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Projects In The Hands of Parents

 

Children are the most precious, the most beautiful and the most valuable gifts in the lives of parents. Once they are birthed into life, everything can change for good and pure love like no other can truly be experienced by parents as they learn to pour themselves into their children and strive to create a perfect world for them. However, some hiccups in parenting may be experienced as the children grow older and begin to have a mind of their own as well as when parenting becomes less effective. Consequently, conflicts may rise between parents and children which can create a wide gap that may get worse and almost be impossible to bridge as the years go by.

No doubt, parenting can be quite a challenging experience but it can also be a fulfilling one when effectively done. In all aspects of our human endeavours, we acquire certain skills that enable us function effectively in various aspects of our lives right from childhood through adulthood, we learn skills at schools, at work as well as when it comes to relating with others in our environments and these skills are usually acquired for the purpose of improving our functioning in these aspects. Parenting is no different and should not be left out as the skills necessary for effective parenting are to be desired as much as we desire other important skills.

If we are to be effective in parenting, then our children which are our projects must take priority in our lives. It is quite worrisome that the roles of parents in child development appears to have been watered down in recent times probably because lots of parents have relented in their roles as parents and have substituted their roles with others. Many parents mistakenly relent in their responsibilities to their children during childhood and adolescence with the mindset of delegating most of the responsibilities to the school. They may consider that, after all, they pay the schools heavily for that. Asides being a very crucial period in the physical and intellectual development of children, the school years are also an important period in their psychological development. The roles of parents cuts across all aspects of their children’s functioning. Therefore, parents should be involved in their children’s;

  • Physiological functioning/wellbeing
  • Psychological/Mental/cognitive functioning
  • Behavioural functioning
  • Social functioning

As parents, it is our responsibility to set the right pace for our children to follow. Whenever we tend to substitute or delegate this responsibility, we miss out in the opportunity to be role models to them and sadly, this may never be regained.

Although most parents these days run full schedules, creating time for the children should never be misplaced however little or sacrificial it may be. The key word in successful parenting is ENGAGEMENT. Being engaged in the development of the children and getting them engaged all round is absolutely vital to their development.

Engaging children involves

  • Parental involvements (monitoring class work, notes, assignments, academic performance, having good relationships with their teachers, tutors and friends)
  • Effective communication between parents and children whereby children can be open and talk freely with their parents
  • Reinforcement of appropriate behaviour with rewards or withdrawal of rewards when necessary
  • Guiding them as they discover themselves
  • Building their self-esteem and preparing them to excel in life

Remember that children are a REFLECTION of their parents as well as a REPRESENTATIVE of their parents. Therefore, let them reflect you appropriately and represent you very well wherever they find themselves. Don’t replace them with other things and don’t miss out in their lives as they grow! Never forget that your children are your projects and it is never too early or too late to get it right.

 Kindly follow me on twitter @morayojimoh for more interesting updates on #CelebratingChildren.


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Presence or Presents? You decide!

 Tayo, an only child baby-sitted by Granny, wakes up to prepare for school, only to find mum and dad have left for work as usual.  Granny explains: Mum has to be at the Bank and Dad has to be at the construction site. He tries to stay awake to catch a glimpse of his parents before dozing off at night, but his eyes are too full of sleep. Looking forward to every weekend, he hopes Dad can take him to the cinema, only to find out from Mum that Dad had to travel on an official trip again. Mum is usually busy attending social functions at weekends, never having time for him. To make up for this, his mum and dad buy him the latest toys and gadgets to make him happy.

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“Your children need your presence more than your presents”
– Jesse Jackson

One love language children understand is Quality time. Oh yes, they love the gifts and may go the extra mile to earn one every now and then but most importantly, children desire and need the love and presence of their parents. They want their parents to help them out and supervise their homework. They want to chat about what happened in school with their mum. They want Dad to take them out to the park. They want so much more than the gifts. I can hear someone think “They always want, can they ever stop wanting?” The truth is parenting is the greatest investment. You can invest in stocks, real estate, land etc, but investing in your children yields the greatest returns in life.

It is becoming more difficult to juggle work and family but quite possible when priorities are set. Sadly, many parents have “lost” their children in a bid to earn more and stay competitive. Children who are not under adult supervision and lack parent figures often associate with the wrong people and make misguided decisions.

 family time 2

Here are 10 tips on spending quality time and enhancing your relationship with your kids

  • Make yourself emotionally accessible and available for your child.
  • Supervise their homework as often as possible.
  • Set aside a time each week for a special outing with your kids.
  • Help them with their school projects.
  • Saturday mornings are excellent times to play games or engage in sports/exercise with your family.
  • Regularly attend Parents- Teacher’s Association (PTA) meetings.
  • Visit your child’s school during open or visiting days.
  • Ensure you have regular contact with your child’s class teacher.
  • Discuss with your child about his/her interests and aspirations.
  • Endeavor to check through your child’s note book to monitor his/her academic progress.
  • As often as you can, teach your children moral lessons as you have learned yourself while growing up.

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege,

 than the raising of the next generation
– C. Everett Koop

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today!

family time

In your hands lie the power to shape the outcome of your child. Choose to be a “presence-parent rather than a “presents-parent”.  Give your attention and time to your children and you will reap the rewards soon enough!

Join the conversation and get interesting tips on parenting by following @DrMorayoJimoh #parenting. You will be glad you did. Share this with someone.


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What’s Your Style?

“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children,

but we can at least prepare our children for the future”. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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If you are you a parent or plan to become one someday, you will definitely want the best for your child. The question is, how much are you willing to invest in order to see your child become the “best”? – Take a moment to think deeply about this.

A lot of people believe that their parents were strict with them while growing up and vowed to treat their own children better but may be shocked to realize that they may do same or worse in raising their own children. Some others, on the other hand, are thankful to their parents for the parenting style that was adopted in raising them.

Parenting is a huge responsibility which should also be seen as an adventure.

Here are 4 different parenting styles: The first three was classified by Diana Baumrind (1967) while the fourth style was by Maccoby and Martin (1983).

Authoritarian Parenting Style:

Authoritarian_parenting2Refers to an extremely harsh or strict method of parenting where the children don’t have a say in the home and cannot express themselves but are rather expected to follow the stated rules and regulations. A loving parent-child relationship is non-existent here. This style of parenting will in turn produce children with: low self-esteem, anger problems, anxiety, depression, they may tend to be socially withdrawn, they may conform easily and be fearful.

 Authoritative Parenting Style: 

authoritativeThis is a more balanced method of parenting with proper parent-child relationship. The parents are firm with the children in a loving and understanding manner as they seek to build a sense of responsibility and independence in their children. Children from such parents will become independent individuals, disciplined, social, they will tend to have good interpersonal relationship skills and are usually emotionally stable.

 

Permissive Parenting Style: 

permissiveHere, anything goes as the parents “allow” any behaviour the children may exhibit as long as the children are happy because they genuinely care about the children but are somewhat excessively non-restrictive or relaxed about controlling the behaviour of the children. In this method, parents may have to bribe or give special treats to their children before they can get them to do what is expected of them. Children with such upbringing will eventually become demanding, spoilt, aggressive, always wanting to get their way and lack self-discipline/ self-control.

 Uninvolved Parenting Style:

univolvedIn this style, the parent neglects the child and is often detached from the child emotionally and in some cases otherwise. Love and affection is not being expressed to the child by the parent as it ought to be. The parent sees his/her sole responsibility as providing only basic needs such as food and shelter for the child and expects the child to take care him/herself afterwards. This style of parenting will produce children that will tend to feel lonely, have low self-esteem/self worth, may become drug/alcohol addicts and antisocial.

 

Which of these styles do you think best describes your parents’ method of raising you?

Could it be the authoritarian, authoritative, permissive or the uninvolved parenting style?

What influence do you think their style of parenting has had or is having on you as an adult?

 

 

Comment below on your experience. Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more mind blowing updates on parenting and child development throughout the month of March.

 

“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement he learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.

If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world”.

– Dorothy Law Neite


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A mother’s love: Love like no other

mothers loveIt’s February, the month of love, when we celebrate valentine. As in the last article, family is truly where love starts from. A person cannot give what he or she does not have as such, even as family is the first agent of socialization, it is also the first place where a person learns what love means. Right from birth, the attachment a child has with the mother is very crucial in the formation of interpersonal relationships with others in future. There is really nothing like the love between a mother and a new born infant. Such love is revealed in touch, stares, caring, sucking and feeding. While these activities go on, the child may either learn to trust or mistrust the care giver. Babies of responsive mothers develop trust while babies of unresponsive mothers may develop mistrust.

This may seem like a whole lot of psychology, but research shows that attachment in childhood influences personality and interpersonal relationships in adulthood. Just like a newborn infant seeks attention, we older “babies” are no different. Love thrives on attention. The amount of time you spend with your loved one be it your friend, spouse or family member determines the quality of such a relationship.

The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day– M. Grundlermothers love 2

Extending love to the younger generation contributes a lot to our own fulfillment as adults. Extending your attention, care, love, time and resources to your child or another leaves a lasting impact on that life which may culminate into eventual success.

The mother-child love is so strong that it comes with a lot of benefits. An enormous amount of literature and research have highlighted some of the following as benefits of a secure and strong bonding between a mother and a child.. You would love this:

  • Children grow up to become sociable with good interpersonal skills and less aggressive behaviors.
  • Strong bond determines whether a child develops a stable romantic relationship later in life.
  • Exposure to less stress occurring as a result of consistent responses to your child’s cries and frustrations optimizes brain development. On the other hand, high levels of stress may result in irreversible brain damage.
  • Children with a securely attached parenting are able to control their emotions.
  • They have a positive self-concept and high self esteem.
  • As adults, they are able to make positive assumptions about others as such they have better relationships.
  • When relating with others, they engage in more helping behaviors such as showing gratitude, appreciation, care, comfort, and volunteering.mom-kisses-child1

The above mentioned can only be made possible through a responsive parenting and bond between a caregiver and a child. The reverse is usually the case when parents are absent, negligent or abusive.

One way you can be more responsive to your child’s needs is by monitoring your child’s progress.

As the cell is to the body, so is the family to the society. You can learn more tips on parenting by following @drmorayojimoh on twitter.

 

 


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Understanding Dyslexia: Strengths and positive skills

HiResWith the previous article dwelling on the signs and causes of dyslexia, it is important to note that a formal psycho-educational assessment is required to ascertain if a person has dyslexia. This assessment is aimed at examining memory, language, orientation in time and space, behaviour, motor skills, intellectual ability, bodily awareness, information processing, psycho-linguistic processing, and academic skills of the child. It determines whether or not the child is reading, writing or spelling at age appropriate level. Such assessments also take into account the child’s birth history, developmental milestones and overall school performance. It is conducted by trained specialists such as educational psychologists.

Strengths and positive skills of individuals with dyslexia

Although children with dyslexia have average or above average intelligence, they may experience difficulties learning language based subjects since language is the most common mode of communicating new knowledge in schools. People or children with dyslexia can learn to read and be proficient in language skills when their strengths are maximized. They have inherent strengths that if used can make them perform at levels at par with their contemporaries.

Below are some positive strengths of individuals with dyslexiaStrengths

  • They are great at visuo-spatial thinking.
  • Fast problem solvers who are able to think laterally
  • They are intuitive and good at reading people
  • They are verbally articulate and may be  great communicators
  • Creativity is a major strength possessed by them – so many people with dyslexia excel as designers, artists, actors and more
  • They are excellent at solving puzzles
  • They are spatially talented- many individuals with dyslexia are employed as engineers, architects, designers, artists, mathematicians, physicists, physicians, dentists and some other professions.
  • Individuals with dyslexia frequently enjoy above average physical co-ordination skills
  • they possess great emotional strengths such as empathy
  • They are inclined to think outside the box most of the times.
  • They are persistent individuals.

strengths 1

 

In order to maximize these strengths, brain based strategies are necessary to be utilized when teaching individuals with dyslexia and this will be the focus of the next article.

Always remember that individuals with dyslexia have strengths and learn differently!

Follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more updates. You can contact us for a consultation on dyslexia by clicking HERE

We would love to hear from you at Mobile Health Consult!

 

 

 


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Understanding Learning Disorders

Certain disorders  make acquisition of  some academic skills difficult for children.

Kayode felt like he was always hitting the books. While his friends were meeting for pickup soccer games after school, he was back home in his room reading and re-reading the same book. Regardless of  how hard he  studied, he had difficulty remembering and his grades stayed average. Meanwhile, his friend Deji, who never seemed to study, always aced tests. It didn’t seem fair.

kayode

As a result of Kayode ‘s frustration, his dad and class teacher made an appointment with the school’s Educational psychologist who later diagnosed him with a learning disorder. Although, Kayode felt relieved to know what was going on, he was also worried. He didn’t like the “disorder” label. And he was concerned about what it might mean for his future.

Would he be able to go to college and study engineering as he’d hoped?

What are Learning Disorders?

Learning disabilities, difficulties or disorders are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disorder is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Children with learning disorders aren’t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else.  A learning disorder can cause a person to have trouble learning and using certain skills. The skills most often affected are:images (3)

  • reading,
  • writing,
  • listening,
  • speaking,
  • reasoning, and
  • Doing math.

Possible causes of Learning Disorders

According to Sheldon Horowitz, Ed.D, experts aren’t exactly sure what causes learning disorders. However, learning disorders may stem from subtle disturbances in brain structure and function that may begin before or even after birth which includes:

  • Heredity/Genetic predisposition: Often, learning disabilities run in the family, so it’s not uncommon to find that people with learning disabilities have parents or other relatives with similar difficulties.
  • Problems during pregnancy and birth: Learning disabilities may be caused by illness or injury during or before birth. It may also be caused by low birth weight, lack of oxygen, drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, and premature or prolonged labor.
  • Incidents after birth:Severe head injuries or trauma, nutritional deprivation, central nervous system infections and exposure to toxic substances (i.e. lead) can contribute to learning disabilities.

Signs and Symptoms of Learning Disorders.

Learning disorders are usually very different from one child to another. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another loves literacy but can’t understand numeracy. Another child may experience difficulties comprehending information.

It’s not always easy to identify learning disorders. However, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages.

The following checklist lists some common red flags:

Preschool  (3-6)

  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Problems pronouncing words
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, days of the week
  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines
  • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or coloring within the lines

Ages 5 – 9

  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
  • Unable to blend sounds to make words
  • Confuses basic words when reading
  • Consistently misspells words and makes frequent reading errors
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts
  • Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences

Ages 10-13

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
  • Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
  • Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
  • Spells the same word differently in a write-up
  • Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganized)
  • Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
  • Poor handwriting

Intervention for Learning Disorders

A child with a learning disorder should receive his or her own Individualized Education Program, (IEP) after a thorough assessment has been carried out by an Educational psychologist. This personalized and written education plan lists individualized goals for the child, specifies what services and tutoring the child will receive and the specialists who will work with the child.

Visit us at http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/values/psycho-educational-assessment/ for more information regarding a Psycho-educational assessment.

“How can someone with learning disorders improve their ability to learn, rather than just compensate for difficulties?”

Many of the methods used and promoted to help people with learning disorders are intended to help a person compensate for, or work around, their learning difficulties.

 

  • Cognitive Enhancement Software: BrainWare Safari is an award winning software program that incorporates decades of proven clinical approaches to cognitive skills development into an engaging video game format. It is used to improve IQ, academic performance and overall cognitive abilities. It develops and strengthens cognitive skills crucial for learning. i.e. Attention, memory, visual and auditory processing skills, sensory integration and thinking. Visit http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/values/cognitive-enhancement-training/brainware-safari for further information on “Brainware Safari”.

 


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Bringing Out the Best in Children

Preschoolers can be difficult to manage… The same may apply to all children. They have so much energy to throw around and getting them to sit still is much like a herculean task to not just parents but teachers as well. Children, especially the younger ones, use play as a medium to release tension  and ease as such when they feel anxious or uncomfortable, they try to engage in one form of playful activity or the other. However, you don’t want your child or pupils running about when you need their full attention.

So how can you get their attention?

How can you get them to sit still and learn?

How can you get them to be calm?

How can you help them regulate their emotions?

MINDFULNESS is the SOLUTION! 

child-meditation Mindfulness is being fully aware of this present moment, fully accepting it without judgment. It is paying full attention to your thoughts, feelings and emotions HERE and NOW. It involves deep breathing and calming techniques. These days, mindfulness has proved to be the answer to many questions. Enormous research has shown how mindfulness can help adults improve their brain function, reduce stress and enjoy better relationships. In recent times, researchers and practitioners have begun to focus on how this practice can be beneficial to children and adolescents in primary and secondary schools, children with cancer, learning disabilities, autism, etc. mindful childA number of schools in the United States are incorporating Mindfulness Programs into their school program- Mindful Program at Maryland High Schools. A recent research by University of Florida shows that stressful events in the environment can take a negative toll on a child’s mental and physical health which includes the onset of learning difficulties. As such mindfulness aims at reducing the effects of stress. Other benefits of Mindfulness include:

  • Building resiliencehappy child
  • Strengthening character development
  • Increasing focus and concentration
  • Improving  brain function
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Reducing stress levels and improving  coping ability
  • Inducing calmness and relaxation
  • Self regulation and control
  • Increasing their capacity for empathy and compassion

Mostly the same benefits that accrue to adults can be experienced by children ages 3 and above.

Mobile Health Consult is offering a Mindfulness program for students tagged “SMART MIND”. For more enquiries, consultation and procedure for enrollment, kindly log on to http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/smartmind/

The only way to know what mindfulness is, is to experience it! Sign up for a FREE Training now on: 

http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/values/therapy/mindfulness/

SPREAD the word! Be MINDFUL