Parenting values every parent should teach their children

Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child right from infancy to adulthood. Children depend on their parents in all aspects of life until they are eighteen years old or even older.

Values are things that define us.

Family is the most valued unit of the society that influences the behavior, values, and development of an individual. There are different types of families, for example, a nuclear family that consists of father, mother, and children, extended family that consists of father, mother, children, and relatives, and foster families.  Today, not all children are raised from extended families, nor nuclear families.

We have parents who are raising children as single parents while other children grow up from foster families. It does not matter which type of family that your child belongs too, what is most important is the values that you pass out to your child as a parent or guardian.

Here are some of the values that you can teach your growing child/children.

Appreciation: It’s important for parents to teach children to be grateful and pleased with what they have. Children can learn to appreciate want they have as early as two years with a simple word” Thank you”. You can teach your child to say thank you every time you give them something, for example, a toy, snack, or gift or by saying it yourself whenever you have given anything. Parents from a Christian background teach their children to say grace before eating food to appreciate God for the meal they are having even if it’s not their favorite meal.

Honest: As a parent, you should also be honest with your child. I’m sorry dear, I didn’t mean to break your toy, as a mother is not bad. This is a very rare word for African mothers because we think children should see the perfect side of us. Being honest with your children will help them to learn that human beings make mistakes and its good manners to speak the truth however bitter it may be.

Kindness: Teaching children to be kind helps them to develop social connections with anyone and make many friends. Teach your children to be kind by performing acts of kindness, for example giving a gift, donating to the poor, and helping the homeless. For toddlers, parents can teach them to be kind by reading them storybooks that talk about kindness. When reading the storybooks you have to use imaginations.

Respect: Teaching children respect starts with the parent. Children are intelligent and learn a lot from their parents and caregivers therefore they should be exemplary. If you want to teach your children to knock your bedroom door before entering start by respecting their privacy. Knock your child’s door before coming in more especially teenagers.

There are many other values that parents should teach their growing children, but respect, appreciation, kindness and honesty are core values that your child should not grow without learning.

How to gain confidence and self-esteem after a toxic relationship

Quitting a toxic relationship is a big step that most women and men fail to achieve. A toxic relationship can be in a marriage or a boy/girlfriend. Whether you have gone through emotional torture or physical violence, moving away from that person is a bold wise decision. However, people who have experienced gender-based violence find it difficult to bring themselves back. 

One woman shared in the community group for mums that she was charming, jolly and brave before marriage. She was confident enough to stand and speak her mind without fear. However, she had the worst marriage experience due to emotional and physical abuse. She even lost her job, and that affected her life. Later she decided to leave the relationship. As a single mum, she is alright and free from violence but misses the girl she was before marriage.

For women and men who lost their self-esteem due to emotional or physical abuse in relationships, here are some of the tips to gain self-esteem. 

Heal from the bad experience.

The road to healing is a long journey that takes time. To heal, you need to accept what happened and what is happening in your life. Feel your emotions during the healing process. Cry if you feel like crying, as it will help you not to feel the pain and trauma anymore.

Seek help and support.

Grow a trustworthy support system with people to talk to whenever you feel low. Your support group can include family members, close friends and other people who have gone through the same problem. Seek professional help from a counsellor. Attend women’s forums and groups and try to express yourself, and let your ideas and opinions be heard

Do what makes you happy.

We all had something that we loved doing before marriage/ meeting our EX lovers. What are your hobbies, and what makes you happy? Do you love sports, swimming, and concerts? The time is now to go for it and Love yourself.

Return your values.

 Most toxic relationships make you compromise your standards and values. If there is something important that you quit for the sake of the relationship, it is time to retrieve and even upgrade to better. Some people quit jobs because their partners wanted them to work. If you are that type, go and find a job. 

How to groom a boy child.

Raising a boy child has not been emphasised of late. Parents put much effort and restrictions on girls more than on boys. They fear girls getting pregnant and dropping out of school more than boys impregnating girls. Many men today still act and behave like boys. No wonder men are creating single mothers and neglecting their roles and responsibilities as fathers. It is because of poor grooming of a boy child. 

We share ways to groom your boy child.

Build confidence:

There are various ways of teaching confidence to boys but the most significant starts with you. You cannot teach a boy child confidence when you are not. Therefore start practising self-confidence though it will not come overnight. Involve them in theatre activities and decision-making for the family and themselves. More still, communicate more often and show love to them. People who feel loved are more confident than those who feel neglected.

Minimise computer games and television

Encourage a boy child to interact with peers both indoors and outdoors to develop good interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Excessive use of video games makes children lazy and uncreative. Video games are also addictive and may cause psychological harm to your child.

Teach boys to respect women.

Boys raised in the 1990s and 1980s in the African community grew up with the perception that house chores are for girls, and girls are weak and not good at mathematics. Things are changing. It is up to every parent to teach gender equality and the need to respect women. Start by Helping your son to maintain a healthy relationship with girls( it should be about sex). Emphasise boys respecting girls’ decisions( if she says No, it’s okay) and showing kindness to girls.

Be a role model

Fathers, you are the best versions for your sons. Be present in your life and teach them how to be a good man. It does not matter whether you are married, divorced or separated. Single mothers involve male figures in the lives of their children. It can be your brother, father, uncle or priest. Boys love to hear and talk to fellow males.

Give tasks to your sons.

Groom a responsible boy. Responsibility starts with simple tasks at home like; babysitting his siblings, which is not a task for girls only but boys too. Assign him to do house chores like washing dishes, cooking and cleaning the compound. Most parents think hiring a housekeeper is everything their children need. No, as much as you have a maid involve your son in domestic work. 

Let him show his emotions

Gone are the days when parents used to say boys do not cry. Boys are human beings and need to let their emotions come out. It is okay for your boy to cry when he is sad, laugh and show compassion to others. According to Criss Jami, Crying helps you release the suppressed emotions that you’ve been dealing with unconsciously. The emotions your child never shows may be affecting his daily life more than you think

A man files for divorce after stepchildren bully his daughter- and he is cheered up.

Finding love after divorce or separation is daunting. Some people decide to stay single for the good of their children, while others get lucky to fall in love again. However, finding love that leads to marriage is one thing and staying in the marriage until death part you is another.

 A man on Reddit filed for divorce after his stepkids bulled his daughter. He was married for two years to his wife of two daughters 11 years and 13 years old. His daughter is 12 years old. Initially, he had issues with the ex-husband, but they talked and were good. When he married, the stepchildren were nice to his daughter, but their behaviour changed a month ago.

‘‘The girls’ dad hates my daughter, and they (the girls) will spew that hate in our home and will use it to bully my daughter. A grown-ass man called my 10-year-old a fat repulsive pig, a w*ore and the reason abortion was invented (to list only a few). The girls have called her dumb and mocked her for being shy and introverted. I made it clear that we could not continue if we were to stay married and my wife was determined she would get them to stop. I got my daughter therapy and I did as much as I could to keep them separate. But even at night, they started to taunt her. So I decided to move out with my daughter and I told my wife our marriage could not continue. She begged me to stay. She said she loves us and her girls need me. I said my daughter comes first.’’ He wrote.

 His in-laws think the stepdaughters need him and need to see a healthy good father figure, and leaving will destroy them. However, the man says the stepdaughters are not a priority, but his daughter is. 

People cheered him up on Reddit for making such a bold decision for his daughter. Some of the comments read.

  • He should tell his in-laws that a good father prioritises his kids, and he is showing it by example to his stepkids.
  • Don’t even think it’s about not turning on anyone else. Most kids have trauma and guilt from blaming themselves for their parent’s divorce. For these two, it’s true. They are going to be watching their mom go through excruciating pain and may just be realising the gravity of their actions. Grandpa/ma are seeing this and trying to convince OP to come back so their granddaughters don’t have to face the emotional fallout and consequences of their actions.

Meanwhile, other people advised that the wife should keep the EX husband away from her marriage, and everything will fall in place. Maybe the Ex husband is influencing his kids negatively.

 What would you do if you were in his shoes?

My husband ate our children’s food.

I have never thought of sending my children to bed on a hungry stomach. However, the current situation has pushed me to the edge that I cannot survive dropping off the cliff.

It is not funny when my children go to bed asking me for more food because they can not eat enough. I know the little one could not ask for more food because it is now not allowed in my home. She instead said, mama, Can I have more soup, please? As she looked at the source pan with food.

My children were not eating enough at school and at home, and it killed me. My heart was breaking apart as I said No to her. The remaining food we had was for the next day. All my children thanked me for cooking.

My husband was with me when I sent our children to bed. He supported me in this decision. When everyone was sleeping in the middle of the night, I heard the sound of utensils. I wake up thinking my children were stealing food since they went to bed unsatisfied. I was surprised and embarrassed to find my husband eating food we had saved for the next day.

Climate change has affected food production in Uganda. Over 91000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition in the Northern part of Uganda. Long drought, locusts, armyworms and cattle raiding are reasons the region is highly affected by hunger.

According to the humanitarian agencies’ assessment, about 91,600 children and 9,500 pregnant or breastfeeding women suffer from acute malnutrition and need treatment. Children are treated in nearby hospitals while others have lost their lives.

The food crisis is not only in the northern part of the country but also among the urban poor. Families living in slums find it difficult to feed children more than one meal a day. The increase in fuel prices gives traders no option but to increase commodities for a profit. Parents starve to save food for their children.

Is it an invasion of privacy to go through your child’s phone and social media to make sure they are not saying anything or doing anything inappropriate?

In the old days, access to the internet was restricted to a family desktop or classroom and monitored by parents or class teachers. Today, everyone has internet access through phones, and tablets, and wifi seems to be everywhere. 

Children learn to use phones as young as three years and access Youtube and its Cocomelon and baby channels. However, children’s desires change from games and songs to joining social media platforms as they grow. Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and WhatsApp are the most popular among teenagers and children. 

Why your child should not join social media

Exposes children to inappropriate content: When we speak about inappropriate content, we mean information, images and videos that are unlawful and lead to unwanted behaviour in children. Social media is the king of content in today’s world. Your child may accidentally watch videos and images that change his behaviour, mindset, culture and norms. Children get exposed to discriminatory content, phonographic content, and gambling sites.

Social media affects education and life: Social media is quite addictive because of the exclusive entertainment videos, music, images and gossip shared by many users. Children find it difficult to balance social media time with school work, research and sleep. They are most likely to continue chatting with friends when it is time for sleeping, reading and classes. 

Exposes children to cyberbullying; People comment negative comments and messages on Facebook and Instagram posts. Cyberbullying happens to adults, and it happens to children too. Teenagers bully others in school and can carry their influence on social media. Besides selfish comments on posts, they also create demeaning videos and images mocking their fellows. Cyberbullying can lead to mental health issues, low self-esteem, poor performance, and committing suicide. 

If your children have not joined social media, don’t allow them until they turn 18. It is also your responsibility as a parent to protect, guide and monitor your child’s social media account.

Here are some ways you can protect your child on social media.  

  • Use an email you can access to open your child’s social media account. You will be able to know who is texting your child and what kind of message they are receiving.
  • Regulate the number of social media your child can use. Most parents accept Facebook and WhatsApp only. Make sure you follow each other to see his posts, compliment, and like them.
  • Guide your child on who should be your social media friends. Children should only add people they have met in real life to avoid scams, sexual harassment and child trafficking. I spoke to some teenage girls in Uganda using social media, and they reported that some Indian facebook friends offer money and ask them to take and send nude pictures.

There is no invasion of privacy when a parent checks their child’s social media account, phone or internet searches. You are protecting your children from inappropriate content and other malicious activities. When your child does not have a smartphone or home computer, do not allow them to use public computers in an internet cafe to access the internet and social media.

How to get children to eat healthy foods

Eating healthy means feeding on a variety of nutritious foods to keep you healthy, strong and feeling good. Children need to eat foods rich in proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins and other food values.

However, children prefer to eat fast finger leaking foods to home-cooked traditional meals. Not all home-cooked food is dietry, but parents aware of the benefits of a healthy diet to children always prepare healthy meals. If you have challenges with feeding children a healthy diet and nutritious food. Read more

Do you prepare healthy foods for your children? Do they eat them, or they rather stay hungry? When facing such challenges of children rejecting healthy home-cooked food, consider changing your approach and tactics. 

Ways to get children to eat healthy meals.

Cook a variety of foods; cook more than one meal to encourage children to eat. She may not like rice but will eat posho. That is far better than ordering chips because your child has refused to eat the food you prepared.

Involve kids; Let your children participate in choosing the healthy meals of the day. It is good to ask your child what healthy food you can cook for them. In most cases, children eat the food of their choice compared to what their parents think of them. Involve them in the preparation, cooking and serving.

Be a role model; as a parent, you have to be exemplary to your children. Eating healthy before your children will encourage them and teach them healthy eating habits. Don’t eat processed food and force your children to eat home-cooked foods.

Tell them the health benefits of each food; Explain to children why people eat healthily and its impact on their growth.

Make health snacks available: Instead of buying sodas, blend juice for children out of fruits. You can make pineapple juice, Watermelon juice and any other fruit that you can think of.

Avoid malnutrition by feeding your children on these healthy and nutritious african foods

Nutrition is vital to child growth. According to UNICEF, malnutrition threatens to destroy a generation in Uganda. More than one-third of all young children – 2.4 million – are stunted.

Malnutrition was common among the poor, but it now affects both the poor and the rich. Parents are either too poor to provide for their children or do not know healthy diets to give children.

Getting children to eat nutritious foods is difficult because they prefer fast foods to home-cooked foods. It is a good habit to teach children to eat healthy foods to stay healthy, and strong. It also helps to establish healthy eating habits in the children. 

Consider feeding your child these foods for proper child growth.

Milk; Milk is essential for child growth from six months and above. Milk is rich in proteins, and it helps develop healthy bones and regulate blood pressure.

Eggs; Eggs are nutritious in proteins, iron, Vitamin A, D, E, and B12. Boiled are the best. Feed your child two to three boiled eggs per week.

Vegetables; It is important to feed children vegetables. Spinach, cabbage, and Amaranth (dodo) are a few vegetables children can eat.

⦁ Spinach rich in calcium and potassium

⦁ Cabbage is a source of fibre

⦁ Amaranth (Dodo) has high calcium. 

Meat: Meat is rich in Zinc, iron, fats and proteins. Other animal foods are good and help children grow strong and smart. 

Millet porridge; Millet is rich in fibre, proteins, carbohydrates and Vitamin B12. Porridge is for both babies 6-months above and children.

Posho; Posho is known as Ugali in Swahili. It is a source of carbohydrates.

Other important foods to include in children’s diet include:

  • Sweat and Irish potatoes
  • Yams
  • Eggplants
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Pumpkin leafs

Children should eat fruits every day to get vitamins and other multiple health benefits.

Eat any of these fruits every day.

  • Pineapples
  • Apples
  • Watermelon
  • Oranges and passion fruits.
  • Ripe mangoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Bananas
  • Avacado

They look so adorable, So peaceful, Innocent and tender when sleeping. They remind me of the first week of their delivery. All you need is to watch them sleep. A sleeping child calms a mother’s heart. ❤❤❤

I do not carry children,  even my children and grandchildren.

It sounds unmotherly to people when I say I do not carry children. I don’t like children rolling all over me all the time, and that is who I am. I  raised three children, two girls and one boy, but I did not carry them that much.

I  changed napkins, washed clothes and did other domestic work at home without my children disturbing me.  I managed to do all these things on time by letting my babies by themselves. They rested on the chair and sat on the mat while I was working.

When you hold a baby, he gets used to that. A mother can not do something else besides taking care of a baby.  AS a married woman, I am not sure how I would explain to my husband if he found a dirty house. I was always neat despite taking care of children without help. I had clean dishes, a clean house and a quiet baby. If I had failed to accomplish my tasks, I would be called a lazy woman.

I prefer children to go out of the house to play with other children. I would only carry my children when they were sick, breastfeeding, or picking them up from the floor. It was, and it is rare to see me holding a child. I carried other mum’s children out joy and excitement, but it didn’t take long.

I recently went to the market with my grandchild, and she got tired on our way back. Then,  I asked her to jump on my back.  She did happily.
 I then asked myself when I last carried her and whether I would carry her again. I guess it was her lucky day.

 Grandmothers usually carry their grandchildren. In villages, they carry hoes and grandchildren as well. I am not that type. My children would run to sit on my laps during my free time, but I would push them away. I always told them to sit beside me but not on me.
I raise my grandchildren the same way I raised my children. I hate seeing spoilt children.

Do not get me wrong, I love children and show love to my children and grandchildren.  I buy snacks, cook food and let them play to their best.  I call my grandchildren and other kid) petty names to make them feel good about themselves.
The only problem I have is carrying them.
I do not know why?  I think it is my nature.
God created me that way.