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?

 

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.

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.

Happy 2016, Raising Boys community!

Yeah!  There’s something exciting about a new year. The joy of a new beginning, the privilege of being alive and the hopes and aspirations that things will become better.

Welcome to this brand new year 2016!

I will encourage you to go back to your goals if you didn’t include parenting goals. You can’t afford to be an accidental parent this year. Be deliberate, I have said that a lot of times. Plan, execute, evaluate, learn and re-evaluate yourself.

This is my first post this year so I will make it short. Expect the best from me this year because I know we can only get better and better.

Thank you for your support in the past as we look forward to a year filled with testimonies.

Thank you and Stay blessed!

Before you send your boys on vacation……

All nursery, primary and secondary students are supposed to be on vacation at this period with the exceptions of those preparing for special Exams by next session.

One of the issues that bother parents especially busy parents is where to keep the children when they are on holiday. When I was growing up, I remember my older sisters and cousins used to travel to visit aunties and uncles during the holiday. I have also travelled to stay with relatives at different times.

Things are a bit different in this age and time or should I say that we are more aware of things that are happening around us. We hear about cases of rape and all kinds of abuse including sexual and physical abuse around us and many of us are scared to let our children out of our homes. Most of concerns are actually very valid but does that mean we should keep them under our roofs forever? I don’t think so. Let me share few tips that could help you in making an informed decision below.

1. Before you send your children to any relative, make sure they are old enough to stay there without you or you may consider sending them with their nanny. Children are different but I think they should be fine from 8years.

2. Send them to only trusted relatives or friends, I can’t stress that enough.

3. If you are sending them to their grandparents’ place. Please, make sure their grandma or grandpa is strong enough to supervise them especially if other grandchildren will be coming there too. We were told during a workshop on sexual abuse of children that a lot of  things go wrong at grandpa and grandma’s house. Abuser of children may turn out to be an older cousin or grandma’s neighbour.

4. Your children should be able to do basic things on their own before you consider sending them for vacation. They should be able to brush, bath and dress up on their own. They should also be able to eat on their own.

5. Listen to your children and also, observe their body language. Don’t force them to like one particular aunt or uncle. Don’t force them to go to where they don’t particularly like.

6. Going on vacation is better together as a family. Consider doing that.

7. Above all, pray.

The points above are not exhaustive but I believe they will be of help to you.

Myths about men – Things I don’t/won’t teach my sons

I have heard so many things from people about men. Some are true while some are completely false. They are mere myths – widely held but false belief and idea. They are as follow. The list is not exhaustive, so, kindly add yours. Let’s get to business.

1. All men cheat. I have heard different figures in terms of percentage of men who cheat. I have seen figures like more than 90%, 95%, 99.999%. You know it is alarming that all the figures are above 90%. None of the people who quote these percentages have a figure less than 90%. Unfortunately or is it fortunately, there is nothing whatsoever to back up this claims. I’m not aware of any poll or survey that back up this claim.

2. It’s a man’s world. I did a post on this few weeks ago. Here is the link <https://raisingboys14.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/is-it-a-mans-world/&gt; to the post.

3. Men are polygamous in nature. It’s a big lie. No man or woman is polygamous in nature. He who created them created them male and female not male and females or males and female. Anything different from a monogamous relationship in marriage is a lie from the pit of hell. You may be asking, ‘what of men of old like Abraham, Jacob, Esau, David etc? My question to you will be what of Adam, Isaac, Simon Peter ( No mention was made of 2 mother-in laws..lol) etc. Remember also that it is they two shall be one not they three shall be one.

4. Men are not supposed to cry. Then why did God give them tear glands? This is another myth. A study has shown that women live longer than men because they vent their issues by crying. Men will rather bottle them up because they have been conditioned not to cry. I’m not saying men should be crying at every slightest provocation, what I’m saying is that it is okay to cry if you need to. Don’t bottle it up!

5. If a man agrees with his wife all the time, he is a woman’s wrapper…lol! A wife is supposed to be her husband’s helper. If you refuse to accept that help, then I don’t know why you decided to get married.

I will stop here. Kindly add yours to the list.