Category Archives: Relationship

Why are kids so mean?

I started to question why kids are so mean to one another after my daughter started high school and became a target of bullying and verbal attacks from her peers and classmates. I just couldn’t understand it and my eleven year old would come home emotionally bruised not because she couldn’t stand up for herself but because I told her not to engage in altercation with anyone. So she kept her feelings to herself and would come home to vent in her bathroom. I would help her through this difficult time by teaching her coping mechanisms and encouraging her to express herself and defend herself in school without appearing violent or with intent to fight anyone. I also taught her the power of music and journaling to help her through it all. And everyday, we would talk, I would listen to her and counsel her. While doing all of this, I went to the school to speak with the educators as well to get to the bottom of the matter and I realized that kids who could reason from right to wrong, are mean to others simply because those kids aren’t like them or do not share the same values or interests. Thus, my desire to understand why.

So I found this piece on 👉🏽 https://www.google.com.ng/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/growing-friendships/201803/why-are-kids-so-mean%3famp where it talked about why kids are mean. This article was written by Dr Eileen Kenedy-Moore where she talked about “empathy blind spots” in kids. Here is an excerpt.

“Empathy blind spots happen when children decide that certain people’s feelings don’t “count” and therefore feel justified in being mean to them. Empathy blind spots allow kids to make excuses for being unkind. They insist, “He’s so annoying!”; “She’s weird!”; or “Nobody likes him!” Believing these excuses, they tell themselves that the mean behavior is acceptable, unavoidable, or even righteous.”

As it turned out, this was exactly the reason why my daughter was being persecuted and she wasn’t the only one. Apparently, this set of “cool” girls were bullying others because they were not cool enough. So after my complaint and the girls were made to face a disciplinary committee, I was called to the school to give my opinion and I told the committee not to punish the kids but rather to counsel them because they really are just kids. In fact, I am of the opinion that parents should be held responsible for their children’s bad behaviors because it is our responsibility to raise the kids right.

One of the values that I teach my kids is tolerance and that they are sensitive to other people’s feelings. No child exists in vacuum but if we don’t teach them to be accepting of people, they are not able to have an open mind to embrace everyone regardless of race, culture or beliefs. There is no way on God’s green earth that we all will ever be the same – we will never share the same ideologies and we will never look alike – but we must be tolerant of one another and embrace or accommodate diversity. This is what we should be teaching our kids.

I know that parents are busy but we are responsible for our children and a child can’t raise he or herself – they look up to us to teach them well so let’s teach them not to have biases. The world needs more love.

Cheers!

Enne.

When is the right time to be happy?

When you live with someone who sees the glass as half empty, it is very difficult to find happiness with such a person because no matter how hard you try, nothing is ever good enough, the time is never right enough and your lives are not perfect enough therefore happiness has to be postponed. This is quite common with ambitious people who will stop at nothing to attain the level of success that they have defined for themselves. These individuals spend a great amount of time measuring their life’s contributions to their life’s worth as well as compare their growth, achievement and success with others. Even though these individuals are high-achievers, nothing ever seems to mean much to them because they have not attained the success that they aspire.

Ironically, while others who probably do not have as much as these individuals would envy them and even wish that they had just a little of what they have, these high achieving individuals rarely stop to appreciate what they have and even sacrificing their relationships with spouses, children and family for the success that they dream of. The trouble with living with such an individual is that they cannot live in the moment, they find fault in seemingly simple ‘imperfections’ that shouldn’t matter and their obsession with perfection cripples your every attempt at promoting some level of happiness in the home. So what happens is that they bring their frustrations from the work place, offload them on you and expect you to delay your happiness because now is not the perfect time to be happy. “We will be happy when the promotion that I am seeking comes” or “We will be happy when the money I am expecting comes” they seem to say even though they do not actually say it but they seem to convey to you that you would have to postpone your happiness for the right time. Or they give you a plan B which is quite simple and takes the blame from them entirely – they tell you not to rely on them for your happiness as no one individual can give another individual happiness. Good advice, I guess because truthfully, that man or woman is not going to change; he or she will not suddenly become easy-going, happy-go-lucky. It will not happen in this lifetime!

Sadly, while we are postponing our happiness for the right job, the right promotion or the right time, life happens. For a start, your kids, if any, keep growing and moving on. They begin to learn to adapt to not having you around and become detached from you because even when you are physically there, you aren’t bringing them any joy or happiness. They acknowledge that you care and love them; but you will not be the first parent they turn to when they are having problems. So, life moves on; your spouse or partner equally moves on and learns to build his or her life away from you where he or she is guaranteed happiness. In the end, when you are old and grey, you will look back on your life and only find emptiness – yes, you would have attained the success that you think is more important but by then, happiness truly would have eluded you.

The old saying that he who appreciates little things would even more be grateful with bigger things goes for happiness and how we live our lives. If you can’t find happiness in the little things in life, how can you find happiness in the greater things? When do you think is the right time to be happy? When you are rich? When you become famous? When you become accomplished? But what happens in between when you first started and when you ended? Your loved-ones should simply put their happiness on pause for the right time determined by you?

How Distorted Thinking Increases Stress and Anxiety | Psychology Today

I know people who suffer from cognitive distortion; I am in fact living with one! I live with someone who magnifies things and make situations appear way bigger than they actually are and ascribe way too much significance to things that are minor and of very little significance. Such individuals also do not give themselves that much credit for anything! Rather than dwelling on their gains and successes, they would rather dwell on their failures and amplify such ‘failures’ to the point where they fail to see that much good in them.  You know about seeing the glass half empty rather than half full? Well, this boils down to perspectives again. The consequence of this cognitive distortions is that it wrecks havoc on relationships. The person with cognitive distortions becomes unbearable to live with; becomes even more difficult to understand and appears to be someone who is difficult to please even though it might not necessarily be so.

So, I am sharing this beautifully written piece with everyone including people that I know so that they can learn to cope and banish cognitive distortions because they are unhealthy for both the sufferer and their partners.

 

10 cognitive distortions that make things worse for us.

Source: How Distorted Thinking Increases Stress and Anxiety | Psychology Today

Can cheating stop?

I just watched a pleasant and interesting Nigerian movie, Mrs & Mrs Johnson released in 2015. The movie tells the story of two women who inadvertently found out that they shared a mutual relationship – a husband after either was summoned to the hospital by a clueless nurse who had unwittingly dialed either phone numbers based on the contact names on the injured husband’s phone. The events that followed unraveled the dynamics of the relationship that either woman or wife shared with the husband under-going surgery from a gun-shot atttack.

It got me thinking because while it was easy to excuse the man’s double-dealing or cheating by blaming it on his older wife’s inability to have children and her sheer lack of amiable character or manners,  I do not think that it is a good enough reason for a man to cheat on his wife, build two homes and hop in between two wives like a yo-yo. 

There are many reasons why people cheat: inability for a couple to procreate, unresolved mutual differences, distance between a couple and of course, temptation. 

I have heard women advise their friends with cheating husbands to try and make their homes more welcoming and cozy; and that of course, such women should try and look good, look sexy or attractive all of the time. I have also heard and seen extreme situations where women or men try to alter their natural physical appearance to please their partner just so he or she wouldn’t cheat anymore.

But guess what?

They are people in relationships or marriages where they are unable to have kids or in situations where a partner might not care about his or her physical appearance; and they are people in tempting situations but do not cheat. So what does that mean? That cheating is in the character of the person cheating. Do you know that some people are more prone to cheat because of their personality? People who are less conscientious may find it easier to cheat because they can’t be bothered. And same goes for self-centered, egoistic people. Perhaps one should consider people’s personalities before embarking on a relationship with them. Perhaps it could help reduce one’s risk of infidelity?

So, am not interested in making excuses for anyone who cheats because people cheat because it is in their character!

So, tell me, what do you think?

To leave… or to stay…?

Just my musing…

Dwelling on a sad, little child…

Women remain in marriages or relationships for different reasons and one of them being because of their children. They trade their happiness and freedom for ‘stability’ that does not exist. So they unwittingly expose their kids to the dysfunction, the abuse and the psychological degradation that leaves their children scarred for life.

Ask yourself this: have you done worse to your children for staying back? Don’t you think those innocent kids would have stood the chance of a healthy upbringing if you had left?

Broken marriages… broken relationships… doesn’t mean you are broken.

Women, stop breaking your kids.

Confessions of a modern wife: It is ok to be you

Do you know any of those couples who you certainly cannot see one without the other? You know, those couples who go everywhere together, do everything – and I mean, everything together, including trying to look like peas of same pod by wearing similar colors or clothing? I know some and believe me, I never in my wildest dreams wanted to be like that!

Not that there is something wrong with that; my problem is that I grew up hearing about couples who were so similar and inseparable that they were starting to look alike! Oh yes! 😀 But seriously though, I think that by my nature and upbringing, I am one of those people who make good team players but also enjoy being apart from the team. I was raised a very self-aware, only child for twenty-eight years until my twin siblings arrived seven years ago. I was so self-aware that it was extremely hard for me to be influenced by people because I had such a strong sense of rationale and “good sense” to know who I was, who I wanted to be and where I wanted to be and with whom I wanted to be. When you have this individualistic personality, you don’t want a partner that is overbearing, clinging and too dependent on you. So, that is the kind of person I am. And guess what? I married someone like that!

My husband and I more than sixty percent, have two separate social lifestyles. I married a party animal while I am the more reserved, creative writer who values her solitary more than anything else. I love a good TV show too so I would rather sit at home than be out partying. For the past nine years that I have been married, I have never called my husband on a Friday night to ask where he would be at or what club he and his friends would be rocking at. I don’t  try to come between he and his friends because they all have been together since childhood and teenage years. I do not judge his friends; in fact, they are great guys and I have learnt to respect my husband’s lifestyle because I want my solitude respected as well. I do not come in between his sports as well – never!

What I have come to learn in marriage – and especially from our friends’ experiences is that no adult whether male or female, wants to be closed-marked so to say by “spy-like” spouses wanting to know everything you do and try to control you. 

Seriously, if you want to be happy in a relationship, let there be allowance of freedom and less control.

Over the years, my husband tried to draw me into his night life but I couldn’t fit in. At that time, I couldn’t handle the loud music because I wasn’t much of a drinker! Oh yes! I think you need a good amount of alcohol in your system to enjoy loud music! And now that I can handle my liquor – yeah me! 😀 I can handle any party you throw at me.

Still, I would rather stay at home.

I don’t think anyone wants to stay in a cagey relationship; they are unhealthy. If you are the sort who is defined by your spouse, then you would have a hard time living with an independent, self-aware partner.

Differences are great; they make life more interesting. The key is for the couple not to be too individualistic in the relationship that they forget to spend time together. I love wining, dining, visiting museums, going to the theaters and learning new cultures; my husband loves what is familiar. Still, we have to compromise to celebrate what the other person enjoys.

It is ok to be independent and different; but do remember to create “we” times that is special to you two alone.

Tell me what you think. Please leave a comment.

Cheers!

CONFESSIONS OF A MODERN WIFE: HIS FAMILY MATTERS

Hi guys, welcome to my newest addition to my blog – confessions of a modern wife. As my marriage turns nine years next month, I realized that there are lessons that I have learnt over these past years and though I am not an expert in relationships, my experiences are worth sharing, hopefully, someone might benefit from them.

I have learnt a lot and I have come to respect the important role that family plays in marriages. Hence, my first lesson is on that.

LESSON 1: HIS (HER) FAMILY MATTERS

In Nigeria, we have an old saying that when you marry a man or woman, you marry his or her family because our culture is one in which an individual can almost not exist exclusively without his family. In fact, in my country, the success or failure of a marriage is embedded in the roles that family members play as regards to the depth or otherwise of their involvement in such a marriage. The marriage process in my culture is deeply rooted in our family customs and is so cumbersome that it entails a lot of patience and perseverance to accomplish getting hitched. This is because in traditional Nigeria, the couple involved go through scrutiny from family members and elders in the family clan who extend beyond the immediate family members to include a long list of uncles, aunties, relatives and a host of other people whose consents you must seek when seeking for a girl’s hand in marriage. During our traditional rites, the couples are reminded of the large numbers of people (from both families) who have been brought together to approve and witness such unions and are therefore reminded that divorce (which is frowned at) can only happen if such group of persons are brought together again to give their consent (of course, this is only a scare tactic but when divorce becomes imminent, a couple cannot dissolve their union without family members exhausting all resources to keep them together).

In my culture, it is not strange at all to have married couples living with their family members but thanks to civilization and with high rates of marital problems caused by meddling family members, couples are learning to “cut off the umbilical cords” so to speak. Notwithstanding, this does not necessary mean that married couples are free from family interference or that they can totally severe their ties to their family.

It is not common that an average Nigerian would estrange himself/herself from family members.    

Having this in mind, it would be foolish for any man or woman to ignore the nature of family of which an intending partner originates. When you take an intending partner home to see your family, the first question that they ask is “what sort of family is she[he] from?”, “what are his parents like?”, “what is the nature of his[her] family dynamics?”, etcetera. Loved ones would always ask these questions because they know the powerful role that the family plays in contributing to the success or failure of marriages in Nigeria.

Personally, I made a promise to myself while still single that I would never marry a man whose family could not love me enough to accept me as their daughter. The reason for this was because I was raised in a loving, close-knit family as such, I wanted same for myself and I knew that if I could find a man who was raised in an equally loving family, then my dreams would be a reality. Being a non-confrontational person, I knew I could not handle family dramas from confrontational or antagonistic in-laws so I chose to wait patiently until I met my husband, who happened to be the son of my parents’ friends, who lived just a few houses down the street from my house and with whom we attended the same church!

It looked perfect but at that time, I was concerned that our friendship would stand in the way of a solid relationship but I never forgot my mother’s advice; she would say, look at his family – they are awesome people. They love you already; don’t miss out on that wonderful family. So, in the end, I married my husband to be a part of his family! And so, in the course of our nine years marriage, his family and mine have pulled through for us, even when we thought we would disintegrate. I can say that my biggest lesson was in realizing the important role both our families have played in sustaining our marriage by giving us the necessary support, love and prayers without laying blames. I think it is important that family members do not lay all blames at the feet of their child’s spouse but to steer such couple in the right direction with sincerity, honesty and love.

Last words: 

Every marriage is different; just as every family is different. While some families are more willing to lovingly accept their in-laws into their families, others see them as competitors or threats. In cases of the latter, it can be quite detrimental to the successes of marriages. It is vital that you know what you are getting yourself into and be prepared.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and join the conversation.

Cheers!

 

 

In retrospect, I could have been better

As I look back on 2015, I realized that the year went rapidly fast for me while I struggled to play catch-up. My body, mind and spirit were disjointed throughout 2015 and when that happens, you are unable to achieve much. I experienced personal demons last year, got so muddled up in a fog of confusion that my final solution was to come to an abrupt stop, suspended my business and sat back at home as a full time mum to watch as the year flew by.

But of course, it was tough sitting at home and doing nothing much but cater to my family’s needs, while playing the all powerful, can do-it-all super-mum. Did it have its rewards? Of course yes. The fact that I gave my kids the strong support that they needed to excel in school and watched them achieve that much success made me a proud mum. I was so happy and fulfilled that my daughter won that much academic awards. Yes, the experience was rewarding but besides celebrating my kids’successes, I could not celebrate mine because I felt that I needed to create my own success, which I thought I had failed at. I should have considered my kids’successes as mine, considering that my dedication and devotion to them got them where they needed to be but I was the kind of mum who never allowed her husband and kids to define her. I felt that I had to define who I was and that in some way, that definition of self was exclusive to me alone and not inclusive of my family or the ones I loved. Tough!

I guess that as mums, when we give up our careers or businesses to become full time mums, we worry that we might lose ourselves and believe me, I got lost in my kids’ homework assignments and projects; in PTA activities, in house chores that my creativity began to escape me. I couldn’t write because the words were not flowing and I couldn’t create things either so I lost my interest in my makeup business and makeup as a craft. I had never seen my brain that empty!

So began my soul searching; of course, my desire was to seek divine direction. In the end, I did get some clarity so I am glad that out of the darkness of my frustrations came the birth of my new brand and business direction – ENE NATURALS. I revived my desire to create and develop organic skincare products and I was happy that not only was I able to change my online presence to reflect this new name and direction, I was able to begin the necessary legal frameworks to support that as well. This was one of my biggest breakthroughs of the year.

I got burnt by friends in 2015. I have learnt that some people just want to use you but fail to realize that when they try to take advantage of good-hearted people, it is actually their loss and our gain because while they would never gain from the generosity of our hearts, we in turn are blessed for their exit out of ours. I swore that I wouldn’t be foolish next time but know what? Friendship is like love affairs and though we get heart-broken, it is better to have loved than not. We shouldn’t let one vile experience stop us from being kind to others.

Am optimistic about 2016; I am entering this year with a clear head and a clear mind. I have decided not to rush out of my door without pausing to reflect, to think or pray before acting. I am going to be cautious in 2016, choosing to let sobriety rule over impulse. I will love some more this year but wisely.

Good luck in 2016!

Cheers!