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Most parents raise their kids like robots, giving their kids commands with a high expectation of immediate positive feedbacks. This attitude has in recent times created little or no distinction between a home and an army parade ground. This sort of parenting is ‘’Authoritarian’’. 

Authoritative parenting unlike Authoritarian kind involves a large focus on balance. This style of parenting involves parents having expectations for kids, but at the same time, they provide resources and emotional support which enable kids to succeed. 

Authoritative parenting to a large extent creates a win-win environment for both parents and the kids.  Considering that children are supposed to be related with according to their individual temperament and psychological make up, this form of parenting has been found to benefit children of different temperaments.

The adoption of authoritative form of parenting leaves both the mother and her kids happy as well as satisfied. The conventional idea of just slapping rules at children is yet to produce the desired results all parents seek in parenting, hence the need for authoritative parenting.  Authoritative parents do not put up a legislative (law-making) attitude when relating with their kids rather, they put a lot of effort into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with their children. This is achieved by explaining the reasons behind the rules. In these situations you enforce rules and give consequences, but you also take your child’s feelings into consideration.   

Child development experts recognise authoritative parenting as the best parenting style among the four Baumrind parenting styles.

Authoritative parents are attuned, nurturing, sensitive and supportive of their children’s emotional and developmental needs. The supportive attributes displayed by these parents can be seen in their relentless efforts to be more involved in a child’s schooling by volunteering or monitoring homework.       

Most people, who do not apply authoritative style of parenting, fear that authoritative parenting goes a long way to lower their standards for child upbringing, but this is definitely untrue. Authoritative parents still have high standards but they do not require complete compliance or blind obedience from their children. These parents are intelligent enough to use reasoning and allow give-and-take discussions instead of creating a highway of instructions and laid-down rules for kids to act out. This form of parenting is rather characterized by a great deal of parental involvement where parents walk their children through the path of adhering to these rule, thereby; making it less burdensome.

It has been observed that a large number of parents these days find it a bit difficult to achieve a balance in parenting kids. They are either between too much psychological control which signifies being an authoritarian or they are achieving too little behavioral control, thereby becoming permissive in their parenting style.  However, the concept of authoritative parenting goes a long way to balance these two extremes in parenting style.     

It might seem unbelievable to say that clashes experienced by parents and their children during parenting are highly avoidable, but this is true no matter how unbelievable it may sound. Parents-kids clashes can be totally avoided when using the authoritative parenting style as it requires parents to take a different, more moderate approach that emphasizes, showing respect for children as independent, rational beings.

Authoritative parenting does not only improve the life of a child but also goes a long way to regulate her experiences and behaviors at adulthood.  Since authoritative parents give kids respect and listen, it becomes easier for these parents to raise kids who are independent thinkers.

 In the case of disciplining a child; authoritative parents discipline kids by trying to guide and teach their kids, and modify what they expect from kids depending on the situation and a child’s individual needs.

Children who showcase empathy, and have secure attachment with their parents as well as the society are direct products of authoritative parenting. Although, according to parenting experts, authoritative parenting has been heralded as the best parenting style; it is still advisable that parents adopt parenting styles that suite their child’s temperament.

Taking just an hour tea break at Louis’ place left me wondering why a 10-year-old child who has formed a habit of spending quality time with her mum, narrating every single happening in her life now suddenly turns 14 and can barely let mum into her life issues. Everything to her now seems private at every single time, even when mum attempts to engage her young vibrant teenager in a discussion; it always ends up with the phrase “I may not be able to talk about it now, mum”.  

Ignoring an already existing absence of trust between a teenager and her mum can be highly detrimental to the family relationship since trust is an important part of any relationship. Trust in a relationship goes a long way to represent your belief in someone’s good sense, ability or honesty. As your child gets older and starts becoming more independent especially at her teenage age, it can be difficult to find the balance between her need for independence and privacy, and your need to know what’s happening in order to keep her safe.

Inasmuch as teenagers try to act as though it never matters to them what you feel or think about them, the fact still remains that now that they are growing to become adult the tendency to overthink and consciously analyze your perception about them, is very high. If your teenager still finds it difficult to trust you, then there is definitely a problem with your mother-daughter relationship. 

Here are 3 interesting reasons why teenagers have trust issues with parents:

  1. You Never Cease to Criticize Them Excessively: I think we all know the evils of fault-finding, but in parenting, criticism (to some degree) is a necessary evil. Parent to child is one of the very few relationships where you do need to offer correction. It’s our job to teach teenagers to look good and decent, stay out of wrong companies, pick up healthy relationship habits, do their homework, etc but this does not exempt parents from ensuring that criticisms are given kindly and sparingly. No one can handle a barrage of disapproval; especially teenagers. Also remember that these teens are criticized all day by teachers and peers; home should be a haven of acceptance and love for them.  On the flip side, it is not wrong to criticize your teenager when she is on a negative path but learn to do this using constructive criticism if not it might breed in the teenager a lack of trust for her parent.
  2. When parent’s Behave Like Truth Breakers:   It is very common for adults to make promises to their teenagers, but not always to keep them. In addition to setting a bad example, this drives them away and damages the bond between you two, because the children feel they can no longer believe that their parents will do what they say.
  3. You Act Like the Family Legislator Rather Than Engaging in a Conversation: When you act like a parent whose job in the home is to make countless rules and at the same time watch out to always punish any one who breaks it, your teenager will likely distrust you. As much as Rules are quite vital in running an effective and highly functional home, building trust is quite different from rules. Establishing some very strict rules in a family is not entirely bad but how you handle the implementation and execution of such rules is what matters most. If your teenager has broken one of the house rules your ability to listen, be ready to discuss without judging and sometimes make allowance for them getting it wrong goes a long way to teach the teen to trust you even when he makes other mistakes. 

As part of the process of maturing, adolescents begin to feel more autonomous and responsible for themselves, and may go to the extreme of considering themselves self-sufficient, no longer feeling the need to share information with their parents, ask for certain permissions and approval rather, they want to make decisions for themselves without consulting. As much as the life of teenager takes this new turn, mothers must be willing to do all within their power to ensure a cordial relationship between teenager and herself. They must try their best to cultivate and sustain trust between themselves and their teenage children.

Mrs. Jean has just recently noticed her 16-year-old daughter’s frequent emotional instability, her recent moodiness and the obvious flare up or irritation to happenings around her. This issue now seems to be to so worrisome considering that her always vibrant and proactive sweet daughter now acts like a mascot. On a closer look at Suzanne, Mrs. Jean finally discovered that her little teenager seemed to be facing a lot of stress both from school and her relentless efforts to gain relevance among her peers.

It is easy for all mothers to realize when they are stressed by their responsibilities either at home or at work. It is not too easy though for them to realise their dear teenage daughter is right in the midst of severe stress. Why would a teenage girl who at the moment has no bills to pay, feel stressed.

Most teens experience stress when they perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful and they do not have the resources to cope, neither do they see a hope of changing such situation. Some of these situations might include:  School demands and frustrations, negative thoughts or feelings about themselves, changes in their bodies, problems with friends and/or peers at school, unsafe living environment/neighbourhood, separation or divorce of parents, chronic illness or severe problems in the family, death of a loved one, moving or changing schools, taking on too many activities, having too high expectations, family financial problems and so on.

When some teens become overloaded with stress, it can lead to anxiety, withdrawal, aggression, physical illness, or poor coping skills such as drug and/or alcohol use. It is natural that when we perceive a situation as difficult or painful, changes occur in our minds and bodies to prepare us to respond to danger. This “fight, flight, or freeze” response includes faster heart and breathing rate, increased blood to muscles of arms and legs, cold or clammy hands and feet, upset stomach and/or a sense of dread.

The same mechanism that turns on the stress response can turn it off. As soon as we decide that a situation is no longer dangerous, changes can occur in our minds and bodies to help us relax and calm down. This “relaxation response” includes decreased heart and breathing rate and a sense of well-being. Teens that develop a “relaxation response” and other stress management skills feel less helpless and have more choices when responding to stress.

 Parenting a teenager who is constantly faced with stress can be less of hard work if parents adopt safe measures which are capable of combatting and reducing such stress.  Help that sensitive growing teenager navigate through life’s stress. To ensure the negative impact of stress do not overwhelm your teenager, here are ways Parents can help: –  

  1. Monitor if stress is affecting their teen’s health, behaviour, thoughts, or feelings
  2. Listen carefully to teens and watch for overloading
  3. Learn and model stress management skills
  4. Support involvement in sports and other pro-social activities

Teenagers also have their role to play, teens can decrease stress with the following behaviours and techniques:

  1. Exercise and eat regularly.
  2. Get enough sleep and have a good sleep routine.
  3. Avoid excess caffeine which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation.
  4. Avoid illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
  5. Learn relaxation exercises (abdominal breathing and muscle relaxation techniques).
  6. Develop assertiveness training skills. For example, state feelings in polite, firm, and not overly aggressive or passive ways: (“I feel angry when you yell at me.” “Please stop yelling.”)
  7. Rehearse and practice situations which cause stress. One example is taking a speech class if talking in front of a class makes you anxious.
  8. Learn practical coping skills. For example, break a large task into smaller, more attainable tasks.
  9. Decrease negative self-talk: challenge negative thoughts – with alternative, neutral, or positive thoughts. “My life will never get better” can be transformed into “I may feel hopeless now, but my life will probably get better if I work at it and get some help.”
  10. Learn to feel good about doing a competent or “good enough” job rather than demanding perfection from yourself and others.
  11. Take a break from stressful situations. Activities like listening to music, talking to a friend, drawing, writing, or spending time with a pet can reduce stress.
  12.   Build a network of friends who help you cope in a positive way.

By using these and other techniques, teenagers can begin to manage stress.

Parents should also understand that, if a teen talks about or shows signs of being overly stressed a consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other qualified mental health professional may be helpful. 

Sources:

American Academy of Child & Adolescent psychiatry –  https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Helping-Teenagers-With-Stress-066.aspx

By Shan-Jan Sarah Liu

In the global struggle to get more women into high political office, one of the more hopeful fronts is Asia. In 2018, Taiwan celebrated two years of its first female president, Tsai Ing-Wen, and its national legislature includes 43 women (38% of seats). Other Asian countries, such as South Korea and Thailand, have also had women heads of government. Some Asian parliaments have more women MPs than many of their Western counterparts.

These are major advances, but is Asia really making headway on gender equality? It is widely assumed that when women start to become political leaders, gender equality benefits, but my own research on the political representation and participation of women in Asia calls that assumption into question. To achieve real equality, Asian countries will need to do a lot more than just get more women representatives and leaders elected.

It is true that women’s political presence has serious implications. Female MPs are generally imagined to act in the interests of women at large, and they also signal to the public that they are as capable of leadership as men. Their example can motivate other women to actively engage in politics, too. In many parts of the world, female MPs are crucial role models for other women and girls, inspiring them to envision themselves as equal to men and by extension to enter political life.

But in much of Asia, these positive effects are hard to see.

In my research, I looked at 13 countries sampled by the Asian Barometer (a public opinion survey in East and Southeast Asia). They were Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. In these places, women’s legislative presence is not met with an increase in women’s political engagement; in fact, it seems to trigger a backlash.

In these countries, the rise of women politicians is actually discouraging women in general from engaging in politics. As the presence of women MPs increases, Asian women are less likely to discuss politics with family and friends, to turn out to vote, to campaign for candidates, or to protest. And even as women’s political representation increases, the gender gap in these various political activities persists.

Given the usual optimistic assumptions about the effect of having women enter politics, why should this be?

Setting examples

One explanation could be that when female politicians take the helm but gender equality does not improve, their presence may be seen as tokenistic.

In many of the Asian countries I have studied, the advancement of women in politics is strikingly disconnected from women’s economic and social lives more generally. Parts of Sub-Saharan Africa aside, East and Southeast Asia are marked by a greater discrepancy between women’s political rights and their social rights than any other part of the world. As long as this disparity persists, there is little reason for women to suddenly get inspired to engage in politics.

More than that, where women politicians decline to use their power to advocate for women’s rights, female voters will hardly be thrilled. Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-Wen, is known for a thin agenda when it comes to women’s issues, and her cabinet includes only four women – notably fewer than sat in previous male-led cabinets. Should she run for a second term in 2020, that record will not exactly inspire female voters.

And then there are the less edifying examples. In South Korea, former president Park Geun-hye ended up impeached and jailed for corruption. When other women campaign and are nominated for the presidency, or indeed other high offices, her bad example will loom large.

Clearly, having women in government is a good end in itself. But in an era when women’s political representation is on the rise, albeit slowly, it is crucial to ensure that gender equality in political institutions is not just a matter of numbers. The measure of its impact is not just the number of women occupying positions of power, but visible changes that benefit women outside political institutions.

The president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, Gianni Infantino has requested assurances from the Iranian Football Federation that women will be allowed to attend 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

According to the BBC Sport, Infantino who wrote to the Football federation also expresses his disappointment that Iran has gone back on its commitment to open up stadiums.

Last October, female fans were allowed into a match in Tehran for the first time following a 40-year ban.

In November, hundreds of women also attended an Asian Champions League final match which saw local team Persepolis lose to Japan’s Kashima Antlers.

But Infantino said in the letter it was “disappointing” to learn that fans were turned away from Iran’s friendly match with Syria on 6 June and that a number of fans were detained by authorities.

Writing to Iranian Football Federation president Medhi Taj, he said: “This is not in line with the commitments given to us in March 2018 by [Iran] President Rouhani when we were assured that important progress would be made on this matter soon.

“Whilst we are aware of the challenges and cultural sensitivities, we simply have to continue making progress here, not only because we owe it to women all over the world, but also because we have a responsibility to do so, under the most basic principles set out in the FIFA statutes.

“In the circumstances, I would be very grateful if you could inform FIFA, at your earliest convenience but no later than 15 July 2019, as to the concrete steps which both the FFIRI [Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran] and the Iranian state authorities will now be taking in order to ensure that all Iranian and foreign women who wish to do so will be allowed to buy tickets and to attend the matches of the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which will start in September 2019.”

Infantino’s letter comes after FIFA admitted it was wrong to eject two fans from a Women’s World Cup match in France for wearing T-shirts calling for Iranian women to be let into stadiums.

FIFA said the message was “social, not political” so not against its rules and added it “will do its best to ensure similar situations do not occur at future matches”.

Source: BBC

The Liberia National Rural Women Structure (LNRWS), which has a membership of over 77,000 across the country, has agreed to support the National Traditional Council of Liberia in order to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

FGM, or female genital cutting, as practiced in Liberia, was customarily practiced by most ethnic groups prior to the outbreak of civil war in late 1989 and has continued since.

Some estimates are that in rural areas, approximately 50 percent of the female population between the ages of 8 and 18 had undergone this procedure before the civil war began. It was practiced within some but not all of Liberia’s ethnic groups.

At a recent press conference in Monrovia, Madam Kebbeh Mengor, president of LNRWS, said it is important that the international community has finally taken the right path to work with key players in order to end the practice of FGM across the country.

Madam Mengor said her organization has promised to work with the Traditional Council, to carry on awareness about the danger that FGM poses to the future of women and girls.

She said if people are really educated about the dangers of FGM, they will put an end to the harmful practice.

“Those that are involved in this harmful traditional practice are using it as a means of livelihood for their families. So if the international community must succeed in ending it, they must be willing to replace FGM with other life skills training programs, business development and educate the children about how to read and write so as to change their minds, like Mama Toma Village in Brewerville,” she said.

Madam Mengor said rural women have more knowledge on how to engage traditional zoes, along with the traditional council, because they are also members of the society.

In the observance of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), members of the National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL) on Wednesday, February 6, committed themselves to end the practice of FGM.

FGM has been defined by the World Organization (WHO) as all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Source: Liberian Observers

Professional services firm Deloitte said it will provide education and skills training to 10 million girls and women in India with an aim to equip them to find a meaningful work.

The exercise will be carried out under its global initiative World-class, Deloitte said in a statement.

The initiative aims “to support 10 million girls and women by 2030 through education and skills development,” it said.

It said that globally, the World-class initiative seeks to prepare 50 million people to be better equipped for the future of work, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Deloitte’s World-class programme in India will focus on improving girls’ retention rate in school, higher educational outcomes, and skills development for women to access employment, it added.

Under the initiative, partnerships will be launched with organisations such as Katha and Pratham. These organisations are working to improve the learning outcomes of millions of children and young people in schools and communities across India.

Our goal with WorldClass is to empower 50 million people globally by 2030, by providing them access to the education and skills required to find meaningful work in the new economy,” Punit Renjen, Global CEO, Deloitte said.

The world is on the brink of a seismic shift with the emergence of the Industry 4.0 wave, and to thrive in it, “we must work together so that no one is left behind, he said.

Across India, he said, almost 40 per cent of girls aged 15-18 years drop out of school and college, and only 26 per cent of women are employed.

As one of the emerging economies on the world stage today, India’s demographic dividend forms an integral component of its growth story. The task of harnessing its power has to be fueled by the private sector,” a Deloitte India spokesperson said.

Source: Economic Times India