On Parenting : Tikia’s Take

I like to think I had the best childhood, mainly because of the gift of community. Ours was a time when you would break the rules at the neighbours and get disciplined by the neighbours, try that now and you get sued or thrown in jail. We were each other’s keeper.

Another thing that made my childhood great was the outdoor activities. We did not have video games, those were luxuries, and Tv programs were scheduled. Kids shows would show for like 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening (we didn’t have cable TV back then). So the rest of the time we would be busy fabricating stuff and games to play. One time we tried to build a swimming pool and that did not end well. We also impersonated people a lot. I was that chick in Micheal Jackson’s song thriller that was running away from the zombies. I was also Stone Cold Steve Austin of WWE who we used to call Steve or Stain. I just googled and found out it he is Austin, and Kimberly from power Rangers. The list is endless. I believed I could be anything. And then I became an adult.

Anyway, I am here today to talk about my experience being a parent in this new age where kids are like mini gods that we can’t touch. The neighbours’ mind their own business and Google is our manual.

Tikia Grace and her little girl

When I gelled into the idea of becoming a mum, I imagined how I was going to raise an outstanding citizen of the state, I don’t know where that came from. The truth is, in this cold world, I was just hoping I could give the world a kind humble spirit that would leave a mark of love everywhere she goes. That is all. I pray every day that as I try to groom her into that, she also learns how to draw the line and not get used by people because love is a command but association is not.

One of the things I thought and know is important is the name. My child is a girl. Her names mean;
saint, strength, determination, blessing, grace and friend of God. It is amazing how every day I see her becoming Eren Millie Jane Reuel Arereng. There is power in names. Names are like the first step into identity, purpose and destiny.

I also know that there is power in declaring a thing. So while I was pregnant I spoke peace, joy and love into her. I read the book ‘Power of a Praying Parent’ by Stormie Omartian and that helped me by pointing out what I needed to touch on. I still speak life into her because I know and have experienced the power of words.

I was brought up by a community and because of that, even though times have changed, I have tried to tame myself to allow correction and discipline from those that are around her. Even when I feel sad or feel the need to protect her from any pain.I hold back and only intervene when i think it has turned into violence.

I am still working and figuring out what the boundaries are. She is still young, 1year and 5 months as of 4th May 2021. So this is something I am training my mind to accommodate.

One of the crazy things I have done as a parent was making her listen to classical music when she was about 3 months old. Research shows that it will make her intelligent and other things that I don’t remember. I am yet to see the results. We did that for 3 months then she started arguing and so we switched to Phonics and Baby shark. I also massaged her body in an act to shape it although this was me strongly projecting my insecurities on my baby, poor child.

I read somewhere when I was about 18 that watching TV has a way of making your mind have negative thoughts. It was some research done by someone I don’t remember but it was in the newspaper and I have never forgotten that. For that reason I have kept my child away from the Tv. We don’t own a TV at the moment and have been negligent about getting a new one because of the baby. I also limit her with my phone. She actually doesn’t pay attention to it when I do let her play with it.

She has enjoyed playing in the dirt to my dismay because it equates to extra-tough laundry to do but I want her to just be and explore. It’s hard to not be a controlling parent. I feel our generation is trying so hard to not be our broken parents. We end up over doing it because now we have mini gods all over the place. This parenting thing has no manual. You do what you can and hand it over the rest to God.

My fondest memory so far is when she was turning one, I wanted so badly to throw her party, but I could not afford it. I was sad the entire birth anniversary week then a day to her birthday when I came home from work, she was so excited to see me. Her smile healed me. In that moment I realised I am doing my best and I’ve never been the same. As a parent on parenting the hack is be present, it’s all in the moments.

This post was written by Tikia Grace, a mother who is single and very passionate about Jesus. She recently realised she could tell a story and haven’t stopped since. You can read more of her work on her blog where she keep discovering new things about her self as she writes and shares her story.

Tikia and Eren

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