10 years of God’s faithfulness – Alex is T E N!

It’s been ten years of God’s faithfulness to me and my family as we mark my son’s birthday yesterday. I am particularly grateful to God for how he has sustained him over the years.

He is my first, the one with whom I experienced childbirth for the very first time. It wasn’t easy for me at all but I will spare you the details today. I’m just grateful that I didn’t end up 6 feet below ground.

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I pray for you today that you will fulfill purpose. You will be that example of a godly, faithful, successful and awesome man. You are very caring and considerate. My prayer is that you will be wise enough to recognize those who will like to take an advantage of that. You will grow to become a man of integrity and honesty in Jesus name amen.

Have a happy birthday!

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Put God’s name on your sons

To aid us in praying for our sons today is one of the most powerful prayers​ in the Bible. It is found in Numbers 6:22-27

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
Numbers 6:22‭-‬27 NKJV

Aaron and his sons were priests of the most high God in their times. They were to bless the children of Israel with God’s name. You, if you have given your heart to God, are a priest 1Peter2:9. You have the mandate to bless your sons and put God’s name on them.

This period as children begin to return to school is a good time to set our sons apart for God in the place of prayer. It is a good time to put God’s name on them.

Pray from the Message Version with me.

God bless my sons and keep them, God smile on them and gift them, God look my sons full in the face and make them prosper in Jesus name amen.

http://bible.com/97/num.6.24-27.MSG

May God confirm his word by blessing your sons in Jesus name amen.

Have a blessed week!

When you are raising sons in a toxic environment

It’s sharing Tuesday in the Facebook group I currently run for moms and guardians of boys.

Today, I will like to encourage women who are striving to raise sons in a less than an ideal situation/environment. You want to raise the perfect gentlemen who is also in love with Jesus but the main character in your story, the one who should be a good example to your sons is badly behaved. What do you do?

Depending on the seriousness of the misbehavior, you may need to do the following;

1. Pray. Ask for wisdom to handle the situation you have found yourself. Ask God for divine intervention. Pray without ceasing. Each time I read or hear this Scripture……if the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do? My answer is always the righteous can pray. Don’t watch while the foundation of your sons is being destroyed. Pray and change the situation.

2. Be wise. Know when to speak and when to keep quiet to avoid unnecessary tension at home. Sometimes, silence does more than all the noise put together. In quietness shall be your strength Isaiah 30:15. Moreover, there’s time for everything.

3. Talk about the situation with your sons not to castigate their father but to let them know that some behaviors are not acceptable. You could say something like, ‘Dad is angry and it’s okay to be angry about issues but it’s not good to…….’ Then, you can proceed to teach him how to manage his anger when he’s upset.

4. If the atmosphere is too toxic for your sons, consider leaving temporarily or permanently for their sake. Don’t say you are staying because of them and you end up damaging them in the process.

I will love to read your thoughts about what I’ve shared.

To spank, beat, flog or not

I am not writing this as an expert. I am only going to share what I have learnt and what I am learning on this journey. I know in part…1Cor 13:9.

Some swear by spanking as the best form of discipline while some on the other hand totally condemn it. Those who are for it quote Prov 23:13-14…….if you beat him with the rod, he will not die, Prov 29:15 and the commonest one Prov 13:24 spare the rod……These verses are part of the justifications for those who believe in spanking. Interestingly, some people believe that the rod in Proverbs is referring to the Word of God. Their explanation is that we are supposed to train our children with God’s word and not the physical rod. For them, the rod connotes the Word of God

God told us to train up our children in the way of the Lord. Training involves teaching and giving instructions. I believe training should be deliberate and also something we do as the need arises. In fact, we should seize every opportunity to train, instruct and teach. It should involve planning and preparation for it to be effective. To train is to discipline. Discipline is also punishment to correct bad behaviour but we tend to focus more on punishment and that is where I have problem with spanking.

Beating or spanking is a lazy way of parenting. It is very easy to beat and more difficult to train because training takes effort and time. One thing we need to realise is that you do not have a right to punish your son for a behaviour until you have instructed him previously about the behaviour and you have also extended grace to him. It is difficult but I believe at the long run and especially in this generation, having the time to parent our sons will yield a positive result more than bringing out the rod, cane or belt to beat or flog each time they misbehave.

My position about beating is summarised below;

  1. It should be done out of love if you must and if you have to.
  2. It should be minimal and controlled.
  3. It shouldn’t be done out of anger.
  4. It should be used as the last resort when all else has failed.
  5. If you live in a country where beating is not allowed, don’t be a law breaker.

It is important that we put effort in parenting our sons. To train them up in the way they should go so they can become who God has created them to be.

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?

 

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!

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.