Some of the qualities of the 21st century mum as noted in the April edition will be explored in this edition.

1. The mum should be a role model: The mind of the young child is likened to a blank sheet at birth but as the child grows older, his/her mind will progressively be imprinted by his/her social environment of which the behavior of the parent particularly the mum is one of the strongest influences. A badly-behaved mother will most often than not have a badly behaved child assuming there are no other external influences on the child. In essence, children passively learn from their parents and their lives are continuously shaped by their behaviors. It therefore becomes important that parent especially the mum demonstrate good values and good behavioral practices for their children to emulate. They should practice what they say and not only correct their children with an assumption that they will automatically comply to their corrections without living exemplary lives

2. Excellent communication skills: The communication skills particularly listening skills of the mum have to be sharpened to successfully guide the children wisely. Both verbal and non-verbal communication of the children should be carefully considered because unseen fears, anxieties etc could be detected when full attention is given to them. Mums must learn to be patient to enhance their listening abilities because the risk of exposing the children to great calamity is much higher with bad listeners.

3. Trustworthiness: A mum should be known for integrity by her children. She should never promise and not fulfill her promises but rather be wary to promise if fulfillment is not in sight. Children must see their mums as reliable pillars to confide in and by so doing they are prevented from making wrong decisions in life.

4. Friendliness: The disposition of the 21st century mum to their children should be that of cheerfulness and friendliness and not that of a terror. The approach of the parent to training of their wards or children should not pose a social or psychological threat but should rather promote the self-esteem and confidence of their children. Good parents should be friendly to gain their children’s trust and grant them the freedom to confide their strengths, fears, struggles and weaknesses thereby promoting effective guidance and prevention of their engagement in risky behaviors and the antecedent consequences.

5. Availability: The 21st century mum should always be available to spend quality time with their children regardless of other equally important competing demands for their time. The home remains the great citadel of learning for all children and so the process of nurturing, guidance and training of the child/adolescent should be highly prioritized above every other task or role of the parent. Good mums don’t leave their roles solely to the hands of the house assistants/helpers or any other family member but are fully responsible and accountable for knowledge transfer as well as impacting their children with good moral values.

6. Knowledgeable: The first source of information on all topical issues concerning the adolescents especially sex education should be the home and so the 21st century mum should be well equipped and armed with the relevant information to perform this vital task. Both the merits and demerits of undertaking any action should be well emphasized when educating the adolescent while ensuring they make informed choices.

7.Confidentiality: Good parents should keep secret the information confided in them by their children. Mothers are usually guilty of lack of confidentiality as they are prone to divulging the information their children confide in them to their husbands. Only information that requires joint decision making by both parent should be divulged to the husband with the understanding and consent of the child.

.8. Non-judgmental: Proper guidance of the adolescent would be better achieved if parents especially mums are not judgmental. Mums should be empathetic towards their adolescents by understanding their feelings particularly as it relates to their developmental changes as well as passively train them by sharing the lessons learnt from past right and wrong doings.

9. Positive attitude: Greatness is usually birthed in an atmosphere of positivity. Greatness is the product of diligence, tenacity, determination and accountability activated by positivity. It takes a positive attitude to rise up during falls and win eventually as it is a common knowledge that life is full of ups and downs. Negativity on the other hand is a major impediment to greatness and promotes depression and suicide. Therefore, good mums must always be positive to help their children when they fail or face life challenges. Adolescents require the constant presence of a positive parent to succeed in life.

#dryettyspeaks# #adolescentsmatter# Yetunde Olagbuji @June, 2019

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