Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Is Your Child Disturbed?

Tips to identify when a child is disturbed or troubled
How do you know if a child is troubled or disturbed? Several years of handling children has clearly indicated that it is sometimes not so easy to detect a disturbed child. The act of paying detailed attention to quite a number of things/acts will assist any individual in identifying if a child is disturbed.

What does it means for a child to be disturbed?
Depending on the age bracket in question, child disturbances can be linked to a lot of issues based on the age. Beginning from the time a child’s diaper gets wet without being attended up to the adolescent age when the child undergoes emotional battle. For the purpose of this write up I will narrow down to age bracket of 12 – 19 years.

From age 12, which is termed pre-teen, the puberty stage comes with various changes in both boys and girls. At this stage there are lots of moods changes and swings which most of them do not even understand.

Many of these children are bottled up and yet burning and hurting and there is no confidence on who to discuss their heart felt concerns with. This has nothing to do with whether it is a boy or a girl, haven’t we heard of boys that were so disturbed to the point of committing suicide or even girls who had had to take their own lives. Some of them grow up with seed of bitterness and ended up living miserably.

In this article we shall be looking at the symptoms of troubled or bottled up children and how we can assist them in opening up.

Symptoms of a Disturbed Child
§  Mood display in terms of showing a state of unhappiness or depression
§  Always on the edge as a result of low self esteem
§  Wrong mindset to building and maintaining interpersonal relationship with peers, teachers and even family
§  Fear and lack basic trust
§  Prefer to survive in silence
§  Excessive drowsiness/daytime sleepiness
§  Low performance in studies and general learning
§  Nightmares
§  Hyperactivity

The list is endless and largely depending on the age bracket.

Tips in assisting a Disturbed Child

Make them feel important: Every child wants to be appreciated, loved and respected. In an atmosphere of genuine love, openness of heart and Godly correction, children easily open up to discuss matters of the heart.

Encourage their Curiosity: A child that is afraid to contribute or express personal views on issues easily find themselves bottled up with lots of unsaid and yet meaningful contributions. That not to say that when things are said out of context they should not be corrected. It is good to allow them have the boldness to express their views.

Be sensitive to them: Sometimes the adults get so carried away with so many happenings around them that the needs of the children are not attended to. Emotional development of the children are so important and are the stage they require the right counsel and advice on how to comport themselves with dignity without becoming a victim of emotional abuse.

Feed them with the Word of God: A child of prayer is never lost. As the children grow to love the Word and create time to study the Word as rightly said in the book of Joshua 1:8, their affection for the things of God will be on the increase. The Word will sharpen their lives.

Building Godly Relationship: Children need to know at early stage that wrong relationship is the quickest way to have their destiny in God destroyed. They need to know how to handle peer pressure, bullies and how to create personal boundary that is healthy. I Cor. 15:33

Self-Acceptance: There is need for children to learn personal acceptance, if they go about life with low self-esteem, they will be seen by others the way they too see themselves. In addition personal hygiene and physical development of a child is likewise important. Personal acceptance is very key. For girls from age 12, acne, body odour and monthly period require proper guidance and counselling. If all these are not well handled, could result in disturbance.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Every Child is Unique

Sometimes I wonder why some children grow up with sense of worthlessness, good for nothing mentality and full of inferiority complex. This thought of mine is not far-fetched from the mind-set of the child in question.

The kind of love displayed by the Lord Jesus Christ for the entire world when He took our place on the cross of Calvary and washed our sins away with His precious blood is enough to make people change their ways. Even wicked beings sometimes have the tendency of changing their ways when in the atmosphere of sincere and undiluted love from the heart of people around them.

One of the major reason the generation of today is faced with so much challenges in the Society is because these children have never been shown what true love is all about.
When a child grows up in an atmosphere where the parents are always fighting each other verbally or physically, after sometime this begins to have negative effect on such child.
According to the Word of God, no child is useless, James 1vs17 stated that everything God created is perfectly done. God did not create any child more important than the other, nor create a child to be a dullard or a failure.  
What do you expect from a child that has been filled up with words of failure from tender age to manifest upon growing up?                                                                                                                                        
If parents/guardian can only see good things about their children and display it in their actions towards their children we would see a lot of good behaviour from our children. This is not to say that children should not be corrected but correction should be done in love.

I remember growing up, there was this family that was our neighbour who had teen boys. The boys’ mother who no longer lived with them i.e. separated from their father attributed to this as the father always cursed these boys to favour his second wife. One of them grew up with the full dose of the curses rained upon their lives by their father and truly never amounted to anything in life and even died before the father himself died.

If only the uniqueness of the child had been explored perhaps he might still be alive.

No child is useless, every child is unique let’s endeavour to show true love to a child today.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015


Why be a Child Ambassador:                   

You might be tempted to ask why spend your hard earned money to feed, clothe, train or make another man’s child happy. Well, it is actually because it is really hard earned. A child’s life is hard earned and it takes a man’s sweat to build another man. If a child who is in need has a support system put in place, it allows such a child to grow, discover her talents and be useful to humanity. Often times, all you need to do be a child’s ambassador is give your time and make yourself approachable.
Below are some reasons why you should be a child ambassador.

How to be a Child Ambassador

·        You must have had or developed a good reputation in your community. People will only respond to your advocacy once they are convinced that you are dependable, trustworthy and quite passionate on issues of concern to the children or even the teens around you.
·        Identify the needs of vulnerable children and find ways to fill it. This is made possible by reaching out to other people of like minds to discover ways of leveraging on opportunities made available by organizations, religious institutions business and social clubs etc.
·        Set up organizations that promote the welfare of children or be involved in already established organizations that you believed in. Sometimes, all you need to do is just to personally fund basic provisions that can make a difference in a child’s life. Gradually, you extend your appeal to friends and family.
·        You can also develop yourself by taking courses on public speaking, leadership and marketing to build your confidence when making presentations to fundraisers of sponsors. You can also train others who are equally passionate to be a Child Ambassador to get them started.
·        Turn your passion to action. Being a child Ambassador is more than lip service, even if it is one child it will make all the difference. There is no better time than now to advocate for the cause of children. Display passion and make it contagious. Get creative and find ways to make people connect with your vision for the children.
·        Encourage other kids to speak up for the less privileged and believe in value system. When other privileged children are made to be aware of the plight of the vulnerable, it makes them more compassionate and helps bring focus to the issues they are advocating.

Two ways of promoting the cause of children are mentioned below:

·        Mentorship: According to Hosea 4:6 “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” -NIV. Some children grow up without a clear sense of purpose and direction. They are not to be blamed. Sometimes, they grow up in a lonely environment, with little interaction with their parents, who might be the busy types that place much emphasis on work than building a relationship with their children. For this children, all form of engaging interactions end as soon as the school is over. They are left to face some hours of loneliness and some of them resort to watching television or playing video games which have suggestive or explicit themes of violence, sex and other forms of inappropriate behavior. A Child Ambassador will go out of his / her way to properly nurture such a child. Sometimes, these might not be vulnerable children per se, but children who are in dire need of guidance in some areas of their lives.

·        Food: At one point or time, you must have been confronted with images either physically or in printed form of malnourished children, with bones sticking out and eyes popping out. It is quite a paradox that there are children living in the cities that are seriously malnourished even than those in the villages. There is so much pressure on the meagre resources of their parents that the children are the worst hit. They are usually fed to keep body and soul alive without consideration for their dietary needs. As a Child Ambassador, you can also promote the cause of hungry children by joining or donating to organizations that cares. However, Wisdom need to be applied in this case so that your good intention will not perverted.

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Friday, 17 July 2015



A Child Ambassador is a defender of the rights of children. He or she is a voice that encourages, advocates, represents, promotes, and strengthen the beliefs, dreams, visions of children and change for better their lives, especially the weak and vulnerable ones. They are passionate and selfless individuals who see and have no limitations to give their all; their time, resources, connections to give opportunities to impact the lives of these children. They are willing to educate other people to raise awareness and to make a difference for the children.

Beyond individual efforts, a Child Ambassador connects with other people who share the same passion and vision for making the world a better place for the children. They meet regularly to share information, update on knowledge that are beneficial to the children and institute support groups to mentor and train a child to become a better person. Hence, they find ways to successfully influence their families, communities and even the global world by using available facts and their relationship with agencies and the media to effect the changes they want to see in the lives of the children and their families.

These children need a push to make their lives better. Countless number of children are in dire want of support that will unleash their potentials and transform their lives beyond expectations. Every child has a gem buried within. This precious stone can either see the light of the day or rust beneath the untold hardships that the child will encounter in life.

Somewhere along the line, without adequate support, the child forgets the dreams he dared to dream, the change he wanted to be and before long, he begins to see himself as no good. With no support, he embraces wrong ideologies, thoughts and makes friends with those who equally share the same mindset. From childhood, he transitions to a teenager without no clear sense of direction and when he realizes he has become an adult, all he has left will be regrets and depression as he anticipates a bleak future.

The good news is, it might not be so. Somewhere along the line, just before he makes the transition to adulthood, he might be among the lucky ones to experience guidance in forms of scholarships, mentorship and adoption. Even though the gesture was not anticipated, yet, it would be the best thing that had ever happened to him. Suddenly a bleak future becomes filled with colours of rainbows and lot of sunshine. The dreams will blossom and his confidence restored. The precious stone beneath will be dug out and polished to perfection. A star will be born and a life will be won.

Duties of a Child Ambassador

To be a Child Ambassador is not rocket science. Below is a list of five duties of a Child Ambassador.

·        A Child Ambassador collates facts and information. In their quest to make a better life for the child, a child ambassador will among other things obtain relevant personal information of the child and the issues confronting such a child.
·        A Child Ambassador knows his or her limits: Although you are passionate about that child, you don’t want to be seen as an intruder. A Child Ambassador will know what independent decisions he can take for a child or when he has to call for state help to combine efforts in impacting positively on a child’s life.
·        A Child Ambassador is pro-active. He or she must be involved in a lot of planning to ensure the success of the mission. They are thoughtful and are quick to spot opportunities that can be leveraged on to achieve the best result for a child.
·        A Child Ambassador is a problem solver. He or she is not averse to taking risks. They identify and prescribe solutions to the problems that might arise in the cause of their representation of the interests of a child.
·        A Child Ambassador is realistic and decisive. When faced with issues beyond their scope, a Child Ambassador will weigh the facts, discuss issues and make proposals to create a balanced outcome in favour of the child. However, when circumstances prove otherwise, they are smart to let go and seek for a better opportunity to re- champion their cause.

Finally, it is said that a Child Ambassador don’t choose sides in with parties in issues that affect children but the child, even in the most complex and controversial circumstances. The goal is to ensure that the children’s health, education and protection needs are met.

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Emotional and Knowledgeable Boundaries Invasion

There are other forms of boundaries invasion such as emotional and intellectual boundary invasion. This happens when you are allow yourself to be easily caught up in the emotions, beliefs, ideologies, relationships, responsibilities etc. of others. If you cannot protect yourself from such invasions, you risk being bruised, wounded and battered.

Examples of emotional and intellectual boundary invasions are:

  • Allowing yourself to be influenced and overwhelmed by another person’s feelings. Your mirror their present state happiness or sadness to yours without actually allowing your true feelings to surface.
  • When you have to let go of your dreams and goals in other to make the other person happy.
  • When you think you have to be the one to tell people how to live their lives
  •  Finally, when you shift the blame or refuse to take responsibility for your actions.
Benefits of setting Healthy Boundaries:
ü  It enables us to develop high self-esteem and respect that allows us to be well treated by others.
ü  Healthy boundaries allow us to have our opinions, thoughts, feelings and needs articulated in a respectful manners and not feel threatened when others think otherwise. 
ü  It also prevents us from being trapped with the web of other people’s needs, thought, feelings and desire. We know where to draw the limit of sympathy and compassion.
ü  We do not feel manipulated to disclose personal issues unless we are certain we are in a mutually sharing/ trusting relationship.

Where to Set Boundaries

Are you in doubt as to where to set boundaries in your life? Below are some areas where you can set personal boundaries.

Work Space – Working from home is quite exciting. However, it can be frustrating when there is no proper understanding by others on how you wish to use your times and supplies. It is quite important that everyone around you know their bounds especially when to call on you, or how they make use of your gadgets and stationery. When you successfully communicate your boundaries to them, you will have the freedom and productivity you truly desire.

Team Work:  When you are part of a team, it is so tempting to prove that you are capable of doing more than what is required of you, especially if you have a problem of saying yes to everything. Try as much as possible to reject every request of adding more to your responsibilities graciously, otherwise you risk suffering from exhaustion and burnout.

Friends & Relatives: No one is island and your family needs you as much as you need them. That is not to say you have to cater to all their needs. Let them know of your decision to set boundaries especially when it comes to sharing household tasks. You should also be considerate and let them know before hand of the new boundaries you have set and ensure you stick to them, no matter what.

Time – If you are as guilty as most people in time management, then you should be thinking of setting up a self- imposed constraint to achieve efficiency. For example, if you have to finish a task within a scheduled period of two hours, it is better you constrain yourself to an hour slot so as to prevent you from actually wasting the two hours and not get anything really done.

Health Care – We know that all work and no play makes things worse. It is important to put boundaries in place to avoid over-working and to give yourself adequate rest. Set limits as to when and how you will eat out, when to stop work and put in place an exercise routine that will help to keep you sharp and on top of your game.
So, now that you know, which of these statements reflect your personal boundaries limits.

  •           Walk all over me
  •             Enter at your own risk - Free access
  •             Knock before entering
  •      For sale
  •             Do not disturb
Setting personal boundaries for children

Some parents have crossed the line of parenting to friendship in a bid to get closer to them. Children must learn to recognise the authority placed on their parents, who in turn are expected set the pace for them to grow into healthy adults. It is good in a way when parents show themselves as role models and institute personal boundaries that the children can adopt, it makes them trusted as the children can understand why the boundaries were set in the first place

Creating personal boundaries for children involves consistency. This serves two major functions. One, it helps the child to grow up without being self-centered and secondly, the children are able to embrace the boundaries as being necessary. As children differs in age and reasoning, it is expected that parents set realistic boundaries that can be expanded or negotiated as the child grows older.

If this is not well moulded and cultured among children, it can lead to the destruction of the child.

Boundaries are stretched as children grow and gain new skills. It is important that the parent let the child knows the reason and the expected outcome of the personal boundaries set.
In addition, parents should train their children to know the power that personal boundaries gives, which is the option of choice. 

Once children understand that beneath each limits set are choices that can be generated, it enables them embrace such limits faster. Give children options for activities; setting parameters that fit the family’s budget, routine and family guidelines and learn not to compare or use other families as standard for their own.

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

When Boundaries are Unhealthy

Personal Boundaries Series continue...

Most people with poor boundaries setting skills are usually victims of their upbringing. As children, they were probably exposed to adults that did not realise the importance of raising children appropriately. They are usually not taught values that help them to be more considerate, tolerant and supportive without letting them lose their sense of identity. For example, a working mother, who doesn’t have time to cook, may allow her children to eat anything, anytime, anywhere. The mother had successfully allowed her laziness to overshadow teaching her children the values of hygiene, comfort and satisfaction of eating homemade meals.   

In such situation, the children grow up thinking that boundaries don't matter. They grow up without identifying a clear pattern of setting personal boundaries. Because they do not have theirs there is every tendencies they might likely resent those who have successfully developed healthy personal boundaries and may want to intrude on it.

In a bid to develop a semblance of personal boundaries, they adopt the rigid or inflexible boundaries. However, because, these are not healthy boundaries, it affects their relationship with people as they are often seen as too rigid and impersonal and this prevent them from enjoying a wholesome relationship with others. Sometimes they are always on the edge of emotional breakdown.

 How to spot unhealthy boundaries and fix them

Rounded Rectangle: Lack of a Sense of Identity
Lack of a Sense of Identity

A good way of knowing you have unhealthy boundaries is when you depend on another person for your identity and can hardly stand on your own to do anything worthwhile. Everyone is unique however, if you always have to draw your inspiration from others just to be identified with them, then there is something wrong. This also shows up if we are ready to do anything I mean just anything to keep being friends with such people. Sometimes, many people have become victims of horrible physical, emotional and sexual abuse because they want to keep being friends with certain people who do not truly value them as a person.

Rather than keep being tied to such people, the best way is to really discover what makes you unique and enjoy it. It may take time but it is usually worth it. Identify and cultivate your God-given talents and nurture them. Gradually, you would begin to see that you would have a fulfilling relationship with others and you can actually be who you want to be without depending on anybody for your identity.
A better approach to appreciate other people’s boundaries, especially those close to you, is to allow them make decisions without your direct influence. This is quite healthy and it shows you are confident of their decision making skills. Even when they fail at it, it leaves them with their integrity intact. Such attitudes speak of your trust and respect for such person and the choices they have chosen to make. Refuse to be a manipulator in your relationship by imposing yourself at all times on people.

Although, there are times when circumstances might warrant you to close in to the personal space of others, especially when you have to display worthy virtues such as sympathy and compassion. This should however, not be abused. It is not an excuse for one partner to dominate the other.

Another way to spot unhealthy boundaries is when you need to have someone make you feel complete or depending on such person for happiness. As much as possible, try to enjoy your personal company. Set goals that challenges you and try to achieve them. Fill your life with pursuits that makes life meaningful and fulfilling. This is the time to take up a new hobby such as learning a second language, things you have secretly desire to know how to do, take it up and go for it. The amount of time needed will take your mind off the person you think you need to feel complete.

Lack of boundaries etiquette lead to boundary invasion. Boundary invasions is an impolite form of unhealthy boundary. The following are some of the ways in which boundary invasions take place:

  • Getting unnecessary close to others and invading their personal space.
  • Inappropriate touching such as making unwanted sexual advances
  • Looking through others personal files, letters, documents, etc.
  • Not allowing others their personal space. An example would be barging into your boss’ office without knocking. 

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Friday, 22 May 2015

How to set Personal boundaries:

1. A New Mentality
The first step towards setting personal boundaries is to accept the fact that it quite healthy to have one. The fact that you don’t need the acceptance or identity of others does not in any way make you less compassionate or loving. It simply defines you as a complete individual with self-worth.

2. Outline your objectives
What you don’t want you don’t watch. Failure to teach people and enforce how to treat you is to allow them treat you anyhow.
Now this is so important. You need to really take stock of your life and spot the areas where you have been weak in setting your boundaries. This includes writing out the things you are no longer going to tolerate others to say, act or do to you. Create a mental picture of the new you based on your defined set of ideals and how you intend to achieve it.

3. Communicate your aspiration
It is very important to communicate with those that had crossed your personal boundaries in the past that you would no longer tolerate such unacceptable behaviour again. Of course, this must be done graciously done to allow them to respect and support your new boundaries.

4. Anticipate the objections
Getting to tell others to respect your boundaries is not an easy task and more often than not, the conversation is usually very uncomfortable. It is however good that you prepare your mind for any of the possible reactions such conversation might generate. Either positive or otherwise, this should not make you depressed but make you determined to attract new, supportive, and healthy-minded people in your life. However, don’t compromise your values, integrity, and self-respect simply to keep someone in your life

5. Emphasise your boundaries
It may take some time to train yourself and others around your new boundaries. Continue to reinforce them so that you are taken seriously and respected. Practice saying no when you are asked to do something you don’t want to do and ask them to stop immediately. Walk away from negative comments without getting angry and soonest, the other person will realize you are serious.

6. Be Courteous to your allies.
You must be committed to continuously acknowledging and rewarding those who are supporting and respecting your personal boundaries. Thank them and this will motivate them to continue their behaviour and most likely, help them to also develop their own personal boundaries.

7. Give Back to others
Remember that respecting boundaries goes in two ways. Be sure you don’t cross other people’s boundaries and secondly, you have to work really hard to reflect the respect and support you want for yourself.

8. Be Convincing Enough
You must learn to create a balance between enforcing your boundaries and showing compassion or understanding if need be. Sometimes, there may be occasions when you choose to bend your boundaries or allow someone to cross the line as long as you don’t feel you are being manipulated to do so. As you gain confidence around your boundaries, you will know when and how to bend them.

9. Persevere to Succeed
You know what they say about Rome not being built in a day. Be ready to appreciate the little progress you are making as the change doesn't happen overnight. As much as possible, try to insist that your boundaries are respected and practise to break free from emotions that led you to develop weak boundaries.

10. Self Confidence
Sometimes, the best way to achieve personal boundaries is to love yourself. You have to make a conscious decision to project that feeling of self-confidence and self-love to others, naturally. You also have trust your instincts and feelings about what you do and don’t want in your life. You are the most qualified person to define who you are and do not give that job to another person to do. Setting and requiring boundaries is a great way to practice this.

Monday, 18 May 2015

SaveAChildToday's: Personal Boundaries Series

SaveAChildToday's: Personal Boundaries Series: People define personal boundaries in different ways. However, it is generally accepted that personal boundary is the protective shell that ...

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Personal Boundaries Series

People define personal boundaries in different ways. However, it is generally accepted that personal boundary is the protective shell that an individual has built around his/ her life over the years. It is also the limit with which an individual can tolerate certain actions, gestures or behaviour without losing their true identity.

These limits are somewhat imaginary dividing lines around every areas of the person’s life. For some people, setting personal boundaries might just be for the purpose of protecting the soul realm which are subdivided into the mind, will and emotions, while for others, they are simply interested in protecting their time, bodies or self-worth.

Boundaries are limits that a person sets to encourage acceptance behaviour from others. These are enforced by consequences for breaching the limits.

It is often thought that only adults set personal boundaries. However, these days, with proper orientation, many children are being taught the importance of setting personal boundaries and how to enact it appropriately in protecting their rights as children without being violated by the people they trust in the society.

Setting personal boundaries is not an easy task, yet it is believed to contribute to an individual’s happiness. It begins by knowing who you are and what’s important to you. Some people might not feel quite comfortable with someone who has boundaries, and would object it by making claims such as “we are not compatible or you can’t be serious”. 

Nevertheless, it is important to stick to your decision and spend sometimes in self-reflection. This will motivate you to hold on to your decision. At times, you need to have a line of thought which you repeat several times over to help yourself set your boundaries. Statements such as “I will no longer accept interaction where my body or emotions feel violated without making a decision that honours me .” have the capacity to motivate us to keeping our boundaries

      Why is it necessary to have Personal Boundary?

No doubt, setting personal boundaries is important! Below is a list of five benefits of setting personal boundaries.
  • They provide the framework to keep us from being used or manipulated by others, and they allow us to confidently express who we are and what we want in life.
  • It is believed in some circles that having personal boundaries increases one’s productivity and improves relationships greatly.
  • By setting personal boundaries, an individual identity is maintained and you avoid loss of respect even when in relationship with others.
  • Having personal boundaries make us overcome the fear of us not being good enough for others and avoid comprising our values just to be accepted by others.
  • Another major benefit of setting personal boundary is that you are fully in charge of your life. You are not at the mercy of others and do not depend on what they do, say, act or think before you make decisions that will enable you live a most fulfilling life.

Below Ten signs shown you have not set personal boundaries:

  • When you feel forced to say yes or no when you mean otherwise.
  • If you have to compromise your values just to please another person.
  • Feeling unable to speak out when you being physically or sexually assaulted
  • Allowing others to make decisions or speak for you when you are quite capable to do so.
  • Adopting another person’s beliefs or ideas so that you can be accepted.
  • Allowing yourself to be fondled or even having sex just to please the person.
  • Allowing yourself to be interrupted or distracted to accommodate another person’s immediate wants or needs.
  • Giving too much just to be perceived as useful and taking endlessly from others because we can.
  • Allowing people to say things to you or in front of you that make you uncomfortable.
  • Not defining and communicating your emotional needs in your closest relationships.