#motherhoodunplugged #Unscripted #parentingchallenges It’s been barely a week or so when I was last at my son’s school for an incident of disrespect to his teacher. Today I was back for two incidents with his classmates. It’s not easy and am not one to pretend it’s picket fence orderly in my life and ours. Being a mother to both my kids and even myself, is my most important occupation. I have and will continue to give up so much to raise and nurture my kids and focus on our journey the most and best I can. It’s challenging and sometimes disrupting +embarrassing to be seen in their school every other week, but if I don’t do that, the consequences might worse case scenario be irreversible, so the hour I spent there today was worth it. Sometimes we even think they went to school and got into the school, whereas they are hanging out of school or even doing whatever. Checking their stuffs daily is challenging too, or abandoning them to their freedom might not also be the wise thing to do. I wonder what the parents of the kids I saw hanging out of their school think their kids are doing at the moment.
Courage to all parents and guardians in the house. I don’t seek to be a perfect parent or have perfect kids, I seek to keep it real and nurture us all my best capacity.
#motherhoodjourney An 18 year project. Tomorrow I officially hand it over to my first child and wish him all the best into adulthood. When I started this journal 18 years ago, I didn’t know I will get to this day, but I just wanted that he gets something from me where I recorded monthly and as often as I could, my unfiltered thoughts about what was going on in my/his/our lives at the time. This journey has been so therapeutic for me and I know he has appreciated my efforts because he’s told me so time and again. I share to inspire motivate and encourage. God has been so good, I am simply
I could never imagine my own son could have the courage to shoplift. Here below is a write up I shared on Facebook about the devastating events
Loving him tough all the way to the police station and more (20.02.19)
Sometimes all the love you show can’t stop the child from delinquency. Tough love becomes very necessary the earlier the better.
It was thanks to another major delinquency at home, the hiding of his brother’s phone to supposedly punish the later, that everything came to light.
The chocolates he had been stealing from Carefour market (a super market not too far from home), the oufer and headset.
I had to take them to the police station this morning and write a formal complaint because this morning even after the phone was discovered thanks to its alarm, he denied taking the phone.
After the police station, I brought him with the stolen things first to Carefour Market and then to Mahima (another super market) where he stole 2 body sprays.
It is never easy especially to realize all the love and efforts you show can still have such traumatic cracks.
But, I decided to show such extreme tough love now and not later. The security head at both shops took his statement and talked to him very sternly; he is also forbidden from entering those shops again. I had to pay for all the items stolen close to 20.000frs, they didn’t put penalties because I brought him myself.
He says he was seeing his friends with goodies in school and wanted his. When he stole once and wasn’t caught he felt comfortable doing it again and again from the two supermarkets.
Lord help us parents’ especially single parents.
Sadly, when I called his dad he told me it was my cup of tea. I refuse to play the blame game nor look at where the genetic predisposition could be coming from tschuippppp. I equally refuse to care about reputation and blablabla
Some Takeaways from my son’s shoplifting saga:1) Some children do shoplift not out of lack but peer pressure 2) Some parents may cover their children up out of pride, but not me o 3) prayers work. The shop had his file ready to take to his school, they had already noticed him in his school uniform 3 times. He has shoplifted a total of 6 times in one shop and 2 times in another shop 4) Our most quiet may be the most smooth mischief 5) Sibling issues can be solved by them in the most vicious way we can imagine (cold bloodily hiding his brother’s phone out of the house under a stone, and swearing heaven and hell he knows nothing about the whereabouts of the phone) 6) Thant I indeed love him unconditionally 7) That some still care even if you don’t talk all year round, I was so moved and feel so blessed o Amen
All is well now, I mean that same evening we all gathered for our healing circle and the matter was laid to rest as we broke bread together to put it so.
I used to wonder as a child, why one parent beat me up so often and even ‘mercilessly’, while the other had discussions with me especially when I did something they or everyone was not so proud of. The only time this other parent gave me a total of 8 lashes, was when I broke the TV set (unintentionally of course – but then again…) back in 1985 when TVs especially in my country cameroon in West Africa, were still a big thing. Back then, TVs slept in your parents’ room or were locked up in an iron cage in the living room for fear of robbers. I used to wonder if this other parent who would use phrases such as ‘I will skin you alive’, thought of the adverse childhood experiences that trauma could and indeed has come to have in my life today. My relationship with this parent is still strained today although we are on terms with that past (I have long made my peace with all of that); that with the other parent has survived and it is still on discussions’ level especially when there is any issue at stake.
With the above example from my own life, I want to look at the possibility of a violence free world if we become aware of what we get when we are violent in anyway. Was it worth it all those violent outbursts of anger and relay of frustrations on the kid I was and was just trying to be? What was achieved if anything at all? What is the consequences today, not only on our relationship but on the other ones we have with others?
I will again be candid here, intending to spark serious reflections into the imperative need to commit to a world free of violence starting right there in our home and not on the streets or in conferences.
The first answer to my own rhetoric question is no; no it was worth the ‘skinning me alive’ – all that made me more rebellious and ‘difficult’ to handle. I recall today I would just dissociate at some point and one day ended up collapsing and only found myself in bed all embalmed. I wish I could say that was the last time I was violated and abused as a child. What could be achieved after such violence? Hate, loathing, spite, urge for revenge whichever way possible, more rebellion and the list goes on. But, we have I must admit, a two side coined consequence. I emphasize on this ‘two side’ because it could have been a single consequence: ‘More violence’ even if only subtle say non communications or outbursts of rage and tantrums into adulthood and ruined relationships. But, in my case, I am happy to say while the relationship with parent took big hits and is still on its way to recoveryville, I decided long ago I wasn’t going to ever ‘skin any child alive’. Indeed, my 4 sons know I don’t do beatings, I hold discussions or find alternative ways of dealing with what issue comes up.
I couldn’t some how for the sanity of me ever understand why one parents had to ‘hate’ me so to find violence the only or best way possible to call me to order, which one I still don’t know since it would appear even up till date they still think I am ‘a lost case’ needing some further call to order.
Violence does not necessarily result only in violence; indeed it leads very often to worst case scenarios. Lives may be lost completely, or to a mental health disorder, relationships may be forever ruined, the children may grow up so volatile they become easy preys for gangs, armed rebellion, drugs and debauchery, in short any and all things contrary to what must have ever been foreseen in the beginning. Girls may grow up so insecure and fall prey to abusive relationships, unwanted pregnancies or further gender based violence. What kind of mothers and parents/partners can they be expected to become or replicate?
Non violence is possible. I enrolled in an online course on non-violent communication last year and it was such a turning point. When one of my sons was ‘mercilessly’ spanked by a teacher in school because as a 9 year active child he wasn’t expected to be talking in class when bored, I opted for non-violent but firm communication until the issue was resolved to my satisfaction. The teacher met with the dean of studies and myself, we reviewed what happened and why, we looked at alternative ways all that could have been handled, we appreciated the issue currently at stake and the consequences if I pressed charges both with the school administration and the national delegation of education, and he made all amends as tabled including apologizing to my son and his classmates. I organized a talk and he shared our experience in a light manner, encouraging his colleagues not to resort to violence in school again.
That is the commitment I am talking about. It is possible, we have to give it a chance; It however has to start from the ‘grass roots’ that is from our own homes. In my neighbourhood, I am known as the ‘lawyer of children’. When I moved in here in 2016, one particular neighbour made me have violent flashbacks because they were always on their 4 year old ‘skinning the poor child alive’. One day, I refused to ‘mind my business’, and stormed to their gate hitting same with so much anger in me. When they finally opened up, I told them I was calling the commissioner of police for our area because they had no right to beat up a child like that (it mattered not if it were their child as they initially insisted). Their spouse probably tired by then to make any attempt at getting the beating to stop, just watched as our ‘drama unfolded’. Anyway, my involvement put an end to those beatings and the news spread in the neighbourhood like a wild fire – even spouses ever on each other’s neck started reviewing all that thereafter.
I don’t beat and all the other kids especially the young girls who are still sadly over laden with the chores more than the boys, love playing in my compound or just being around me, especially those termed ‘difficult’. I hold neighbourhood gatherings as part of activities of my association Hope for the Abused and the Battered, as well the other one I am involved in as Secretary General called Ripples of love – a name I am proud to say I chose.
Love is all we need; love is what we get when we sow love and not violence; a violence free world is possible let’s all commit to giving it a chance and be the hope for the world we want. Let’s have discussions on the table and not use our hands, whips or guns.
I am doing a fundraising campaign to open a mental health care support center for my association Hope for the Abused and Battered. If you can donate or share the campaign, please do. Attached is the budget in PDF, who knows where a funder or partner can be found?
When you look at Gaby’s smile can you tell he was afraid? I am so happy I walked with him to school on his first day of school and could sense some anxiety in him as we got into his school. His grip of my hand firmed up and he became so quiet. He was moving into a new class -G5, and was probably wondering how it was going to work out. I asked him how he was feeling ( not good to ask them what’s wrong or embarrass them by saying they are acting up etc), and he frankly told me he was afraid. Wow, the Gaby I thought I knew? Afraid of a new class? Wow really – as in what can we really know for sure right?
To make matters scary again for him after I had tried my best to make him face the fear and near overcome it, we just discovered the class teacher is the same who taught G4 last year and with whom he didn’t get along for the few days he spent in his class. Mr D is a ‘no nonsense’ teacher who even spanks oh my. So we quickly agreed on Gaby’s best option being that of greeting Mr D and behaving better in class, and we see how that goes. Gaby agreed with me that Mr D was not spanking those who were not rowdy in class and who did their homework. We had a plan and I had to help him out each day to the best of my ability…
And that is how I have added home teacher to my list of daily occupations, trying to get up keep up and even slightly ahead why not lol.
Current feedback: He likes his new class and teacher because the latter doesn’t spank him. He answers questions in class and is more attentive than playful and distracted, although his buddie from last year got moved to the 5B and he kept in 5A, he is getting to make new friends and can still play with buddy A at break time. At this age, such stuffs definitely matter big time lol
My point or prayer is that especially with our children who sometimes seem they got it all together, when they are transitioning, we should walk the journey with them. Walking that phase may be driving them/dropping them off each day for a few days or a week before they start taking the school bus, and listening to them/asking them how they feel everynow and then. And this is taking care of their mental health too, teaching them it matters and they can trust us to tell us whatever is going on in them at any moment…
Here is to a great week of bonding and listening between parents and children