Tag Archive | Upbringing

Everyday Ways To Teach Your Kids To Be Responsible

If you don’t start teaching your children responsibility from a young age, when they grow up and get out into the real world, they’re going to struggle. Every parent knows that it’s important and there are all sorts of ways people try to teach them, like getting them to join a sports team or get a summer job. These are great, but if you want to encourage them to be responsible in all areas of their life, you need to be doing small things every day. Here are just some of the ways that you can teach your kids to be responsible every single day.

child responsibility, upbringing, raising the next generation, responsible kids, family, life skills, lifestyle

Image From Pixabay

Buy Them Nice Things

Before we get into how this teaches responsibility, remember not to go overboard and spoil your children because it will have the opposite effect. If you occasionally buy your children nice clothes from somewhere like Nicki’s fashion for children or buy them a new phone, it’s a good opportunity to teach them to value their possessions and not be careless with them. But this only works if you don’t do it too often. If you buy them something anytime they ask for it, they won’t bother looking after things because they know they can just get another one.

Send Them To The Shop

When I was younger, my parents would always send me around the corner to the shop if we needed milk. It was only a tiny thing but it felt like a big responsibility as a kid. I was eager to make sure that I didn’t make a mistake and so I acted responsibly. Sending them out to do small errands on their own is the perfect way to create a family that all works together to help out around the house. Just remember, wait until they’re old enough to be walking around on their own, and don’t start asking them to do the weekly shop for everybody.

Pay Them For Chores

Before they’re old enough to go out and get a proper job of their own, you can still teach them a good work ethic by paying them to do small chores around the house. Washing the car or raking the leaves in the garden are both good options. It teaches them the importance of working and you can start them off on managing a little of their own money. The key to making this effective is to only pay them for certain chores. They should still help around the house regardless, otherwise, they could get lazy.

Practice What You Preach

You can easily undo all of your good work if you don’t practice what you preach. If you’re constantly telling your kids to pick up after themselves yet they see you being messy, you’re sending mixed signals and they won’t listen to you. Always be aware of how you’re acting when they’re about and make sure you follow your own rules.

There’s no one way to teach your kids responsibility, you have to introduce it to every aspect of their life.  

This is a collaborative post.

Personal Memories – Streams of Consciousness Saturday

Memories are powerful parts of who we are, where we are coming from and most times they inform how we venture further afield into life. Some memories fade with time, while some hold dark moments in our lives even when we try to suppress them.

Some memories burn vivid and bright in our minds and evoke a sublime state of happiness in our lives that we unwittingly wish to cling to such memories even when that time has long passed. These are the memories that I wish I could hold in the palm of my hands, but I store them in a better place – my heart.

A lot of times, I remember moments in time of my childhood when all I knew was the cocooning love of my parents and as an adult, I crawl back into my head into those moments that suffuse my entire being with softness and warmth.

Each day that passes by brings memories of my loved ones’ who have passed on to the other side to my mind. They are the one’s who shaped my life and molded my values as the human that I am today. My late dad and my beautiful, enigmatic grandmothers.

My dad is/was a man amongst men. A gentleman to the letter. A firm, fair-minded and peaceful fellow. He loved music. He was creative and diligent. He loved people. He worked hard. He was a good man, good father, and provider. He loved me.

Sometimes, memories of him bring bittersweet tears to my eyes’ that even after 3 years of his passing, I get a lump in my throat whenever my thoughts dwell on him. He was my anchor.

Memories of my grandmothers’ are filled with softness, with laughter, with tales of folklore, proverbs and life lessons. With pampering with one hand and a hard smack on the butt for misbehaving, with eating freshly prepared meals made on firewood and earthenware pots. They are filled with remembrance of massaging aching muscles with locally prepared shea butter and the heartfelt thank you that my gran would say. As I write this I can hear the echo of her voice in my head as she says ‘Nnedim, Ezigbo nwa.’

Now I have the great urge to eat from an earthenware pot, to sit on a three-legged stool in the small kitchen back in my village and to watch the pregnant nanny goat as she chewed a portion of yam peels with certainty.

Linda, thank you for taking me down memory lane with today’s prompt. As we remember the heroes in our lives, the heroes past, it comes to my mind to point out that heroes are not only those who fought armed battles but all those who make sacrifices every day to ensure that our future is better. Go and be someone’s hero today.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Quick glossary:

Nnedim – In Igbo language means ‘my husbands’ mother.’ My gran believed in reincarnation and that I’m her mother-in-law who she spoke of with such fondness and love.

Ezigbo Nwa – means ‘good child.’

out-of-the-silent-breath 2


Memories are made of these…Every day beautiful people 56

“We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” unknown

“Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s season.” unknown

Memories_1[1] Memories_2[1]

When I watch children play, there’s a lightness that I feel witnessing their guileless laughter, chuckles and innocence. Most people’s treasured memories are the delightful memories of their childhood.

The childhood season is a short one, let’s make timeless treasured memories for our children.

Below is my first Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

Mesmerize me with the harmonious flow of your words,

that drops from your pale glossy lips,

that I may drink in each syllable,

to nourish and satisfy the deep yearn within.

Daddy Love…Everyday Beautiful People 13

‘A father’s loving and guiding hands will remain on the daughters shoulders forever, even when he is long gone.’ Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


An honest job…Everyday Beautiful People # 11

‘The honest work of yesterday has lost its social status, its social esteem’  Peter Drucker


Though he’s employed to clean, I think it’s rude for people to finish eating at a fast-food public area, get up and go their merry way, while leaving their litter behind. Meanwhile, the trash can is just behind them :/

I don’t think that it will take a minute to put these things away and to teach children to clear up after themselves. I can understand getting up and leaving used plates behind in a proper dining, fine restaurant since a waiter/waitress attends to guests and will possibly earn a tip.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Chef Extraordinaire…personal


Bending over to stoke the firewood, blowing at it with gusto and fanning the crackling flames till they lit; putting kerosene into the stove and lighting it’s wicks with an ignited single broomstick; manipulating the gas cooker to lower the heat from burning the beans or rice while I snatched a quick five minutes read in the bathroom, were my early forays in the kitchen. I was caught young!

Naturally this has gravitated towards keeping my brood and my dear Himself nourished over the years and I believe that in most homes this is usually the case – the mother automatically assumes the kitchen chef position.

I certainly know the way to his heart by keeping his tummy nicely sated with good tasting yumminess 🙂

It has been my primary responsibility over the years and I dare say that I can whip up a decent meal and efficiently too.

Since that is the case, it goes without debate that I am the best cook in my domain.

However, there are have been days that Himself develops a desire to become a culinary artist and Myself simply puts up her feet and watch’s my kitchen transform into an operation desert storm 😉

I don’t mutter a word of discouragement so that the waves of culinary want-to-do will hit more often.

I simply go ahead and enjoy eating every bite whipped up by Himself, with a deep hum of appreciation and a sink load of dirty pots and pans.

Do you enjoy whipping up some yummy stuff or is there a Himself in your life, who is a culinary artist turning your kitchen into an area hit by a thunder storm?

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

NaBloPoMo – Thursday, November 26

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today (or even if you’re not!), tell us about the best cook in your family.

Lifes Lessons… a personal story

Parents and childrenEvery state of our being as a human is formed by lessons learnt.

The impact of life’s lessons taught a young mind especially through their parents and primary educators are very profound and these teachings can be compared to the art of weaving a basket, where, if the weaver does a careless job, everything unravels and must be started again.

However, if the weaver pays attention and does a careful job, their end product is a fine basket.

In the case of children, sometimes the shoddy, careless job of upbringing can leave negative indelible marks that takes ages to obliterate, if ever at all.

It is only now as a full grown mother of my own children, that I begin to understand and appreciate the numerous lessons that my parents painstakingly tried to drum home into me and I cannot thank them enough for caring about how I turned out as a human being.

Over the years and so many times in a day, an idiom or parable that my late dad said would simply repeat itself in my head.

Sometimes in such an eerie manner that I would feel as if he was right there with me.

To buttress a point he would say things like:

“When you know how to pound, you pound in the mortar, when you fail to learn how to pound, you end up pounding on the floor.”

“When a word is tossed at a sensible person, he takes it and pockets it for later use, but when a word is tossed at a profligate, he tosses it away and remains ever foolish.”

”You had better start looking for your black sheep before nighttime, otherwise, in the darkness of the night, you will not be able to recognize it.”

“A bad market day is recognized early in the morning.”

”You cannot carry a good head of palm fruit to pound in a leaking mortar.”

“You cannot plant corn and expect to harvest okra.”

On my mother’s part, she would elaborate her lessons with a dramatic flair sometimes:

Whatsoever you do, to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” (in a sing-song voice).

”For a broom to sweep well, it must be bound with others. A lone broom stick cannot sweep a grain of sand.” (with a bound broom in her hand for demonstration).

“An okra plant can never grow taller than the planter. The planter can always bend it to harvest it’s fruits.” (the bending of a suitable item would be done with flourish).

Many lessons on contentment, generosity, integrity, hard work, love, kindness, belief, responsibility, admitting your mistakes, forgiveness, caring, humility, commitment, boldness, confidence, overcoming difficulties, living within your means, honesty, to seek God, values and so much more were taught. Now as I grow older, I understand it better.

As an adult, my surviving parent remains my best confidant and counselor. Her words parent quoteare gemstones.

Mum and dad were far from perfect but they tried their very best.

The lessons learnt paved way to who I am today and who I will become tomorrow.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to NaBloPoMo prompt – Thursday, November 5

What is the most important lesson you learned as a child, and who taught it to you?

Growing Gains or should I say Pains?…Personal story

Children at play

Delving into my brain and trying to excavate a remembrance of a toy that my parents deprived me of in my archive of childhood memory bank, I come up a bit short.

Though I recollect begging off some Goody-Goody rubbery chocolate bite and Bazooka Joe chewing gum, from a childhood mate and wishing that I had my own kobo to purchase some. Those things were sweet!

It turned out that she had pinched some kobo’s from her mothers purse and the butt-cracking whoop she got sobered my aspirations in my head. You could hear her mothers paddling and querulous voice as well as my friends wailing  in the entire neighbourhood.

Back then, your parents would discipline you openly and the auntie next door would probably chip in her own reprimand, to spice up matters. The fear and shame kept you on the straight and narrow for quite a long time. It was just the way things were.

My life was shaped with love, laughter, rebuke and encouragement and maybe I didn’t know better, but we hardly took much notice of material things that seemed lacking.

As a child, I was raised in a community where everyone was virtually at par in wealth. A decent home, a utility car to get you around, a university staff school for the children, a common playground and other haunts where we got up to all sorts of mischief.

In my minds eye, our parents pockets never overflowed with golden pennies but they provided the best of the basics and the little treats now and again, meant a whole lot.

Shopping malls did not dot the landscape as is obtainable these days and going to the few that existed then, was a treat in itself. Today’s digital gadgets were non-existent, even our television was a Black and White Grundig that came on only in the evenings after the National anthem and watching those cartoons was a privilege.

Most times, we amused ourselves creating our own kites, building cars from discarded tires, crocheting, skipping ropes, playing hopscotch, making pat-a-cakes from sand mounds, scrambling up mango or cashew trees and a myriad of things that children did.

Now and again, a friend would acquire a new toy doll or toy car and we shared in playing with it; of course with a promise to her/him that when he got ours, we would share with them as well.

Christmas and birthdays were beautiful and magical times spent with family and friends and then came the presents, usually something that was in vogue at that point in time. It seemed every little girl owned a rubber doll with sets of combs and what have you or a Raleigh bicycle with a little basket it front.

Now that I think of it, maybe the parents used to converge for a meeting to decide on the present theme for the year.

It was really a simpler life.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to NaBloPoMo November 2015 Prompts

Monday 2 November – What was the one toy that a friend had that you wished you had when you were little?

Image credit: Pinterest.

Ude-Aku…The tale of the wrinkled hands

Grandma dancing on the occasion of my traditional/customary marriage.

Grandma dancing on the occasion of my traditional/customary marriage.

I held your frail wrinkled hands in mine,
They were much smaller!
Now! You were old!
The skin of your hands had waxed, waned and tautened over decades;
Toughened by ages of farming and weeding, from lifting innumerable hot clay pots from the burning firewood, from bathing babies; lots and lots of babies.

I caressed them lightly; noting the veins that stood out more prominently; noting the traditionally placed tattoos and the story behind the tattoos;
Beautiful age worn hands that had nourished,
Beautiful wrinkled bejeweled fingers that lightly applied ”Ude-Aku” on my scalp whilst shaping my unruly hair into a bouffant style.

Those fingers were my preferred hair stylist because, you did not pull it tight like Mama Nkechi used to do whilst making the periwinkle hair-do for me.
Beautiful hands that left my little bum smarting from a well-deserved smack after a misbehaviour.

I beheld your face with my eyes. Your beautiful dark skinned face;
I looked! Looking and looking at every lovely lined feature of your face.
Knowing that it might probably be the last time that my eyes would behold your skin.
Your eyes had seen the Civil war, your eyes had looked life in the face, it was a map of times past, etched with love and pain, with joy and laughter, with fear and worry, with seeing things that I can barely imagine…
Your lovely wrinkled face, etched with very fine lines and tiny spots that had stolen in and taken bold space,
Your crown of whitened hair held in a little bun
Everything had grown smaller!
Your skin had shrunk and your capacious bosom which used to cradle my hair, had bowed to the caprices of gravity
You had aged!
I saw it coming! I knew that it would happen!
But I wasn’t prepared!
The pain still cut me deep!
I wasn’t prepared to stop looking at your age-wizened face!
And when you left, you left with the name!
Grandma, nobody ever calls me Nnedim or Ngozika again!
They were your special bequests to me.
You left with your skin all shriveled by death
And you took the lovely smell of Okwuma and Ude-Aku!

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Quick Glossary For Words in Native Igbo:

Nkechi:  A native Igbo name shortened from Nkechinyere which means “The one that God gave.”

Ngozikaego: A native Igbo name which means ”Blessings are far better than money” derivatives of the names are Ngozi, Ngozika, Kaego, Ego

Nnedim: meaning ”My husbands mother” this infers to the belief in reincarnation and grandma believed that I was her mother-in-law reincarnated..

Okwuma: Native ointment made from Shea Butter.

Ude-Aku: Local body cream made from oil extracted from roasted palm kernels.

In fulfillment of Writing 201 – Poetry Day 3: Skin. Prose Poem. Internal Rhyme.

Some of the hairstyles back then.

Some of the hairstyles back then.