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Mothers generally want to raise children who are innovative, inquisitive as well as eager to showcase smart problem-solving skills. We live in an economy where businesses especially small-scale businesses have become the driving wheel for economic advancements, this therefore gives rise to the need to raise kids who are always willing to use their heads or rather explore advantageous entrepreneurial opportunities.

Some months ago, while doing my weekend shopping in a mall, I overheard the discussion between a mom and her teen daughter who seemed interested in having one of the talking Barbie dolls on the shelf. She began by asking her mom how much one of the dolls cost, Mrs. Taylor replied in a soft tone “it cost just $120, and I would not be able to afford that for now because we still have a long list here to attend to.”  The girl’s next statement could tell anyone listening that her mom had sparked up a desire in her to make money. She asked, how I can make money mom, I want to be able to buy stuff that I need.

The thought of teaching a 10-year-old about entrepreneurship might not have crossed the mind of so many mothers especially because some of them think they are still too young and at the same time might not need it at their age. Nevertheless, if we intend to continually sustain a generation that offers solutions to the countless problems in the world, then we must be willing to raise children who will be financially independent through the discovery of witty inventions that give answers to the needs in the world. Teaching kids about entrepreneurship means giving them an avenue to use their head and become more creative. This will help them adapt early to the reality of being independent and responsible, skills they need for a confident, happy, and adventurous life.

The natural attributes that are associated with kids make them suitable to learn about the needful entrepreneurial skills that call for outstanding achievements in business. Considering that children are more intuitive and inquisitive, the possibility of kids becoming great entrepreneurs is somehow unavoidable. One great way to teach kids to use their head is by encouraging them to conceptualize good problem solving mechanisms that empower them to be problem solving agents in the labor market.  Observing the life of a young child, you will realize that when a child is faced with a problem; a good example is watching a child whose toy car accidentally just got broken, watching the child you will realize he never wants to accept that this toy is unrepairable, he will keep making efforts to fix it even though it might cost him shedding tears. This shows that kids can be persistent at getting what they really want and, persistence is one of the vital and indispensable attributes of an entrepreneur.

Most parents are afraid of introducing their kids to the idea of being entrepreneurs but I think what can fade off this fear is the fact that parents must recognize that teaching a child entrepreneurship, does not completely fade out the school system. Teaching children entrepreneurship at an early stage exposes them to the need to be responsible, self-reliant and also helps them realize they have a task to contribute their own quota to the society.  

As a parent of a 10-year-old, you might be wondering how to help such a tender child understand entrepreneurship and the value it offers. Take a deep breath, and admit that the journey of raising a young entrepreneur is not as hard as you think, you can also try out these few tips.

Here are a few ways to Instill entrepreneurship in a child.

  1. Educate them on Financial literacy by teaching about the importance of savings and investments.
  2. Help your kids recognize that the world around them is full of business opportunities, and finding them just requires some careful observation, self-drive and creativity.
  3. Make them realize they can turn their passion to a business venture. If your child loves animals, you can explore buying her a horse and have her ride the children in the neighborhood for a small fee.
  4. Encourage them to learn even while they fail. It is true that school teaches children that failure is bad but in order to raise a successful entrepreneur, you must help the child realize failure is not entirely bad since it helps us learn from our mistakes.
  5. Let them practice the act of sticking to plans. Successful entrepreneurs are those who have learnt how to take the right steps at the right time.

As important as it is to raise children who will become successful entrepreneurs, you must also make sure not to push too hard on the child especially when you discover she has no passion for entrepreneurship or business. Therefore, as a sensitive mother you must bear in mind that children succeed easily and better when they follow their path of interest.

Research have proven that children possess highly creative ability as well a quick learning capacity, why not explore these by offering them an express opportunity to use their head, perhaps they may be able to create shocking innovations.  

By Eloke-Young Splendor

In these contemporary times, when women are also eager to contribute their quota to the financial needs in a home; the desire to balance work and family life becomes a high demanding task. Every working mum struggling to make time for her kids must first place in mind that what is most important is, “quality time” and not just “quantity time”.  

Every great mum need to recognize that time is one of greatest gifts that should be given to kids as it contributes to creating tight bonds. As a career mum, setting out to work for the day at 6am and returning at 11pm leaves you with little or no time for your kids. Nevertheless, smart moms have found smart ways to make out time from their busy schedule for their kids.

One day, while I was having a discussion with a friend who works as a class teacher, she said to me “Clair, my pupils act like mum-starved children”. This got me wondering whether there are kids whose mothers get so busy with their careers and businesses that they ignore the needs of their children; thereby leaving these children with little or no experience of motherly love and care.     

Workaholic mums stay at their often high pressured jobs for long hours, leaving other caretakers for their kids. Kids experience a deep feeling of excitement and security when they know they have mothers who are willing to create sufficient time for their needs.                  

Here are some ways to show you are not a workaholic mum:-

  1. Make Free Week-Ends Mandatory:  As a working mum week days might get so busy and keep you much more engrossed on work but creating free weekends can help you allocate activities that make spending more time with your kids easy. In order to avoid being a workaholic mom, you must try as much as possible to accomplish all office or job related task before the weekends. It takes a lot of discipline to make free week-ends mandatory but mothers who desire to bond with their children, try their best to take up this painstaking task.  Making Free week-ends mandatory will help you create time for activities such as games, dinner dates and even workouts with kids.
  2. Make Your Kids Look Forward to Mum’s Home-Coming Each Day: As a mother, the nature of your job might be so demanding that it requires you to come home so late everyday but there are ways through which you can be assured that your 5 year old will stay awake waiting until mum gets back. Adopting habits like telling your kids bed time stories every night or simply coming home every day with small gift packages can make them look forward to your daily homecoming.  Make your little baby understand that surprise packages are not just associated with Santa Clause alone. Make her seeing you each day worth it, by initiating actions that continually make your child look forward to mum’s home-coming.
  3. Always know that It is your Job To Listen: After a whole day’s work it is very okay to feel tired and just want to crash, but your  baby who sees mum as a gist partner will definitely not let tales about the day pass. At this stage mum has to place the attention need of her child as a priority. Workaholic mothers never realize it is their job to listen to their children especially after they have been apart for almost all day long.  In order not to be termed a workaholic mum, you must be ready to quit your comfort after a long day’s job and engage in a conversation with your child. Don’t only respond with a nod but also ask relevant questions and make comments; as this will let the child know that mum is so interested in the happenings of her life. This might cause a lot of stress but just know that the end point is to engage in a conversation that keeps your child aware of the fact that work cannot completely erase mummy’s attention and love for her. You can keep the conversation as short as possible or even talk as you have dinner.
  4. Stay Connected During The Day: Technology has done a nice job in bridging the gap of distance between people and it is very advisable for family members and loved ones to take full advantages of the provision made through the various technological advancements. Mothers who are so busy working all through the day can make out break periods to have video calls or phone calls with their children. Also before leaving for work in the morning, you can drop a note or a voice note wishing them a great day and assuring them of how much you love them. For moms with younger kids, consider recording yourself talking or singing on a video or record your voice reading along to a children’s book. If you’re going to miss or be late to an older child’s event, give her something special in the morning, like a good-luck charm or a personal note. Also consider options for filming the event so you can watch it later and not miss a moment. You can also find ways to ensure your kids see your face almost all through the day. This can be achieved by hanging your pictures and that of your spouse in her room. You can also give her small printed photos which she can have all day. Finding ways to create memories of yourself all around your child can help you stay connected during the day.

 

 

Trying not to be a workaholic mum can be a very difficult task but as mothers, it is vital not to let your job create a gap between you and your child.

It is possible to be a career woman as well as the perfect, loving mum.

These tips will sure help all hardworking moms out there to find the mum-work balance.

By
Eloke-Young Splendor

Birthdays are one of the most exciting experiences for children; most kids will even blow off the roof on their birthday if they are given the chance to. Parents also share this excitement as they are always full of joy, knowing their little babies are gradually growing and will soon be adults.

As kids get older, it is necessary to make their birthday celebration more impactful, rather than just party. Wise parents must realize that every new year in their child’s life is very significant, and how it is celebrated is often an opportunity to teach the child some vital life lessons. It is no doubt that parents derive their joy from seeing their children happy; this proves the wise saying that “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” This may account for the reason why every parent desire to give their children a birthday experience that leaves them not only ecstatic but forever grateful.

Growing up, I have seen birthdays consist of eating, drinking, playing with friends and receiving gifts from people , but am sure there could be more significant ways to celebrate your child’s new age thereby leaving them with lessons that last all their life time.  Have you ever felt worked up while trying to figure out better and more fulfilling ways to celebrate your daughters 9th year birthday?

Here are few impactful ways to celebrate your kids’ birthday:

  • Explore Charity: Making your child’s birth date a day to put smiles on the faces of less privileged children will make her grateful for the resources she has been lavished with during the past few years of her life. Organizing a birthday giving project for your daughter’s 5th year birthday gives her an opportunity to learn empathy through helping others. Experiments have shown that children learn better by example, therefore, a great way to inculcate in your kids, the habit of giving is by helping them practice the act of giving on their best day – birthday.  Exploring Charity as a way to celebrate your daughter’s birthday will teach her the importance of giving back even at times where moments are seemingly all about her.
  • Practice Healthy Eating: Birthday celebrations are so exciting that we are often lured to put aside the rules of good health. Never forget that although your little daughter’s birthday is once a year; it is also a celebration life and good health. Do not put the health of your child at risk; due to unnecessary excitement. There are quite a number of healthy eating practices that can help give your child a fun filled and healthy birthday experience. You could consider preparing healthy goody bags, instead of stuffing treat bags with sugary candy, opt for something nutritious like a granola bar, pretzels or a piece of fruit. You could include fun art supplies or consider using books in lieu of the standard goody bag. Sticking to healthy eating habits on your child’s birthday shows how disciplined you are and it helps her prioritize the benefits of eating healthy.  
  • Attach a Positive name to their new age:  In the lives of children, adding a new age comes with numerous feelings which may include joy, anxiety, curiosity or even fear but one of the ways to eliminate any negative feeling that might come with clocking a new age is by helping kids reflect on a positive meaning of their new age.  
  • Teach them Appreciation:  A child’s birthday is the best time to make her remember the things that she is grateful for. In addition, to the joy that surrounds your child’s birthday it will be lovely if you tell her to say thank you to at least four people in her life who assists her with some of her daily routines like making breakfast, preparing for school, assisting with take home assignments and project.
  • Be intentional about the birthday gift: Realizing the importance of each new year will help you decide the kind of gifts to give to your child on her birthday. Parents who want their children to have an impactful birthday celebration do not just give them gifts for the fun of it. Let the gifts you give your child on her birthday be in line with her goals for the new year. If your desire is that your daughter who is clocking 14 in two days, learns a new skill of jewelry making, then you might consider beadmaking items as a birthday gift items.

Instead of making your child have birthday celebrations that go out of control, why not consider making her day a focused and impactful one.

By Eloke- Young Splendor

Examining the life of a Woman and her journey in S.T.E.M, you will find that almost everything she ever did from the stone age till date has had some elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, which in today’s world is referred to as S.T.E.M.

Now, when we think about S.T.E.M and related jobs, we envision Physicists, Aeronautic Engineers, Software Developers, Biotechnologist, Medical Doctors and the likes. We tend to see more men in these fields and it is only natural to assume that men have always dominated these fields. This is not completely true, women have always been in the S.T.E.M field from the beginning of time, however, their contributions have not been adequately recognized or commended. Some may argue that this lack of appreciation may have contributed to the decline in the number of girls interested in S.T.E.M fields.

In this edition, we are looking at certain factors that make up the S.T.E.M disciplines and how much women have contributed to them over the years.

Let’s take a closer look at the genesis of machinery, which we identify as “technology” today, and the invention of some household products; we would find that long before we had modern-day science to create new and easier methods of performing household chores and activities, women had always performed all these activities without the use of technology.  Women washed, cooked, cared for the daily health needs of their family, devised means to preserve foods etc.

Women changed the world through S.T.E.M in areas like:

Research: Many simple things that have been modified today for daily use, were as a result of women’s discoveries, for example, researchers from the ACI, while describing the origin of soaps, state that women found that a slippery mixture of melted animal fat (or tallow), washed down from Mount Sapo (sapo: the name from which the name soap is derived), the mountain where animals were sacrificed, made their wash much cleaner without much effort, this led to the discovery and manufacture of soap. Maybe we owe the amazing feel of clean fresh washed clothes to women.

Technology: Have you ever wondered whom to thank when you’re getting your coffeemaker ready for your first cup of the day? Melitta Bentz was a German Housewife and entrepreneur who invented the coffee filter in 1908. Bentz modified the old tedious method of coffee brewing to a new method. She received a patent for her coffee filter system in 1908 and founded a business that still exists today.

Looking further into how certain tasks were achieved in the past, you would see that there was quite a very strong influence of the women community in how things were done.

Women such as Ellen Eglin an African-American who during the 1800’s invented a clothes wringer, which started the mechanization of the uncomfortable but predominant method of hand washing. Her invention would be further modified as washing machines today.

Eglin sold her patent to a “white person interested in manufacturing the product” for $18. The buyer went on to reap considerable financial awards, while Eglin, disadvantaged in colour and gender, spent her life making a living as a housekeeper and a government clerk.

Going back to the past, and women’s’ contributions to the S.T.E.M field, let’s take a look at the subject of water purification. A scientific process, pioneered by a woman Hypatia.

Chemistry: Hypatia lived in Alexandria Egypt from 350–370 died 415 AD; she was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician. She taught philosophy and astronomy and is recorded as the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well documented. Hypatia was one of the scientific pioneers that introduced the distillation of water which has now become a common activity in every household. Easy as it now seems, it was considered a scientific exploit meant to make a substance purer than its original state. A process made possible by the contributions of a woman, and not many people have heard of her.

In tackling this issue of how much influence or participation women had in S.T.E.M in the past, it can also be viewed be from a very unconventional point of view. Take Alchemy, (defined by the urban dictionary as a form of chemistry before the periodic table, and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance which was aimed at transmutation of the base metals into gold) – some called it magic.  During the time of the alchemist, women had far more reputable standing especially in the depth of their research when compared to men in the field of alchemy. Something their male colleagues did not particularly like.

A good example of such a woman is Marie le Jars de Gournay, who was not allowed to receive the same education in science as her brothers. Blessed with an inquisitive mind, she was able to teach herself Latin and later went on to edit academic manuscripts. As a fully-grown woman and with all the knowledge she had acquired, she became the first female mineralogist and mining engineer.

She later moved to Paris, where she tried her hands at alchemy and published books expressing her views on how women were very much capable of creating a career for themselves in science-related fields like men. During her practice of alchemy, in a time when people still believed in magical creatures and witchcraft. Marie who was very proud of her work ignored the advice of people who cautioned her to stay away from mining. Her bold refusal to give up her practice had her accused of witchcraft and imprisoned, she died in jail at age eighty (80). How dare she thrive in a ‘Man’s’ field, poor Marie.

Isabelle Cortese is another remarkable Alchemist who lived during the sixteenth century in Italy. She chronicled her discoveries in her book titled “The Secrets of Signora Isabella Cortese”. Among her discoveries include; practical methods of perfume production; the production of essential oils and methods of melting metals to make durable jewellery. Most of her works are still in use today.

Innovation: In the area of manufacturing, we have Margaret E. Knight, she was born February 1838, in York, Maine. Armed with only a basic education, she started as a mill worker at age 12. Witnessing an accident at the mill, where a worker was stabbed by a steel-tipped shuttle from a loom, Knight was prompted to invent a safety device for the loom – Her first invention. A device which was later adopted by other mills in Manchester. Several years later, Knight moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where she was hired by the Columbia Paper Bag Company; here she invented a machine that folds and glues paper to form the flat-bottomed brown paper bags familiar to shoppers today.

While Knight was still working to perfect the processing machinery, Charles F Annan, a would-be-inventor of dubious morality, tried to bully her out of her hard work, stealing her design, and patenting the device. Knight filed a successful patent interference lawsuit and in 1871, and she was awarded the patent. Before her death, Knight held over 20 patents and a decoration by Queen Victoria.  At the time of her death in 1914, an obituary described her as a “Woman Edison” A name which many people will come to remember her by. Somewhat dispiriting, to think that she needed a reference to male inventor for the value of her work to be understood?

Katharine Burr Blodgett is another remarkable woman, an American physicist, and chemist known for her work on surface chemistry. Blodgett contributed important research to military needs. Her work in chemistry resulted in her most influential invention: non-reflective glass. Her non-reflective glass is today, an essential for eyeglasses, car windshields, and computer screens. She was a pioneer in several respects, but how many know about her?

The list of women that have made remarkable contributions to various branches of S.T.E.M remain unending, however, the questions remain “What happened?”, “Where did it all change?”. Women had always been in the S.T.E.M field, what held them back to create the gap?

We can see that there was quite a large number of women who were genuinely interested in this field of study, but over time the number began to dwindle. Taking into consideration, the environmental, societal and mental factors that have come into play between then and now, we can begin to understand why women and girls are slowly losing interest in the S.T.E.M. community.

Some of the reasons include: They were not encouraged; they were held back by pressures; their efforts were sabotaged, and they are oftentimes not acknowledged for their contributions.

The most common is lack of Encouragement. Most cultures in the world have given a high level of dominance to the male-folks when it comes to studying S.T.E.M related courses. It is no new issue that some countries see the place of the woman solely in a domestic light. Little wonder girls who study in all girl’s schools tend to be more interested in the S.T.E.M field, and oftentimes outperform their co-ed counterparts. Psychologists found they have less discouragement and little or no negative comparison which their co-ed counterparts are regularly faced with.

What do we do?

Create an “I Can Do It” Atmosphere. In order to excite the minds young girls into studying S.T.E.M related courses, they need to be exposed to the right atmosphere. Vanessa Vakharia who runs The Math Guru science and math studio noted that one of the reasons for the low number of girls in science, is simple; many girls have come to believe that they do not have what it takes to be in S.T.E.M. She advises that incorporating a more psychological and critical means of approach would benefit the girls, especially while they are still trying to figure out who they are.  

Mentors and Role Models for Girls in S.T.E.M. The place of role models cannot be overemphasized when it comes to the girl child development, this cuts across all areas, education, workforce etc. Increasing access to S.T.E.M Mentors (women who have excelled in these fields) for the young girls, would go a long way toward building their self-confidence. Interaction with S.T.E.M mentors would serve as a confidence booster, and as a driving force towards achieving their goals.

Condition their minds. It’s quite common knowledge parents and guardians play an important role in preparing their children psychologically towards their career path. They can do this in various ways; for instance, introducing a variety of television programs that can help them identify what their kids are interested in – e.g. kids may show interest in S.T.E.M inclined programs like Doc McStuffins or Dexter’s Laboratory, which gives you an idea of where best to channel their energy

Other areas include; S.T.E.M inclined books, toys, fun activities like visiting the aquarium; that way you will awaken the marine biologist in them. You can also encourage your girls to participate in their school’s science exhibitions e.t.c.

While early school years can contribute to developing an interest in S.T.E.M in girls, parents can also work towards encouraging their kids with the littlest things in their surroundings. A little nudge once in a while can help create that enthusiasm to study.

S.T.E.M is a very broad and interesting study area and having more women interested in it will definitely be better for the world.

“Too many people spend money they have not earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like”.  This wise saying by Will Rogers kept resounding in my subconscious as I walked towards the grade 1 class of Deepens Elementary school to teach the pupils on this very important but neglected topic “Financial Management”. 

It is not wrong to say that one of the challenges people face nowadays is the inability to secure resources for pressing future demands and needs, and the source of this problem can be traced to improper financial management. In a society where being in debt has become a norm and an unavoidable means for survival, the importance of educating the upcoming generation about financial management cannot be overemphasized. Children who have learnt how to navigate the world of debt and credit will grow into adults who have more money for savings, which can help them pay for large expenses without relying on credit, and they can set aside money for retirement accounts.

Most times Parents find it easier and more comfortable to talk to their little kids about Time Management, keeping the right company, Table etiquettes and so on but they often don’t see the need to talk about financial management. Since the kids are young and do not earn a living, they consider talking about Financial Management as a topic for when they are grown into adulthood – but adulthood creeps in fast; because they tend to forget that financial management is not a skill that is built overnight, but a habit that is cultivated through constant practice.  

As parents, one of the great ways to lay the foundation of a strong financial background for your kids is starting right on time to teach them about financial management.  Kids can only become money smart when they have the right coaching.  Since Money has become one of the vital yet scarce resources on earth, a smart parent must make effort to produce money smart kids who can keep them rest assured that this scarce resource will be used optimally. Here are some tips:

Give them an allowance. In order to teach your kids financial management, you should be willing to give them an allowance.  You might decide to give money every week to the youngest children, at two-week intervals for preteens and monthly for teenagers. Gradually spreading out the timing will help your children understand the need to manage their spending. Since they know they have to spread a small number of resources around their countless wants; they will have to learn how to prioritize their wants and sieve out the needs from the countless list of wants. Giving allowance to your child gives her a chance to control her own money; also remind her that she would not receive any other cash until the next allowance date.

Make use of Piggy Banks. A piggy bank is a money box where people save money for a certain period of time until they are ready for use. Introducing your kids to a piggy bank is another easy way to teach them financial management. Piggy banks can help your children imbibe a habit of saving money for bigger projects. You can help your kids increase the money in their piggy banks by insisting they save something out of every money they get as gifts or allowance.

Children love to be rewarded for their good works, while building in your kids a lifestyle of proper financial management, tell them that although the goal is to fill up the piggy bank with dollars and coins, until there is no room, but the main intention is to use the money to purchase the gift they have long desired. 

Teach them to earn a little extra. Another great way to raise money-smart kids is by teaching your children how to earn a little extra.  This goes a long way to prove to kids that money is not just plucked on trees but it is earned through timely smart work. You probably expect your kids to clean their room, help with the dishes and do other daily chores but consider offering them a financial reward for going the extra mile to take on other jobs that go beyond their normal routine.

Getting paid for extra work will help instill good habits and give children more control over saving and spending since they realize how hard they had to work for the money. This will also help them build the habit of going the extra mile when assigned a task since they know each extra mile attracts a cash reward.

Help them understand the true value of money. In order to raise money-smart kids, you must help your children understand that the impact and the true value of money is recognized when it is used to help others. A great way to raise money-smart kids is by letting kids know that the money they get is not just for them alone but that is also needed to help other lives. This will motivate them to save more since a part of their money will also be used to assist the less privileged children around them.

You raise money-smart kids when you help your children earmark part of their allowance to donations for the less privilege.

Mirror a Proper Financial Management Lifestyle. Children see their parents as their first models if you do not showcase the right financial management skills; your children will definitely follow suit. If kids see you spending wisely, they’ll be more likely to follow your example. As a parent, when you stick to a budget during shopping it becomes easier to train your teenager to stick to a budget while spending her allowance.

While educating your child on financial management, you must not forget that children learn by example. Have your own jar of money that you put funds in regularly and let your kids know that you practice what you preach, this means you must save also. Reiterate the message that every time you get paid, you save a portion of your check to help prepare for the future. Let your kids know that you have priorities which you save for and that this includes their education. They should know about why and how you are saving for their college education. 

As parents, you should be willing to let your children know when you have a financial crisis. This is not to frighten them or to be used as an excuse to deny them of their basic needs, but it should show a sought of financial openness to your children. Let them know that money does have a constant flow always. You must help your kids realize that most times “mum does not get all her needs met as planned”.  Let them understand that there are days you squeeze through scarce resources in order to meet vital needs in the home.  This will teach them how to use their little resources to meet their endless needs and also how to forgo some wants for other needs to be met.

In Conclusion, teaching kids to save money will not be an easy task; of course, it demands discipline not just from the child but also from you as a parent but the benefit and comfort enjoyed from exhibiting proper financial management skills are limitless. In this modern society, it is not difficult to see adults who are poor money managers who find it difficult and stressful to make vital financial decisions. This often happens because they did not learn at the right time, how to be proper financial managers. Some parents try to avoid money conversations with their kids; this is very wrong. Parents need to realize that money conversations from childhood help children grow into adults that have a healthy relationship with money and therefore face little or no financial crisis.

By
Eloke-Young Splendor

 

 

We have all come across the generally accepted phrase “Information is power” which is used quite often in different contexts. When explaining the unique qualities of information, one could say its potential to transmit to power is virtually inexhaustible. Possessing information can improve your business, career, marriage, health and has the potentials to change almost all aspects of your life.

Let’s talk about health; I recently read about a mental disorder known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD) on WebMD, which is said to be the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. Prior to this, I had absolutely no knowledge of its existence.

Experts say that children diagnosed with ADHD are often found to be hyperactive and unable to control their impulses. They may have trouble paying attention, and these behaviors interfere with their school and home life.

ADHD is found to be more common in boys than in girls and with the right attention is usually discovered during the early school years, when a child begins to have problems paying attention. Adults with ADHD may have trouble managing time, being organized, setting goals, and holding down a job. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addiction.

According to specialists ADHD is often characterized by the following symptoms:

The child is easily distracted; doesn’t follow directions or finish tasks; doesn’t appear to be listening; doesn’t pay attention and makes careless mistakes; forgets about daily activities; has problems organizing daily tasks, doesn’t like to do things that require sitting still, often loses things and Tends to daydream.

While many children with ADHD are, in fact, very energetic, high energy alone is not enough to warrant a diagnosis. In fact, children with some forms of ADHD are not high energy at all. ADD, may manifest itself in low energy combined with inattentiveness and other symptoms. So, when might a child with lots of energy be diagnosed with ADHD?

Keath Low, MA, a psychotherapist with the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina, says:

In order to qualify for the diagnosis, a child must have a chronic, pervasive problem with his or her ability to regulate activity level, as well as impairment in their ability to inhibit and control impulses. The impairment of functioning or learning is the key to differentiating ADHD from normal activity.

Do you have a kid who shows a few of these symptoms? Maybe it’s time to visit a specialist. Here’s a story by Larry Silver, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He says:

“I recently diagnosed eight-year-old Aidan with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). When I met with his parents to explain the disorder, each time I described a symptom, his mother exclaimed, “That’s me!” or “I’ve been like that all my life, too.” At the end of the appointment, she asked me if she should be evaluated, as well”.

As an adult, Aidan’s mother had jumped from job to job and had difficulty meeting household demands. As a child, she had struggled through school, often getting into trouble and getting poor grades. After a thorough evaluation of her chronic and pervasive history of hyperactivity, distractibility, and other symptoms of ADHD, she was diagnosed by a psychiatrist who works with adults.

Can ADHD Be ‘Cured or Outgrown?

Aidan and his mother both started on ADHD medication. Aidan’s grades and behavior improved. His mom reported being more relaxed and efficient at work and at home. On a follow-up visit, she remarked, “If only I had been on medication as a child. I could have finished college, I could….” Then she paused: “Oh, my gosh, does this mean that Aidan will never outgrow ADHD, and that he’ll take medication for the rest of his life?”

Good question. The best answer I could give was, “Possibly.” Why can’t I be more specific? Didn’t she deserve a clearer answer? Until the early 1990s, the medical community considered the condition a “childhood disorder.” Believing that children outgrew ADHD, physicians routinely took them off medication before high school. In many cases, however, the teens struggled socially and academically, making it clear that ADHD symptoms had not gone away. And, as greater efforts were made to educate parents about ADHD, more and more of them, like Aidan’s mother, began to recognize their own ADHD symptoms.

Clinically, we have seen that some individuals do show enough improvement after puberty that they no longer need medication. But the American Academy of Family Physicians reports that two-thirds of children with ADHD continue to grapple with the condition throughout adulthood.

Is ADHD Medication for Life?

How do I determine whether a particular child still needs medication? I advise taking children and adolescents off medication once a year. If the symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity are no longer noticeable, they stay off. Should these behaviors return, medication should be restarted. This process teaches adolescents about the challenges ADHD presents in their lives, and how to determine themselves whether medication is needed in school, at home, with friends, and so on. Medication should be used whenever symptoms interfere with the demands and expectations of a specific task or activity. It is not necessarily needed all day, every day.

For example, a college student may learn that she benefits from an eight-hour capsule to cover morning and afternoon classes, but can be off medication while she relaxes, exercises, or socializes later in the day. On evenings when she needs to study, she can take a four-hour tablet at about 6 p.m. An adult may find that he needs medication at work but not at home, or for some social functions, but not others.

Does this mean that my child will need medication for the rest of his life? Possibly. You can find out one year at a time. And, if medication is needed, you can teach him to use it for specific times and situations. In the future, I hope that fewer adults will tell me, “If only I had been on medication as a child….”

ADHD in the Family

As Aidan’s mother found, ADHD has a genetic component.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often appears to run in families, and research studies have suggested that there may be a genetic component to this disorder. Individuals diagnosed with ADHD may have close blood relatives with the disorder. Scientists believe that ADHD is a complex disorder that probably involves at least two genes. Non-genetic causes such as abnormal brain development, brain injury or environmental factors are also believed to play a role in the disorder.

After reading from Larry Silver, M.D, I can better understand some of the kids I have come across and adults I have to deal with who probably just like Aidan’s mother, have lived their lives unaware of this condition. In her words; “If only I had been on medication as a child. I could have finished college”.

ADHD may not have a permanent cure, but it can be controlled through proper care, and even though it may have a genetic component, armed with the right information, people with this condition can live and develop differently. Here are five tips from the ADD Resource Centre that can help better management of a child with ADD.

  1. Ensure your child’s bedroom creates a soothing atmosphere. Paint the walls a calming, serene color and eliminate distractions like too many posters and/or toys.
  2. Provide structure, but don’t be overbearing. Reward charts and chore wheels are a great way to keep younger kids on top of their responsibilities while still keeping it positive, and as they get older, this can evolve into keeping a planner or calendar.
  3. Take time to point out your child’s “wins” each day. Set a goal to acknowledge at least three positive behaviors your child has exhibited every single day. Tell him or her specifically what was done well and why it’s important. It becomes habitual to spot and correct negative behaviors but avoid making those moments a focus. Celebrate behavioral wins as they happen so that your child knows that not only do you recognize their progress, you also appreciate it.
  4. Make homework time fun. Try to make your child’s time at home as fun as possible, especially the time he’s meant to be doing homework.
  5. Get active. Exercise helps children with ADHD expend excess energy or simply burn off the stress of the day. The result is that they’re able to concentrate and control impulses better. Find something your child loves to do; swimming, karate, basketball, etc. and make sure they’re able to take part in that physical exercise as often as possible.

Watching little Lily, drag her mom round the toy store in search of a pink plush Unicorn, left me with the question – “what is it with Kids and colors?” I remember having a conversation with a colleague who told me that her sister helps her little children identify colors by purchasing a blue item for her son and pink for her daughter. It’s amazing how parents help their kids to identify colors by surrounding them with a lot of colorful items.

It has been observed that lots of colors are associated with children even though we live in a world totally surrounded by a wide range of colors. Imagining the setting of a typical pre-school or an early –grade – school one could wonder if some particular colors possess innate ability to speak to children or could it just be an arbitrary coincidence which occurs around the globe?  The love kids have for colors cannot be underrated seeing that it improves their learning process and makes learning fun. It has been discovered that children tend to remember colors faster than verbal cues or writing this signifies that having a colorful learning environment for children can promote retention in the learning process.

The learning process and ability of children will greatly improve when parents become fully aware of the impact of colors on a child’s learning process. The behavior of children towards a colorful environment especially when learning reveals that colors have the ability to inspire, soothe, excite, heal and even agitate. This is probably why most knowledgeable parents consider colors when making some vital choices for their children like purchasing of educational items, re-painting the children’s room, baking a child’s birthday cake, preparing a meal for a child who is a picky eater and so on. 

 Dr. Robert Gerard suggests that every color has a specific wavelength, and each of these wavelengths affect our body and brain in a different way. This means that using the right color, and the correct selection and placement can seriously affect the feelings, attention, and behavior of children when learning, recognizing this can help parents or teachers leverage on the advantage of colors for a child’s mental development and learning in general.

The behavior of children towards a colorful environment especially when learning reveals that colors have the ability to inspire, soothe, excite, heal and even agitate. This is probably why most parents consider colors when making some vital choices for their children like purchasing of educational items, re-painting the children’s room, baking a child’s birthday cake, preparing a meal for a child who is a picky eater and so on. 

Colors give children words to interpret the world around them, as it boosts their ability to compare and contrast experiences and things around them. I can vividly recall little Lily telling her mom that the doll at the toy shop was as black as night time.

The answer to the question “what is it with kids and colors?” can only be found on the lips of the three years old girl who cries over a friend’s pink dress even though she is adorned with a more gorgeous black dress or the little boy who picks a tasteless but colorful cup of ice-cream at the expense of a delicious white vanilla ice-cream.

One of the first ability to compare things was said to have been brought about by colors. During one of my visits to a grocery store I overheard this cute kid calling the storekeeper “Santa”, everyone present at the store laughed out loudly but no doubt, I think the innocent child was right; of course the storekeeper what fully adorned in a red and white outfit with a cone-shaped cap on his head. The color of his attire could only remind this little child of Santa Clause. It is obvious that colors have its way of setting a reminder of the names of the object in the mind of children. A 3-year-old child who sees the shape of a semi-circle colored yellow might not associate the picture with any other thing than a banana, and this is as a result of its color.

In conclusion, it is of great importance to note that color psychologists have linked color with brain development, decreased absenteeism, enhanced productivity and even a productive transition from childhood to adulthood. Recognizing these tremendous effects of colors on a child’s learning ability, it is advisable that one needs to take a more academic and research-oriented approach in considering a perfect colorful environment for a child. In order to improve your child’s learning ability, be sure to incorporate the right element of colors as you homeschool and paint the perfect picture for your child’s educational future.

Eloke-Young Splendor