Parenting: How To Handle Toxic Friends 

I have worked with a lot of children and teens with behavior problems over the years—and believe me, very few of their parents liked their friends. It’s like the national anthem of parents: “It’s not my child; it’s those kids he hangs out with!” When I hear that, I always say, “Maybe that’s so, but the reason he hangs out with that group is because he’s similar to them. And just like you’re saying, ‘It’s those other kids he hangs out with,’ those other kids’ parents are saying it’s yourkid who’s the problem.”

 

The old axiom is true, birds of a feather do flock together—and that’s especially accurate in adolescence. In fact, one of the main needs of their particular developmental level is to belong to a group and be accepted. That’s why teenagers are always so worried about how they look and act. And once they find a mode of dress, a type of music and a group of kids who accept them, it’s very hard for parents to break through.

The first thing you have to realize is that you can’t pick your child’s friends. In fact, if you criticize their friends, you will see them react very strongly. That’s because they’re developmentally bound to defend their chosen peer group. When kids enter adolescence, they employ a way of looking at the world in which their friends are more important than anybody else. You’ll often hear them say, “You just don’t understand.” And another part of that mindset is, “Nobody understands me but my friends.” So if you criticize or attack their friends, you’re really just making the relationship stronger. And no matter how you feel about your child’s friends, I don’t believe this direct kind of attack is effective. In fact, there are kids who like the fact that their parents don’t approve of their friends; it adds to the flavor of the relationship. Understand that while your goal as a parent is to keep your child protected and safe, your child’s goal is to be with people who like him.

When You Don’t Like Your Child’s Friends:

6 Ways to Deal with the “Wrong Crowd”

  • Try to Avoid Repeated Criticisms of Their Friends

    I personally don’t think repeatedly criticizing your child’s friends or pointing out that they’re bad is going to be a successful strategy. Again, adolescents are developmentally at a place in their life where they’re defending their friends. And so it’s very difficult for a parent to turn around and say, “Your friends are no good,” and expect to have a conversation. Your child’s natural urge is going to be to protect his or her friends, whether or not they know you’re right. Realize that criticizing your child‘s friends is like criticizing an aspect of your child. It’s going to meet with the same resistance and hostility—even if what you’re saying is true. And all it will do is further alienate your child from you.

  • Make Clear Statements about Behavior

    I think if you don’t like your kid’s friends, the most effective thing to do is state: “I don’t like the way they behave.” That’s the first thing you can say. “I don’t like you hanging out with kids who get in trouble, because you get in trouble with them.” Can you say this every day? No. But you can say it once in awhile. Be sure to simply state the facts. State what you don’t like about their friends’ behavior. You’re not judging them. As a parent, I think you want to be a little smooth about that. You could say, “Look, I’m sure your friends are great to you. But they all smoke pot and they all get into trouble. If you hang out with them, you’re going to get into the same trouble.”

    Remember, when we’re having conversations like this with our kids we want to keep our observations on a level we can see. By that I mean talk about things that are recognizable: “I don’t like that Jackie got arrested for shoplifting. I don’t want you to get arrested for it, too. I don’t like that your buddies all use drugs because I don’t want you using drugs. I don’t think it’s good for you.” Make those observations and keep it simple and direct.

  • Use Structure

    I think that structure can be very helpful when dealing with your child’s friends. In other words, if you don’t like the kids he’s hanging out with, then don’t let him go out on school nights. Try to have more control over where he goes and what he does. If he says he’s going to the football game and then you catch him down at the mall with those friends, that’s his choice. He chose to go some place which you didn’t know about and there should be consequences.

    Set Limits
    If you know your child’s friends are engaging in behavior that isn’t in line with your values, then I think you should set limits on how much time they spend with those kids—or whether or not your child can see them at all. If his friends are breaking the law or doing things that are unhealthy, you can say, “Maybe they’re your friends, but I’m not going to let you hang out with them.” With a lot of adolescents, defiance becomes a big problem. Many of the kids I dealt with would climb out their windows when told they couldn’t go out. But again, you set the standard as the parent; you set the expectation. If your child doesn’t meet it, at least he knew there were standards and expectations to begin with, and now he will have to face the consequences and be held accountable for his actions.

  • Going Out on Friday Night is Not a “Right”

    All of a sudden, kids hit a certain age when they think they have the right to go out. Well, I don’t think so. I think kids have to behave responsibly in order to earn the right to go out. And you can say, “I’ll let you go out if you show me that you’re trustworthy.” Behaving responsibly does not include hanging out with kids who use drugs and drink—that’s all there is to it. I also think going out on Friday or Saturday night is not a right; it has to be something that is discussed every week. My son used to come to me and say, “Listen, Saturday night we’re all going up to the lake. Is it okay if I go?” Saturday night was not his automatic night out. Instead, that was negotiated each week, and the answer wasn’t always “Sure.” As a parent, I think you should be saying, “What are your plans this weekend?” Your child should know that they have to have their plans Okayed by you first, and that they have to behave responsibly in order to earn the privilege of going out.

  • Talk to Them about Mean Friends

    What if your child is hanging out with kids who treat him badly? Know that he’s hanging out with them for a reason. He’s probably afraid of them so he’s trying to become one of them. When kids are afraid of bullies and other kids, one of the options they have is to join the group and become a bully. Because even though these kids are mean to him, there is a sense of safety there. The deal they make is, “I’ll let you be mean to me and tease me, but you won’t abuse me or beat me up or take my lunch money any more.”

    But I think if your kid’s friends are mean to him, the kind of questions you want to ask are, “What are you trying to accomplish by letting people treat you this way? What are you getting out of that?”

    Try to have an adult conversation with your child. You can say, “Listen, you have choices; you don’t have to hang out with these kids. You don’t have to be a victim. I can get you help with this.”

When Your Child Hangs Out with Kids Who Use Drugs 
As we’ve said, there are several reasons why people gravitate toward different groups. If you have a kid with behavior problems, you will often find that they are attracted to friends who also have behavior problems. If you have a child who doesn’t do his homework and fails in school and is resistant and mouthy, he’s going to gravitate toward friends who won’t hold him accountable for that kind of behavior. Instead, his chosen peer group will reward and reinforce what he’s doing. In order to belong, he just has to do what the other kids are doing. That might be any number of things, including shoplifting, defacing property, using drugs or drinking.

It’s a simple fact that kids who use drugs hang out with other kids who use drugs. These kids are not likely to ask, “Did you get an A in science?” If these are your child’s friends, realize that he is almost certainly engaging in the same type of risky behavior—even if he says he’s not. Let me be clear: there is no other reason for your child to pal around with kids who do drugs.If he says, “Well, they do it, but they don’t do it around me,” that’s a lot of nonsense. It’s just something kids tell you to throw you off track; and sadly, it’s often a far cry from the truth. 
Some parents say things to their kids like, “Well, you shouldn’t smoke pot, but everybody experiments with it.” Don’t give your child that cop-out line.

Make it very clear: “No matter what you see your friends or other kids doing, there is no using drugs. That’s our expectation of you.”

We were really clear on that with our son. I personally feel parents cop out when they say, “You shouldn’t do it, but everybody else does it.” Your kid is not equipped to make decisions about drugs. Drugs get you high, drugs take away stress, drugs take away feelings of panic or crisis, and that means something. Once kids start using drugs, it’s easy for teens to become dependent on them because adolescentsalways feel stress. Drugs can become a dangerous way for them to get relief from all their fears and anxieties. Make no bones about it, drug rehabs today are filled with teenagers whose parents said, “They’re only experimenting” when their kids first started using.

There are important problem-solving tasks adolescents have to work through in order to prepare for adult living. Also, there is knowledge about the world that teenagers have to learn in order to make healthy choices and keep themselves safe. The use of drugs and alcohol in adolescence inhibits the possibility of these milestones being reached. So I don’t think parents should turn a blind eye or make excuses. Many times, parents are afraid to feel powerless, so they’ll make those kinds of statements instead of just telling their child “no.” But you need to hold your child accountable and tell them right from wrong; that’s simply the way it has to be. You have to be very clear and take a stand: “No drinking. No drugs.”

When Your Child’s Behavior Changes
If your child starts changing as a result of the kids he hangs out with, use a structured parenting routine: set limits and manage their time. I also think you should expect that they’re going to change during adolescence. They’re going to find a group with whom they’re going to identify. When you see an adolescent, believe me, he’s probably rebelling against adult authority in a lot of little ways. And while your child may go to school and be fairly responsible, you’ll find that through music, through clothes, through a myriad of different things, it’s a rebellious time in his life.

I think it’s important for parents to understand that rebelliousness has a developmental function. Teenagers are individuating from their parents; what I mean by that is they’re becoming individuals and separating from their parents. This feels as natural to adolescents as water feels to a duck. Saying that, it’s often a very hard thing for parents to accept and manage.

Here’s the bottom line: kids are going to make mistakes and they’re going to make bad choices. The best we can do is guide them, set limits, project our view of what’s right and wrong in the world and hold them accountable.

 

By, James Lehman. MSW                             Empoweringparents. Com 

Why The Person You Hate The Most Is Often The One You Love The Most

I doubt that I’m alone in saying that I don’t like most people. I’m fairly certain that most people don’t like most people — which, when you think about it — is amusing and interesting in itself.

The concepts of liking and disliking things is likewise interesting. You’d think that such a crucial process, a process that governs all of our decision-making, would be objectively measurable. It, however, isn’t.

When we talk about liking or disliking something or someone, we don’t say that the individual is likable or dislikable.

We don’t say that that something or someone is liked or disliked; we say “I” or “we” like or dislike that something or someone. By nature, to like or dislike is entirely subjective. The real question is: Why does this matter?

It matters because what or whom we like or dislike reflects more about us than it does that something or someone under the microscope. Of course, we may believe that the reasons we have for liking or disliking something or someone would be shared by everyone else, but the fact is that they wouldn’t be.

For any person who has a certain opinion, you’ll find at least one other that has exactly the opposite opinion — and as we’ve already established, because liking or disliking something or someone are subjective, they as well are nothing more than opinions.

Good and bad are not the same as likable and dislikable. There are people in this world who like bad — even if it’s for twisted reasons, bad does give some that pleasurable feeling we experience whenever it is we come into contact with something or someone we like.

The only way we know whether or not we like or dislike someone or something is by the way that someone or something makes us feel.

It’s incredible that even the littlest things can make us feel something emotionally. What’s even more incredible is the depth of our emotions and how only other human beings seem to be capable of showing us those depths.

You can like and dislike things, but you can only truly love or hate other people. Only people are capable of finding such creative ways of pushing our buttons.

There is one complication that makes understanding love and hate a bit difficult. Because they are such elevated states of emotion, they often overlap — making it difficult to differentiate the two.

The truth is, you can’t always differentiate between love and hate. Emotions aren’t so black and white; they’re more like complex cocktails served at mixology bars — lots of different ingredients blended together to make one unique emotion.

This isn’t to say that every person we hate we also love. Don’t be ridiculous. But it does mean that it’s sometimes the case. Most often it’s between two lovers, or past lovers rather.

When you find yourself in such a situation, how you interpret those emotions that you’re feeling will make all the difference.

If you interpret that love/hate cocktail as primarily love, then you will hopefully learn from the experience, grow as an individual and continue the healthy relationship.

If, on the other hand, you interpret the emotions as under the umbrella of hate, then you’re likely going to deny yourself love and instead break things off. Unfortunately, doing so more often than not catches up with you. Let me explain.

With the understanding that loving or hating someone reflects more about us than it does about the person in question — just as does liking and disliking — in mind, what sort of things do we believe can spark such an emotional response from us?

Lots of things that have little relation to us can make us feel strong emotion. The things that make us feel the strongest emotions, however, are always those that do involve us directly.

It’s the things that we feel either benefit or harm our egos that solicit such intense emotional responses. Think about it. We love the people we love because they’re either someone that our egos want or someone that reaffirms our personal value by loving us in return.

We love to love because loving is as close to selfless as any want or yearning can possibly be. We love to be loved because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

This means that we hate people because they are hurting our egos in some way. They may be lashing out at us and demeaning us. They may be disrespectful toward us or simply using and taking advantage of us, belittling us in the process. Or… they may be telling us some truth that we don’t especially want to hear.

That’s the thing about egos… they come off so strong and resilient, but at the first signs of potential bruising, they push you to run for the hills. In order to love someone deeply, you have to let that person in — all the way in. That someone has to know you inside and out.

The problem with this is that when you allow someone to see the real you, it often doesn’t line up with the version that you have of yourself. If his or her version isn’t quite as spectacular as your own, it takes a mature and intelligent individual not to be offended.

It all comes down to the person you are and the person you believe yourself to be. Most people — statistically, you’re likely to be one of them — refuse to take a good look at the person they’ve become. Most people simply don’t want to know — or are too afraid of what they’d have to come to terms with.

The true problem arises when we find an individual we fall in love with. For the stretch of the honeymoon phase, most people don’t point out the flaws of the other.

It’s once you’ve been dating for a while and you get very comfortable with each other that your partner is bound to show you a side of yourself that you aren’t especially excited to address.

Most people will then feel insulted, attacked and hurt — maybe they’ll even lash out in response. Things escalate and the love that we once felt has somehow mutated into hate.

All of this, surely, could have been avoided were we mature enough to understand that it’s okay for the person we love to point out our flaws and weaknesses.

They aren’t doing so to hurt or insult us — although this will also vary from individual to individual — but to allow us to see ourselves the way everyone else sees us. It can be difficult to get a full view of our lives from a first-person perspective — we need someone to help us see.

 

Instead of hating your lover for showing you your flaws, ask him or her to help you work on correcting them. If they are truly flaws then you should be happy to address them sooner than later.

A relationship is a partnership, and partnerships are only worth something when both parties are working toward improvement and further success. Your instinct may be to hate those that hurt your ego, but keep in mind that our egos aren’t capable of running the show.

They aren’t equipped for such complex reasoning — they only respond, never act proactively. You can listen to your egos, but at the end of the day, you need to use rational thought to make the right decision.

Before you call it quits, make sure the person you once loved, whom you now hate, isn’t the best thing that could have ever happened to you.

 

By,  Paul Hudson

Poor People Think Differently Than Rich People – Latest Research 

Habits are stored by the brain in the Basal Ganglia. This is a golfball size mass of tissue smack in the center of the brain. Habits save the brain work. There is very little processing power involved with respect to habits. When a habit is formed and stored in this region, the rest of the brain stops fully participating in any decision making with respect to that habit.

Here’s the shocking thing: 40% of all of our daily activities are habits. This means that 40% of the time we are all on auto pilot. We are thinking and doing things without the rest of the brain even being aware of the activity. We don’t realize how significant habits are in our daily lives. Habits make us who we are.

Any mental thought, often repeated, becomes a habit. Habitual thoughts make you who you are. Poor people are poor and rich people are rich because of the way they habitually think. Their habitual thinking comes first and their habitual activities follow. If you habitually think in a certain way you will habitually act in a certain way. Greatness requires great thoughts. To become rich you have to learn how to think like a rich person. To avoid poverty you have to understand how not to think.

Let’s look at the latest research on how poor people think:

  • 87% of poor people think you must be intellectually gifted in order to become wealthy
  • 90% of poor people think fate determines your wealth or poverty in life
  • 13% of poor people think/thought they will/would be successful in life
  • 11% of the poor think creativity is critical to financial success
  • 80% of the poor think genetics are critical to success
  • 18% of the poor think they are the cause of their financial condition
  • 77% of the poor think lying is a prerequisite for accumulating wealth
  • 2% of the poor meditate daily
  • 90% of the poor think rich people are rich because their parents were rich and they inherited money
  • 22% of poor people think optimism is important to success
  • 5% of poor people think rich people are good, hardworking and honest
  • 52% of poor people believe wealth is accidental; a function of random luck

Now let’s look at how rich people think about the same things:

  • 10% of rich people think you must be intellectually gifted in order to become wealthy
  • 10% of rich people think fate determines your wealth or poverty in life
  • 43% of rich people think/thought they will/would be successful in life
  • 75% of the rich think creativity is critical to financial success
  • 6% of the rich think genetics are critical to success
  • 79% of the rich think they are the cause of their financial condition
  • 15% of the rich think lying is a prerequisite for accumulating wealth
  • 17% of the rich meditate daily
  • 5% of the rich think people are rich because their parents were rich and they inherited money
  • 54% of rich people think optimism is important to success
  • 78% of rich people think that rich people are good, hardworking and honest
  • 4% of rich people believe wealth is accidental; a function of random luck

If you want to become wealthy you need to stop thinking like a poor person and start thinking like a rich person.

By Thomas C. Corley

“I’m Not Better Than Anyone, Nobody’s Better Than Me”

“I’m not better than anyone. Nobody’s better than me.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a minute to watch this recent video of a dad’s morning pep talk with his daughter.

I loved this video for a dozen reasons — the father-daughter bond, the positive self talk — but this one line stuck with me. Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself repeating it daily, quietly to myself.

I wasn’t raised with this mantra. I was encouraged to be the best me and to love my neighbor. I was taught to care deeply for my community and that I could rise above my status. I was shown some great values that made me much of who I am today.

But as an American, I was also taught I was a citizen of the “best” country in the world. As a white, cisgender, heterosexual child I was told I was “normal” and others were “different”. As a Christian, I was taught that I was a member of the only “right” religion, with a calling to lead others to see the way. As a woman, I was taught to respect the men in my life as my leaders and not to question authority. As a southerner, I was taught suspicion of the north and anyone who claimed education made them superior.

As it turns out, I was taught I was better than a lot of people — and that a lot of people were better than me. Those lessons run deep in my DNA. As an adult, I’ve made a conscious choice to disavow these beliefs from my childhood, but I’ve picked up a new batch that I struggle with.

Today, I say I live in New York City — calling it “the greatest city in the world” like that is an obvious fact. I assume those with more education or more money than me earned their status as my superior, while simultaneously questioning the intelligence of those active in the church. I romanticize those who work in manual labor jobs or live in rural communities, while secretly pitying them. I pride myself on my open mindedness, while judging those too “backwards” to see the world my way. I find myself thinking that fat people don’t exercise, that beautiful people are dumb, that the unemployed don’t try that hard to work — the list goes on. I make 100s of tiny snap judgments everyday, ranking myself a bit better or a bit worse than my neighbor.

If I sound like a bitch, I get it. I’m hating myself right now too. I’m not proud of this. I’ve never said these things out loud before, for reasons that reek of denial and fear. I know I should be better. I can be better.

Before you judge me — and I know you’re already judging me — ask yourself what is on your list. Who is better than you? Who are you better than? You may not be ready to say your list aloud, but I’m confident you have a list. We’re human and we come pre-packaged with flaws. I’m airing mine today in an attempt to hold myself accountable to being better tomorrow, and perhaps to light the way for others to come with me.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that it requires deeper understanding, deeper trust, deeper love from all of us. In the meantime, I’ll repeat my new mantra:

“I’m not better than anyone. Nobody’s better than me.”

By Alexis Tryon

Selling Dates Meant For IDPs. Whose Profit?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated 200 tons of dates to Nigeria through the office of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

It was later discovered by some Nigerians that these same Dates were being sold at N2,500 from a corner shop at the National Mosque.
Like books and copies of the Qur’an often donated by Saudi Arabia, the customized Dates were packaged and marked “Free”, while some were stamped “Not for Sale”.

Hello!!? What part of “free” and “not for sale” do they not understand? I have seen the way the goodwill gifts are packaged and marked and can testify that it is written in Arabic and translated to English, so there is no way one can miss the warning, unless you cannot read either of the two languages or blind.

What is horrible and embarrassing about this whole thing is the fact that the dates were meant for the IDPs, the poor and less privileged who are already struggling to survive.

So, it had to take the giver of the gifts to raise an alarm that the gifts given ‘fii sabilillah’ (for Allah’s sake) were being sold. In a headline that read: “Saudi Arabia raises alarm over sale of free fruits meant for IDPs in Nigerian markets” the attention of many Nigerians was drawn to the fraud going on almost unnoticed.

The Saudi Arabian government give out tons of Dates for free based on an agreement that those taking it are going to give it to the poor, especially those in the Internally Displaced Persons camp.
However, the authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria have found the fruit on sale in Nigeria to their amazement. Not only that. Books, especially Quran, also from Saudi Arabia, equally marked Free or Not for Sale, have flooded the Nigerian market.
How callous, how selfish and greedy!

Obviously, some persons thought they could obtain these fruits and do back door sales to make some quick money. But that terrible agenda blew up in their faces.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an apology to the government of Saudi Arabia over the sales of free dates donated by the kingdom to Nigeria.

The ministry’s statement by its spokesperson, Clement Aduku, expressed “disappointment” over the “unfortunate turn of events” but said the matter is being investigated to avoid a repeat in the future.
Aduku said the dates were warehoused by Saudi embassy in Abuja and distributed in the presence of the Charge d’Affaires, Dr Yahya Ali Mughram and the ministry’s director of Middle East and Gulf in conjunction with the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

“It is important to note that once the dates were delivered to their final destinations, the ministry of foreign affairs became devoid of any subsequent responsibility. It is therefore disappointing to learn that some of the consignment is being sold for profit,” he said.

My question is this: who should be held liable for this show of shame? The ministry of Foreign Affairs or the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, the body responsible for distributing the fruits?

Raising the alarm on the issue was the best thing that could happen because now everyone is aware that some people derive pleasure and thrive on cheating others. If the fruits ever found its way to its intended destination, this incident will blow the lid open once again on the atrocities that go on in the IDP camps where humanitarian items don’t actually get to their targets.
We will be watching and waiting for the ministry of Foreign Affairs’ report on this matter.

 

Who’s Most Important Person In Your Life …

If I asked you “who’s the most important person in your life?” you would probably say “My mom”, “my dad”, “my husband”, “my wife, “my kids”, “my grandmother”, “my grandfather” maybe you would even say “my cat”.

But is it wrong of me if I told you that my initial answer to that question was “myself”?

Sure I love my parents and my grandparents. And sure I will love my husband and kids when I’ll have some of my own. And I did in fact have a cat when I was little, his name was Kitty, (I know sooooo original!) and he was like my little brother, my bestfriend and I loved him dearly.

There is no doubt here that I love each and everyone of those people along with my true friends.

But is it wrong if I love me just a little bit more?

“I don’t mean to brag, I don’t mean to boast. I love all y’all, but I love me the most” — Meghan Trainor

Now, don’t think that I am a narcissistic self-centered person. I’m probably the opposite. I mean, I love myself but I’m also the one that probably dislike myself the most. Isn’t that everyone’s case?

I mean we all love ourselves but sometimes we just dislike what we see, what we are, what we do etc… But that is why I also love myself, because no matter what, I’m always there (literally). No matter how ugly I feel. No matter how worthless I feel. No matter how alone I am. I always got me.

“It’s just me, myself and I. Solo ride until I die. Cause I got me for life” — Bebe Rhexa

And by “I always got me”, I mean that I am always there trying to help myself to get up again. You’ll probably think I’m crazy but I do talk to myself. And I give myself dang good advices! haha

The truth is, everyone can give advices. Some might be good, some not so good. We all can do it. But sometimes we forget to listen to ourselves. We forget to listen to the advices we give ourselves. All the pep talks and compliments etc… We don’t listen to all of that.

And that is one of the reasons why I love me so much. Because I listen to my inner self first/more. Ultimately, I’m the only one who knows me the most. And I’ve gotten myself through a ton of shit. And I appreciate myself for being so strong during all those shitty times. And I appreciate myself for helping getting myself together. And I appreciate myself for loving me in spite of all the flaws.

  • I am so grateful to have me.

And I know I sound crazy, but I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I’ve struggled with not fitting in and feeling lonely and not accepted pretty much my entire life. And I really want to take the time to thank myself for being there and for being so strong because there was a time where I could have ended all of this. But I didn’t.

And that is why I love me the most.

And I would encourage you to all love yourself unconditionally first. Because eventually that is how you will know how to unconditionally love others.

By Lalaina Rackson

Sad Mail From Unknown Elderly Woman

Parents pls be watchful !!!!

I received a long mail from an unknown elderly woman yesterday and it was so touching. She requested I put it up here for everyone to read and learn from. Kindly read it below

.

Hello, I wake up in pain everyday and wish everyday and I pray the next time I open my eyes,  I should find myself in the world beyond and not here on earth.

I came across your different posts yesterday and felt I could share my secret with you and may be if I did,  my story may help one or two parents who read your posts.

I got married at the age of 24years to my husband who was a medical practitioner just like I was.  We both focused on our carried and of course were both successful in all we did but not in our parenting our own flesh and blood.

We had two children, Kunle the first and Tola the second. Kunle was a very inquisitive boy and asked questions on everything. He even had a nick name “the examiner”.

His father and I got tired of his questions that we started locking up the door to our bedroom once we came back from work. How I wish I knew better, how I wish I read those posts of yours then.

By the time Kunle was four years old, he was much more intelligent than his colleagues and he was so lively,  you would never have a dull moment with him.  He loved his sister so much and we were always proud of him. His father and I were so sure Kunle was also going to become a medical doctor just like we were.

We loved our children so much and had plans to give then the best of everything although we were always busy and were not always at home because of the nature of our job.  This made us   hire a nanny and we also had one of my brothers in-law with us.

On day,  I came back from work very tired  and my son ran into my room with me and asked,

“why do you always close your door anytime you and daddy are in the room?”

“Do you like kissing my daddy?”

“why don’t you kiss me too?”

I got so upset with him that I beat him severely and reported him to his teacher the next day.  We believed some of his friends were already exposed and may be watched bad movies at home.  By the end of that term, we withdrew Kunle and Tola from the school.

We did not allow him and his sister watch the television at home and also stopped them from visiting their friends and neighbours.  We did all this to preserve our children’s sanity but hardly did we know what was happening right under our roof.

Some two years later,  I got home unusually early to pick up a document. I noticed the door was not shut and everywhere was quiet.  I sneaked in to give my children a playful surprise when I realised that their uncle and nanny were in the sitting alongside with my children watching pornography. I hate remembering that day.  Not only were they watching pornography, but they were all naked,  practicing what they were watching.

I drove out the nanny and my brother in-law but the seed was already planted. When I was crying,  my six year old son came to me and said, mummy why are you crying,  uncle and aunty are only teaching us how to be good mummy and daddy. I was shocked as I never even knew that this had been going on for over two years and my children had be indoctrinated into this messy life style at their tender ages.

We never realized the impact  this had had on their lives until we caught both of them having sexual intercourse on uncountable occasions. Tola and Kunle did not only continue with this but became obsessed with each other.

Their father and I kept this as our “little secret” as we were well known in our carrier. We tried correcting them in love with tears streaming down our faces whenever we caught them in the act. They promised us they were going to change. We had had done two abortions for our daughter, since we could not face the stigma of incest.

On a fateful day, Tola walked up to her father and I and told us she was pregnant for Kunle again. Her father insisted on an abortion as usual but this time we lost our twenty year old daughter in the process. Kunle on learning Tola had died never spoke to neither his father nor I again. He eventually left home.

Three months after he left home,  we received a call from an hospital telling us our son was in a terrible state in their ICU. When we got there,  Kunle was lying unconscious.  He had poisoned himself.

Finally, he got conscious and we were so happy, he looked at us as we sat by he bedside and told us how much he hated us for killing his sister. We pleaded with him and apologized.

We got to the hospital the next day to see his corpse,  he had suffocated himself by removing his oxygen mask.

I am now 74 years old and a widow, my husband could not forgive himself and died of depression three years ago. I regret my years of ignorance everyday. I wish I could start afresh.

I have never opened up my family “little secret” up till today. I don’t know if my story can be of help to other parents, I am tired of carrying this burden without telling a soul.

I am happy I finally surmounted the courage to open up to someone today. Oh, my life is a great mess.

Kindly do me a favour of posting this on your Facebook page for parents to learn how expensive their actions today could be tomorrow.

 

Thank you.

Source – Unknown

Culled From Aremuorin …….

Share Your Story With Us: takemygist@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Old Story: ‘I Hate My Husband!’

This is how a letter starts in my Inbox today. It’s from a 41-year-old woman named Zee who has been married for 12 years. I get mail like this using slightly different language several times a week. Substitute the word “hate” for “loathe”, “despise”, “can’t stand” and occasionally, “wanna kill”.

I always tell these women the same thing: You are definitely not alone. Plenty of wives feel this way. Plenty of wives think about divorce at least once a month, if not more, and manage to stay married for decades.

My conclusions about the see-saw between hate and love come not as a psychologist or as a minister who counsels her flock. Also the secret lives of wives, to whom women tend to tell all, about joy and sorrow and cheating and lying, about hot sex and no sex – and lots of dish in between.

Any woman married for longer than six months, if she is honest, knows the eggshell thin line that separates loving from loathing. The deeper the love, the deeper the potential to hate. Any wife who is honest knows the compulsion to throw things, to hiss, to swear, to sit in the driveway in your bathrobe, engine running, sobbing.

What wife among you hasn’t occasionally sucked down too much wine to numb the pain of grinding against the same person, in the same house, every day, for weeks, months, years?

Yet we stay married because the love out-muscles the hate in our relationships. On those days we are socked under a gray malaise, we are suddenly lifted into the light as we walk by an old photo of the family, arms looped, heads pressed together, as if we are one big animal.

And so it goes; happy some moments, miserable some moments, yet grounded in this flux of emotions by a fundamental commitment to each other, to the children, to forge onward.

I know from my own 24-year marriage and from the resilient women in The Secret Lives of Wives who have stuck it out for up to 60 years that marriage is ever-changing. Their own survival stories prove that periodic explosions can open up the channels to richer and stronger relationships.

I ended up having an hour-long email conversation with Zee. She hit my heart. I felt her pain. I’ve been there, and persevered. Hopefully these snippets from our exchange will help you swing through the moods of hating toward loving, or at least toward liking him a lot, again.

From Zee: “At some point every week I feel like leaving him. When we got married I imagined this great life we would have together and instead we seem to always be fighting, about the kids, about the fact that he is so remote, about the stupidest things.”

 

From me: “Are you still attracted to him?”

 

From Zee: “Sex is still, good, yes. But we don’t have it very often. I find myself lusting after other men.”

 

From me: “Have sex more often with your husband. Keep the lusting in your imagination unless you want a torn up heart and buckets of guilt. Fantasy can be way better than reality; e.g, take it from one married woman who told me how she took a hubba-hubba office mate to a nearby hotel. Once he took off his shirt she saw a back that was so hairy she couldn’t even kiss him: As she put it: ‘He was gorgeous in his suit and I should have left it at that.’

 

“Sorry if this offends because your husband has a hairy back. I’m sure he’s adorable, but it wasn’t this woman’s taste.

 

From Zee: “No hairy back – don’t like them either. I know I’m lucky to be married to someone sexy. Some of my friends don’t go near their husbands. But this hate I feel, it simmers and I wonder if it’s a sign that there could be a better partner out there for me. Little things grate on me every day. My husband chews his food loudly. I hate his father. I hate our domestic hum-drum. This can’t be love!”

 

From me: “Does he beat you? Is he gambling away all your money? Is he verbally abusive to you? Does he whack your children? Is he a philanderer?”

 

From Zee: “No, he’s a gentle man and a hands-on father. I have never been suspicious of him being with other women. He makes a good living, and that has enabled me to stay home with the kids.

“My hate comes from this feeling that I’m missing out on something else.”

 

From me: “Here’s what you are missing out on, according to some wives who write to me. How about the agony of finding out your husband is sleeping with your best girlfriend? Or, getting daily critiques from your husband that you are repulsive to look at and lazy? One woman shared with me how her husband grew so frustrated with their autistic five-year-old he tossed him across the room.”

 

From Zee; “Yikes! Okay I admit I don’t have any really big problems. So what about this sense of just feeling bored?”

 

Last one from me: “In the early years of marriage, during my 30s and into my early-40s, I often longed for a different life. In my 50s, I am grateful for a predictable routine with the same husband who has helped me raise four interesting sons. We loathe and we love and we carry on. When boredom hits, I go out with my girlfriends or visit someone from my family who will keep me happy for some hours.

“Could my life be better with someone new? Perhaps, until the new becomes old, which it inevitably does. Does my head get turned by chiseled men in well-cut suits? Yes. Then I remember that I don’t want to necessarily see what’s under those threads. Acting on lust often turns out not to be true love but to be true disappointment. It takes grit and prolonged intimacy to love deeply and hate deeply and thus is the rhythm of family relationships. Ever tell a sibling or a parent, ‘I hate you’? Then, an hour later, you are hugging and wetting each other’s faces with tears.

“It takes a lot of love to hate.”

 

True Old Story By I.K

The Many Sides Of Stress

No matter how well human relationships are handled, people occasionally develop emotional problems that lead to psychological discomfort.

Stress is often described as a feeling of being overloaded, tense and worried. We all experience stress at times; it could sometimes help us get motivated to finish a task or reform well. But stress can also be harmful if we become over stressed and it interferes with our ability to get on with our lives for a long period.

Whenever humans are faced with stressful events, our bodies respond by activating the nervous system and releasing hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones cause physical changes in the body which help us to react quickly and effectively to get through the stressful situation. This is sometimes called fight or flight response.

The hormones increase our heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, metabolism and muscle tension, our pupils dilate and our perspiration rate increases.

While these physical changes help us try to meet the challenges of the stressful situation, they can cause other physical or psychological symptoms if the stress is ongoing and the physical changes don’t abate.

Some of these symptoms include:- headaches, pains, disturbance in sleep pattern, insomnia, stomach upset, indigestion, diarrhea, anxiety, anger, irritability, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, low-self esteem, High blood pressure, weakened immune system, Heart disease etc.

Types of Stress:

Survival stress:- You may have heard the phrase “fight your flight before”. This is a common response to danger in all people and animals. When you are afraid that someone or something may physically hurt you, your body naturally responds with a burst of energy so that you will be able to survive the dangerous situation (fight) or escape it all together (flight). This is survival stress.

Internal stress:- is when you find yourself worrying about things you can do nothing about or worrying for no reason at all. This is internal stress and it is one of the most important kinds of stress to understand and manage. Internal stress is when people make themselves stressed. This often happens when we worry about things we can’t control or put ourselves in situation we know will cause us stress. Some people become addicted to the kind of hurried, tense, lifestyle that results from being under stress. They even look for stressful situations and feel stressed about things that aren’t stressful.

Environment stress:- this is a response to things around you that cause stress, such as noise, crowding, and pressure from work or family. Identifying these environmental stresses and learning to avoid them or deal with them will help lower your stress level.

Fatigue and overwork:- this kind of stress builds up over a long time and can take a hard toll on your body. It can be caused by working too much, too hard at your job, school or home. It can also be caused by not knowing how to manage your time well or how to take time out for rest and relaxation.

This can be out of the hardest kinds of stress to avoid because many people feel this is out of their control.

There are three major types of stress to watch out for which are:

Acute stress:- sometimes stress can be brief and specific to the damage of a particular situation, such as a deadline, a performance or facing difficult challenges or traumatic events.

Episodic acute stress:- some people seem to experience acute stress over and over. This is sometimes referred to as episodic acute stress. These repetitive stress episodes may be due to series of very real stressful challenges, for example losing a job, then developing health problems, followed by difficulties for a child in the school setting; for some people, episodic acute stress is a combination of a real challenge and a tendency to operate like a stress machine; some tend to worry endlessly about bad things that could happen, are frequently in a rush and impatient with too many demands on their time, which can contribute to episodic acute stress.

Chronic stress:- the third type of stress is called chronic stress. This type of stress is called chronic stress. This involves on-going demands, pressures and worries that seem to go on forever, with little hope of letting up. Chronic stress is very harmful to people’s health and happiness. Even though people can sometimes get used to chronic stress, and may feel they do not notice it much, it continues to wear people down and has a negative effect on their relationship and health.

How can stress affect you?
Stress can affect both your body and mind. People under large amount of stress can become tired, sick and unable to concentrate or think clearly sometimes, they even suffer mental breakdown. If high level of stress continues for a long period of time, or interferes with you enjoying a healthy life, it is advisable to seek professional help. A mental health professional, like a psychologist, can help you identify behaviours and situation that are contributing to high stress; and help you to make changes to the things that are within your control. Seeking help can be one way to manage stress effectively.

By: Maryam Adeleke, Federal Polytechnic Bida

Things Your Loved One With Anxiety Wishes You Knew

AS A PERSON WITH ANXIETY, THIS QUOTE HITS CLOSE TO HOME. NOTHING ON EARTH IS AS DAUNTING AS WHAT LIES IN OUR OWN MINDS.

Loving a person with anxiety can be confusing, frustrating, and even frightening at times. It’s not an easy thing to do. However, like all love, it is tremendously rewarding.

DO YOU LOVE SOMEONE WITH ANXIETY?
Here are 17 things they wish you knew:

1. It means a lot when you listen to us without judgement. We know our fears don’t always make sense. When you allow us to talk through them, you are helping us to process our illness.

2. If you see that something – a smell, an action, a place – seems to ease our anxiety, point it out. We might not have noticed, and we can use all the tools we can get.

3. We sometimes find comfort in odd places. Don’t judge the things that make us feel safe. Encourage us to be ourselves, free from self-consciousness.

4. We can give you ways to help us through an anxious moment. However, an anxious moment is not a good time to ask for these. Have this conversation with us when we are calm.

5. We know we can be inconvenient and unreliable. There’s no need to remind us. We beat ourselves up over it all the time.

6. We feel terrible after we get frustrated and snap at you. It isn’t about you. It’s about us.

7. It helps us when you remain outwardly calm. We need stability when we are freaking out. Your peaceful demeanor is reassuring.

8. Our hypervigilance can cause us to get tired quickly. We may need more downtime and rest than other people.

9. Our anxiety does not make us stupid or childish. Even during an anxious moment, talking down to us does not help. It’s irritating and condescending.

10. We love it when you show us breathing exercises, grounding techniques, or new ways of thinking that combat anxiety. Whether they work for us or not, this gesture shows us that you’re on our team.

11. Our tendency to overthink can be a blessing and a curse.

12. We are okay with the fact that you can’t understand our anxiety. We don’t understand it either.

13. We understand that anxiety isn’t logical. However, it’s a physical, medically based problem. It doesn’t respond to facts. We can’t think it away, as much as we wish we could.

14. We want you to take good care of yourself. We need you to be at your best.

15. We appreciate your patience. We know it’s not easy.

16. Logically, we know we won’t die from a panic attack. In the moment, however, it feels like we definitely will. Having a panic attack is a painful and terrifying experience. It feels like the end of the world.

17. With self-care, determination, and hard work, we are capable of anything.

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic,” wrote Anaïs Nin. People who choose to be there for loved ones with anxiety are brave. Loving an anxious person requires strength, compassion, and the courage to choose love over comfort.

IF YOU LOVE SOMEONE WITH ANXIETY, DON’T GIVE UP ON THEM. YOU ARE THEIR HERO.
Source: I Heart Intelligence