Otto On Effective Parenting
Raising children is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs possible, yet also a job for which most are the least prepared. Effective Parenting is learning the skills required to parent the child you have, not the child you wish you had. This requires adaptability and support, something that is more within reach than you may think.
“Parenting is the process of actively providing a safe, secure, nurturing environment for your children. It requires flexibility to meet the unique needs of individual children, the firmness to set needed limits and the maturity to sometimes set aside your needs and desires for the benefit of your children.” Says Otto Kapuka, the founder of Arts Master Consultancy (AMC), a consultancy that unlocks human potential through development. In the process of journeying to assist Namibian parents with the all encompassing responsibility of parenting through a countrywide parenting workshop, 99FM’s MYD Heart asked Otto to give us a overview of what effective parenting means.
“Parenting is a journey and ongoing process. For parents to provide safe and secure nurturing for their children, they need to cultivate range of skills that cover expertise in discipline, education, finances and communication. These skills need to be constantly improved on, as society changes which poses challenges to parents.”
“With continual improvement on your skills, parents can be consistent, are better able to listen and are able to help children with their behaviours.” says Otto.
“A lack of good parenting skills can have a long-term effect on children and society at large. Poor parenting can happen for different reasons, but it will be noticeable in a variety of ways.”
Otto lists the many benefits of continual up-skilling of yourself as a parent, from reducing stress on the household, to offering your child a greater chance of success in life.
“A lack of good parenting skills can have a long-term effect on children and society at large. Poor parenting can happen for different reasons, but it will be noticeable in a variety of ways. While having good parenting skills can benefits children in various ways. It can help build resilience in children; it helps children to communicate their feelings, interests and concerns effectively. In addition, it teaches children how to make better decisions. This leads to children who feel secure; take risks; are successful at school; are self-reliant and independent.” Says Otto.
“Be a positive role model. This doesn’t mean being a perfect parent, but it does mean being competent.”
When talking tips that can help parents today Otto advises, “Be a positive role model. This doesn’t mean being a perfect parent, but it does mean being competent.”
Otto goes on to say, “Strive to meet your children needs holistically. While strengthening your relationship, try understanding the child’s perspective, which builds empathy and promotes self-regulation. Also work to strengthen their confidence.”
To achieve this, the experts agree that that first step is to boost their self esteem. Children start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents eyes. Every detail from your tone of voice, to your body language is being noticed. When you praise successes, however small, you will make a child feel capable and strong. When you belittle them or compare them to other children negatively, you will make them feel worthless and this leads to bad choices later in life.
Otto also highlights that good communication is key. “Good communication between parents and children builds positive relationships and makes parenting more enjoyable. Good communication helps children to know that their parents are interested and involved and will help when needed.”
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
For more information about the Effective Parenting Workshop, which will be held next in Windhoek on the 1st of April, click here
Written by Kirsty Watermeyer