Tag Archives: Parenting

Lessons of Effective Discipline shared with me by my son – Alain


positive discipline

A month ago, I realized I was losing it with the boys when I will get home and meet the house in a mess. I started giving timeout, not to them but to myself – I will rush into my room and lock the door and ask them to knock when they finish tidying up. I didn’t want to stay with them and spend the little energy I had screaming. But it was taking longer each time and I started praying for a better way – Alain was equally getting concerned and so the last time I gave myself a timeout, he came to my room when his siblings had gone to sleep for a chat (we sometimes have them in our capacity as GM and Deputy of Our Home Inc) – He brought his reader and shared with me what they had been learning in school on effective discipline. I share same in its entirety – of course it is left for each to appreciate as they deem.

Discipline is a strong virtue that a parent can leave as an indelible legacy to a child. The Biblical King David in one of his epistles in the Old Testament dubbed Proverbs says train up a child in such a way that when he grows, he would not depart from it. Effective discipline is a dire need for smooth going on of things. Many actors come into play for ‘child discipline’ namely the parents ,teachers,elders,older siblings, kith and most importantly God Almighty for who else can discipline a creation better that the Creator? This rhetorical question is considerate to the fact that nowadays children are taught in school and when parents seem to be losing it with the children, it deepens their attention for effective discipline. Often times, due to the openness between parent and child, they both exchange pleasantries in a disguise dialoguing form aimed towards attaining effective discipline as their conversation is content-filled with the divergent views of the different stages of better discipline.

Effective discipline can take four formats namely Instruction, Training, Correction and Closure.

When we talk of instruction, it is an embodiment of teaching and commanding a child which can take two forms that is formal and informal for outlining clear rules and regulations for the child to follow and using every situation to teach by modeling respectively: What this means is teaching by the power of your example and not the example of your power. This sets the bases for an obedient child to grow effectively disciplined.

Training a child for effective discipline is the second level which aims at obedience and maturity. Training needs affection in most cases so as to build proficiency and develop the child’s skills and be able to know the reason for disobedience since learning is complexed at times. Is disobedience as a result of willful defiance or childish immaturity? When the answer to this question is established, it gives way for the third level of effective discipline which is Correction.

Correction which is multi-facetted is the taking of an appropriate action to enable the child follow the instruction and training. The facets of correction will include direct assertive communication, time-out, natural or logical consequences and rewards. Whatever strategy chosen for correction which maybe punitive or to restitute, it is aimed at getting the desired rightful results of effective discipline which is obedience since this is seemingly a painful factor often times than not as the modes will differ if disobedience of instruction and training is as a result of willful defiance or childish immaturity.

Finally, here we are at the last stage of effective discipline which is Closure. Closure which has varied ways like hugging, holding or lovingly talking to the child when correction ends is a form of communicating with the child for him to know you hold no grudges against him/her but out of love you needed to effectively discipline the child by correction.

Since the bottom line is to earn effective discipline of the child and right up to the stage of self-reliance of the child when he grows older, the guiding factor of discipline therefore is love which is mammoth and thereby embedded on the parent more than a duty which he or she is often overjoyed to see the child grow up effectively self-disciplined and living up in stark radiance to the discipline with little or no co-ordination and correction.

I am so grateful for what I learned and the efforts am making and I hope sharing same helps any parents and especially singlemothers in the blogsphere.

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A light one from my world: Our new neighbour has a daughter and that’s a boom


kids courting
Ok keep that image in mind as you read lol

Hello world, sunny sunday is here and although I had planned a different post I just thought I’ll blog sort of light today… (Life light if that can be served hahaha) – am tired of morose news…

So breaking news in our apartment building: The new neighbour has a daughter!!!  (And this could maybe catch some president’s eye?)

Now, ours is a three flats building right; and the previous neighbour had 4 boys (the one we met when we moved in), and the one above had no kids. The first two neighbours moved out and two new ones moved in and almost same pattern but: The one above us who replaced the mama of 4 boys, has one pretty daughter!!!

Now, I have 3 boys, and well the 11 and 8 year old are still begining to find girls pretty or attractive? Alain is a big guy and at 14 has his life and stuffs with his age group and fortunately I know pretty much all his friends (both sexes and have always been informed since kindergarden) so he definitely doesn’t care about the neighbour’s girl!!!

She is 8 years and so that should be Gaby right? But, I overheard David and Gaby debate if her age mattered (what?) – like for David maybe?!!!

I have watched Gaby in particular fret around her and gladly zoom in and out on errands for her mom (normal out here in some close knit neighbourhoods where kids are kind of sent by whoever to the store etc). He has already told me he has a crush on her and I was just waiting for an opportunity to meet her and feel for myself you know.

Sunday 15th Ocotber we come in from church and there she is coming downstairs with a big trash bag asking for the direction to the refuse bin (ok you foreign folks, out here we have refuse grounds at the end of the street or somewhere and bins could overflow and the garbage overflows and covers the bin from view altogether lol). Both boys quickly offer to go show her but Gaby the smarter one takes the bag from her hahaha.

Well, I guess they have a good start on their way to and fro so on their return and soon we are done with lunch, he takes permission to go up and play with her. Wow he even gets me to call her mum to ask if he could come up and play with her. I mean with the previous neighbours there wasn’t all this fretting. They clicked the same day and played football right thereafter and still chat via phone now. We moms even got to get along because the boys raced up, down, in and out together alot.

Funny how some of these things play out right? Anyone had any such fun experience?

Have a great weekend everyone

Advocating for my son and students all the way …


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My special friend and deputy CEO of In Our Home Inc

Hello World, that is my first son Alain (for those just hopping on my blog). He turned 14 years last october 8th and we went to a Chinese Buffet for a first time – they  (all 3 boys I have) had a great time.

Now, Alain is in form 3, I guess middle high in the US or so. Recently, when writing about experiences I had in his brother’s school with two teachers, I also mentionned some I had in his own school over some grade scores he had been removed for some reason I couldn’t understand. He is a very hardworking student, has always been on honour’s roll since primary school and takes a lot of pride in his performance – of course I do too although I try to make him not put so much pressure on himself. One of his teachers gave him a 2/8 in a question because he forgot an element, and yet his friend who gave same illustration forgetting same element got a 6/8. When he went up to ask the teacher showing his friend’s paper, his two marks were substracted and added to this friend’s.

Of course I marched to that school the next day and spoke with the proprietor and dean of studies. I was assured the grades will be reviewed. Ha same afternoon, he comes back home with another paper taught by the same teacher where he gets 3 answers marked wrong which I know are correct. I am getting itchy and go back to the school the next day. The teacher whom I don’t see, had told the dean the previous day Alain was rude in his approach to asking about his paper, and he left out some words (critical to a complete answer it sems) and actually …… I left the new paper and requested for a meeting with this teacher and the dean.

The meeting was arranged for last friday at 7.30 am and I was there of course 15 minutes ahead. I explained the situation again, said my concern was in teacher/student relationship which appeared to still be one of ‘teacher knows it all’ (Alain told me he was adviced by the dean to stop ‘challenging’ his teachers). I said at home I didn’t know it all and we ran the home as a team and I told them I was sorry when at fault. The teacher gave his own explanations; and well all is well that ends well.

Some relationship dynamics have changed over the past century and one of these is students/lectuers or teacher etc. Back home, it may still be a big challenge finding a balance and even letting parents in (in his school PTA’s are once a year only – imagine that) and hmm some parents simply don’t even want to know or be involved anyway.

I therefore advocate that students/pupils be let to express themselves and taught from a young age how to do so politely  (I however doubt Alain was rude – teacher may just have been embarassed he even came up to him in class and brought along a friend’s paper and well in our schools you may not see a teacher after class hours because they teach and go unless they have another class after a while and you are also out of class you know). Students also get a bost by their parents’ involvment and their teachers taking them as human beings and not just people to be taught sort of.

Finally, Alain got his marks reinstated and got good grades overall for this first sequence (he feels slighted he was second in class -but that’s ok by me).

Sharing to inspire parents and advocates, it ain’t easy but often it is worth it.

Have a nice week us all

 

Experiences with two different teachers at my son’s school & related musings


Hello world, I want to share these experiences I had with two different teachers at my son’s school just this week. I share them to express myself, but also because who knows who has had any similar experiences or could be inspired and motivated etc?

My son took a story book to school and some drawings and none came back. I needed some answers more than he was giving so I went to his school last week. He was in a class which had recently been divided into two and he moved again, this means he had started making friends who stayed in let’s say the A and now he was starting all over in the B. Now, this makes two teachers involved and kids in the two classes too. Indeed the story book happened to be with a pupil in the A class who had left it back home, and the drawings were with different pupils in the B class. I was told by both teachers the stuffs will be collected the following day and returned to my son and he’ll bring them home before the weekend.

This week came and nothing was returned home, so I went to the school today because well I don’t know and need to know what’s the real situation. This is where the experiences come up:

  1. Teacher A gets frustrated I come often (this is the 3rd time am going there and well it seems too much), he tells me am overeacting over nothing and he doesn’t know what my son tells me back home and he thinks my son is a ‘brat’ and he’s glad my son is no longer in his class;
  2. Teacher B is empathetic and even glad I come to follow up such issues even if they may seem trivial. Few parents he says care to stop by at all even when PTA meetings are called up (this I know – they are called once a school and last time only 3 parents showed up in one’s class meeting for the one hour I was there). He actually tells me he thinks my son who transitioned sections (bilingual to pure anglo saxon), is coping just fine and he thinks it is also because I help him at home both formally and informally (very correct). Teacher B concludes that when a parent comes to school it boosts both the pupil and teacher’s morale for obvious reasons.

Huh, I was a bit perplexed and you know A class is one row of stairs above B class. So I had gotten the showdown in A up and was brooding as I went down the stairs to meet teacher B who turned out cool.

Well I was back there again the following day because my boy had come back home the previous day without 6 good exercise books. I needed to know if he actually forgot them in his desk or etc. Luckily by the time I got there he had already found them and I didn’t need to see any of the teachers.

What you make of these experiences people?

More Musings

Talking about experiences in their school, one came home in near tears because he had worked so hard but got a very discouraging note. I saw the script, looked at his school lessons and the text book and nothing made sense. Now he showed me a classmate’s script and same answer but 4 notes more. When he had even dared complain to the teacher, he had been removed the mere 2 he had and the other student got added 2. What? How could I let this go? I went there and saw the proprietor himself and explained the situation, he called the head teacher and they said to not worry all was going to be sorted out. They better do because am not one to give in or up any easy.

I mean that same teacher marked two answers wrong again in another subject and I know the answers myself – what the boy wrote. Eg HIV: Boy writes Human Immune Virus and teacher marks wrong saying it means Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (wtf). I don’t even know if to take this other paper back to the school…

Parenting ain’t easy, not to mention single motherhood. But I try my best each day and don’t want my boys traumatised or stiffled because some teacher thinks they are too upfront. I also go these schools so the teachers can tell me directly if there is any concern like I equally learnt about one of them playing wild and taking stuffs not his.

To all parents, single mothers and even teachers in the house, more grease to our elbows.

Happy weekend all

P.s: you remember a poem I once wrote about: “when no one wanted her”. Yes one who had literary dropped out of school is graduating today with a diploma in transport and logistics. How proud should I be of my contributions to the amazing young woman and wife she is now?

How early is it to start having family meetings with your kids?


Family meeting sample David came up with the pyramid of respect, and we use both english and french lol

So this came to my mind because am musing about the absence of dialogue and understanding in my country and many other countries in the world. I may be simplifying stuffs but if we start teaching our children to sit together and dialogue instead of just dishing out orders and making decisions because we are the parents, if we let them know their opinions and voices matter, then I think they grow up learning to treat others same and to disagree and agree civily.

Anyway, as a parenting tool, this works for me so perfect. We have such meetings since moving into our home in February 2016, and the last one was on Sunday October 1st, because we have ordinary meetings every first sunday of the month. 

We had an extraordinary one two weeks ago because following their negligence Alain’s pigy bank was stolen by a neigbour whom they let enter their room in my absence. We all agreed to contribute and reimburse same and the pinch has been felt by all. The decsions we take during these meetings we hold ourselves accountable to, and this helps me more than deciding alone and screaming at them would ever do.

It is also a big bonding time and sometimes I buy popcorn so they enjoy the whole process. On lucky days, Ella sits in for the first 5 or so minutes. David often takes the minutes because he has such a smooth handwriting, Alain is the discipline master and I am the CEO of course hahaha. Sometimes it get thick and I have one on one meetings too lol.

Last Sunday, an obvious item on our Agenda was Alain’s forthcoming birthday as you can see below. We all agreed to treat ourselves to Chinese and although am the biggest donor to the fund, all three chipped in 1000 frs.

Ignore my scrawny handwriting, David was tired yesterday and charged an arm and a leg lol

When they were toddlers and I’ll ask their opinion, my ex will chastise saying they have nothing to say. How sad right? Gabi has made some great suggestions like concerning fone credit and school transportation and he actually loves the meetings more than his brothers of course. All issues are raised, and then solved in harmony. How cool is this? I’ll rather spend time with them like this once or twice a month than regret not relating with them years later.

Be inspired someone in here, maybe too late for our current presidents but not for parents especially starting out the parenting journey.

Any other tips anyone?

P.s: I wrote and scheduled this post before reading about the Las Vegas Shootings. Senseless, Speechless, Sad. My prayers especially for grieving families.

Prayer for My Sons


Prayer for my sons

Dear World, on this last day of April and a Sunday befitting for sharing a prayer, I share the prayer I was inspired to write for my sons and put up on my ‘War Room’. Whoever has watched the movie War Room will understand what I am talking about. I think you can find it on youtube – here is a link. The fun is, I already had what I call a prayer wall before recently watching that movie, it was actually referred to me when my cousin saw my prayer wall in my room. It is on that wall that I have my personal prayer, our affirmation and rules and etc. I share all this to inspire and motivate. Living is tough, Dying is tough, we need special Grace to cope with both. I am so grateful for the special and Amazing Grace I keep having from my Almighty Father and the support be it directly or indirectly of all those He puts on my path. Sometimes, even a toxic relationship teaches you and helps you so much.

Here is to a happy sunday for us all

In Our Home: Affirmations and Rules to get our team going


In our Home affirmation and rules

Hello world, I am sharing the above for inspiration and motivation.  I became a mother over 13 years ago, but can only candidly say I have a home since February 2016. I mean a home with my boys. When I was still married, I never sincerely thought of home like I do now, and didn’t involve my boys in the running/management or concertation of home matters. On the 6th of March 2017, I got the above inspiration and shared same with them. We all agreed those were good affirmations and rules to help our team get by. I am so grateful for all the transformation in my life and the boys I am raising one day and Grace at a time – Amen

Here is to hoping some parents especially single mothers out there are inspired and motivated by my journey alongside my team.

1 Whole Week 4 just David & I


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That was in David’s School

Hello world,

Wow I just spent a whole week with David.

David is my Shepard; David is my King; David is my gentleman. David opens the door for me, David likes insisting on the dinning table: ‘after you mama’ and when I ask why he’ll say because it is ‘ladies before gentlemen’. I don’t want to bother his young and fresh mind on what sometimes goes on in the ‘bigger world’. David is my second son aged 10, and he didn’t have an Easter Break per-se because they in final year of primary school had preparatory classes in school daily from 8-12 pm.

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Those particular shorts of his I have begged to have them given me to fix but nada

And so hmm, that is how David and I came to have a whole week to ourselves at home. I had left his 2 brothers in Buea when I went there to savour Dyane’s epic memoir. Ok, my plan had been to send the three of them to Buea for the Easter break before I knew David wasn’t going to have a break. Now, during the first week of that break, Alain had opthalmologist appointments and now wears glasses, and Gaby the star had a tummy rumble and a wound under his foot which he picked up from one of his many adventures in the neighborhood barefeet of course – oh poor me.

With David, you talk less, do more,  and appreciate silence and art more than all. He loves , cooking, drawing or watching one comic or the other. He also has a like minded friend in the neighborhood who goes to his school too. They often hole up in our home after school and draw all those characters they see.

I made it a point to have dinner with David everyday and to help him with any assignments. I thought of what else to do with David, and realized I could start by walking with him to his school. The last time I had walked with them (Gaby is in that school too), was at least 2 months ago and that was a quick dash.  

Last Thursday therefore, althought having a hectic day ahead, I decided to walk with David to school. We walked mostly silently, enjoying the breeze and birds chirping , with me making not so successful attempts at conversation. Yet, David was smiling all the way and I later realized he was just happy to have me all to himself and walking with him to his school. When we got there, he asked me to buy him something to eat (we hadn’t had breakfast before leaving, happens sometimes). I also decided to have whatever he opted for so as to taste for myself what they eat in school.

David was so happy he became talkative, introduced near his entire class to me and then em – wished me to enjoy my meal. He wanted to go on with his friends now.  My entire day was set to be yummy, nothing could wipe the sweet memory of our walk to school and his joy at introducing his mates to me.

A walk and a sandwich was all it took this day. When I asked David on the eve of his brothers’ return while we had our last quiet dinner together,  what he liked most about our ‘home alone’ days, he said the best thing was my walking with him to his school that day, and my not being so stressed out the entire week.

Oh these kids, not only do they notice but they also have their own peculiar benchmarks. Alain the first will shrink if I offer to walk with him to his school for example, and Gaby the last will not be bothered. No I think he will find my presence by his side restraining since he plays as he walks and stones play with him too.

All in all, although I had hoped to have this Easter break to myself, I have a book I started writing in January and am not finding time to write, I am grateful for what I got – a whole week to bond with David.

If life doesn’t always turn out the way you want, turn yourself out to make the most of it. 

Naming and Blaming: Could it be it starts from young?


naming-and-blaming

Hello world, this is an impromtu post brought about by a recent incident in my house. This is not the first time such have happened but this time it hit me like bam, you’ve got to talk about it, teach them about it and why not throw it out on your blog for more reflections you know. And, unfortunately, if left to go on from young, it could develop into a habbit we are unfortunately even witnessing a whole President doing (let me withold his name before I am tracked down zut)

When I got back home from work this afternoon, as often my boys were having one of their times. Oh boys – those who sure have some free spirited teen boys will heave with me – yes some girls are number too (I am told none of my boys measures up to me – ha). Ok but then boys can even go physical with each other and then go play ball altogether once the winner makes it – girls am not sure we’ll ever talk to each other again if we get there…

Oh so I was saying I got home and they were all over the place… truce… you go study… you go play cause he had no homework and I don’t have no TV … so a 7 year old wouldn’t sit still and to spare distracting his brothers I have to send him for 45 mins. As soon as am into my room, he comes distracting his brothers from the window. The eldest sends him off and 20 minutes later he comes crying. He has fallen down and bruised himself, and well since he don’t like wearing a top nor even flip flops, both his chest and feet took their own marks. He screams like that’s his first or worst fall, and starts blaming his brother.

That is when it bams to me I have got to teach him and all of them something about life. He very often always names and blames either of his brothers for something and I have never really thought to teach them the lesson that you can’t live on in life naming and blaming others all the time. I mean you have to look at your own self in the mirror and assume your responsibility. In all my ‘unconventional memoirs’ and in my life, I try very hard to look at myself and face my big share of mess, blame and all…

And to think of it, if our young ones grow up thinking it’s ok to name and blame, imagine what they’ll do as adults? Even if they get into positions of leadership and responsibility – well they’ll just keep naming and blaming. I have personally recently been so alarmed by some ‘childish’ behaviour I am witnessing from a whole President of a renowned nation. Had there been none before him or were still in his thirties, well maybe that would have been understandable or overlooked. I think the blame is on the media right now and the who and who and what and …

So, does this post make sense? Any input or reflections to share?

Deciding by Faith and not by Fear


Dear World,

Sometimes and yes there are such times, we get to a crossroad in life where we have to imperatively make a critical decision. In such times, one or more of those dreaded emotions overtake us, and we feel so frustrated because we just want to be Ok. We just want whatever situation it is to be over, and not being sure of how to proceed nor the outcome, fear creeps in. In such moments, I think if we decide led by that fear, we may make a painful or even bad decision.

Now my story… I have made a decision to use my story as often as I can to illustrate my write ups.

Yesterday was a day like most, I sent my boys off to school. My last son however, has since returning from the Christmas vacation developed the aching habit of leaving school once they close, and going to his dad’s until evening. This will leave me worried and I’ll be making calls sometimes ignored. Yesterday and even on Wednesday my birthday, he did same. I have been praying over this situation and yesterday it came to my heart to let him go live with his dad if that will make him wander less, make me worry less and keep him safe and stable. We talked and he told me that’s all he wanted.

I talked with a few others especially my mother, and I called his dad. We prayed with his brothers and I took him there. It’s a 15/20 mins walk from my home and he’ll stay in the same school as his brother.

Ah, although none of us shed tears, I wept within. That was another of those emotions, that negative voice trying to convince me am a failure at motherhood. The same kids I fought for and came back home for, can’t stand me blablabla. But this I know deep within, I let him go for him and not for me. My ego can hurt all it wants. My boy is entitled to his own experience. He’ll be Ok by faith.