How Nigerian parents can communicate and share family values with their children- Queenette Itsemhe Enilama; Founder, Noboyleftbehind Academy
Let’s get to meet you. Tell us about yourself and your background.
I am Queenette Itsemhe Enilama, I am the eldest child, and I have been blessed with three (3) siblings. My dad is a retired journalist and an engineer and my mum is a retired matron. I grew up in the era where a village raised a child and we were big on morals, values, character building, and many more.
I enjoyed my childhood thoroughly however, as we grew, we noticed a number of loopholes in our upbringing, however, our parents did an excellent job according to their capacity. I studied marine biology at the University of Calabar, not my choice at both school and course however no knowledge is ever lost. I believe in knowledge transfer and equipping the minds of children from a young age. I am an Educational Consultant, an Emotional Intelligence and Behavioral coach.
What are the things that inspired you into your line of profession? At what moment did you know you literarily found your calling?
I had observed that there was a gap in our educational system and my passion led me to what I do now which is to bridge that gap. Education is holistic and not solely academic. I have observed that we often wait for our children to become young adults before they are taught certain life skills that can help them on their journey through life.
I cannot say I knew this was my calling because there were times, I got extremely burnt out and in addition to that, I was not receiving any monetary returns so this got the best of me at the time. I found it hard to position myself. However, the process of becoming is in the process and every day we keep impacting lives the joy for me was seeing the children practice what they had been taught and excel.
It is believed that children’s chores are a ubiquitous feature of family life in the areas of developmental, reciprocal obligation, extrinsic, and task learning. At what age do you think is ideal to introduce children to home chores?
Chores have been introduced as a form of punishment in time past and this has caused our children to revolt. I believe every moment should be captured as a learning opportunity for both parent and child. Introducing your children to chores early is making them understand the importance of responsibility. It is them responding to the ability they possess. Certain chores enhance life skills in children and this depends on how the parent communicates this.
- Taking out the trash
- Tidying your space
- Doing the dishes
- Helping in the kitchen and many more help boost a child’s confidence. It teaches them intentionality, critical thinking, and decision-making, this can only be achieved if the parent sees these as a way of teaching life skills. Start them young, give age-appropriate chores, and make it fun, it is not a punishment, it should be seen as part of life.
Young children learn family values from watching the ways parents and other family members treat them. What is the best way Nigerian parents can communicate and share family values with their children?
There is no pattern or prescribed order for a Nigerian parent. Everyone should come up with a constitution for their home. Families should learn to have their summit on how things should be done in their homes. Parents should realize that children are the greatest imitators and they do what they see, not what we say.
As a parent, you cannot say in this family, one of our key values is integrity yet in our daily dealings with them, and around them, we are dishonest parents, your values sip out through everything you do. If you realize that your children are a representation of you in the future, you will act differently.
We need to sit down with our thoughts and ask ourselves, what we want from our children and how we want them to become. Remember every child is a section of society and society is formed from the home front.
Everyone should come up with a constitution for their home. Families should learn to have their own summit on how things should be done in their homes
With the emergence of tech disrupting the norm in society and the need to get children to acquire some basic skills, can you share with us some old-fashioned skills that children need to know today
Technology can be extremely great if it is channeled the right way. Technology cannot teach your child discipline; it cannot help your child boost their self-confidence or instill responsibility. There is no old-fashioned skill, these skills are life skills and they will never fade away, in fact, discipline helps you handle technology better. Set the foundation right and the building will stand, every. now and again, we renovate to make sure the building does not dilapidate and also has a good outlook. Change is a good thing, how we approach it is important.
One of the roles parents should be involved in building confidence and a sense of assertiveness in children, are you involved in an initiative or community that helps in helping kids through this process?
I am involved in several initiatives as a facilitator, faculty member, and consultant and I also volunteer in several initiatives whose vision and values align with mine. I would mention a few Taiwo Akinlami Academy, Pause Factory, Noboyleftbehind Academy, etc. Discovering your identity and building self-confidence is at the core of what we teach, identity is an issue most adults struggle with and it is advised that we help our children navigate through this process to avoid identity crises.
What should Nigerians and the rest of the world expect from you in the nearest future?
We should be expecting holistic and transformative learning exported to the rest of the world. There is a gap in children’s content, and we would be involved in creating amazing content and tools for learning emotionally, physically, and spiritually.