I am a proud ‘significant parent’ of two amazing children – daughter and son. I work as an Executive PA and also line manage 4 Medical Secretaries. I have a very busy work schedule, which sometimes sees me working more than 37.5 hours a week. I try to balance work life, family life as well as writing articles to support my Ministry, Significant Mothers ‘N’ Fathers (a Ministry about single parenthood, which was birthed in the summer of 2021), which can sometimes prove difficult. My major distraction is work, as I tend to log on to work after getting home to complete what I couldn’t finish in the office. It got to a point one day when my daughter mentioned that she and her brother never see my “brake light” when I get home from work. Although I was very defensive when she made this statement, what she said was the absolute truth! That was the day I decided to separate work life from home life.
Instilling the fear of God in my children has always been paramount in my family life, especially in my son who is still a teenager, as well as building a strong connection with them so that they feel free to tell me whatever they need to.
This year has taught me so much about my daughter - her outlook on life, relationship, work, and friends around her, as well as seeking my advice/input on her co-founded business venture (Hair Advisor UK). I have also come to experience God in a mighty way, which blows my mind every time I think of how far God has brought me, especially in giving me the grace to single-handedly bring up my two special gifts from God. What looked like a delay in my plans was actually God ‘s all perfect Will and Him positioning me to be a blessing to others for His glory.
One of the bonding sessions we have together as a family (which I always look forward to) is on Sundays when we sit down to discuss any personal issues after our online church service. Times like these are very precious to me. I remember one of these Sundays, where I broke down about so many things bothering me and I found my children advising me. Hearing them speak with so much wisdom even broke me more.
Another bonding time I look forward to is when I take my son to football games/training. We talk about his academics (he will be writing his GCSEs next year by God’s special grace), what he wants to do, how he and his friends are very competitive in some subjects in class (something his teachers have always attested to during our virtual parents evening), and his love, passion and commitment to football. His dream is to play for Arsenal and I know God sees and hears him.
In conclusion, my advice to parents is to always make quality time for your children no matter how busy your work schedule is, ask them how they are doing, and not only ask, but listen to them as well. Your quality time with your children should be enjoyed, not endured. I would also emphasise that as parents, we should learn to celebrate our children’s individuality and avoid favouritism, as each child is unique and it is imperative we celebrate their uniqueness.
To God be the glory.
Hello Everyone! I am thrilled to share my perspective on parenting in this wonderful group. My name is Nonye Ike Otuonye. I am a training consultant, delivering workbased apprenticeships, an entrepreneur mentor and mother to two young adults Tobi 22 and Omez 21. Omez is my nephew who I informally adopted when he was a baby.
I am a very unconventional parent, I raised my children as a single Mum for a very long time and simply made the best of the support network I had at that time. I worked as a part time manager when they were little, to balance my role as a parent and working mum.
When they were young I encouraged them to excel in both sports and their academics, this was a combination of swimming classes, playing hockey, scout club and young leaders classes when they were in secondary school.
These activities helped them as they grew up, to be more independent, mapping out their daily activities and decision making skills, it also helped them build their social skills, interacting with other people in a very diverse society and appreciate the love of travel and the art of diplomacy, these things were and still are important to me as a parent.
I also encouraged them to have faith in God by embedding this in their learning culture. I taught my daughter how to read using the picture bible and my nephew was very active as an altar boy in the Catholic Church. This helped with their life management skills, especially as they grew older and began to face the real world, developing coping mechanisms to deal with challenges as part of life, being strong and knowing with God there is Always a solution.
Now here is the honest bit!
As my children got older my relationship with them changed. I learnt how to listen more, talk less, address and respect them as adults. I realised that even though they were young adults, they still needed me as a parent but in a different way, they needed me to listen to their plans, discuss options and be very supportive as they wait on one or two things to work out for them.
Through this I developed my parental listening skills and paraphrased their words to show I have been actively listening on a range of issues from career plans, relationships in very honest terms, marriage, having children one day, managing their budgets, encouraging them to want more from life and be overcomers not just through what I tell them but how they see me silently get through life's hurdles and holding on to faith. I think older children observe more and it rubs off like they say.
As a parent to young adults, I have learnt that you might not be pleased with some of their decisions, but you can offer suggestions, provide resources, information, support and pray for them, everyday.
In conclusion, teach them to appreciate themselves as well as their loved ones, count their blessings, learn how to adjust and be humble. Spend quality time with them in between your busy schedules. Learn their lingo, allow them to teach you a thing or two, listen to their views on things and try not to force your views on them.
Once again thank you very much for the opportunity.
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