Archive | March 2014

Ways To Teach Values To Your Kids

Recently in my house something happened that made me to put up this post today. During the Christmas holiday I sent my just turned 13 year old son to get me some recharge cards to credit my phones. I told him to get me some denominations ranging from 400 Naira Mtn to 500 Naira Etisalat and I think 500 Naira Airtel.  I gave him the sum of 1. 500 Naira and he was supposed to come back with 100 Naira change abi? When he came back he told me that when the recharge card vendor gave him the change he gave him more than the 100 Naira.  My son told me that he turned back and told the vendor what happened and that the card vendor was very impressed that such a young fellow could do so in this contemporary times.  The reason I say this is that in this era values have become obsolete. We live in a consumer – driven society that broadcasts values that don’t reflect what we believe in.

Values are important and lasting principles, standards, code of behavior, moral codes, rules, code of conduct, ethics, beliefs shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Children are supposed to internalize values that their parents passed on to them. Passing  on this time tested values  is  important as they will help them to grow up as well rounded individuals ready to make generational impact.

These are some ideas that will help us as parents to impact these values on our children.

  • TELL THEM YOUR LIFE STORIES : Teach your children through your stories. Kids love to hear stories about your childhood. Weave in some moral dilemmas and you have got great opportunities to teach values to them. It certainly beats lecturing your kids. I have used this method a lot to tell my children about events that took place and eventually shaped my life. There were some stories I told my kids that happened when I was there ages and they were shocked that their mother did so so and so thing. Believe me we had fun.
  • LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE ACCORDING TO YOUR VALUES – WALK THE TALK. Kids learn by imitating especially at a young age. They are very very adept at seeing if what you say and what you do are matching up. Don’t give them confusing signals, follow your own values every moment. Don’t say they should not do certain things and then you turn around someday to do the same thing, you are setting double standards!
  • EXPOSE THEM TO YOUR RELIGION OR FAITH: It seems especially important today to let them know that they ‘re not alone. Providing your kids with a community of faith will strengthen their values and provide some “leverage” for them. I have a 9 year old daughter at home presently, she is in primary school. She loves going with me to fellowship. By the way I attend Sisters’ Fellowship International. I am  a Vice President in one of the chapters in Abuja. My chapter meet every thursdays and so my lil angel will do her homework in school before I come to pick her. The reason she does that is so I don’t tell her that she needs to stay at home to do her homework  while I go to fellowship. My lil girl loves to help out whenever we go to fellowship. She loves to carry  offering basket to collect offering and any other  thing she feels she can do just to make the fellowship run smoothly.  She knows everything and anything about SFI. Women tell me that I am bringing her up well, that they love the fact that she is very much in tune with what is happening in God’s kingdom. I can only say to God be the glory!
  • PAY ATTENTION TO WHO ELSE MIGHT BE TEACHING VALUES TO YOUR KIDS: Get to know your child’s teachers, friends, coaches, relatives, etc. Anyone who spends time with your kids may be influencing them. Know their values and beliefs as well. You see we parents because we are busy we do not pay attention to the adults and children around our kids who in one way or the other are forming their lives. Do we create time to talk to them? Do we know their friends? Do we know what their teachers are like? The questions are endless. Recently, a newspaper carried a story of  a 13 year old boy who repeatedly raped an 8 year old girl in his school and forbade her from telling anyone. It was during investigations by the police that the parents of the boy found out that the gate man of the house where the boy lives takes the boy to watch porn movies in the nearby makeshift cinema house! Police got involved because the 8 year old girl eventually died due to some complications as a result of the rape.
  • ASK YOUR KIDS QUESTIONS THAT WILL STIMULATE DIALOGUE ABOUT VALUES: Telling them what values they should have won’t always be effective, especially when your kids get older.  Asking them “curious” questions will allow discussions that will eventually lead to values. I remembered a particular incident that happened one day I was taking my kids to school. A man cut us off from  the lane we were on because he felt every other person slowing and steadily moving were stupid. The man almost hit us in the process, some other people in the traffic abused and shouted at the man for doing that but not me. I asked my kids what they thought of the man’s actions and they told me that the did not behave well and they in turn asked me why I was not pouring insults at the man and I asked them if they would have loved Mummy to be ranting and raving at the man as if I was mad and they said NO OOO! I used that incident to teach them  that even if you are in the right and someone tramples on that right, that there are better and more dignified ways of reacting to issues.
  • TALK TO THEM ABOUT VALUES IN A RELAXED AND EASY WAY: Nothing will turn your kids off more than preaching values to them after they have screwed up! Talk to them when everyone is relaxed, and do it in a light, conversational manner. They will be much more likely to be listening rather than tuning you out.
  • INVOLVE YOUR KIDS IN ART, ACTIVITIES OR HELPING OTHERS WHILE LIMITING TELEVISION AND VIDEO GAMES: Parents of these contemporary times have lost it somewhere. We are bringing up a generation of television addicts. The values our children have are distorted values they see on television. Parents in order to justify their busyness (if there is ever a word like that) salve their consciences by providing all manner of electronic gadgets for their children. They provide all forms of entertainment to occupy their children. Let us learn to engage our children in constructive activities that will make them learn  values . Allow them to experience helping others and involve them in activities that will expand  their creativity.
  • HAVE FREQUENT CONVERSATION ABOUT VALUES IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD: This lets your kids know  that it’s important and it’s not just something you talk about when they do something wrong.
  • HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR KID’S VALUE SYSTEMS. Kids will tend to rise to the level of expectation you have for them. Their value system will often reflects yours if the expectations are high.
  • TELL THEM FOLKTALES WHEN THEY ARE YOUNGER. I am sure we can all remember the stories we were told about the antics of Mr. Tortoise, Mr. Hare, Mr. Lion. As children we learnt a lot of things that formed the values we have as adults now. I remember one certain Christmas holiday we spent in my husband’s village. Anambra State Broadcasting Service (ASBS) Television aired a children’s programme during their family belt. The programme was aired in Igbo language and it was a folktale programme. My kids got glued to the programme because it was fun to see and hear those stories I occasionally tell them being told in Igbo language ( though I translated a bit for them).

This post is not about me but about giving our kids what will help them to overcome this very challenging and complex world ours. I used myself as an example so that we parents will see that our children growing up and showing positive difference in their behavior depends a great lot on what we pass on to them. Please understand that I am not the best  parent, each day I make my mistake concerning parenting my kids so does my husband. When we err, we retrace our footsteps and forge on. I believe a lot of parents out there are like us. So much is happening in and around us, should we keep compounding issues by not preparing the future generation on the best practices in everything? This is a wake up call.  Shallom!

Having A Renewed Mind

Happy New Year Sisters. Been a while. Been involved in so many things at the same time. My heart was always yearning to upload a post but somehow I kept shifting it up until this time. My sincere apologies. The new year is about two months and some days gone. Some of us made several resolutions and decisions on how they will run with their visions this year but have we asked ourselves if truly we have seriously decided to make this year worthwhile?. If we have  done some major decisions it means that we expect some changes in our lives and for us to have this changes in our lives we must change the way we think. We must make a conscious effort to renew our mind. We must recycle the things we have stored in our mind to have a new mind set. Before I continue we must examine what exactly is this mind. Some of us confuse the mind with the heart because I hear people say, ‘ my mind is telling me this ‘, ‘my heart is telling me that’ etc.

The mind is that part of a person that makes a person to be aware of things . The mind has to do with thinking (thoughts), feelings, intellects, memory , conscious/subconscious, emotions, will etc. The mind acts as the intelligence officer of a person’s life. The mind is what does the reasoning , working things out, deciding what is good and what is bad and choosing the way in life. The bible says: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23v7). Lets come out of this definition knowing that the mind is the intelligence officer of a person’s life.

The mind is located somewhere in the heart area. No one can really say this or that is where the mind is located. That is why people often mistake the two . The heart as we all know is that part of the body that sends blood through out the body. It is at the left hand side of the breastplate of the chest called sternum. That is all I know about the heart o. The two that is the mind and the heart are devil’s constant battle ground. When the battle is in your mind and you allow it to be defeated it will manifest  physically. The reason most of us keep going in circles in life is because the devil attack where our decisions, emotions, feelings etc are kept and because we allow him to succeed in winning those battles in our mind our lives most often is ruined because at the end of the day the way we think affects our businesses, career, relationships etc.

People have different types of mind that they operate. For us to make a conscious effort to renew our mind this year and beyond we must examine these different types of mind and how they affect us.

  • Suspicious Mind: The suspicious mind is always ill at ease  and always spotting hidden  meanings nobody else even considers are there. It is a devastating way to live. The person views the world through a hyper vigilant lens and left unchecked suspicious thinking can evolve into a paranoid personality disorder, a state in which you may not even think you have a problem.
  • Carnal Mind : This mind is evil and worldly in nature. It is the mind that is interested in the things of flesh, giving supreme attention to things that are not of God. It is usually a state of supreme selfishness.
  • Dubious/ Deceitful Mind: This is a mind that is crafty and wants to always cheat or deceive. The person is usually doubtful, uncertain and wavers here and there. They are never straight forward.
  • Difficult Mind: This kind of mind poses difficulty in everything. This mind thinks of things in a difficult manner. Where others  are not seeing difficulty is where she will see one.
  • Troubled/Worrying Mind: This mind worries and troubles at every little thing that happens around them. They are usually bound by fear,and anxiety. They always worry themselves sick and always feel they are never good enough for anything.
  • Argumentative Mind: This mind is argumentative in nature. She argues about anything and everything. Everything she does ends up in argument.
  • Gossipy Mind: This kind of mind has been poisoned by gossip. This mind is filled with negative and unpleasant thought and never has anything good to say about people.
  • Reprobate/ Rebellious Mind: This kind of mind is incorrigible. It rebels against authority. The person with this kind of heart is usually an insurbordinate, resisting authority all the time.

From the foregoing, we can see that quite a lot of us have been hindering ourselves from moving forward in life because of the way we think.  Now for us to change our mindset there things we should do and they are as follows

  • Re surrender: To surrender means you are renewing your whole body , soul and spirit to the Lord, Luke 10 v 27 . For us to renew our minds we must go back on daily basis to the creator of heaven and earth to resubmit and realign our mind, will and emotions with the purpose of God. Make out time to re surrender yourself to Him daily.
  • Rejoice: Always ensure that you rejoice the in Lord always Phil 4 v 4. Whenever we find our strength through the joy of the Lord, He renews our desire to please Him in all respects. By delighting in the Lord He gives us the desires of our hearts.
  • Remember: The good things you have and are becoming in Christ. People who have forgotten the benefits of being in Christ tend to slip back in to mediocrity and self destruct.
  • Reckon. Too many people allow  the old desires to be fed instead of feeding from the spirit’s supernatural. Please  calculate all the benefits you have in Christ’s forgiveness, hope, faith and love. Compare these benefits with the empty promises offered by fleshly desires.
  • Reconsider: Reconsider all of the negative conditioning that has led you in the past and realize you need to reprogram your thinking to what is excellent, good, honorable, right, true and worthy of praise. Without an effort to reconsider how our faulty assumptions affect our decisions making we will tend to operate under the same old destructive thought patterns.
  • Replace: Replace what is fleshly with what is God’s word. Put away anger, jealousy, wrath, slander etc and put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other just as Christ has forgiven you  Eph 4 v 22 -32.
  • Realize: God’s will for your life is what is best in all situations. Commit everything to God in prayer. Be aware that God’s will is better than all human ways, human perspective and human patterns. Prayerful people are better able to perceive what God wants to bring to life through and in their relationships, career, activities etc.
  • Reconcile: Try and reconcile with those who are in conflict with you. Develop the attitude of blessing those who persecute you and pray for those who try to do you harm.
  • Resist: Do not conform to the world. Do not allow the world to tell you what to do. Resist to be proud, boastful, divisive, rude or argumentative.

Renewing our minds is a must for us to make head way this year in anything we are doing or want to do. This will enable us to achieve great fetes all around, be it in our jobs, businesses, church, fellowships, etc.  On a final note lets add to the bouquet of things we would do this year  to have  the mind of Christ (Philp 2v5), The mind of love (Matt 22 v37),  wise and understanding mind (Proverbs4v7), courageous mind (Joshua 1v6)  humble and meek mind. Shalom!