• Me time versus time with the kids

This past weekend I missed a chance to be pampered at a church women’s Valentine’s Day out in Notwane after a hectic week with loads of after hours meetings.

In fact I missed pretty much everything else that I had hoped to do for myself as unfortunately mommy duty trumped everything else on the agenda.

But then just as I was about to get that pity party started I caught a mental glimpse of reality and came to the appreciation of how priceless time spent with the children is and will be so even more once the little ones are grown and gone.

Granted, we have a bit of time together since they are only five and four respectively but I caught a wake up call last week when the five year old woke up while I was still sleeping from post deadline fatigue on Thursday morning, bathed himself and got ready for school without my help.

When I woke up in panic at what time it was and offered to help him with his shirt buttons, he refused and quickly did them, said his goodbyes and walked to school alone  totally disregarding  both his teacher and myself’s vehement protests for him not to walk until at least second term when they would have been taught about traffic rules and how to cross the road.

Instead of getting relieved  that my little boy is gaining his independence fast,freeing me in the process, I am ashamed to confess that I experienced mixed feelings that he could  be possibly growing up just a little bit too fast for my liking.

So as  the children and I did our grocery shopping before we went to get my hair washed at the salon and later cleaned the house or rather  ( I cleaned and they got in the way) I started to appreciate how we were creating beautiful memories  that the kids will remember later, long after the toys that we as working mothers sometimes buy them to appease them or to make up for time we haven’t spent with them will be long gone.

It made me think long and hard about the importance of managing my time so that I can spend more time with them and one way that I have realised I can do that without really feeling like its an extra chore is letting them help me out with house work like  washing dishes or cleaning up the house,which ticks off the adults in the house who understandably don’t appreciate the mess that is usually a result of such, but works perfectly well for me and the children. Try it you might like it!
An alternative to spanking- A loving father’s response

Quite interesting and this is an alternative not only to spanking but to many other destructive patterns such as shouting and name calling. Isn’t it wonderful that we also often learn quite a lot from these guys! I have often observed with great joy the sense of importance kids experience when you involve them in family matters.

My eldest daughter – One, would even go to the extent of explaining some of the expectations and reasons to the younger siblings.
Children love to be appreciated despite their shortcomings, it’s like they are saying even when we do wrong it’s never intentional. So the reward system works very well also in this case because it leads to good conduct and its reinforcement.

It’s quite amazing how even the very naughty or troublesome kid can be so sensitive to shouting and rebuke. So it is not about how much or how hard we spank though it does work especially at a very early stage when you can do it without having to apply too much force.

Often times all you need is to give just a little of it or an indirect slap that just scares the child from the sound e.g. when you hold the little hand under yours and slap yourself. They would not be able to differentiate but the sound of a slap is just conceived as having been spanked. This also helps us to learn to do it well; when we are not very angry, as we might be tempted to punish in proportion to our anger leading to abuse and harm.
Neo Motimedi (Mr.)