How Teenagers can initiate conversation with their parents.

Over the past few years,they have been stories of young people who were assaulted by close family members and they couldn’t talk to anyone. Young people at their teen age are confused and need clear guidance on different issues of life.

If young people know enough to ask a question , they deserve an age appropriate answer. Young people need honest answers too.

Parents are the most important source of sexuality education. You may not know but young people are willing to ask questions and get answers. The problem is that some of them do not know how to initiate conversation with their parents and some parents don’t know how to respond when kids initiate conversation. Here are some tips teenagers can use to initiate and engage their parents in conversation.

TIP 1: Think through what you want to talk about. Do you want information, to share your feelings, do you need help or do you just need a listening ear? Make sure you are certain of what you want to talk about.

TIP 2: Pick the right timing. Find the right time when both of you are free to listen and talk with one another.Wrong timing may cause misunderstanding of the case at hand or the listener may give hasty replies. Wrong timing may even make the parent not give attention to the child.

TIP 3: Talk Clearly: State your concerns clearly. You can use phrases like, “I am thinking about…., I am worried about….., Confused about…….” Say the best you can. As you talk, your thoughts and feelings become clearer.

TIP 4: Ask for what you want and what you expect from your parents too

TIP 5: LISTEN. Final step to good communication  is listening. Listen to what your parents have to say and follow up on them. Good listening means  you focus on the other person and try to understand what they are thinking and feeling. They should be clarity for communication to be complete.

Parents in responding to questions should convey positive sexual health attitudes through your words, tone of voice and facial expressions.

 

Another Candle Burns Out

May the Light guide you home Ik Nwoke m.

I have been staring at my screen, thinking of how to start this write-up. I haven’t been here for a while and to think of what’s bringing me here today…… I am gathering momentum.

The first time I lost a little friend of mine…I called him my boyfriend, I cried so broken heartedly. He was chubby, full of life and took a special liking to me. But still he left over a very brief ailment. I felt for his mom. Often and on, I remember him and I smile. He was barely one year.

Then yesterday, I lost another small boyfriend to acute Lymphomatic Leukemia. He was an outstanding young boy. His life is a positive message. By the way, I still feel he will knock on my door and walk in like he used to. I am yet to process his death….. Maybe because I saw him beathe his last in front of me and afterwards, he looked like he was sleeping or maybe,  even though I knew it was a terrible ailment he got, somehow , I thought we had more time to spend with him. You know the scariest part, I get to see his burial spot everytime I step out to my balcony. Yeah, only a wall seperated our living quarters.

In a time like this when teenagers demand a tip before or after  they do anything for you,Ikechukwu was the last to do that. He was the most cheerful giver. He went the extra, extra mile, especially for a teenager. He was only 11 years.

And now, I ponder like never before, “what happens to us when we die” We  know there’s the clinical death which lasts between 4 – 6 mins from the moment a person stops breathing and the heart stops pumping blood . Then, there’s the biological death when the body organs shut down and the cells begin to degenerate. Rigor Mortis sets in making the body stiff and rigid caused by calcuim leaking into the muscle cells, which binds to protein and causes then to contract. Too much medical jargon abi? I thought so too.

My main question however lies with what happens to the spirit. Did it leave immediately the body gave up? Did it hover around and watched us plead for him to come back? Where is the Spirit now? Dear Lord,I need to understand this thing. He was talking this moment and the next moment he gasped for breath and gave up. He didn’t fight much towards the end. He has been fighting  since January but cancer didn’t bulge. Some people that have come back to life after their heart stopped pumping bloods said, “there was nothing, they felt at peace, they were rooted to a spot”. Someother  said that, ” a dead loved one or an angel sent them back.”. What really happens when a person breathes his last?

Somethings we can’t explain. Somethings we won’t ever explain. Somethings we can’t get over but will only endure.

This reminds me of a Poem(generally attributed to Stephen Grellet) our Noble principal, Chief Mrs E.U. Onwuagha taught us in secondary school:                 “I shall pass this way but once ; any good I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it nor neglect it, for I shall pass this way but once” .

What is that good thing you are doing? Don’t stop. What is that good thing you want to do? Don’t defer it any longer. I have been asking myself and hoping that I was good enough to Ikechukwu.

I still haven’t fully processed this but I will try and be proactive and be a better person to all young people around me. They die young too and there’s really nothing we can do about death. Or is there?

May the Lights guide you home Ik Nwoke m. May the angels welcome you with such Joy.

 

The Child, The Mother and Sexual Abuse Disclosure.

Somthings will not always remain a secret. For everyone that is going through a phase, it gets to the time when he/she will decide to be free and the first stage to freedom starts with Disclosure.

I found out a lot of meaning associated with disclosure but the definition from www.vocabulary.com will suffice for what we are to discuss. Disclosure is derived from the French word ‘desclos’ meaning to open or to disclose. Disclosure is to “put something out in the open, usually information that was formally secret”.  Sexual Abuse disclosure is the secret of sexual abuse being exposed or told . Sexual Abuse always thrives in secrecy . Abusers use threat, fear and intimidation to keep victims bondage which gives room for the abuse to thrive. However, it gets to a time when victims find the courage to break out and speak up against their abuser. This is when disclosure takes place.

When a child discloses abuse, it is a critical approach in initiating intervention to stop the abuse, address it’s immediate effects and disclose the likelihood of negative long-term outcome.

The disclosure of abuse occurs in different levels. Most children don’t tell because they may not know the language to use in expressing themselves  or because they are afraid and are unsure if they will be believed. The children that muster courage to disclose may do so bit by bit, giving hints of the abuse or hints of something that is wrong . Some children don’t also tell because they are afraid of the consequences. When a child surmounts the battle raging in his heart to disclose an abuse, the reaction of the person he disclosed to is very crucial to the healing process of the child.

Mothers are always the first person the child discloses to, even though some may not be full disclosure at first. Mothers have been built to “know how to manage certain situations” better than men. So,it is heartbreaking when mothers aren’t available for the hurting child to get across to. Some mothers are uninformed and clueless about sexual abuse and by that, they don’t know the signs or get the clues when children need their help. A mother’s reaction to disclosure affects the child’s decision to keep disclosing , withdraw the disclosure and still remain abused. A child may lie if he/she discovers she isn’t believed or confused about the reactions following the disclosure. Mothers need to manage their emotions properly, believe and support the child to take appropriate protective actions.

In the mother’s defense, there are many conflicting emotions that will surge through the mother when she discovers her child is being abused. The mother may experience feelings of shock, anger, denial, guilt, depression at first. She may also be severely affected especially if the abuser has a close relationship with the abuser . But in all of her conficting emotions, she must know that it is first and foremost about the child. Disclosure and the events that happen after should have the child at the center of any intervention program.

Mothers should learn how to cope with disclosure. If a child discloses any abuse, you should by all means believe in the child. Acceptance and validation is all the child needs. You as the mother should never make the child feel less than he/she is already feeling. Don’t blame the child for any reasons, instead cheer up the child by praising him/her on the courage to speak up. Let the child know that the abuse wasn’t his/her fault.

Healthy mindset and emotions will help the mother to survive the disclosure process, support their child and help them to heal and recover from the process. Whereas , an unhealthy mindset and emotions will worsen the crisis and cause harmful results to the child, the mother and other members of the family.

Disclosure affects the whole family but it takes wisdom and courage to intervene and create enabling environment for the child to heal. Always remember that Disclosure and any intervention process is first and foremost about the CHILD.

 

References:

Mothers of Sexually Abused Children. www.mosac.net.

 

Do you know any child that is going through any form  of abuse and  needs to disclose the abuse?

Are you in any form of abuse and needs someone to talk to?

Are you a leader in any youth organization, schools and church and wants your children to know about Healthy body image,then send us a message or call this number: 09059606812. You can also send a message to our IG page using @lifeclasswithada.

#fortheloveofeverychild.

 

 

The Journey So Far. 2

I wont talk much here. I already did in the part one of this post. You can read it here The Journey So Far .

Our projects in Pictures.

IMG_20170830_113227.jpgThe face when we talk to save lives

IMG_20170830_105914.jpgAnd the attention was intense

IMG_20170812_124607.jpgMothers are Awesome

IMG_20170812_121750.jpgUsing my voice for good

IMG_20170812_124555.jpgMothers  are ready to help the next generation with knowledge.

IMG_20170322_113506.jpgSometimes, we have to be forceful with our NO. Assured Tender Care pupils are awesome.

 

The Journey So Far

“We are doing this because we know there are millions of people out there that will need our services and more so, there are numerous people that are willing tom serve God and Humanity throigh their acts of kindness and charitable giving”

Like some of the things that I do, Family Lounge Initiative started on a whim. I am an impulsive person and sometimes, I am grateful for that part of me. If I weren’t impulsive, I won’t have taken some steps that brought me to the Master’s plan for my life.  Purpose is discovered by Doing. I have done somethings in trying to discover my purpose and now I know that this is “It”. Being responsible for people (especially those that aren’t biologically connected to you gives you a new sense of living and direction. It also helps to mould your character. You discover your strength and your weakness and most especially, it builds your faith. I am not Mother Theresa  (that woman’s faith is on another level for sure) but I keep learning from women that have given their lives for others.

Our first time Outreach at Urum, Awka North in 2016 made me realize that there are people willing to share their resources (cash and kind) with others. We had a successful outing because people cared. I discovered there and then that I am only a middleman. I stand in to represent God to the people through our outreaches and He supplies our needs through people. No man is really an Island. We have continued since then, doing the little we can and seeing God at work.

I must confess, there are days I have questioned the purpose of this, doubted myself, questioned God and why he has given such big ideas(they make my head wanna pop in different direction atimes). I have started on the road to discouragement some days but He always pulls me back.

I remember when the wife of a certain Anglican priest asked me to deliver a Talk on Child Sexual Abuse in their diocesan program, I felt on top of the world. I sure didn’t disappoint them because she called me back for another program (winks winks). I am taking baby steps and grateful each day for the opportunity. We have taken the Child Safety message to children in some schools too. 2017 was the year our Children’s Day “BE Bold To Protect Your Body” outreach started. Children of the selected school learnt how to how to be safe from predators and how to care for their bodies and the senior girls went home with Sanitary pads and every child went home with a copy of our “Be Bold To Protect Your Body” book.

Books are gateway to the world. Yet, only a  few people are exposed to the beauty and knowledge we discover in the pages of a good book. We have realized that lots of children are willing to read but there are no books available to them because their parents cannot afford to buy books for them. We also know that there are people that have books stacked in cartons and bags in their house gathering dust while others are in need of it. So, 2017, we called for Used Books. The response from different parts of the country overwhelmed us. Bags of books were sent to us and the kids that got them were the most excited. They didn’t only get books, they also got writing materials for the new school session.

We collect used Clothing, household items of all kinds. We have discovered that people are willing to declutter their house and give away things they aren’t using anymore. There’s really a certain joy that envelopes you when someone uses your gift. It gives us an insight into the Joy God gets when we use the power in the name of Jesus.

I have an amazing team, always nudging me on and taking No for an answer from me. The life I live now is a reality that seems like a beautiful Disney movie. Abeg, make this film no end o.

February ushered in another era of our lives. We held our second “Girls Affair” program and the effects on our lives and the participants will never wear off. Girls Affair is our Girls Only program where we empower girls with information and knowledge that will help them to make healthy life choices. We also empower them with skills that will help alleviate poverty in their lives. However, what we didn’t prepare for (but God already knew) was that our Teen Moms project was going to kick off from there. Our first assignment with regards to that has been a success so far. You will never know how far you can go until you step out.

Daily, we do plus and minus (in my mom’s voice). We have just started and we have no plans to stop. Why am I putting up this chronicle? To showcase ourselves as good people? Definitely not. We are doing this because we know that there are millions of people out there that will need our services and more so, there are numerous people that are willing to serve God and Humanity through their acts of kindness and charitable giving. So, we use our voice, our hands and our legs as channels for God to reach His people. You can join this chariot.

Are you interested in partnering with us or sponsoring any of our projects? Please, we will be glad to hear from you. Call us or send a message to 09059606812.

Abeg, I don talk plenty. Let me allow you enjoy some pictures here and in the next post.

Zippy with the Girl’s Health TalkDSC_0716

family2The Senior Pupils of BenBee Unique School came prepared.

DSC_0688.JPGBoy’s Timeout with Uncle Amos

DSC_0696.JPGEvery child got gifts.

Your school can be part of this special program. All you need to do is to hit us up and we will take it from there.

One love people!

FRIDAY GIVEAWAY

It’s not only adults that look forward to Fridays. Children do too. They also look forward to some rest from school work and school routine. They look forward to a weekend of watching television, playing at will and sleeping in late(I love that part too).

This Friday, we want to do something different for a child. I have always said that I am a product of books I have read and still read (and things I have watched too). However, I have come to understand that there are proper books for every age and it is important we lead them to the right books at the right time. I will love nothing more than being instrumental to igniting the love of reading in someone.

So, our Friday Giveaway is starting this week. Hurray! All you have to do is to like our Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/thefamilylounge 

Post a picture of your child’s one minute video telling us why he/she loves Fridays.

Share the page with your friends so they can like your child’s video.

The post with the most likes gets a free book from us. This is our way of encouraging a child’s love for books and appreciate your friendship and engagement on our various platforms.

We will announce our winner on Sunday night so we expect your videos between now and Sunday afternoon.

One love people. Let the fun begin.

WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT PUBERTY.

It is not easy to be an adolescent or to help young people through their adolescent years. Some people have referred to adolescence as the most confusing , challenging, frustrating and fascinating phase of human development, but the stresses and disruption of adolescence are not as bad as the society and parents fear.  

Adolescence is a period of maturation which starts from Puberty (usually from the age of 10 or earlier in some people) and extends till about 16 to 18 years. Puberty is the onset of adolescence which marks physiological, physical, emotional and mental changes. These changes amount to sexual maturity which causes dramatic changes in teenagers.

Apart from the obvious changes we observe like, the growth sprout in boys and girls, enlargement of sex organs in order to become capable of reproduction, increased nutritional needs, some adolescents are prone to emotional outbursts, extreme changes in mood, fits of depression and can have hard times getting along with their immediate family members and their society at large.      

A lot of times, people always assume that some rites the adolescents pass through is an indication of  asserting their right to be free from authority and therefore they are mostly rebellious. I have not always agreed with that assertion. I knew something was behind the eratic behaviour some adolescents display. So, I searched and found it.

Have you ever paused to think that some of these of changes may be hormonal? And if they are hormonal, that means that the adolescent can be nurtured to turn out better than the misconception people have about them.

Hormonal secretions cause these physical and physiological changes that occur during adolescence. Hormones are chemical agents secreted into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland, often called the master gland, which lies at the base of the skull.  A portion of the brain called hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to produce hormones, which in turn stimulate other endocrine glands ( the adrenal glands, ovaries and testes) to produce and secrete sex hormones. As the sex hormones enter the blood stream, changes occur in physical growth and sexual development occur (Zigler and Stevenson, 1987).

Simply put , hormones are a means of communication within the body, carrying messages from place to place and triggering changes in body function and structure (Peterson and Taylor, 1980). Now we know that the hormones send multiple messages to your brain when needed eg hunger, thirst, anger, excitement, danger, sex.

There are different types of hormones: Androgens, which is a Greek word for man, are the male sex hormones. Testosterone is one type of male hormone and Estrogen is the female sex hormone. These hormones, even though they are referred to as male and female, are present in small quantities in both sexes.  It is the increased levels of androgen and estrogen in the bloodstream that stimulates the events leading to sexual maturation and the development of male and female secondary sex characteristics.

Hormones control growth throughout the prenatal and childhood but from 7 years, hormonal level begins to rise gradually. At age 10 to 12, hormone levels become very high and puberty begins. Once the biological events are triggered , the process of puberty is very rapid and most major changes occur within three years.

I will allow you to digest the new information your brain is receiving and continue the talk in my next post. You can drop your questions in the comment box and I will respond immediately.

 

**None of these pictures are the product of this website. They are gotten from Free Online Photo sites .**

CHILDREN

My kids won’t ever cease to amaze me. They are the ones in a hurry to leave the house. Then the moment they are gone for a day or two, they start chanting, ” when are we coming home, when are you coming to pick us, I miss yoiu”. Their voices on the phone ignites a certain kind of emotion that makes you want to leave all that you are doing and hurry to them.

 

But no, no, this mummy has girded her heart. The blackmail wont work a beg. Shebi una want holidays? Oya, enjoy am. I miss you guys but mother deserves her “me time” to rejuvenate and be mentally, emotionally, physical and spiritually ready for a new session and a new season of our lives.

Don’t ask me why that fair bobo isn’t smiling., I have no idea. Lol

Sometimes, we drain ourselves of all our strength and forget to charge it up. We need it. We need to be free from being mummy and experience our inner self again and again. Even though the holiday is slowly grinding to an end , you can still take out some time to recharge, alone. You will thank me for that later.

One love people.

BEING A TEENAGER IN TIMES LIKE THIS.

Just in case you think being a teenager in a time like this is easy, you have to stop and hear this: It is NOT. “How can I say that”, you may ask. With all the electronic gadgets at their beck and call, the 21st century effizy, the knowledge on the increase, freedom of speech, etc, one would have thought that they will have it all easy but it is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, the presence of these things may be their problem.

If you are 30 and above, you probably grew up in the beginning of the era of technology shift as we have it now. Most of us had the ‘black and white television in a box’, a few of us had the table top or landline telephone, not to talk of a computer and an internet connection. Wow! The teenagers are having a blast right now. Inside my head, I hear them scream ‘No No No’.

It was an eye opener for us at the Children’s Week organised by my dear friend, Lady Chioma and the St Mulumba Parish, New Haven, Enugu.

As we discussed about “Being A Godly Teenager In A Time Like This” , the teenagers pointed different vices that are so rampant now like exam malpractices, teen prostitution, kidnapping, bribery and corruption, indiscipline etc. The kids feel the impact of these vices daily and they agreed that the technological gadgets are actually causing more harm than good for them. Are we now saying they shouldn’t enjoy these things that make life easier? No!

Here’s what we are advocating for:

*** These teenagers haven’t come out of a vacuum. They have adults in form of parents, guardians, teachers, counsellors in charge of them. We should take our duties towards nurturing them into responsible adults as a God given charge and do our best. We should instill good values in them and set good examples in the way we live our lives.

*** Monitor what they watch, who they move out with, where they go, what they do and what they listen to. Remember that what they fill their mind with is what they will manifest.

*** Monitor the time they spend on the Computer and the sites they browse. You mast not know it yet, but yes, danger lurks in the Cyber Space too. There are sexual predators waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting child, Cyber bullies and other Cyber crimes.

*** Above all, we can’t remove the God factor. Without Him, we can do nothing. Expose your child to godly teachings and values. They will speaks for you when you aren’t there to speak.

The foundation we build for our children matters. Nothing good comes easy but in the end, we will be grateful we did our best.

We will be glad to hear from you. What other ways do you think we can help our teenagers live responsibily in a time like this.

MORE PICTURES FROM MAY 26TH, 2017

The girls showing off their sanitary pads and books
The senior boys were not left out

The girls showing off their sanitary pads and books
The boys are ready for puberty. Thanks to uncle Amos
There’s joy in bringing positive change through information
Snacks time
Every child deserves to be happy.