Mrs Lauretta Ani speaking to parents at a recently held parent forum at Greensprings School, Lekki campus in Lagos.
A child counselling expert, Mrs Lauretta Ani, has advised parents to encourage self-awareness in their children as it is an essential skill they need to cope in school and beyond.
According to the professional, an experienced counsellor at Greensprings School, parents should teach their children how to name the emotions they feel and ways of responding to these emotions. This knowledge will help children open up appropriately to school staff on challenges they have in school and be provided with adequate help. Mrs Ani gave this counsel at a parents’ forum recently held at Greensprings School, Lekki campus.
To elaborate on her admonition, the counsellor stated that many children have busy parents who do not have time to listen to them. Due to this, the children go to school with the mindset that nobody will listen to them because everyone is busy. Thus, such children suppress whatever challenges they experience until things get out of control.
Ani urged parents to take time to listen to their children and validate their emotions by teaching them how to know what they’re feeling and how to respond adequately.
She said, “Parents should listen to their children. They should teach their children to identify when they feel stressed or angry and should teach them how to manage these emotions. For instance, when angry, children should know what to do.
“They can take deep breaths or engage in art or writing therapy to help deal with the anger they feel. They can only know about these responses if their emotions are validated at home. Children become self-aware by being able to name and respond to their emotions. This makes it easy for them to relay their challenges and feelings to school staff members so that they can be helped appropriately.”
She furthermore hinted that schools also have a role to play in helping children to be self-aware, by complementing the efforts of parents.
“While parents do their part to make their children self-aware, schools must also design programmes that will reinforce their children’s self-awareness.
“For instance, at Greensprings School, we teach our students about self-assessment, goal-setting, character development, and emotional intelligence – and all these help them to become responsible individuals. We also organise frequent forums aimed at discussing proper ways of raising children,” she concluded.