her voice, ‘Grandma, why are you shouting?’ He used to ask the question very innocently. Rewind back to when I was much younger, I and my siblings used to tease my mum about our grandma. She could shout for Africa and we sincerely hoped my mum wouldn’t learn to shout like her mum. Your guess is as good as mine whether that hope was dashed or not.

Fast forward to decades later, I have unconsciously become a yeller – is that not what they call it now?

I once read that people shout when there is a wall separating them. Those whose hearts are knitted, with no wall standing between them only need to whisper. So, if you are shouting, does it mean there is a wall between and your children or spouse as the case may be? Wall could be your lack of understanding of how to communicate with that son. Are you really listening to him? Because by listening, you will understand your and know the best way to communicate with him. Sometimes, you may need to cast down every imaginations and every high thing in the place of prayer to be able to communicate effectively.

It’s important we mind the way we use our words on our sons and daughters because our words have tremendous power to break or make them. The people of Solomon Islands understands this. I read that to fell a great tree, they yell on the tree daily and after 30 days of cursing and yelling enough negative energy would have been generated to bring the tree down. I don’t know how true the story about Solomon Islands is but one thing is sure yelling is counter productive to you and your sons.

If you have trained them to only obey you when you have yelled, please re-train them to obey you while you are whispering. You don’t have to raise your voice to prove any point.

I am going to start a no yelling challenge with my boys. No yelling, just talking and whispering…lol. Who will join me?

 

When I had a flat tyre

So, sometimes last week, I had a flat tyre early in the morning right in front of my sons’ school. The car couldn’t be moved to the nearest place where I could fix the tyre. I was with my friend and colleague. We dropped our children in their classes and came back to the car. We try to see if there was anyone who could help us change the tyre and after waiting for few minutes, I told my friend that I wanted to change the tyre. We brought out the spare tyre and the tools.You see, I hadn’t changed a tyre before but I was willing to give it a try. In fact, I believed that I could do it.

I also realised more importantly that no one was going to stop and help two ladies who were stranded at almost 7 in the morning if they refused to help themselves.

Then, there were people who didn’t think we should be changing tyres. Generally in life, there will be people who think you cannot or should not do whatever you have set your heart to do. They are everywhere, quick to discourage you from doing what you planned to do and some actually meant well. You just keep your eyes away from the distractions. Get your focus on God. Keep your eyes on the final outcome.

Good thing was that we got a help. A gentleman offered to help us. Two colleagues also stopped to lend helping hands. They didn’t give up when the flat tyre was difficult to be removed because of a safety measure applied to keep it more secure.

Another key lesson is that you will most likely not get a help if you refused to lift a finger. You need to start doing something about your issues. Have you prayed about them? You need to show up ready to use the help God has prepared for you.

You need the right tools which may translate to the right skill sets, right mindset, right attitude etc.

Be kind to everyone. You will never know whose help you will need tomorrow. The gentleman who came to assist us was encouraged or permitted to do so by his employer who he works for as a driver. I am not sure we had spoken to each other before that day but that didn’t prevent her from helping us.

Why is this on Raising Boys? Apart from the lessons we could all learn from my story, mums of boys, let your boys learn to change tyres…lol. Seriously? Yes. Dads of boys who can change tyres, let the boys help when next you want to do it. Teach the boys to be handy. It will come handy. Have you had a similar experience? Please share.

Are you your son’s confidant?

Apart from being a mother, we have many other roles to play in our sons’ lives

One of this role or function is that of a confidant. A confidant is a trusted friend that you can talk to about personal or private things. A confidant is available, approachable and honest. This is one function that we cannot afford to handle with levity because you cannot really trust people to be honest with your children the way you will be.

As for me, I want to be able to win the trust of my son to the extent that he’s free to talk to me about his fears, struggles and victories. I want to be his first choice when he needs advice. I want to be able to guide him, counsel and pray for him. I want to be able to watch him grow to become a responsible man who is able to makes his decision without me.

Just like any other role, we need to prepare ourselves for it. I will highlight few below.
1. One way is by listening to him when he’s talking. There is a time that your son wants to tell you everything and ask all the questions. Make sure you are listening well. Give him the attention.

2. Be honest in answering his questions. If he knows you are sincere with him at all times whether in providing answers to his questions, telling him to wait till a more conducive time when you can engage in a meaningful conversation. If he knows you are not just dismissive, he will most likely keep coming to you both now and in the years ahead.

3. Understand your son. Know how he communicates. The secret to this is to listen attentively. Don’t jump into conclusion. Be patient. Be empathic.

4. Pray for him too. Pray for the right people to be in his life. Frustrate the counsel of Ahitophel in his life. Pray that he will not derailed by negative peer influence. Pray that he will not go to the wrong places for answers to life’s questions.

Don’t forget to build trust.
You need God’s wisdom too.

Are you your sons confidant? How did you get there? What worked for you? Let’s discuss so we can all learn.

It is still Raising Boys.

I have been away from here for about 2 months. I apologize for that. A lot has happened in those 2 months but the long and the short of it is that God blessed I and my family with a daughter. She is gorgeous and such a blessing from God. Her older brothers are so excited about having a sister…lol. I believe she is an answer to their prayers. I remain grateful to God for the gift and for His faithfulness and kindness.

People have asked me if Raising Boys will change to Raising Boys and Girls now that I have a daughter. Maybe that’s the same question in your heart too. My answer is No. Raising Boys is a passion, a ministry and a cause. It has come to stay by God’s grace except God says otherwise. There are many others who are blogging about parenting girls. I pray that God will continue to guide them.

My desire is to continue to talk/write about parenting boys to become godly, confident, successful, strong and faithful men. My prayer is that God will help me and grant me utterance.

Will you praise God with me for the gift of a gorgeous daughter?
Will you also join me to raise the next generation of excellent men?

I am waiting to hear from you.

Can God count on you?

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord , to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
Genesis 18:19 KJV

Yes, I’ve settled on him as the one to train his children and future family to observe God ’s way of life, live kindly and generously and fairly, so that God can complete in Abraham what he promised him.”
Genesis 18:‬19 MSG

God chose Abraham as the progenitor of faith because He knew he could count on him to train his children and household the way of the Lord.

I believe God has chosen us to be the one to raise the seeds He has put in our care.He prequalified us. We have all that it takes. His divine power has given us all that pertain to life and godliness 2 Peter 1 : 3. He is counting on me and you to perform and we can! Let His testimony about Abraham be true for you. God is counting on you!

What do you do when you feel inadequate?

1. Ask for help. Titus 2 : 3-4 talks about older women teaching the younger women to love their children. Ask God to send help to you. There is someone somewhere who has passed through what you are currently going through.

2. Ask for wisdom. God has said we should ask him if we lack it.

3. Research. Read articles. Read books.

4. Most importantly, pray. Pray when you know what to do. Pray when you don’t know what to do. Pray.

Have a blessed week!

Ponder the rock from which you were cut!

I will like to share something that I got from last Sunday’s message in the church I attend. I pray that we will be blessed by God’s word.

I don’t know how many of us believe in generational curses or struggles. I do but I do not live in fear concerning it. What I do is to look at my lineage and hubby’s lineage as far as I know and pray against what looks like evil patterns.

I pray that my boys will not partake in any evil inheritance. I cut off their ties with their lineage that could speak against them negatively in the place of prayer.

Back to the message, the preacher mentioned that we need to fight certain battles and win so that our children will not fight such battles. This is particularly important to me

This is the Scripture that convinced me about looking at where I’m coming from.

Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord : look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.
Isaiah 51:1 KJV

I will encourage you to look at where you came from and pray for your children accordingly. I pray that God will guide us in Jesus name amen.

I will like to read your thoughts about this.

STEREOTYPES, CULTURAL EXPECTATIONS AND OUR DOUBLE STANDARDS

The stereotypes: A woman is responsible for cleaning, cooking and caring for the children and her husband. She is responsible for school runs, she attends PTA, goes to the market and is generally responsible for all domestic affairs. You may add career to the mix for her.

A man is to be cared for by his wife. He’s the lord, master and the head of the family. He provides and protects his family. He must be seen to be in control of his household dictating to his wife and children and if doesn’t do all that, he is a woman wrapper or a wimp.
May be things are a bit different in your area but what I have described above is the reality for a lot of people.
Cultural expectations on the other hand has not changed despite the reality of our days. A woman is expected to be all that I have listed above and sometimes she is not expected to have a help. Some thinks she’s lazy if she employed a cook, cleaner, nanny or househelp. She is supposed to go to work and still perform all the traditional roles.

Our double standards come into play when the man cannot fulfil his traditional role and yet, he cannot help in any other way. I read something profound today which I’ve already shared on my wall. A man concluded that if he couldn’t provide money, he could provide in other ways.

This double standard has nothing to do with whether the man is educated, enlightened or not. From the akara and roasted corn seller who is doing everything to put food on the table in her home with no support from her husband and she’s expected to play all her traditional roles plus her husband’s to the female boardroom executive.
I am not saying the man should be emasculated (is that not what they call it?) just because. All I am saying is that men should man up! It is just fair to contribute your quota in one way or the other. Find a way to provide support. It could come in any way. Stay relevant!

More and more women are getting empowered and are breaking the glass ceilings. Men must find way to stay relevant as the head, leader and provider. Leadership is not by controlling or by being oppressive. It’s about responsibility, about service, about support, about laying good examples especially for the boy – child and the girl -child. Man, you can’t hold on tightly to your traditional roles when you expect the woman to do much more. Be fair, be a leader and man up!

#raisingboys #manup #leadersbydesign #pledgeforparity

This write-up is dedicated to all women especially those who are wearing double hats. You are stronger than you think. God will reward you.

Abiodun

This was originally posted on my personal Facebook profile wall on the 9th of March, 2016. I decided to publish it here because it’s in line with Raising Boys vision.

How to limit the time your boys spend in front of television

Many of our children spend lots of time in front of TV. They would have probably watched TV for a quarter of their age by the time they are ten years old if they spend average of 4 hours in front of TV weekdays and 12 hours on weekends starting from Friday night. Some children actually spend more than 42 hours a week in front of TV especially when schools are on vacation. That’s too much time that could be use for other things like homework, playing, interacting with family members, exercising, outdoor and indoor games, relaxing, sleeping e.t.c.

Watching TV late into the nights accounts for why some children would go to bed late from my what I gathered from my students in Sunday School class. Another reason why they would sleep late apart from watching TV is due to playing of games.

I have come up with a list of what has helped me to reduce the number of hours my boys spend in the front of the entertaining box. I will like to share them with you hoping they will help you. I will also like to hear from you about what is working for you.

  1. Lead by example. This is the best place to start because your children learn more from what you do than what you tell them. You can’t spend the whole moment in front of the box and expect your children to stay away;.
  2. Set and enforce a rule that will guide how long your children spend in front of TV.  One of our rules is that there’s no TV on weekdays and minimal number of hours like 2 hours on weekends. There are times that we do not follow the rule to the letter but it’s better to have a guide so you know when you are falling out of line. Another rule is that no child goes to put on the TV without permission. Another rule guides channel that they could watch and so on and so forth.
  3. I don’t believe in having TV in children’s room and I believe this is helping us to achieve our aim for minimal time in front of TV. Some parents will not agree with this rule, please do whatever works for you but make sure you are the one truly in charge.
  4. Schedule the time they would have spent in front of TV for other activities. Be creative. You could give your child practise questions to help with school work, ask them to study times table for example, study memory verses, you could do art work together, spend time talking with them, buy books and encourage them to read them. I have discovered that my boys get more creative when there is no TV with the house more chaotic and messy but that’s better than having them prop up in front of TV. They also interact better with each other.

It is good to point out that watching TV is not bad. It is too much of it that is bad for us and our boys. There are many educational programmes that are very beneficial to children.  Likewise, there are many programmes that are bad for them. The key things are moderation and supervision.

It is also good to know that early exposure of children below the age of 2 years to TV has been proven to lead to poor cognitive development. My advise to those who love to use TV to baby-sit is to look for alternatives or minimise the use of TV to the barest minimum.

What do you think? What is working for you? Let me hear read your thoughts.

Four ways to make your son eat healthy.

‘Health is wealth’ is a popular saying which is true in every sense of it. One way that we can lay a good foundation for healthy living for our sons is by what we feed them or what we allow them to consume. I am going to outline three ways that we can encourage our sons to eat healthy. They are as follows;

  1. Cook healthy meals for your family. If you don’t cook it, they won’t eat it especially if they eat most of their meals at home. Join groups, read books and learn how to cook healthy meals. Grill your meats and fishes instead of frying, don’t overcook your food. Use natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, soya beans oil that are not over-processed instead of refined and over-bleached oil. Buy fresh food where available instead of canned food. Limit your eating out to once in a while because most restaurant meals are laden with fat, salt and sweeteners.
  2. Most children do not like to eat fruits and vegetables. Find a way to make fruits colourful and appealing to them. Cut them to nice shapes and character.Fruit platesOne way I add vegetables to their meal is to boil and blend vegetables such as carrots, green beans, celery, green pepper and use the paste as sauce for rice, yam or bread..lol. The last time I experimented with this mixture, I blended more of carrots and onions and added to stew. My boys didn’t suspect anything at all.
  3. Don’t stock your house with junks. If you don’t have it or buy it, you won’t consume it. I made up my mind to stop buying instant noodles after I read a post on Natural Nigerian. It wasn’t easy to stop completely. I first of all reduced the frequency of its consumption to once or twice a week but I discovered that it was a go-to meal whenever I wasn’t available at home. So, I stopped altogether. We’ve largely replaced it with sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, beans and pasta. Cut down on their sugar intake too. Let candies and juices be treats rather than their everyday meal.
  4. Lead by example. Let them see you eat healthy, then they will copy you. There is a way you can be eating healthy and pass on a different message to your children. It might be a subtle message that those are for mummy or daddy and these are for us. Encourage every member of your family to eat healthy. Be consistent, in summary, do what you preach.

These are by no means exhaustive. What are your thoughts? What have you done that has worked for you? Please, tell.