Diaspora diaries: My children and their education-supporting exam time.

Webinar

God has called us into a *living* relationship with Him and those around us especially our families, children in particular.

By investing time, we are able to be effective in supporting their journey into their growth.

– Loving them despite and beyond the grades is key.

– Love propels us to invest time in prayer for them.

– Supporting them with their studies throughout the year is more important than exam day.

– Speak to their teachers, be involved at school.

– For most of us, the education system is a whole new experience. Seek to learn from others, ask questions, be open and willing to learn.

– Let’s be sensitive and empathetic towards other parents who may seem to be struggling at school.

God bless you

Diaspora parenting

Parenting is the most challenging and yet incredibly rewarding role that one will ever take. If you are a parent you will probably agree with me. Here i’m sharing 5tips from my upcoming book
“Raising Fa: Surviving parenting in Diaspora”
In this book I share on what has worked for me as a mom and I what I have learnt through my role as a public health nurse working with families in UK community as well as a safeguarding children’s nurse. Both roles have fundamental understanding of child development theories, family dynamics and the impact of environmental/societal factors on the development of a child.
PARENTING TIPS:
1– Partnering with God. For me this remains the best decision I made as a mom. In all circumstances, I have turned to God to help me as a mom and also help my children at whatever stage they are. By partnering with Him, it lessened the burden as when challenging times came, I looked and literally took my burden to His feet. I will share more on my next blog on how to lay at feet in prayer, interceding for our children. In that blog I will share tips such as praying for your child in their bedroom, playing worship songs continuously in their rooms etc
2— Pray, pray, pray. Pray in faith concerning your children. Dare to believe God for the promises He says concerning your children. My favourite is “All our children shall be taught of the lord and great shall be their peace” Isaiah 54:13 O the price of peace!! That’s the greatest gift I could give my children. That they may know His peace that transcends all understanding. The bible says pray at all times and in all manner. If it bothers you, pray about it, philipians 4:6
3—- Time is money, valuable and is precious! How true with our children! Give them the gift of your time. Let them know how much they mean to you. Drop everything and be with them. It’s the best investment one could ever make, it gives in returns. Imagine a romantic relationship with someone who can never prioritise you but gives you the leftovers all the time. It is the same with our children. Try to set aside time on a regular basis to do something fun with your children.
Rather than tell them what not to do, teach and show them what they should do.
4—Be equipped, learn how to be a parent. A lot of us feel we can just do it, maybe. My personal experience by not being equipped I made a lot of mistakes and now I am trying to rectify these especially with our first. Both my pregnancies were unplanned. Back home, when the community helped to raise a child, it was easier and doable. A lot of the older women were great teachers in informal education. Fast forward in the diaspora, that community is not there. Older women are around but busy and scarce.
Parenting classes then become fundamental for a parent who wants to get it right. Local children centres offer bite size parenting courses, churches and charities as well as independent consultants offer parenting courses. Online courses are also available that are affordable and easily accessible. Society will not let you get on the road without a licence but it is ok to raise a human being on trial and error. Think about it.
5—-In managing behaviours, use descriptive praise when they do something well. Say, “I like how you ____ when you ____.” Be specific.
Help your child learn to express how s/he feels. Say: “You seem frustrated.” “How are you feeling?” “Are you upset?” “You look like you are angry about that.” “It’s O.K. to feel that way.”
Try to see a situation the way your children do. Listen carefully to them.
Above all remember to be kind to your yourself and remain hopeful. Some days are harder and some seasons are even challenging. The truth of the matter is that, it WILL come to pass. Take deep breaths, drink your water and try and get some rest. Sleep enough hours to build resilience so you can continue on the journey.
Would love to hear how you are getting on in your parenting journey. Drop us a comment, like. Share the message of hope and let other parents know we can do it.
Till next time,
Remain intentional 🌱
Love
Fadzai x
💕🙏🏽

Flourish

This was our Word for the month of September 2019. Back then, I had received 3 indoor plants in one month. I began to sense that there was a deeper meaning to the random gifts friends gave me.

I am in no way, shape or form good with plants. One friend said ‘ the more reason why I am gifting you plants’. Talk of being stretched 😂

I struggled with a particular plant a bit and had to run back to the giver. She advised me to CAREFULLY trim the dead parts of the leaf, feed the plants organic home food and watch. The organic home fertiliser comprised of overnight soaked banana peels, egg shells and tea bag.

To my amazement, the plant started to thrive.

Rejoice

This was my latest gift, Rejoice and I loved her!

I felt the law of seeding and harvesting was at work in that season. Seeding, weeding, nurturing and tending to plants requires careful attention as well as commitment. The harvest is bountiful to those who will do the work right?

“Lord strengthen my hands in place of hard labour(parenting). Help me not to shrink back or give up. Allow my entrusted plants (children) to flourish through careful considerations.”

Isn’t it amazing that this plant analogy also translates to our role as parents! Many of us we are not confident in this area. We are not sure what fertiliser to apply, how much moisture and where to place the plant so it can thrive and blossom. All this guesswork and stress levels 🤣🤣.

What I have found to be useful is having that trustworthy and well informed friend. Remember that passionate green fingered friend of mine forever gifting plants? Yes, her! Each time I visit her house she has got this new plant, that other plant and they are ALL blossoming. Interestingly, she tells me that she reads a lot about these plants before she buys them. She is careful to follow instructions around watering, plant feed and placement. She chuckles every time I tell her the plant she gifted me has died..

While google is available to all of us, my understanding, patience and interests are clearly not strong in plants. Despite my desire and keenness to have an instagram inspired green house of a living room, it just isn’t happening!

This could be you! You find the whole positive parenting work a total nightmare. You were not raised like that! Your mama didn’t have to bend backwards for your children. You can’t figure out why your children won’t listen and do just as they are told. You are trying everything you know, it just isn’t cutting it! Most of us DO struggle, generally… however, they are some who find teen brain fascinating, others understands the whole child development theory better that they are able to translate it into practice.

My friend do not shy away from asking. Asking trusted friends to show, guide and lead you. Reach out to others who can help.

The upcoming intentional parenting MomBA, is a 6 weeks online crash course on being the effective parent leader that you want to be. More details following soon. There is tons of information available out there, sometimes too much and too overwhelming. Where does one even start to look and who are trusted and qualified people to help?

Intentional parenting stands as a TRUSTED friend who understands some of the complexities and challenges that come with raising children in diaspora. Our strategies are informed by research evidence as well as personal experiences.

We look forward to seeing you FLOURISH in your journey as a parent.

To find out more, get in touch here, via our contact page.

Remain in bloom 🌷

Fadzai x

Hey Fa,

Saturday musings

There are more messy entries which I shall share, once permission is granted 🤣😎

Loved this hence I am sharing with you🤣. Stumbled upon this journal entry whilst tidying the bedrooms. I have never been called Fadzai before so this a WHOLE new level for my cherub. This entire entry has been revelatory for me today 😍.

Can I let you in onto something? I have struggled with the whole parenting shindig. Intentional Parenting exists in my bid to share all my pitfalls and blind spots so YOU do not have to. Once in a while I come across evidence such as this 👆🏾, that reminds me that I do get some things RIGHT. Giving notebooks and stationery gifts to my children has been powerful over the years.

This is a journal entry in 2020 from one of my precious jewels. The global pandemic was in full swing and emotions were raging all over the place in the Nyirenda household. We had the exhausted parents from working in healthcare and then the young adults overwhelmed and literally STUCK at home. It was a mess.

In a bid to get some control, sanity and maintain a level of mental wellness, phones were confiscated and that’s how we ended up here.

To see this entry today 2.4.22, warms my heart to a certain extent. Many a times the decisions we make as parents can be painful as we are not 💯 sure wether we are doing the right thing. And to be honest, there will never be a time you are 💯 sure

Whatever decision you need to make for your family , your children especially, trust your GUT. Utilise the research evidence you have at hand about that particular decision. Ask God to help you and find out from His word what you need to do. Reach out to other TRUSTED parents in confidence.

“Effective, intentional parenting isn’t a two people band. Don’t let anyone lie to you. BUILD a community around you to help, you need it.”

Fadzai

Back to your decision making; What’s the worst that can happen?

That’s one of the questions I ask myself when I need to make an important decision and work my work back to mitigate that WORST thing that can happen.

Take for instance, confiscating the phone from your teen. What’s the worst that can happen?

-S/he may hate you

-She may get another dodgy phone from someone else.

-S/he may get social media withdrawal symptoms; depressed/ angry/ upset etc

-S/he may struggle to reach you in an emergency etc.

You explore all this and plan effectively.

The key and most important question is;

What am I trying to do in my parenting??

For me, I am raising the future . I want to honour God in my parenting. I want to raise independent, secure citizens. All this informs my parenting style, commitment and VISION.

Note books are good for putting your thoughts on paper. This is a very useful strategy to use especially with teens who sometimes may struggle to express themselves.

Do you use notebooks, do you write letters to your child/ren, partner or yourself?

If you haven’t tried it, give a go and let me know…

For those who practice this, how is this working? Let me know in comments below,…

Remain blessed and anchored 🌱

Every blessing.

Fadzai

Growth

Just realised that I have a lot of growing up to do 😂

What about you? Which areas are you currently strengthening? Which ones do you feel/ think you are doing well?

✨If you have young adult children, senior teens, use this as a conversation tool. Review those areas together and formulate an action plan. For example:

💹Financial life… there is lots of apps to use with young people around being financially savvy, eg Natwest money sense.

📌How is s/he managing social life, screen time? It’s good to measure this with evidence. Screen time usage is readily available on iphone and androids.

🍀Having a break from the phone/ screen makes room for creativity thereby tackling number 10.

🤸🏾‍♀️How about physical activity. How do you keep motivated? Do you use the apple/ smart watch to see how many steps you have taken? Do you have a gym/ exercise buddy?

Let us know if you find this useful or there is smelting you can add.

With blessings

Fadzai x

Hello August

August is always such a beautiful month for me . In my native country of Zimbabwe, August is spring time. It represents the budding and springing you of new things. I get excited!

Growing up, August was always school holidays. It meant visiting my maternal grandmother in the country side, being spoilt on farm produce and then attending the annual Harare Agricultural Show. It was such a highlight across the country as farmers show cased their produce. There were games, rides , food, music, fireworks you name it.,

August is also our wedding anniversary month. It’s such a time filled with celebrations and love.

As I have gotten older and matured in my spiritual walk, I tend to seek Gods word for this new month and for my birthday. I take time to pray, read the word and fast ahead of my birthday. I have to admit that the past 6years it has been phenomenal. On most occasions, my cousin sister has joined or invited me to a fast ahead of my birthday. Having someone to journey with and hold you accountable makes such a difference.

I have seen situations shift in such a phenomenal way. I have also been given clear directions through scriptures or words from two other women that God tends to use in my life. I am grateful for their lives and obedience to God.

As such this year is no different. If anything, we have never needed Gods direction like we do in this unprecedented year of 2020.

Below is my prayer for August. Why don’t you join me in making those declarations;

“Lord I thank You for this new month. Thank You for going ahead of me and levelling every high ground. Thank You for silencing every voice of confusion and giving me clarity of purpose and mind. I declare that August is blessed and I am blessed with the riches of Your presence. My household and friends are blessed. I declare that no weapon fashioned or formed against me will prosper and every word spoken in judgement I will refute, I will not be silent. I declare that I am called for such a time as this. I am operating from a place of alignment. My heart and mind are in the right place in You. I hear and I obey. The Holy Spirit is my friend and confidant, constantly reminding me of Your heart and intentions concerning my life. I am empowered and strengthened. I serve from a place of authority and understanding. My helpers are available and I see them with the eyes of the Spirit. I am attentive to Your gentle whispers and nudging. I am a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. My light shines bright enabling others to see and not stumble in darkness. I radiate Your beauty and light. Amen”

Go ahead and enjoy Gods goodness. Be sure to keep Him at the centre of all your decision making and thought process. Be diligent in spending time in prayer, meditation and His word. If you are fasting, saturate your mind with Gods presence through music, reading and meditation.

Don’t forget to write down the things that God lays on your heart. Carry a notebook or use your smartphone notes to capture these. Be expectant. Expect God to say something through the word, music, friends etc .

When you are at home, it’s a good idea to fill your home with gospel or worship music. I personally enjoy premier radio or UCB 2. Alternatively, you can stream youtube videos of messages that encourage, uplift and most importantly TEACH.

I will be sharing my own journey in this month.

Be sure to follow here on the blog, facebook or instagram.

Every blessing

Fadzai x