Monday, 4 July 2016
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.”
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Monday, 30 November 2015
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.
Thursday, 26 November 2015
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
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.
George Welsh says he’s having an “Archie Bunker moment.” The superintendent of Cañon City Schools in Colorado was interviewed this week for a public radio podcast about the “sexting ring” that was discovered in the high school he oversees.
At first, he noted that the hundred or so students who had been trading hundreds of nude photos probably didn’t realize the implications of their actions and someone needs to explain it to them.
“Kids just don’t get when you share this with one person you’ve lost all control.” But then, as with so many adults these days, he seemed to wither under the pressure of adolescents.
Like the protagonist on “All in the Family,” Welsh told his interviewer, “Maybe time has passed me by. Meathead [Archie’s son-in-law] says human bodies are beautiful and why can’t a person if they choose to . . . why can’t they share it with someone else?” Welsh shrugs his shoulders: “I don’t have the answer.”
Well then perhaps you shouldn’t be in charge of a school system. Welsh approvingly notes that his own seventh-grade daughter says she would never send nude pictures of herself to someone else and doesn’t know anyone who would. But for some reason he does not see fit to give other people’s children the same guidance.
Cañon City parents, meanwhile, are up in arms that their teens may actually be charged with a felony — the distribution of child pornography — as a result of sending these pictures. Law enforcement is an awfully blunt instrument for dealing with these issues. But that’s what happens when parents and educators abdicate their responsibilities.
It’s easy, on the one hand, to see why parents have been cowed in the face of these pressures. First they are told that restricting kids could never work. As Regina, the mother of one middle school student told me recently, it’s just like drinking. There is a chorus of parents out there who say their kids are going to drink anyway so they might as well host the party. “No,” she told me. It’s not inevitable. Just because some rules will be broken, doesn’t mean that no rules should be set down.
There is a lot of pressure to go with the flow when it comes to technology, but she says, “Just because it’s the wave of the future, doesn’t mean my eighth-grader needs to be on Snapchat.”
The pressure is not only coming from other parents. Take a recent article in the Atlantic called “Parents: Reject Technology Shame” by Alexandra Samuel, in which the author writes: “Vilifying the devices’ place in family life may be misguided.”
Based on interviews with families, she determines that those who limit technology, as opposed to those who “mentor” their children’s technology use are more successful in teaching their children how to navigate the online world.
The children of “limiters” are “twice as likely as the children of mentors to access porn or to post rude or hostile comments online.”
Samuel doesn’t seem to account for the possibility that people limiting their kids’ technology use may simply be reacting to bad behavior they’ve already exhibited online. But she assures us that “It’s not our job as parents to put away the phones. It’s our job to take out the phones and teach our kids how to use them.”
Yes, obviously once you give your kids access to the Internet or a smartphone, it’s important to teach them what’s appropriate. But limiting their access can be a huge part of that.
Parents who keep devices in public places, who ensure that kids don’t go to sleep with their phones, and who restrict what kinds of features are enabled and whom they are allowed to communicate with are all making sensible decisions.
Parents regularly complain that they don’t understand all the different ways their kids can get around their restrictions. For some, this is a reason to just throw in the towel. One professor told The Wall Street Journal that parents shouldn’t bother checking the kids phones: “Kids are smarter than us and will figure out a way to get around us.”
We’ve been hearing that line since it was accepted that 5-year-olds were more adept at programming VCRs than their parents. But the notion that parents should give up is nonsense. If you don’t have the ability to figure out if your kids are sending naked pictures of themselves or others, you should find someone who does. And if you can’t, your kid shouldn’t have a phone.
But proclaiming your ignorance about all things technological and then handing your kid the keys to the Internet is bad parenting. Better to let them think you’re watching closely. As one mother explained, “I tell my daughter, ‘It’s my phone. You’re just borrowing it.’ ”
[NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY - New York Post]