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Positive Parenting with Remi Makanjuola: Children Need Time

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Quite simply, children need time. End of story. If more adults would honor this simply concept, our perception of children will take a positive turn. Time to be trained; time to get things done; time to learn; the list goes on.

Most adults get frustrated and label children with not-so-pleasing names, because of a misunderstanding of the time factor. Our adult sense tells us things need to be done fast. Impatience is disguised as time prudence. Everything has to be done within a twinkle of an eye. Horns get blared when the car doesn’t move at that very second the light turns green. The person in front of the teller at the bank teller cant finish fast enough, the waiter bringing our orders is wasting time. Subconsciously, we have placed those same unhealthy expectations on our children when it comes to time. We want them to be independent, but we get impatient when John takes too long tying his laces or Jane cant seem to get that dress zipped quick enough.

Let’s focus on 3 important ways children need time:

Children need time to build their confidence
Setting realistic time expectations can help build your child’s confidence. Giving a child appropriate (notice I didn’t say adequate; because adequate is relative) time to complete a task does a lot in building their confidence. My parenting motto is “parenting is about the child, not the parent.” With this in mind, when you give a child a task don’t rush them, set a realistic time budget. When you rush a child or stand over their head, it makes them feel uneasy and they are likely to fail at that task because they second guess themselves or become clumsy. Factor a little extra time into your getting ready program- a little extra time to tie those shoe laces, a little extra time to finish that meal, a little extra time to just be a child. Of course, time is not indefinite, so, if you must step in, do it in a way that honors the child’s effort and acknowledges their need of help.

Children need time to be trained
Many of us miss the sensitive time for training up our children and expect that they magically know the right thing to do. We get caught up in the “oh he’s just a baby” phase. In this phase everything is cute’ throwing things on the floor, playing with food, refusing to greet adults, even hitting! That’s not really the issue, the problem arises when you suddenly realize your child is now 13 and those things are no longer cute. You naturally expect more from your child but realize you failed to put in the time that child needed to be trained. Lets put it in perspective, for 13 years your child has been a certain way, it will logically take another 13 years to learn a new way to be. Of course, realistically that’s not ideal. So, train your child even when being silly is cute. Let your child know hitting mummy’s face is not acceptable even before they can speak. Afford your child the opportunity to clean up after himself even when he is only able to pick up one grain of rice. It’s not about perfection instead it’s laying a foundation for responsibility. When your child drops something on the floor and says “uh oh” its cute I know, but amidst the cuteness, let them know “uh oh” means pick it up!

Children need time to learn
Imagine picking up a tray with your two pinkie fingers! It may be done eventually, but it will require practice. You can liken that to the way a child learns. Just because you’ve shown them once or twice or repeated the instruction several times doesn’t mean the child will do it satisfactorily. Children need time to learn. They need to do things over and over till their brain masters it. As adults and caregivers, we need to be at peace with this. Each time your child does something wrong, let your correction sound like it’s first time you are telling them. Don’t let them hear the frustration in your voice or sense it in your actions. Correct with love because children don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Remi Makanjuola is a proprietress and positive parenting advocate. She loves God and children and has a passion for positive parenting. She has worked in childcare facilities both as caregiver and a trainer. She is trained in Montessori Education from Infancy through Age Six by the Pan American Montessori Society, a MACTE accredited institution. In her spare time she loves swimming and spending quiet evenings with her family. One of her favorite quotes is "I did what I know...until I knew better"- Dr. Feland Meadows, this propels her to constantly update herself in childcare and positive parenting practices.

19 Comments

  1. Osayi

    September 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Wow! this is timely advice. We cannot keep thinking that our children are babies, but it’s not easy…Thanks for sharing.

  2. A Loco Viva Voce

    September 7, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Please tell them! This goes out to all the parents that want their children to finish secondary school at the age of 10 years old. Children need time! Stop rushing them for your own personal benefit.

  3. Uju

    September 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Very true…… Children need time . I needed time to grow and develop as a child so definitely give them lots of it and lots of love and encouragement

  4. Grace

    September 7, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    God bless you immensely ma for this timely, educative piece.

  5. demashi

    September 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Highly informative piece. I think I might have put too much pressure on my 1st son to get up the learning curve academically and communicated harshly to him in anger. I take the softer approach now although my wife says am getting too soft – not sure which method to use now.

    Btw—-you’re an extremely beautiful woman.

    • Naomi

      September 7, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Btw……Your wife thinks she’s beautiful too…

  6. keechi

    September 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Very true! But God knows it takes A LOT OF patience! Chai! God help us all. Lol

  7. Tincan

    September 7, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Point 1 is about the most powerful parenting advice I’ve ever heard. Probably because I am very guilty of rushing little E (who’s such a great boy) through learning particularly academically and behaviourally. . By God’s grace, I’m going to give him more of my time without being impatient.

  8. Original Bella naija critic

    September 7, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    I love the two write up of yours I have read so far, you are very correct, and to add to this, I tell parents no two kids are alike, you have to know what each child requires and not my way or the high way

  9. Teju Adeloye

    September 18, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Awesome, thank you for this truth – I will try remembering at all times. Thanks Remi.

  10. SoI

    September 18, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Very very apt, accurate and wise. I am truly encouraged and blessed by this write up. May God give us the strength to apply this while raising our Children, Amen.

  11. Adebisi

    September 18, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Beautiful write up, I learn everyday from u.

  12. damola ladejobi

    September 18, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Awesome piece.children really do need TIME

  13. Gbemi Abikoye

    September 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Nice work. We’ll thought through

  14. Anonymous

    September 18, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    This is actually very technically sound. Fantastic article Madam!

  15. Lola Fadipe

    September 18, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Very timely and totally resonates with me….thanks for another nice article.,,,

  16. Bukola Sho

    September 18, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Luv it! This is a great article. I totally get this perspective, very similar to my style of parenting. It’s encouraging to know that I’m actually on the right track. ” In this phase everything is cute…” lol . Nope… Totally agree. I look forward to the next read. 🙂

  17. Dupe L

    September 19, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Great article. Lots of wonderful, practical advice. I find myself getting frustrated in the mornings with the time it takes to get ready. Now I realize I need to give more time. Thanks!

  18. Nana Dot

    September 27, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I’m very proud of you Remi. Keep up the good work???. And to all you loving mothers out there, the last two sentences are very very important to hold on to. Good luck to you all. ?

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