The final week of Effective Living Series, Citi Breakfast Show featured a session on creating the right environment at home for the development of children.
Co-Founder of Lead Afrique International, Letitia Ohene Effah took listeners through five key steps of ensuring that their children are the best frame of mind to develop mentally and physically.
Mrs Ohene Effah first touched on a parent’s alignment with their spouse and what their vision is for their children. According to her, both parents have to be on the same page in the development of the children.
She added that the development of a child falls under three stages which need to be given special attention in order to aid the children’s growth.
- Imprint: Age 0-7 is the imprint stage.
- Modelling: Age 7-13 is the modelling stage.
- Socialization: Age 13 and above.
“As a parent you have to be able to understand where you came from, what are your imprinting? How did you socialize? How do you create a blend of that which worked and that which didn’t work into a new family model to be able to shape your family in the areas of vision, mission and values?” she asked.
“How do you guide them and provide them with the freedom to discover and express within boundaries you have set for the family?”
She noted that understanding each other as spouses and figuring out what you want for your family should be able to shape the architecture of your home, your language around the children, conversations you have with them and the people around them, and also influence your activities with them.
“We need to be able as parent ourselves decide or understand where we came from… we need to be mindful on that otherwise we’ll suffocate our kids,” he said.
The second thing she spoke about was showing genuine love your children, paying attention to little details, building trust and believing in them.
She argued against forcing your children to live your lifestyle, advocating instead for letting them live their lives, while giving them all the necessary guidance.
Letitia advised the parents to listen to their children, stating that it is the only way the parents can genuinely love them and make them feel special by spending quality time with them.
“Listen to them, they have a mind of their own, they have a language of their own, they have dreams of themselves, so you cannot force them to live your lifestyle,” she said.
The third step, she said, is to help the kids develop a positive mindset.
One of the problems facing most adults is their insecurities, according to Letitia.
They fear that they are good enough, not beautiful and that they are unique enough.
“If as a parent you have such insecurities, don’t pass it onto your children. Let your children understand they are their own kind of unique,” she said.
“Let your children understand that they are capable, they are unique in their own way and their intelligent type is unique,” she said.
“Negative and offensive language should have no place in your home. Empower, enable and encourage them with enforcement.”
The fourth step is to instill positive habits and routines in the children’s lifestyle.
“Part of parenting is creating the habits that will follow your children throughout their lifetimes and guide them in navigating their journey,” she said.
“What matters most to you the most as a parent, is it telling the truth at all times? Is it integrity? Is it time utilization? And always remember to give them a reason to buy in the whole idea of positive habits and routines, this makes them responsible.”
Letitia added that talking positively, encouraging your children and rewarding them with positive feedback helps reinforce good behaviour and healthy habits in and outside the home.
The last thing, she said is to let your children be and let them learn.
Most parents are prescriptive and tell their kids what to say and what to do.
“Allow them to learn. Let them make mistakes and learn from them and help them understand to process.”
By: Farida Yusif/citifmonline.com/Ghana