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Strengthening Family Relationships during the Holidays

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During this time of the year, many families are engaged in various activities like going on trips, reunions, parties, meetings and so on with the aim of reconnecting and reinforcing family ties.  The December holiday season also provides an opportunity for estranged family members to restore their relationships and settle all forms of acrimony that may exist amongst them.

“Well, what better time is there to strengthen your most important relationships than during the holidays?”

While some may have it easy when it comes to reconnecting with their family members, on the contrary, there are some others who really want to reconnect as well but they may find it difficult to do so and this might make them tend towards depression, anxiety and all other forms of negative feelings at such a time when they should be having fun!

However the current strength of your family relationship, the following are keys to help restore and further strengthen your family ties during this holiday season.

1. Effective Communication    78631212_XS (1)

Communication is one of the most vital aspects of nurturing any relationship and it goes beyond mere verbal expression. Keep in mind that when communicating, your facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice and other forms of body language can speak more volume than what you may intend especially when it comes to family relationships. The tricky part is that you may be unaware of your non-verbal communication towards your family as a result of familiarity or otherwise. During this holiday, make a commitment to be more conscious and courteous about your non-verbal communication with your family in order to boost the effectiveness of your communication.

2. Quality Time  family-dinner-1

To many families, having free time to spend together seems to be a luxury as we are often too busy with work, school and other engagements all year round. The holiday season is a great opportunity to reconnect and strengthen family relationships. When planning the holiday, ensure to include special “family time” to do things together as a team such as planning a party together, playing games, having a picnic or going on a trip.

3. Giving  

Like the old saying goes, charity begins at home. It literally begins at home! This is a season to show love and the best expression of love is through giving. It requires some level of selflessness on your part. Giving is inexhaustible as there is always something to give, it could be gifts, money, advice, support and even giving your time to listen or to share a special moment will all go a long way in strengthening your family relationship.

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Meeting a need in a family member’s life during this holiday will create a sense of being thought of as important and will in turn strengthen your relationship. Remember to communicate effectively, spend quality time and give during this season! To gain more tips on strengthening family ties click Here.

For more juicy info about #strengtheningfamilyrelationsships kindly follow me on twitter @DrMorayoJimoh.

 

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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.

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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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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together.

It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”

-Dave Meurer

ringsMarriage is a sacred institution that signifies the joining of hearts and minds of a man and a woman in a union that is expected to last until death. This institution is most looked forward to by young adults as they desire to share their lives with their “true love”. Let’s pause a bit and look closely at the term “true love”. How true is this love that makes a man do anything to capture the heart of his damsel? Is there such a thing as fake love? What exactly is love in the confines of marriage? How would you define love?

Sometimes, we are confronted with the credibility of our spouse’s profession of love. When two people take vows to cherish and love each other forever, they, at that moment experience a rush of love or feelings that carry them on till a year or so. Research by James Spencer at Brigham Young University (1992) in a longitudinal study measuring marital quality, revealed that universally,  romantic love is experienced in the first year of marriage. After this period, the couple is soon faced with the reality of living with a completely different person from a different background with different interests and preferences. Arguments, conflicts and moments of angry outbursts may be common at this period which may question the veracity of the initial love professed at the time of taking solemn vows.

Does this sound familiar? If you are married I’m sure you can accede to the fact that marriage is not always a bed of roses. There are times of “up” and times of “down”. Times to laugh and cry, fight and make up, criticize and encourage, etc.

Based on a research by Campbell, Weiner-Davis, DeMaria, Harrar et al, Chris Garner proposed 5 stages of marriage which are:

1. The Enchantment phase:

This is otherwise known as the honey moon phase. This phase has been researched to last a year or two depending on when children arrive. It is a passion fueled phase with intense focus on attraction. Couples believe that they will live happily ever after much like the fairy tale stories of Cinderella and snow white. Excitement and euphoria characterize this stage and couples usually share similar interests. They can talk for long hours without getting tired. At this stage, all they want is to be together.

enchantment

2.  The Realization phase:

Feelings of euphoria wear off and couples realize how different they are. It is a time of disenchantment where they realize differences that exist between them. Power tussles, arguments and conflict over minor as well as major issues results. Remember the story of a couple who fought over how to squeeze toothpaste? This kind of scenario often occurs at this stage. Would it be sufficient to state that the love that once existed has gone sour?

realization3. The Acceptance phase:

At this phase, the differences observed are accepted. Each person begins to see the other person and accept him/her without being judgmental; after all it would be difficult to change the other person. Couples at this stage are able to work through the challenges they face.

acceptance

4. The Commitment phase:

Understanding, peace and harmony are characteristic features of this stage. This is a matured stage of a relationship that exists even when problems and conflicts arise. Couples have learnt to understand themselves and work through whatever comes their way through teamwork and cooperation. Each couple knows about the weaknesses of the other but choose to stay or commit themselves to them based on the strengths they have.

5. The Co-creation phase:

Couples who get to this stage look beyond themselves and extend their oneness to others. They are able to work together in unity to bring about impact in the lives of those around them. They are able to contribute their own quota to society by mentoring young ones and giving back in different ways.

With these 5 stages, how would you define love? Is it primarily the passion that comprises the enchantment stage, the intimacy of acceptance phase or the commitment of the commitment stage? The truth is a combination of all 3. This was proposed by Robert Sternberg in his Triarchic theory of love.

So, love basically is a mix of PASSION, INTIMACY and COMMITMENT.

Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on Love and Relationships.


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Spice Up Your Love! 


couple-hugging-each-other-bench

If you were to think about one special person in your life right now, who will that be? My guess is the one you refer to as your; “Honey”, “Sweet heart”, “Darling”, “Love” “Valentine”, “Sweetie” or maybe some other special names you have coined for yourselves probably in your local language or some other foreign language. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone holds you special in their heart regardless of your flaws.

Relationships are powerful and therapeutic. Just think about it, having someone to talk to after a hard day’s work, or having someone who cares about you and how every single minute of your day is being spent. What about knowing that there is someone special who can listen to you when others may seem not to pay attention, or even being able to share your deepest thoughts and feelings openly with someone who understands and is willing to make you a better person.

Love makes life beautiful and being in a healthy relationship adds color to your life. Relationships are like plants which require good soil, sunlight, water and some other nutrients to flourish. A farmer knows very well that he has to water his seeds consistently before they begin to blossom and produce a bountiful harvest for him.  Often time, people only get excited at the onset of their relationship (first few dates) but soon experience some form of dryness or “boringness” in the relationship and may even opt for a new one with a different person with the hope that the “excitement” they seek may be restored again. Sadly, this cycle goes on and on.

Relationships require work and time- by way of watering the relationship (Like the farmer waters his seeds) thereby flaming the embers of love.

Here are some powerful ways to spice up your relationship

  1. Communicate more: in relationships, communication is key. You should be able to talk about EVERYTHING! Nothing should be too difficult to talk about and this should be cultivated at the beginning of your relationship.

If you want be my lover, you have to first be my friend!

Talk openly about the things you are not comfortable with in the relationship as well as how both of you can make things better. Talk about the things you love about your partner and also what you love about the relationship. Talk about things that are peculiar to both of you as well as what applies generally.

Endeavour to study the verbal and non-verbal communication of one another.

  1. Play together: when last did you play like a child? My guess is as good as yours. There is a time for everything, a time to work and a time to play!play The beautiful thing about play is that you get to laugh about the silly things that happen and you also get to break the walls that lie between you and your partner. Take on the challenge to play  hide and seek or any other childhood game you remember as often as you can.
  2. Add some adventure to your dates: Going out on a date? picnic dateDo something different each time. Spice your outings with surprises and adventures. If you do more of restaurants and places that require a table for two setting, try going on a picnic for a change. You have to plan properly for this- here is a tip: make a list of all that will be needed for the picnic and divide it into two parts- one will contain things that you will come along with while the other will be a list of what your partner is to come along with. You can also see a movie together at a different cinema, go site seeing or do some other activities that will thrill you and your partner.
  3. Forgive easily: In relationships, unforgiveness is a major issue that can result in building very thick walls between partners. Learn to forgive each other easily. You will always reap the benefits.

In relationships, the first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to move forward is the happiest!

  1. Be creative: If you are willing to add more spice to your relationship, then you have to be creative. Do something unexpected for your partner everyday and let it become a part of you. Soon, you’ll notice how much more spicy your relationship will become!Lovesign21

Remember that every good relationship requires effort to be successful. Practice the outlined ideas and share with us your experience and some you have thought of as well.

Kindly follow @drmorayojimoh for more wonderful updates on Love and Relationships.

 


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What’s your love language?

love language 1Love has many definitions. However, to some people the word does not even exist or may be thought of as just a mirage. To some, love is seen as a warm feeling of affection towards others, while to others it may be considered as the butterflies in one’s stomach at the sight of a loved one.  Love may also be thought of as an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. This last definition reveals love as unconditional; that is a person is loved and showed love regardless of who the person is or what he has.

There are many ways of showing the commitment to love. By caring, speaking kind words, being polite, giving, sharing and other displays of love.  Gary Chapman, a counselor has enumerated 5 ways of showing love, which he termed as love languages. These include:

5-love-languages

#LoveLanguage1- Gifts: However inexpensive or expensive, people whose love language is gift giving engage in it and expect others to do the same. They feel most loved when a person surprises them with a gift every now and then. This is quite different from those who are materialistic that is more focused on what they can get in cash or kind from the other  partner. Such individuals appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver.gifts

#LoveLanguage2- Acts of Service: “How can I help you?” and “Let me do this for you” are questions that are ever on the lips of those who speak love through kind gestures. They desire to express love by assisting others and feel loved if they are as well.  Simple acts as such as trashing the waste bin, cooking a meal, arranging the living room, washing clothes etc. are simple acts that such individuals prefer.acts-of-service

#LoveLanguage3- Touch: This language refers to sexual or physical intimacy. A person whose primary language is physical touch appreciates and feels loved when they are given hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face. They see these as a show of concern, care, and love.  More often, such people are also quick to communicate such gestures.hugs

#LoveLanguage4- Words of affirmation: Words they say are powerful. People whose love language is words of affirmation thrive on the positive words spoken to them by loved ones. Words that approve of them,  express acceptance and validation are expected. Compliments, constructive words, kind words, words of encouragements are ways of expressing words as a love language. Saying “I love you”, “You are the best”, “You made my day”, “You look awesome” etc., a million times achieves the desired effect and even more each time it is said.

words of affirmation

#LoveLanguage5- Quality time: Are you always complaining that your loved ones and friends don’t visit you? Are you eager to spend time with your family? Then, maybe your love language is quality time. For people whose love language is quality time, there is a craving to spend  secluded time with loved ones. At such times, they expect undivided and complete concentration of their friends or loved ones at that time.

quality time

So which love language do you speak?

One. Two. Three. Four. All

You may speak more than one, but if you look closely, there’s always one primary love  language that you express and expect.  You may also find out the love language of your spouse, loved one or friend and START SPEAKING IT!

Discover your love language by clicking HERE

 Kindly follow us @drmorayojimoh for more tips this love season.. Show some love today and speak the right language!

 


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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.