10 +1 LESSONS I HAVE LEARNT AS A MOTHER. (part 1)

How To Deal With Abusive Relationship (Part 1)
November 29, 2014
10 +1 LESSONS I HAVE LEARNT AS A MOTHER. (Concluding part)
August 30, 2015

10 +1 LESSONS I HAVE LEARNT AS A MOTHER. (part 1)

image-4-artcle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Being a parent is an interesting task and there are some lessons I have learnt along the way that have assisted me and I would like to share them with you in this two part series.

 

LESSON 1.

STICKING TO ONE STYLE OF DISCIPLINE IS A BAD IDEA.

Over the years I learnt that adopting one style of correcting my children was a bad idea.

Probably because I grew up with a mother who was quick with her hands, I had resolved not to do much beating. Oh, I could yell and it had the desired effect or so I thought until an incidence happened. I had a new girl in the house who had worked with me for just about three months.

One day, I returned home from work to meet the girl looking like someone had died. I asked if she had received any bad news from her family and she said everyone was fine. I proceeded into my bedroom with my daughter walking in after me. She asked if I’d seen Aunty Esther (my help). I answered in the affirmative and asked what the problem was. My daughter responded, “She broke the blender accidentally and she’s been sad all day. Mummy, I told her that you won’t beat her” (true, I do NOT hit helps). She continued, “I told her Mummy will only shout, shout and shout”.

I said “really?” But in my mind the “mummy will only shout, shout and shout”, kept resounding in my ears.

So, what I did was to change my tactics and become ‘unpredictable mummy’. I adopted different methods of correcting my children and I have not heard any “Mummy will only…..” since then.

LESSON 2

EACH CHILD IS UNIQUELY DIFFERENT AND YOU MUST TREAT THEM AS SUCH

I’ve heard Parents wishing one child would act a bit more like another of their children.

At such times, I would smile knowingly because I have been through that ‘wishing’ phase’. My daughter does something that pleases me and my son displeased me, I find myself wishing my son would be more like my daughter and the next day I’m wishing my daughter would act more like my son in some other areas.

On such occasions, (and they were really in the plural with ‘ssss’) I would tie myself up in a bad knot going from wishing one child to the next.

I have learnt – no, I must rephrase that, I am learning, to accept them as two uniquely different individuals. Each child’s uniqueness must be understood and properly harnessed to help child.

Comparing your children sows a canceroussows seed that fosters unhealthy rivalry. I have many people around me who are sworn enemies just because their parents deliberately or otherwise, created the impression that their sibling is better in some respect.

A child who is not a straight A student could be good in sporting activities.

Stop making statements like “Can’t you just be more like your brother/sister. .” Or “Thank God for your brother/sister…., “I wonder how I would have coped if your brother was just like you…”

LESSON 3

MY CHILDREN CANNOT BE AS  PERFECT AS I WANTED  THEM TO BE.

I was guilty of wanting perfect children.

I wanted them to be well behaved at all times. I wanted them to make me happy always.  I wanted their grades to be excellent whenever they brought their results home. I wanted children who would ALWAYS make the right choices in clothes, music, food, friends….

Oh please, I’m sure you know that “right” in this context means my idea of what all lists made above should look like.

I was moaning about them not measuring up to my wish list one day when someone said to me, “Bisi, you expect too much from your children,let them be, they will be fine.” When I stepped back to analyse the statement, I was shocked to see how tense my children were. They were not enjoying growing up rather they struggled to be perfect.

I had to relax and in the process, I even found myself laughing at their imperfections.

I prayed for change in the areas they were not doing well, rejoiced at the immediate changes that occured and grinned and bore the ones that didn’t work the way ‘I’ wanted.

 

LESSON 4

I SHOULD NOT TRY TO RE-LIVE MY LIFE THROUGH MY CHILDREN

Many of us Parents are trying to relive our frustrated dreams thorough our children.

We want our children to study particular courses in the university; we want to determine who their friends should be. I found myself trying to impose ME on my children. Sometimes, it was subtle and other times it was forceful. One day I paused to ask myself why it was so important for them to be MY way and it dawned on ME that I just wanted another opportunity to live a second, third or fourth life – depending on how many children one has.

But now, I have come to accept that I have had my chance and it is appointed for a mother to live her life but once, after which is death. You must die to self, flesh and all the unfulfilled dreams. Your children must be allowed to live their own lives. You must only be there to guide them.

LESSON 5

OTHER CHILDREN AREN’T NECESSARILY BETTER BEHAVED

I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at other families and assumed that they have it all together. I’ve spoken to my children using other families as benchmark only to have my children laugh and tell me I am in error.

A friend of mine sent her children on vacation to a seemingly perfect Christian family she’d always wanted her children to emulate. She believed sending hers to spend time with this “perfect Christian” family would teach her unruly children how to behave as Christian children ought to or so she thought. She believed the trip would open her children’s eyes to how other youths are living well despite the decadence in the society. Guess what? Her children returned from the vacation to tell her the “perfecr Christian” youths were doing hard  drugs. This had a sobering effect on my friend and it made her realise that grass is NOT always greener on the other side. I have accepted that all families have issues, they only differ. So please STOP thinking that it’s just your children that have issues.

What lessons (s) have you learnt?  Would you like to share?

27 Comments

  1. Babatunde Ogunsakin says:

    Great piece.

    While discipline is good in parenting it becomes “punishment” when the discipline is more than love displayed. We must learn from God who shows us great love but never fails to chastise us when we go astray.

  2. Yemi Ibrahim says:

    This is an eye opener. This piece reflects the error we commit as parents “unknowingly”. Lesson 4 is typical of an African parent, this is really inspiring. I am looking forward to the concluding part.

  3. I really like the point you made on Never try to RELIVE your life through your children.
    its a great eye opener to many that believes their decisions must always over rule in all things concerning their kids.
    They forget that we are just care takers, they God’s children and God is more important in their destinies than even the parent.
    God wants us to look after them, guide them, instruct them, advice them but never should we attempt to determine their destinies because that one is for God o.

  4. oluwabukola o oloyede says:

    Hmm,

    Enlightening.

    It is better to take things easy with our children, so that we can see and know who they really are, then put them through with the word of God that gave them to us.

  5. 'Seyi Okemakinde says:

    Very well …

    My dad and I are much friendly today. At times he will call and say ‘ just to check on you; hope you are well, let’s chat as soon as you can’.

    This wasn’t the case growing up as he always wish ‘ I could be like …’

    In totality I agree with lesson 2 – Each child is uniquely different.

  6. Yemi Faseun says:

    I was here. Interesting insights. I sure will be back for more.

    Great job

  7. Folu Kehinde says:

    I truly see my old self in your old self, I always disagree with my younger son and compare him with his brothers until he told me mummy I am not him, I am different! That gave me a wake up call. We all want our children to be perfect and compare them with the family next door’s son/daughter, parenting has taken a new dimension, l used to use my hands very much especially on my first child, but discovered that my husband never hit them but talk to them and they adhere to his corrections than mine, I begin to slow down and it works perfectly well. He will also will tip then for having good grades and increased the tips if it’s better. I believe that we cannot train our children the way we were trained. My husband believe in discipline, but will not beat his children and he gets good results. I imbibe this method, u can discipline by withholding some things they love most, it’s works many times. May God help us in training these gifts God has given us to take charge. Thanks Sis BC for this blog, God will enlarge your coast in Jesus name.

  8. Odeshilo Oluwemimo says:

    This is an interesting piece. I believe just as you have rightly noted that each child has his or her unique abilities and should be treated as such. The best we can do is guide them gently by the help of the Holy Spirit. These days l’m amazed at the sheer strength displayed by my two little children and l wonder how our parents were able to cope with a minimum of five children in those days. And l can’t but look up to God for grace to bring them up in the right way in the face of so much corruption and perversion in the Land. I pray that the Lord will help us to worthy care takers in Jesus name

  9. Veronica Boye says:

    Thanks again oo. I sure need to add other unpredictable methods to my normal style of Shout, shout shout when it comes to my reactionds as my children always predict my next line of action will be to Shout. This days they just advice “mumI know you will shout but it has already happened” and I get upset when I hear that

  10. bola imodu-Joel says:

    Awesome this is great job

  11. Thanks for sharing your experience as a Mother ,a couch and school administrator impacting and grooming the next generation for the future, parenting goes beyond giving birth to children and sending them to school they need to be adequately prepared for the wild future which catch up on many without adequate preparation as they lack primary socialization a necessary impute from parents.

  12. Bukola Adedapo says:

    Awesome ! More grace Ore
    Hmm mm! Most parents are guilty of all these. Especially on point 5 , though, some parents don’t like their children to be corrected by others Forgetting the fact that we are not enough for our children. We have neglected a great virtue of community parenting which existed during our time. For instance my child is our child in a community. No one would see a child going wrong and would not correct the child. I remembered when I climbed a mango tree before I got home my Father had been adequately informed and was thoroughly dealt with. Some parents don’t even know their children at all . May God help us to discover the adamic nature in them on time IJN

  13. Yvonne Osunde says:

    We give God the glory for a blog like this. We need an avenue where we need to talk to ourselves in plain true to life honesty. We need to as Christian parents start to see that our children are God’s gift to us. That children need to live their lives and make their own mistakes, we as parents are to guide and pray for them constantly and trust God that they will turn out just right in the end. Stop imposing sanctions that will turn them away from you and invariably from God. Thank you Sis Bisiibitayo. This blog is well over due. May God give you the wisdom to tackle issues that need to be addressed. I dey your side kampe!

  14. olusegun Martins says:

    Great work ma. We trust more insight would be coming from this treasure ‘house’ of wisdom and experience. Thank God you are able to share these insights.

  15. Dolapo Ogunjana says:

    Hmm, thanks for sharing Sister Bisi. What a reminder!!! ” Grass is NOT always greener on the other side” God help me

  16. Ronke Osikoya says:

    I love reading about people’s experiences which is why i love biographies, and love being taught when examples I easily identify with are used; (I guess why Christ used parables). For me this is a “teachable moment”. You just nailed it!
    I’m sure all readers will identify with the lessons, but the uniqueness of each child and the facts that they are imperfect but not necessarily worse than other children especially resonate with me.

    I’m looking forward to more articles/writings on this blog. Thanks for reminding me that God is still at work in every one of us and our children and He will perfect ALL that concerns us.

    Good piece. Well done.

  17. Oluwatosin Ajayi says:

    Thanks for this piece, a great lesson and a reminder at all times.

  18. Julie Ogbiji says:

    Nice piece. I had same issue in my home but this time around not with the children but with the hubs. He tried to relive his own dreams through our first son, he has always wanted to be a soldier but the opportunity never came and he tried to force my son to go to NMS, it was tough trying to make him see reasons because I knew that was not the path God wanted for him, at least not then but I learnt something from Mrs Olabisi Ibitayo ; she said “my sister, put it in prayer” and I stopped arguing and I started praying. The rest is history now and the hubs has also learnt a lesson. *smiles*

  19. Lawson A. says:

    Mrs Ibitayo you have done a wonderful job by sharing this educative and informative piece with me. I want to avow here that this piece has not only affected me physically as a parent but also academically as a classroom teacher. My exact motives for my biological children and school children have been mirrored by you.
    Henceforth I will stop comparing my children with each other or with one another. I will only allow God to have His ways in their lives and mould them in His own fashion.
    Mrs Ibitayo may God continue to grant you grace to affect lives and your generation positively.

  20. Shade Oyebode says:

    This is awesome Ore!

  21. VIQUE RAINE says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing these truths. Since the first time I heard you speak, I knew there had to be a bigger platform. NOW HERE IT IS! I am thoroughly blessed.

  22. Abieyuwa Urubusi says:

    Great insight! No one knows it all. We learn from one another.
    I realized that children born of same parents truly can not act in same way. Every Child has his or her own personal traits.
    God will direct us on the best way to discipline our children; and not compare our children with others.

    Great morals.

  23. Yemisi Alabi says:

    Reality specified.These are statements of facts. I will however want to dwell on lesson 2 which is very common amongst parents.I was almost a victim but the Lord intervened and today when I look back I marvel and acknowledge that surely children should not be compared.At times you feel you are just using one to encourage the other but they are not seeing it your way .Children are indeed uniquely different.Many parents still need to accept this fact

  24. Salami Olubukola says:

    Ah,Parenting,a School where you never get to graduate,it’s been a roller skating experience,I jokingly say if wishes were horses,I would love to add 10years each to the age of my 4children n deduct 10years from my own age n start enjoying myself!! Did I say start enjoying myself? I discovered that one of the ways i actually get peace n sanity in parenting my children especially the teens,is to play my part, seat back pray and then see the product.Parenting is work,hard work ,daddy G.O said sometimes ago TANIMOWO ?? Meaning Who Knows how to Train them? It’s God! Of course we have our own part to play the outcome now depends entirely on God.Adam n Eve were so to speak the first children n God their father made provisions,Infact all provisions for them,yet they messed up! Please whose fault? We mustn’t be afraid as parents in doing our job, bisco ,I love what you doing,keep it up. I believe that with wisdom,mentoring,patience schooling etc and God on our side, I pray n trust God that they will turn out right in Jesus name,Amen

  25. Ofordu T. says:

    Nice piece, more power to your elbow Ma!

    In my short life as a parent, I have come to realise that parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing to do.

    As parents, I think we need to enrich ourselves with the word and articles like this.

    Children are great imitators, it’s up to us to give them something great to imitate.
    May God help us, Amen.

  26. m.o.abidakun says:

    As parents, we believe and act as if we own our childten.we forget that God only entrusted them into our care only for a very short period. we are to nurture, guide and care for them above all, lead them back to God. enjoy them while they are with you and this will keep them coming back when they are no longer with you. teach them christian values and ethics. do not be unnessary worried about tomorrow. lay good examples for them to follow and commit their tomorrow unto the hands of GOD. well done Bisi.

  27. Olofin funmilayo says:

    Today was my first time of meeting you and that was at is real assembly I was really blessed by your message which made me come to your blog. I have seen the errors of my parenting strategy. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Book A Session Would you like to have a counselling session with Bisi Ibitayo?
Book Now