Funmi Alagbe is a wife and mother to two beautiful children. At heart, she is a teacher. She has worked in Nigeria’s petroleum industry and since migrating to Canada, she has supported children and their families in different capacities. She joins Ladiescorner.ca to share her life, thoughts and ideas about family and life.
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I am Funmi Alagbe, a certified positive discipline parent educator and the founder of Parenting Grace, an organization that is committed to enriching people’s parenting experience by offering effective parenting strategies and tools. I have over 10 years of experience working with children and teens, counseling and mentoring them. I am a mother of two children aged ten and seven. I am a wife and a child of God. I have a passion for parenting which motivated me to work with teens as a counselor and mentor. By Training, I am a Project Management Professional and a Data Analyst with a bachelor of science degree.
I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I have an open mind and like adventure whether is trying new food, learning new skills, or exploring new opportunities.
Why are you so passionate about parenting?
One of the things that have made me shed tears and kept awake at night is seeing teens experience unpleasant and detrimental outcomes due to wrong, unguided and uninformed decisions. My heart bleeds at the amazing potentials that are possible, should they have access to guided mentoring, either by a parent or a responsible adult. I was inspired by my experience counselling teenage girls in Nigeria as part of my volunteer experience with the School of Virtue (SOV), an organization that counsels and mentors young people to a life of virtue and character while fulfilling their God-given purpose. I saw the need for positive role models in the lives of children and began a quest to improve my skills. Over the past years, I have a heavy burden to do more but I didn’t know where to begin or what to do.
I read one of John Maxwell’s books and the message was clear – start where you are, start small but dream big. Then, I knew where to start from. Sharing the message on positive discipline and godly parenting principles to foster healthy parenting experience and harmonious family relationships, is a most for me. My greatest joy is equipping parents with tools through our parenting classes, workshops and coaching and hearing the positive results.
What do you think most parents do wrong?
No one is an expert in parenting. We are all learning new skills and tools to make out parenting journey hassle-free. That being said, I believe there are common parenting mistakes that could be avoided if we have the proper knowledge and the unintended consequences of our actions. One such mistake is overprotecting our children and shielding them from anything that looks like a struggle or inconvenience.
We seem to forget that It’s the struggle to break out of the cocoon that gives the butterfly the strength to fly. Life experiences—both good and bad—strengthened and prepared us for the life we’re living now. It is important that parents allow children to have the opportunity to struggle through challenges, but we also need to be present and ready to help. Allow your 4-year old button his shirt, carry their bags, take their plates to the kitchen and clean up after himself after playing with toys. I strongly believe we shouldn’t do for children what they can do for themselves. How many times have we hindered students from maturing into adulthood because we did too much to help them? Life is full of challenges, children deserve to be prepared for the real world, and it starts from now.
How should you parent teenagers?
Teenage years are one of the most challenging parenting periods. It can be a time of great stress for parents. This is a period teens are experiencing a lot of physiological and emotional changes. They worry about their identity, they are trying to figure out who they are. It is important to understand the big picture and have a broader perspective of the world of teens. One of the most important strategies we encourage in positive discipline is building connections with them.
You also need to be firm and kind. Being too firm and using an authoritarian parenting style often leads to rebellion. “If you don’t do your homework, you are grounded.” “I’m going to take away your cell phone”, will not work. Permissive parenting style which is often too kind is ineffective either. Burying our heads in the sand by denying and avoiding does not help.
We teach and encourage authoritative parenting styles and many other positive discipline strategies for parenting teens based on the Adlerian principles that are deeply respectful to teens and provide opportunities for communication and positive influence.
Above all, praying for our teens and teaching them the word of God help them to learn morals and develop godly characters. Just like faith without work is dead, praying without effective parenting strategies is insufficient.
What can parents do to equip themselves for teenage years?
Understanding teen culture is crucial to having a successful relationship with your teens. We need to equip ourselves with knowledge about parenting teens. Read books, take parenting classes, and workshops. Parenting classes/workshops are good avenues to meet other parents and share ideas together. Parenting Grace offer workshops, and coaching services to parents. Check www.parentinggrace.com for our upcoming classes.
What books can we read as parents to help us be better parents?
There are lots of good books out there about parenting. I will recommend, “Nurturing the Leaders within your Child” – Tim Elmore. This is a good resource for parenting teens and helping them develop life skills. “The Collapse of Parenting” – Dr. Sax. This focuses on the challenges of parenting in the 21st-century featuring media addictions, the culture of disrespect and the impacts on parenting. He offers useful pieces of advice for parents. “Kingdom Parenting” – Dr. Myles Munroe & David Burrows. This book enumerates parenting from a godly perspective.
Some parents are not Christians and they have raised excellent children…. Do you really need grace?
This question reminds me of a passage in the bible. It says “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted” There is no 100 per cent guarantee of success with the best of parenting strategies. I personally make God an important part of my parenting. Grace is the divine influence which operates in humans to impart strength to do what seems impossible and challenging. Everyone needs grace. Some make call it something else, luck or what have you. I call it grace. Grace is most times, intangible. It could be in the form of knowledge, skills or unusual ability. When we do our
Favourite Quote: Its easier to shape a child than to rebuild an adult – Dr. James Dobson
What do you offer parents?
We do parenting workshops, seminars and personal coaching for parents. We also organize age-appropriate workshops for teens and younger children.
Where can we find more details about Parenting Grace?
Our website is www.parentinggrace.com
Facebook at: Parenting Grace