Nnenne Johnson arrived home late from work one evening and sneaked quietly into her daughter’s room to give her a goodnight kiss, only to find her wide awake. “Hey mum, you’re back!” her 12-year-old daughter said. “It started at school today and I didnt know what to do,” she continued. Nnenne gave her a surprising look for she had no idea on what her little princess was talking about. So she asked, “what started darling, what started today”? “My period mum, if it hadn’t been my teacher, I would have embarrassed myself at school. She was there to put me through with a tampoon.” She replied gloomily.

“How could I” ? Nnenne thought to herself. “How could I have missed this part of my daughter’s life. I’d began to miss out on the most important event in my families life; first my husband’s 45th birthday party, then our son’s swimming competition and now this. My daughter had grown to become a woman and till now I haven’t taken some time to tutored her on the changes that occur in puberty”, she bemoaned silently.

Nnenne’s promising but demanding banking career had taken it all. Just about sixteen years in marriage, she had forgone her major duty to take care of her family and keep them in good health and happiness as a woman. She couldnt hold back a few tears rolling down her copiously made-up face regreting how her inability to balance her professional banking career with her family is begining to tell on her daughter. Her husband’s business didnt help matter at all. He is hardly ever in town and so his fatherly influence is also missing.

Nnenne’s story shows a typical lifestyle of most Nigerian parent, especially the ones who strive to have a successful career so their family can have it all.
In todays world, parents set out to meet their work goals and somehow in the midst of it all forget that waiting at home is that teenage boy who needs advice from his father on how to channel the right path for his life, or the teenage girl who needs to talk to mum about boys, sex, puberty or learn from her the other responsibilities of a woman and how she can manage a home as well as ensure a healthy and sustainable future for the family.

Our family is the most important aspect of our life. Whatever role you play in your family, you must support and build love around them. A healthy, nuturing and loving family does not happen by itself. Rather it takes a concerted effort from everyone in the family to build and share happiness, health, and good times. To make this happen, parents must;

Teach The Children How to Love and Respect: Children are quick to pick up habits, good or bad. As parents, you must teach them how to imbibe the culture of showing love and respect for everyone.

– Make Out Time For Family: Work is important, but not as important as family. As a parent, how can you tell when your child had a bad day at school if all you care about is work? Try as much as possible to have some family moments, spend quality time with your children and have some romantic moment with your spouse. You could organize a weekly shedule for the family or have a day in a week for a family outing where you all can socialize.
Engage in Healthy Meals: A healthy meal begins with healthy shopping and balanced diet. Mum! make a list each week that incorporates all of the food groups and plan your meals ahead of time.

– Get Involved in Their Accademic Life: Research has shown that children who get extra tutorials from parents tend to do better than those who don’t. Tutor them, check their note books and see how well they are doing in school. Attend (PTA) Parent Teacher Association meetings, as this is where you can know where they are lagging behind. Understand that as you show interest in your children’s accedemic life, you are encouraging them to aim for success and never to settle for less.

– Teach Them How To Get Chores Done: Mums! make a job wheel for everyone at home. Share duties for the kids like doing the dishes, their laundry and sweeping. This will go a long way for them in life. Dad! Assist mum while doing some chores, you could keep her company by having a conversation with her if you intend not to work with your hand.

– Communicate Effectively: Never become too busy for the family, they need your time and want you to listen always, especially the kids. Good communication with family is essential for healthy relationships and it promotes strong bonds amongs families. When families talk and listen to each other, they build up emotional ties and help make out wants and needs clear, especially amongst the children. Effective communication makes them feel understood and supported.

– Show Consistent Love to your Spouse: Romance doesn’t end after dating or after kids, it grows in marriage. Keep the bond and respect, show love to yourself, go out on a date, get each other gifts, say nice thing like you once did when you were dating. Spark up the light once more and enjoy your marriage together with the kids.

Nurturing a healthy family requires love and respect. Devoting time and effort to making sure each family member has an active voice is a great way to maintain a healthy family. Let’s make this day a memorable one by celebrating our family. Remember, “A family that dines together, stays together.” #FamilyIsEverything.

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