Something funny & incredible happened in my house the other day. Like I have said on this blog before am blessed with 2 wonderful boys who are now aged 10 and 8. Believe me when I say they are a blessing, they really are.
So, the other day (a beautiful Saturday morning when I had a million and one things to do before noon because I had an appointment later in the day). I was going about my chores and I could hear my boys chatting away like they normally do. I don’t know what was said but the next thing I heard was ‘I can’t wait for you to leave this house and go to boarding school, I will finally have the room to myself I have always wanted my own room’.
I heard this and I thought ‘oh boy these boys are at it again’ but I have learnt not to get myself involved in their arguments because at the end of the day they both blame me so I simply kept quiet and listened. My older son said ‘ yes am going to go to boarding school & you will be at home all alone and you can have the room to yourself’. The next thing I heard came as a shock, my younger son burst into tears. Then he asked his brother why he would want to go away to boarding school knowing fully well that he won’t see him everyday.
I tell you I was as shocked as you. This same boy that was just upset with his brother and wanted their room to himself is now crying about missing this same brother. I was giggling behind the door (couldn’t afford for them to catch me eaves-dropping). The funny aspect is that boarding school is not till next year and he is crying now at the mere thought of the future.
I thought about the innocence of a child and wondered what the world would be like if all the adults retained that innocence. There will be no malice, hatred, revenge, war, starvation etc.
Yes he was upset with his brother but it was only for a moment.
As much as my boys have their moments (arguing) I know they love each other deeply.
When you ask people about the career they think is the most fulfilling; you will hear all sorts.
Doctors will say its theirs because they are able to save lives. Inventors will say its theirs because they come up with new things and new ways of doing things. Engineers will say its theirs because they are able to build things and so on.
If you ask me, I would say it is TEACHING. TEACHING is the most fulfilling & most profitable career I know and I will tell you why.
Something remarkable happened to me on Sunday at church. I am a teacher & the coordinator for Junior Church (Kids church – from ages 2 to teenage). Some year ago, I had 2 students, one a boy who was then in primary school (year 5 or 6) and his sister who was then in secondary school. They moved to another side of town so they stopped coming to church. Sometime after that, I had also been asked to go and serve in another Parish of the church as well.
About a year or so ago I bumped into their mum who told me how well they were doing and I was really pleased. And then on Sunday I got a pleasant surprise.
I saw a young man walking towards me with a smile he looked familiar but he was much taller than I remembered. He said good morning and I realized that it was the same little boy I used to know. I asked how they knew where I was and they said they knew the name of the church and they road it was on (a very long road) and simply took the bus all the way till they saw the church banners and knew I was there.
My boy is now a teenager should be doing his O’ levels next year, the girl is in university in her third year studying medicine. I am so proud of them and the fact that they had come looking for me, was even more fulfilling. It made me know / believe that all my time in this very ‘Humble Profession’ is worth every moment.
Today I would like to celebrate every dedicated teacher out there. And I would like to encourage us ‘whatever you find your hands doing, do it well’. Let’s continue to do our BEST.
I thank God for the grace and privilege to help shape the lives of children and I pray for more wisdom to do it the right way (His Way).
I had the most incredible #PleasantSurprise this morning when I got to work #TheLeabridge.
The security guy walked towards me with a small parcel from DHL and I thought to myself ‘am not expecting any parcel or has this guy received a parcel he is not supposed to’. I was still thinking about this when he finally got to me and gave me the parcel. Trust the 1st thing I looked at was who the parcel was addressed to, lo and behold it was addressed to ‘Leabridge Preparatory School’ so I checked who it was from and it read ‘UN Women’ with a New York address. I did not believe it so I read the waybill about 3 times to convince myself I had read it right the previous times.
I finally opened it up and they had sent us some t-shirts and a letter asking us to join the #HeForShe initiative – a solidarity movement for gender equality. The great thing is #TheLeabridge might even get profiled on their website, so watch this space.
Am still so excited, for me today is another milestone achieved by #TheLeabridge and an even better day for the #NigerianGirlChild.
A BIG shout out to my DAD & My Number 1 person Olushola.
Some mothers believe a child should be cared for in the home so they employ nannies, house helps, maids etc. to help with the care of the child while they are at work. Others are of the school of thought that they would rather have their children in the hands of a professional in a crèche, daycare or nursery.
A few years ago there was the story of a toddler who was left in the care of a maid in the family home but who unfortunately drowned in a bucket of water due to the negligence of the maid.
I also heard the story about a working mum who almost lost her baby as a result of the child been force-fed at a daycare centre. It took emergency medical attention to revive the child.
So really both options have their own individual shortcomings. But being a working mum and an Early Childhood professional I often opt for the out-of-home care because it has a lot of benefits and also aids a child’s development. Whether you realize it or not out of home care helps develop the child’s independence and social skills.
So my advice to working mums who are looking for a childcare facility (crèche, daycare, nursery) for their children will be to consider the following:
Look for something not too far from your office or home
Get reliable recommendation.
Go and see it for yourself, go round the facility
Ask questions as regards policies, routines, timetables, curriculum etc.
Observe the staff interaction with the children
Make sure you view at least 2 or 3 centres before you make up your mind
And when you have made your choice:
Make sure you keep talking to the care givers, get daily feedbacks as regards your child
Voice any complaints, concerns or observations immediately so they can be addressed.
Be open to change e.g. change in caregivers or class activities
Over the years its been observed that more and more families with young children have both parents working. This is also the same in single parent families.
Gone are the days when the responsibility of the mother was to stay at home, look after the kids and the home while the father went out to make a living and in most cases returned with enough for his family.
The socio-economic framework of our society and the world at large has changed and continues to change so its important we make best use of what we currently have.
As much as it is important for us as parents to make a living, let not forget that our children are even more important. I came across a quote once that I would like us to always remember; it said, “When in doubt, choose the kids”.
I would just like to share a few of the things I do with my children that you might find helpful too.
Always greet your children with a smile, hug and a kiss – No matter what type of day you have had, no matter the state of the traffic on your way home always greet your children with a smile, a hug & a kiss. Don’t forget they have been waiting all day to see you walk through the doors.
Get involved in school activities – Yes we are all busy but try and show up for at least one of the many school activities the children have. I remember a few years ago when I surprised my son at their end of year price giving day. He was so shocked to see me he showed me off to all his friends and to crown it all; I was there when he was presented with a prize. The grin on his face could melt the hardest of hearts.
Ask how their day went – You will get to know what happened school, why he/she is in a particular mood, subject they like or find difficult etc. It gives you an idea of what is going on at school or at home while you are away.
Ask about their friends – This is always a good way to make conversation. Even though you might not know the kids in person but knowing their names makes your child feel like you care about his/her friendships.
Celebrate all achievements in grand style – Make a big deal of any milestone your child achieves. Celebrate the child make him/her feel really special.
Give them a treat anytime you can – Don’t always wait for birthdays or other celebrations to give your children a treat. Surprise them, get them something they like, let them know they are special always and not just on their birthdays.
Once in a while do what they love with them – For instance my boys love tennis so when I can I take them to the court some times I stay to watch and cheer them on. Showing an interest in what they like is a form of bonding.
It’s also important that we don’t indulge them too much – Don’t spoil them with gifts with the aim of covering up for the times you are away. By doing that you are sending the wrong message.
Don’t be afraid to correct/ discipline your child but make sure you put a lot of thought into how you are going to do it so that the message is passed correctly. Not all issues require yelling, smacking or grounding sometimes all you need to have is a calm chat and some time out for the child to think about his/her actions.
Please comment / reply and let me know if you found my suggestions helpful or you even have others that can help us all be better parents.