Should we pay for good grades?

Should we pay for good grades?

What children think their parents want for them can play a significant role in shaping the children’s chances of future success and well-being. Parental pressure to excel in school and extracurricular activities can increase kids’ risk of stress, as well as have a negative impact on kids’ well-being and success later in life. This is especially true if parents value grades and achievement over things like empathy, compassion, kindness, and social skills. “VeryWellFamily “

We took a poll on intentional_parenting and the results were as below. The evidence weighs heavily against PAYING in favor of rewarding EFFORT.

If a parent were to say, ‘I will give you this if you achieve all As’, the child is likely to do it for that reward. It also means that subsequently, he will think, well, the only reason to learn is to get the reward. If I am not getting the reward that I want, I am not interested in learning.”

The downside to giving kids rewards is that they put the responsibility for learning on the parent – who needs to come up with more rewards for sustained results and also has to continue to monitor success.

Suggest a celebration, like going to a special restaurant for a meal. This is not a reward but just an acknowledgment and celebration of a goal achieved.

Reward your child verbally. Once your child has achieved a goal, say how the effort and studying paid off and how you’re proud he improved his grades.

Morally it can be tricky giving cash to children for good grades. You never know what someone might agree to do in exchange for the promise of another cash payment.

Daniel Coyle, author of the best-selling book, The Talent Code, points out that praising effort not accomplishment is much more likely to lead to successful outcomes. Not just any effort, but persistent, intensive effort that comes with focusing on overcoming errors by pushing oneself to the edge of one’s knowledge and skills.

There is no guarantee that the money would go to useful things. This may potentilla create more work for the parents who need to monitor how the money is spent

The pros and cons of paying students for good grades depends on the effectiveness of the solution. There will be some kids motivated by this approach to learning, but there will also be others who are turned off by the idea of this “bribe.” That is why many schools use positive reinforcement and non-cash-based rewards like books, pencils, or clothing as a way to enhance motivation.

If you need further details on how best you can encourage and support your child to get better grades, this article by Verywellfamily has some great suggestions.

Any thoughts or additions? Would love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by.


Building a legacy and heritage of prayer

Building a legacy and heritage of prayer

Webinar 30.09.19

September was our month of praying for families. After the 30 days, we came together, in celebration and wanting to strategise the way forward.

Testimonies of being energised in prayer and being intentional were shared on our Whatsapp group. So where do we go from here, was the question.

How does a working mother, wife, sister, friend and community builder live a vibrant prayer life in this busy 21st century?

We were encouraged to pursue God and fall in love with Him. Like lovers, our desire for Him will encourage us to want to spend time with Him.

“It’s a heart thing.❤️”

“Like an apple tree among the wild trees, so is my lover among the young men. In his shade I take pleasure in sitting, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.” Song of Songs‬ ‭2:3‬ ‭CEB‬‬

“Who am I?” 👩🏽

We were reminded about our identity in God. A child should never be reminded to talk to her parents, it is hoped. And so it is with us as children and daughters of God.

Those who know their God shall be mighty in the land and do exploits (Daniel 11:32)

Our identity in God centers us. The father -son/ daughter relationship will help us talk to Him at ease. Daniel lived in a treacherous and tricky time, His relationship and confident trust in God saw him through it all. We can do the same as intentional parents.

Have confidence in God, His abilities and faithfulness.

“It is love, then, that you should strive for. Set your hearts on spiritual gifts, especially the gift of proclaiming God’s message.”

1 Corinthians 14:1 GNB

⁃ The love of God propels us to be people who enjoy spending time in His presence. Prayer isn’t a religion but relationship. We encouraged one another to build a lifestyle of prayer, talk to God anywhere and everywhere, all the time. Do not be legalistic. We live busy lifestyles, talk to God whilst at work, driving etc. Spend time in the word. It’s not about the length but a yielded heart.

“Fulfill Gods purpose” 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

We were encouraged that being a parent is Gods greatest calling upon our lives. That’s our purpose. We were persuaded to build a legacy of prayer for the generation that is coming after us. You and I can leave such a legacy that nothing can touch it. We are here to see our grand/ children thrive because we prayed.

We were challenged to lead a victorious life of prayer through the analogy of a heavy weight champion. It was indicated that a heavy weight champion has to feed on the right diet (Word of God), have a coach/ trainer to guide and lead (Holy Spirit). Heavy weight champions have to take care of their bodies in order to function well. They need to sleep enough hours for rest and repair, exercise, train and train some more to build the necessary muscle. Above all, they have to stay committed to the goal to see the results and reward.

Here is to training, building those muscles and lifting heavy weights 🏋🏽‍♂️🏋🏾‍♀️

God richly bless you all

Public speaking

Public speaking

Effective speaker note

So I have been public speaking for some time, formally in respectable circles for 5years. My career in public health formalised the role as I taught in postnatal groups. Prior to that, I had been teaching in Sunday school. These roles, helped me to horn my skills in communication. The NHS leadership program then helped me a lot in understanding the impact of being an impactful leader, public speaking being an important skill.

Below, I share my own PERSONAL strategies and techniques that I use in public speaking. I have to admit, the majority stem from what I saw other people do, which I felt I wanted to do it differently. There is nothing worse like being at an event you regret because there is no VALUE to it.

The tips I share below are the basics of being a guest speaker on the day. There is a lot more to be shared about posture, tone of voice, colours to wear etc. According to Business Insider, Tony Robins is the public speaking guru. Check him out for more inspirational ideas on how to nail this.❤️

Fadzai’s Tips

Understand WHY you have been invited to speak and DELIVER. This means, do your research and offer the attendees the value and respect they require. Yes, it may be a ‘free’ event in the sense that people aren’t paying cash at the door or via eventbrite, respect their priceless commodity TIME.

-Preparation is key, check venue details, content requirement and communicate with the rightful people ahead of time.

Plan your travel; clothes, traffic, venue. It is unprofessional to arrive late as a guest speaker unless there are situations outside of your control e.g traffic diversions. General traffic hiccup isn’t an excuse.

⁃ Arrive in PLENTY of time. Check out the layout of the building, locate the respite facilities i.e cloakroom, lavatory etc. At registration, say hello to a couple of people if you can. Create moments to network.

⁃ If possible sit in other guest/trainers sessions. Get a sense of your audience ( Know who asks difficult questions, quiet one, sleeping etc)

⁃ Check that your materials (powerpoint) and other bits are in order ahead of your session.

⁃ Figure out in time, at registration where the IT assistant is located so that you can solicit help if you need it.

⁃ Be charming and deliver with a smile. Remember to have water at hand to keep hydrated.

⁃ Deep breathing helps to calm the nerves thus relaxing the vocal cords.

⁃ Depending with the room layout, try to be centrally aligned and visible to your audience.

⁃ Make an effort to make an eye contact with audience right across the room.

⁃ If you are not sure of anything, admit, offer to go and find out. You can email answers when you find them.

⁃ Keep to time

⁃ Engage with other speakers and the host.

⁃ Get feedback where possible.

⁃ Continue networking, try not to leave as soon as your session finishes. Listen to other guest speakers, be encouraging. That’s how we grow and the same energy and encouragement will come back to you.

– Offer constructive feedback to your host.

⁃ Get two/three numbers to keep in touch.

⁃ Be sociable, and share on social media platforms about the event. Tweet.

Have fun, enjoy it. If the topic is something you love and are passionate about, it will show.

Remember, this may be a one off invite, you never know who is in the audience. Impress. You may get called again and if you have a message to share, you may want more people to hear it. 💕.

Good luck

Inter-parental conflict & our children

Inter-parental conflict & our children

Webinar 5.9.19

We agreed that conflict is part of a healthy relationship. As a community of mothers we acknowledged that it is important to have the right tools and strategies to manage conflict(s) in the family home.

-It was asserted that first and foremost it is key that parents have a family vision. This vision will have some values and principles to follow. The vision will allow the family to know and remember what and where they are going. For instance one family vision may be

‘To raise God fearing and parent honouring children”

Alongside that would the goals on how to achieve that. For the family above it may that both parents will role model God fearing and parent honouring behaviours in their homes.

Another family’s vision may be to :

“Live in a calm, happy home”

Once again, they will have goals on how to achieve the calmness and happiness they desire in their home.

-Understanding of one’s sphere of influence was also deemed important in knowing when to assert your power. We were encouraged to focus on empowering self so others can follow.

-Not leaving issues to stifle, but to discuss them in a calm and respectful manner as soon as possible.

-Going for a walk or drive was also suggested as a strategy for taking time out to discuss difficult issues away from the children.

-It was appreciated that sometime the male ego may make it difficulty to resolve an issue. An example was given where a spouse or partner may be dismissive of the issue at hand or even be defensive. It was suggested that it may be a good idea to wait for one of the good days to discuss the issue at hand.

-Lastly and more importantly, we reminded each other that we are powerful beings. We affirmed that we are women of faith and prayer. We encouraged one another to tap into the power of faith through prayer. The bible reminds us to pray continually, without ceasing and to have faith.

Personally, I would like to leave you with this encouragement;

“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭GNB‬‬

With love and blessings


Planning family vacation

Planning family vacation

Who doesn’t need a break in the sun? Few people will say no to that. On this blog, we share our tips for booking that family vacation. We hope this will help someone and that we also will get some ideas and tips from you too.

So for us, we are a family of four, consisting of three adults and 1 teen. We love experiences and making memories. We have had to learn how to travel on a budget and so far we are grateful. We prefer to visit uncommon destinations💕.

Each year we set a realistic budget of how much in total we would like to spend on a Summer break. Once that’s determined, we start looking for offers, deals, sales etc. It’s such a commitment that my husband and daughter are married to. They invest so much time in researching places to visit etc. We learn a lot about ourselves, and potential destinations as a family through the planning sessions. This year our daughter and youngest planned this Sicily- Malta break meticulously it’s humbling 💗

We have found that once we have decided on destination, making a hotel reservation early is useful. We use as well as and many other apps such as Trivago etc. We tend to book our summer holiday by Christmas time.

By booking early, most hotel reservations are free so you can swap or change to a certain period. This offers peace of mind as you many not want to commit to a holiday 8months in advance. Arbnb is a game changer for accommodation too, especially for city breaks. It has introduced us to amazing communities and apartments. We stayed in a quirk apartment in Copenhagen and as I write we are in a historic Italian apartment in Catania, Sicily in Italy. The apartment has won me some brownie points with teen daughter who is keen on history and all things beautiful.

Flights are tricky and a deal breaker when looking for family summer break. Being the single most expensive entity, we have allowed flights to determine our destination. For the past 4 years we have visited mainly Europe and North Africa (Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Moroccco) for that reason.

As for timing, in terms of when to go, it all depends with the two above as well as working schedules and family calendars really. We tend to go away mid August so that we break even the long six weeks. The past two years we have strived for two get aways. The first tends to be a mini city break in one of European capitals. In that break, it’s mostly about culture and history so we book walking tours, visit museums and places of interest. We absorb as much as we can about the city. Visiting street food markets is a MUST in our house thanks to hubby. Once that intellectual holiday is done, we then go on a chilled relaxed break by the pool/ beach. The beach holiday tends to be 5-7days long and we are ready to face the winter.

Hope this has been useful. Let us know how we can help. Share some ideas, tips and strategies for making an epic family holiday.

Does your family have traditions that you do for summer? Would love to hear from you.

We will soon be sharing more about our holiday experiences with each destination we have been, look out for details.

Take care.

Fadzai x



Webinar 12.09.2018

We were glad to be back on the webinar after the summer holidays. We talked about having the courage and confidence to slow down in a an era that celebrates busyness. We acknowledged that being a millennial mom has become hectic due to the need to fit in all these other activities.

Our key strategy was drawn from the life of Martha  who found herself so busy hosting, preparing and entertaining. It is recorded that Jesus encouraged Martha to slow down, not be so pre-occupied with what needs doing. Jesus went on to say to Martha :

Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her’ ” (Luke 10:39-42).

           Relationships are what matters


How are we investing in the relationships that matter the most; our families? Are we finding the time to unplug and make eye contact? On our most recent webinar last week 6.6.19 one mother acknowledged that the balancing act of being a career woman, wife, mother, daughter, friend, entrepreneur to mention a few is fraught with guilt and shame as we find ourselves spinning all these roles whilst feeling ineffective.

A great strategy was shared of the DINNER TABLE. Allowing the dinner table to be the centre and hub of family life. Putting boundaries and making it clear that no phones or gadgets are allowed on the table. Being committed to the art of breaking and sharing food together. For those of faith, it is illustrated in the book of Acts 1, that the apostles broke bread together and shared what they had. It is clearly mentioned that the Lord added so much to them whilst they were doing that.

What would you like to be added into your family life? For us, as we deliberately come to the table, we are saying ‘Lord increase your love, faith and hope in this family. Let this tradition proceed from this generation and many others to come. Allow our conversations to bring healing and peace in our home.

It is our prayer and hope that you found last week’s home work doable and achievable. We were tasked to develop the art of being self aware. One of the steps to do that, was to look back to our own childhood and find out what we thought was good parenting, and why? We then needed to know how that good parenting is measuring with our current.

We desire that you find the value to this gathering of brave and courageous mothers. We encourage you to take the steps towards growth and these small tasks are positive steps towards that. We look forward to hearing your courageous introspection.

Yours in pursuit of courage.

Fadzai xxx

Mums matter

Mums matter

Mums do matter. A cliche’, yes, it may sound just about that, however, this is today’s theme for peri natal mental health awareness week. The week long campaign serves to raise awareness on this not talked about issue of mental health during and after pregnancy.

Mental health in certain communities is difficulty to talk about because of misunderstandings and misconceptions of vulnerabilities in people. How can you be sad/overwhelmed, unhappy or depressed when you are carrying or having Gods blessing? Yes, our children are just that, blessings. Sometimes those blessings come with challenges.

image from @metro

I remember how excited we were on finding out that we were expecting. Unplanned as it was, we were elated. Soon after, the vomitting commenced and it got worse by the day. By the time we got to second trimester, the plastic bag on my daily commute into work had become my friend. I was literally worn out on daily basis, couldn’t stomach much apart from the TM buns, ham and black tea. I looked forward to the weekend lie ins and not getting out of bed at all.

To a certain extend, I was fortunate to be at home in Zimbabwe ‘surrounded’ by family even though they did not know how to help or support me. The challenge with mental health is that even the sufferer does not know when to seek help because most of the time one is able to just smile through it.

So what are some of the symptoms and signs of pre, peri or post natal mental illness? According to charity mind, around one in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth. The charity goes on to highlight that there are a varied reasons as why one may suffer mental illness, mainly

For us we had a few risk factors such as moving house, quick unplanned transitioning into parenthood, employment pressures as well as general ill- preparedness. We didn’t attend any pre-marital counselling or ante natal classes. We pretty much found ourselves reacting to situations and circumstances instead of being proactive.

When I had our second, the stresses were there as we had moved continents and I was adjusting to being a mature nursing student. Once again the Zimbabwe community of student nurses rallied behind me and supported me through another ordeal with severe morning sickness, tiredness, looking after a pre – schooler and unending assignments.

So what helps with maternal mental health?

-Talking to someone about your feelings help. Its important to let someone know how tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, struggling or sad you are feeling.

You don’t need to self diagnose, if your feelings/ emotions tell you something isn’t right, then talk to someone about it.

As mothers it becomes imperative for us to talk about our mental health with our children so they can learn. The report in the news highlight the worrying increase in children’s mental illness and lack of resources to support this demand.

Faith in action Charity is doing some work with faith communities about supporting members of the congregation who may need support.

Prayer, meditation and mindfulness do help as well. Being able to pray with someone can make a huge difference

Mind is also a good charity to reach out to.

GP’s can help with referrals to support services. Talking therapies is a good service where you can self refer into depending where you live.

Other community services such as midwifery, health visiting and home start are also very good.

Don’t suffer in silence

Don’t smile through it. 💕

Links and resources:

1- Mind

2-Maternal Mental Health Alliance

3- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Motherhood: career, studying and family juggle.

Motherhood: career, studying and family juggle.

Came across this facebook memory and a flood emotions came through. The year is 2011, April 27th to be exact. I was undertaking a postgrad certificate in Critical Care. It was an interesting time from the commute to juggling work and family. I got through it, passed whilst planning our marriage blessing back home.

Looking back, I have done all my tertiary education as a mom. I went into nurse training when our son was 3years old and fell pregnant mid-way, finishing the course with two children. The studying carried on pretty much every couple of years on average. I have thoroughly enjoyed the world of academia. Not the best organised mama but I seem to get through it. Will I go back to studying again? YES. I just need to find something that tickles my fancy, is useful and relevant.

Tips for surviving the juggle:

1– Create a Calendar that everyone can Access. Empower the family unit to use the calendar, so everyone knows who is where and doing what.

2- Cook and freeze meals on the weekend to be thawed and eaten during the week. This will help to save time. No time for cooking or detour to the takeaway? Buy food from the student canteen to take home.

3-Use public transportation, so you can study and answer emails on the train. I car shared with a colleague and that was the greatest blessing in revising on the way home, cut costs as well as as provided therapy when talking through the difficulties of studying, working and raising a family.

4-Access help from the student learning center early instead of procrastinating or trying to get family to help. Oh I remember expecting so much from my husband and children to help with graphs and diagrams so much to my frustration 😍

5-Don’t ignore your social life. You need and deserve relationships outside of your family. It’s tempting to want to drop those social events in a bid to study. Take time out and let your hair down. You will be more efficient when rested. I planned our marriage blessing whilst undertaking this course. That was my therapy and I have to say, that kept me sane.

6- Eat well, try not to miss breakfast, even if it’s a piece of fruit or yoghurt. Keep active, move your body more and get the needed energy and nutrients to the brain.

7-Pray and meditate. Prayer has the ability to energise and stabilise our thinking and well being. There are so many apps you can use on the go. Having a quiet time and deep breathing helps to keep calm.

If you know someone who could use the tips, please share. 💕

Motherhood and Me

Motherhood and Me

The confident mama

Find those mom-ents in your parenting journey that light your fire. Treasure and hold on to them. When my two were younger, those moments were in surplus. As they have both now transitioned into #teenhood, they are rare and far apart. The teen world can be quite complex such that sometimes they, themselves, don’t know how to articulate it.

As a professional, I know and appreciate teenage brain development. I know how hard it is to be misunderstood. As a mom, I need to contain them,  unpick these challenges all before we can have great warm mom-ments. You would think the unpicking would be easy because I believe we are almost always in tune with our children. In reality it is the hardest bit for me.

My greatest challenge is life outside my home. By the time I come in, after a full day’s work, I also would like to be acknowledged and they are probably in the midst of problem solving their own dramas 😞. It’s painful, I know. Most #parents will totally agree that parenting is challenging. However, there are moments we feel in control, fulfilled and purposeful. I am learning to embrace those mom-ments more and cherish them.

Look for those mom-ments. Be intentional in finding them. Repeat them as often as possible, being careful that you may get a different response or effect. My mom-ments are typically when I am well rested 😎😎 I am a better mom when I have had a good sleep, fresh air, meditation and not worrying much about dinner 😍. My children react better to me in that state.

Holidays tend to give us more of these #mom-ments. Take inspiration from them and replicate them at home maybe once a week and build to twice a week if possible. I know the sun and sea are major ingredients to it all. Take  vitamin D supplements 💊💊they are key to our moods and overall health. Remembee exercise too, however that may be 🤸🏽‍♂️🏊🏾‍♀️. I believe in good enough parenting and not perfect parenting.

Phone calls are vintage and a rarity these days, call another mom, encourage her. Not only will it leave you feeling good about being there for others, you are  also creating networks that are key to a good life



Good luck in living your mom- ments 🥂

#confidentmama 💕