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How well do I know my child?

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Recently a 21-year-old undergraduate was arrested for killing a 50-year-old man. When she was apprehended in her home where she lived with her father, it was reported that her father resisted her arrest, with full conviction that her daughter can never commit such atrocity. Well, he was shocked when his daughter admitted to the crime.

This has however brought about the issue of how well do parents know their children. While a lot of parents are quick to say, they bore their children and so they know them so well, events such as the one cited above can truly tell that parents really need to pay more attention to their kids beyond taking care of their basic needs.

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For child psychologist, Eunice Chinedu-Nwigwe, knowing and understanding a child is a challenging task in the 21st century because of the complexity of the contemporary world today. “Parents should know their children well enough to understand their fears, weaknesses and strengths. Spending quality time with your children helps connection and it boosts your relationship with them. 

“Some time ago, I participated in a challenge themed ‘How well you know your child’. I realised that I overestimated my knowledge of my children. Many parents are probably like me; hence there are questions you should run through with your kids to determine how well you know your child.

Chinedu-Nwigwe noted the following questions can help parents ponder about their child: Who is your child’s best friend?; What accomplishment is your child proud about?; Who is your child’s hero?; What makes your child angry?; What embarrasses your child the most?; What household chore does your child enjoy the most?; What is your child’s nickname at school?; What are their most and least favourite subjects and teachers? Why?; What is your child’s favourite novel or book?; What is your child’s temperament?; Which parent is your child likely to confide in?

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She also stressed that striking conversations with your children are the only way to get the necessary information. “It could be during dinner, a walk, on your way to school or an outing, anywhere. It is important to constantly strike conversations with your children. It doesn’t have to be a serious discussion because therein lies all the answers you will for your child.”

It is also important to be a good listener, never try to shut your child up when they make comments, listen attentively before making your input constructively so that they know, they can constantly confide and find a friend in you.

In our world today, where gadgets and social media have become the order of the day, it is very easy to lose guard of our kids to technology, so it is necessary that parents try to find a balance with letting out so much the internet expose. When they arrive from school, try to converse with them to know how their day went, this way chances of hiding so much from you are slim.

“You don’t want to be caught unawares. More importantly, know their friends, their peers, where they hang out, hence you can categorically tell what they are doing at a given time, this will better hence you through your parenting journey,” Chinedu-Nwigwe added.

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