Friday, 26 January 2018


The weekend of 24 to 25 Feb. 2017 was highly anticipated by I and wife. It was at the prestigious Epe Resort & Spa, Epe. My wife and I had the opportunity to participate alongside other couples. We learnt as much as we had fun. To help couples strengthen and enrich their relationship, based on the understanding that people with better married lives are better adjusted and make better employees, the Institute for Work and Family Integration(IWFI) have designed this weekend retreat to help couples understand themselves, their spouse and rediscover true love. Want to know why you act the way you do? Sure we did, after the first discussion on temperaments. It was quite revealing, we got to understand better our reactions to issues. The presentation got us laughing most of the time, apparently as we began our journey towards self discovery and strengthening our relationship.
Set in the serene and tranquil environment of the resort, we were engaged in exercises that required private dialogue in our rooms after class discussions. Movie clips gave insight to the virtues being discussed. These private dialogues sometimes carried on beyond the allotted time as it seemed, couples did have a lot to talk about. Indeed we were meant to ‘rediscover’ true love as we sat and did things as couples. It would seem odd to find one of the spouses alone. Use of Mobile phones and Television was discouraged to prevent distraction. It was like it stated in one of the promotional materials – rejuvenating!
I can not remember the last time I playked Volleyball. Well, I got my chance (yeah with team work!). 

It was social activity time that got us all sweating; a variety of sports including volleyball, swimming, table tennis, lawn tennis, dancing were all available. It was funny watching my new friends catching up like old friends.
I was impressed because its not often you see busy people letting down their hair.

Every time I walk into the cozy restaurant, the aroma of food always reminds me of how hungry I am. The food quite tasty, had international and traditional dishes beckoning on us. The rich menu and the professional and courteous restaurant staff, made our meal times a sumptuous experience.

The ‘champagne popping moment’ (well, something like that after the last class session) was one of the highlights of the weekend. Then our chief facilitators Engr. Charles Osezua and Mrs. Gloria Osezua shared their life experiences after thirty eight years of marriage. It was awesome listening to how they have made it work over the years. I am yet to experience an informative, workshop-like, yet relaxing and romantic session like the IWFI married couples retreat. Our married friends have to know about this.There are innumerable benefits to be achieved. My wife and I had a life changing experience and our love has had a new meaning after that weekend.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Rain rain go away, come again another day little Mary wants to play. I always remember 
This morning i was speaking to a friend who had a lot of things on her mind and she was upset because she was fuming and talking under her breath and i asked her what had happened and she sighs then told me her side of the story. She complained about the communication gap between her and her husband and how it is affecting their marriage because they do not talk as much as they did when they were newly married.
Communication is key in everything we do in life. It goes as much as asking a vendor for newspaper or going to the grocery store to buy household items. Never dismiss when your spouse calls you or even shouts because beneath the tone of the voice, you can deduce sharply what is wrong. I gave my friend an assignment that will help bridge their communication gap. To our lovely husbands "Women need to be pampered, spoken to softly and given attention", To our beautiful wives "Men love attention, big hugs and spoken to softly as well".
I will let you know on Friday how our experiment went if it gave the desired response or not and NO am not telling you what i said to her till Friday. Lol i am not mean when you watch series do you get all the information at once ? That is a resounding No so enjoy my cliff hanger.
Remember Married Couples Retreat #MCR also gives you a front roll seat in helping that communication gap so why not get your ticket to experience this lovely secret and always remember to share this information with friends and loved ones.
I will leave you with this beautiful quote "The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day." -M. Grundler
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Monday, 4 July 2016

The Five Greatest Problems With Modern Day Parenting

Parenting has never been perfect, but there are five very large problems with the way we parent today that are almost unique to our time. They are;
1. A Fear of Listening to our Children.
Many parents blindly trust the advice of childless parenting experts and famous nannies whose advice is almost always ‘parent centric’. The experts almost always side with the parents and not with the children, warning parents that if they let their children get their own way that they will raise little dictators. Parents are warned to“be strong” and “don’t let him get his own way“. If the child protests they are warned“she is just trying to manipulate you, don’t listen to her cries”. Parents are taught that their toddler’s opinions don’t matter and their teen’s matter even less.
Children are not perceived as ‘real people’ with real needs. Their opinions don’t matter as much as ours, so they are belittled and ignored. If a child grows up believing that their opinions do not matter, especially to their parents, they will be far less likely to confide in their parents in the years to come when they really need to. Or as the famous quote goes “If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”
by Sarah Ockwell-Smith - Huffington Post

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Top 5 Parenting Habits for Raising Happy, Healthy Kids

We all know that parenting can be difficult. In those first few months after birth, when you're basking in the glow of becoming a new mom or dad while reeling from the difficulty of nighttime feeds, much of what's necessary to raise a child hasn't really hit you. But, over time, as the months and years wear on, you become more aware of the importance of things like routines and the instillation of good habits for raising happier and healthier children.
As parents, we want our children to have all of the advantages and benefits in life that we can possibly provide. And, one of those benefits is derived from instilling the right habits into our children early on to help create a solid foundation for them in life as teenagers and into adulthood. And, according to science, there are, in fact, five parenting habits that are necessary for raising happy and healthy children.
While children don't generally have a grasp on the world that they're living in at a younger age, by instituting the right parenting habits, we can help acclimate them the right way to the world as they come of age. We want them to be honest, caring, empathizing contributors to society. We also want them to be intelligent, self-reliant, curious, and motivated to follow their passions in life.
So how do we give them the tools to do this?
This isn't about just raising successful kids. Happiness and health precede success, and as long as we can instill our children with the right habits to be both happy and healthy, we're already providing them a foundation for success. And, if you implement these top five parenting habits into your daily routine, as a parent, you can rest assured that you're giving your children that rock-solid foundation necessary to help them fulfill their missions in life.
1. Say Please and Thank You
While it might sound obvious, not all parents do it. But, by saying please and thank you, and not just instructing your children to do it, we're setting a strong example. Those three words help to instill a mutual respect for others, sympathy, and even empathy. A child who says please and thank you grows up understanding the importance of both giving and receiving, along with vital social skills to use as an adult.
One study found that simply saying thank you helps to build and maintain social relationships, and instills gratitude. When we're grateful for things, we don't take them for granted, and people appreciate a person who is grateful far more than they do a person who is ungrateful. But, saying thank you and being grateful doesn't just affect the individual you're communicating with, it also affects others.
The study finds that "insofar as expressions of gratitude signal interpersonal warmth, witnesses to the expression of gratitude should also infer the worth of affiliating with the expresser. This is an important question as ever-more interpersonal communication, and indeed thanks-saying, occurs in public arenas (e.g.,Twitter, Facebook).".
2. Evening Prayers and Morning Gratitude
By teaching your children to pray in the evening, no matter what your faith, and to be grateful in the mornings as they wake up, will turn them into thriving adults who are better able to take on the world. Not only does this keep them spiritually connected, but it also helps them to realize the importance of focus. When we focus on the things we have to be grateful for, thanking God, Allah, Buddha, or whomever it is that we call our creator, we live far more abundant lives.
The truth of the matter is that we get whatever it is that we focus on in life. The mind is very much like the lens of a camera in that way. When we focus on our problems and negativity, and we teach our children about that by arguing and fussing in front of them, then we see negativity all around us. It's easy to find the evidence for whatever it is that we focus on.
However, when we focus on being grateful and appreciating the things that we do have as opposed to what we don't have, our minds are steeped in abundance rather than a state of lack. The fact is that we have far more than many others do when we just stop to think about it. If we teach our children this, then they'll realize it as adults and make their decisions accordingly, being less focused on greed and taking, and more focused on selflessly contributing and giving to others in need.
3. Honesty is the Best Policy
While some parents believe that lying to their children about certain things is necessary, others believe that by being honest and instilling the habit of honesty, no matter what, is most certainly the best policy. So, how do we instill the habit of honesty in children? Is it by simply teaching them and telling them that honesty is the best policy? Do we lead by example? Or, is it some combination of the two?
The question has been the focus of Kang Lee, a researcher from the University of Toronto. In a study published in Psychological Science entitled, "Can Classic Moral Stories Promote Honesty in Children?", Lee poses the question about what classical stories can help instill honesty into children. Was it stories that focused on the negativity of dishonesty such as Pinocchio or The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Or, was it stories that promoted honest behavior rather than the negative effects of dishonesty, such as the story of George Washington coming clean after chopping down the cherry tree?
What Lee found was surprising. He states that "Contrary to our expectations, results showed that hearing "Pinocchio" and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" failed to decrease children's tendency to lie about their own transgression. In contrast, hearing "George Washington and the Cherry Tree" significantly increased the likelihood that children would tell the truth about their own transgression, regardless of their age. One factor contributing to the effectiveness of "George Washington and the Cherry Tree" is its emphasis on the positivity of honesty."
4. Daily Reading
Developing the reading habit is an important one for children. While children in our society are constantly bombarded with all types of media, both online and offline, the simple act of reading is an important habit to develop early on. Well-read children are fare more able to cope with and understand the world that they live in, gleaning important information and experiences from the words that they read in books.
However, simply telling children to read doesn't cut it. Children are experts at emulating their parents, and if they see you reading on an ongoing basis, they're far more likely to pick up the reading habit. This isn't just about reading them bedtime stories; this is about helping to instill a habit that will have them reading on their own, curious enough to explore books that might interest them, ultimately developing a passion for what they want out of life.
Reading opens a whole new world to us, a chance to explore and understand things that we might not have explored or understood on our own. It provides us access to a wealth of knowledge passed down through the ages. The experiences locked away in the books written over time are invaluable learning tools for children who are interested in a particular topic or subject. And, when kids see you reading books, they're far more likely to do it themselves.
5. Share and Communicate Your Feelings
Although many of us might think that children are too young to understand certain things, generally speaking, they know far more than we think they know. And children are experts at tucking things away in their mind, only to be accessed at a later time. When a child sees us clam up, unwilling to talk about something, or get carried away in emotions while on the phone or interacting with someone in person, you can bet that they're cataloging everything that they see and hear us do, holding it locked away somewhere in their subconscious minds.
However, when we share and communicate our feelings with children, we teach them to express themselves, even providing the proper social skills for later development. When a child can actively express how he or she is feeling, its an invaluable tool to have for later on in life. But, if a child learns to lock their feelings away, too afraid to speak due to fear of condemnation or ridicule, they're far less likely to share those same feelings with us.
Once again, children are excellent emulators. If we share our feelings with them, telling them about our day, what happened, and how those things made us feel, then turning to them to do the same, we're helping to foster habits to help keep them happy and healthy in the future. Since relationships will be a big part of their lives, giving them the right tools to employ in order to handle a relationship with a friend, business associate, or even a loved one, is going to be critical to their overall development.
While importance of communication in children has long been studied, we can always do more to help foster this habit in our kids. If we can help open our children up to becoming better communicators early on, they will be far better, not only in their relationships, but also in their intended careers, finances, and health as they'll seek advice from others rather than trying to figure everything out on their own.

[Huffington Post]

Monday, 30 November 2015

4 Steps towards getting Family-Friendly Policies (FFPs) approved by the Board in your organization

Family-friendly policies make it possible for employees to balance family and work while fulfilling their obligations to both. Although policies like flex-time, job sharing and  working-from-home have been proven to enable employees get more involved with family life, they must also be profitable to the organisation in order to be considered for implementation.

At the IWFI Work and Family Conference 2015, Mr. Wale Adediran, the HR Director of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc made a presentation titled, “Walking the Work Family Talk: TAKING THE STEPS”, in which he recommended four steps towards getting family-friendly policies approved by your organization.

1.    Engage members informally ahead of board meeting

If you are trying to bring about new policies, make sure their benefits are well understood by members. Talk about your proposition to members of the board before the meeting without wasting their time. Perhaps during lunch or tea breaks, subtly highlight its benefits. You can mention how a policy would help solve a problem (if any) that involve issues of productivity of staff and how the organization is going to benefit. Say how this has helped another organization in your industry.

2.    Package a comprehensive board memo

Let your board memo be clear, accurate, persuasive and timely. While you don’t want to omit any information in the memo, it’s also important to keep explanations short and simple. This will increase the likelihood of getting your point across. Highlight key points, clearly state the purpose of the memo and its main points, and support conclusions with evidence.
If you are making recommendations, be sure to back up what you say with facts or information. You may start with how lately, staff members are raising questions about their work situations, briefly state some instances where this has affected  productivity, state the need for policy change or introduction, then end with an action information which specifies a meeting date and venue to discuss the proposal for a new family-friendly policy.

3.    Leverage “champions” of FFP on the board

Being able to clearly and convincingly lay out a case for adopting FFPs may not be the only way to influence the board. Find out who might support FFP and have them as your ally. There is high credibility, if you have present, more members who want to support your proposal. This provides a much better chance of getting an approval.

4.    Focus your briefing on productivity and ROI

Ensure members of the board understand that family friendly policies are in the best interest of your organization. Research has shown that employers gain in employee recruitment, retention, loyalty, and productivity, all of which contribute to the bottom line.
You may want to do your research among members of staff to know what the prevalent issues are and where to start from. Based on your research, try to come up with a clear, well defined goal. What you want to have happen where, and by when? The idea is to start with something that will have a real impact and provides the greatest benefit for everyone.

Compiled by IWFI

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Speakers at technology conference call for safer use of Internet

The third edition of the Society and Technology 2015 Conference and Exhibition (SOCTECH 2015) held at the Lagos Business School of the Pan-Atlantic University on 27th-28th October, 2015 and the theme was - The Digital Age: Corporate Success and the Family. Speakers advised Internet users on the need to be more security conscious to avoid leaving online footprints that might be used against them.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the speakers spoke against the backdrop of a subtopic titled: ``Risk and Security in this Digital Age: Protecting Ourselves and Loved Ones.’’ which affirmed that in spite of the overwhelming successes recorded by technology, it had some negative impacts on family values and cultural norms.

Mr Elo Umeh, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Terragon Group said that the internet was a virtual store of information that could be leveraged upon to solve life’s problems.

He, however, noted that cyber-bullying was gradually becoming a threat to children who surf the internet.According to him, the internet has made it possible for cyber-criminals to exploit people online and dispose them of their valuables. He advised parents to ensure that they educate their children on safety tips on the use of the internet.

In his presentation, Dr. Pius Onobhayedo, Head of Design and New Media, Pan African University, said that each time we use the internet, we leave an imprint that could last forever. According to him,  the moment any content is uploaded, they remain there regardless of whether they are later deleted or not.

He advised young people especially to be weary of their activities on social media, since it could be used against them particularly for those nursing political and public ambitions. ``We can help ourselves by minding where we step. We should be careful and safety conscious in the use of the internet since our service providers know much about us,’’ Onobhayedo said.

Another speaker, Mrs  Yetunde Johnson, the CEO of Sling Shot Technologies, said that the internet has the potential to violate people’s privacy and, therefore caution must be exercised when using it. She warned that surfers on the net should be careful entering into unsafe sites that request for personal information.

Participants at this conference expressed their gratitude to the Institute for Work and Family Integration and the Lagos Business School for putting together this worthy 2015 Conference theme. NAN reported that the SOCTECH is an annual technology and society conference that draws the best brains in the industry to speak on  how technology can help the integration of family and work.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Acceptance: the key to a happy marriage

We seek acceptance from the time we are children through adulthood. As children we mainly seek approval and acceptance from our parents. However, once we become adults, marriage is often our most intimate relationship, and our spouse is the one from whom we seek acceptance.

When I accept my spouse, I am able to say, "I love you just as you are. I don't want to change anything about you as a person. If you have big feet, or a short attention span, that is just fine with me. I wouldn't trade in anything that is part of who you are." When you can say those things, you've accepted your spouse.

That is hard to do. Accepting others doesn't come naturally to us. Rather it is something that we learn how to do over time. At the beginning of our relationship with our spouse, we may love everything about him or her. However, that isn't acceptance. That is wishful thinking. Based on the little that you know about the other person, you are wishing that the rest of the package will be equally perfect.
However, once the haze of new love wears off, we are shocked and think, "Hang on! This person has some flaws. When did they change????" They didn't change. We simply have gotten to know our spouse more fully.

And really, we are the ones who have changed. Over time, what changes is our view of the other person. The behavior that once seemed adventurous, may seem immature after a couple of years. The sassy attitude that you once may have loved about your spouse suddenly strikes you as bitchy two years into the relationship. And your beloved's initially mesmerizing self-confidence now smacks of arrogance. People don't change. They are who they are. It is our view of them which changes.

Once we see our spouse for who they are, flaws and all, then we can learn to accept him or her. The problem is that many of us first need to learn to accept ourselves. If we don't accept ourselves, we may find our spouse's qualities to be threatening. For example, we may worry, "If he is gregarious, is it bad that I am shy?" Or we may ask, "If she loves adventure, and I just like to garden, does that make me boring?" We then may try to change our spouse to be like us, in order to eliminate the threat. Instead, we need to learn to love ourselves and be comfortable in being different from our spouse.
Acceptance also takes maturity. It is the mature person who grasps that just because someone is different, that doesn't mean there is something wrong with them. For instance, just because your spouse has a different opinion than you, that doesn't mean that he or she is wrong. (Note: Facts can be right or wrong. Opinions are just that -- opinions.) My husband and I happen to have very different political views (think James Carville and Mary Matalin). However, our difference of opinion is just that - a difference of opinion -- nothing more. Neither of us expects or even wants the other person to change how they vote or how they think.

And just because your spouse likes different activities than you do, that doesn't mean that person has bad taste. They just enjoy other things. For example, my husband loves to watch professional sports. I like spending time with him, so I'll sit with him during the evenings while he is watching a game. But frankly, while I am looking at the screen, my mind is often somewhere else. Sports just don't interest me. Nevertheless, I don't need him to give up watching sports. We enjoy so many other things together that it makes little difference to me if he enjoys some things that I don't.

Once we completely accept our beautifully flawed human spouse for who they are, marriage becomes so much easier. We don't have to agree on every last thing because it is OK to have different opinions. We don't have to feel insecure if we don't possess the same qualities as our spouse. And we don't have to enjoy all the same activities because we're different people!

Acceptance in marriage, however, must be mutual. If both spouses don't accept each other, they are going to be in a constant struggle. If your spouse has accepted you, but you haven't learned to accept your spouse, think long and hard about the effect of your attitude on your spouse. It is draining to be around someone who is constantly dissatisfied with you. And it is irritating to have someone try to change who you fundamentally are. Instead of trying to change your spouse, consider growing up and changing yourself.

We all want to be not only loved, but accepted for who we are. If you haven't fully accepted your spouse, start working toward that. It will be to the benefit of both you and your marriage.

[Meerabelle Dey - Huffingtonpost]