Threats to building resilience in children

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No matter how much you love your children, you can never keep them from the bitter and sour experiences of life. From the moment you release them to the world, nature and nurture present challenges of different magnitude.

That is why many parents keep researching on ways to boost their children’s confidence.  They know that if their children are confident, they can face any challenge without losing hope and consequently giving up on life

Studies indicate that building resilience is one of the fundamental principles of enhancing confidence and high self esteem. Resilience can simply be defined as the ability to rise again when life puts you down.

Responsible parents desire to see their children overcome difficult situations without getting into irresponsible activities like drugs and prostitution. However, teaching your child how to be tough is not easy. This article highlights the threats you are likely to face in the process of building resilience in your children.

  1. Stress

You cannot avoid stress, and sometimes a little pressure helps us achieve our goals. However, you already know that too much stress is detrimental to your health.  Your children can also go through very stressful ordeals like loss and sickness.

In such circumstances, it could be hard to train them to be resilient because one way of building resilience is by training your kids how to think of solutions to everyday problems-commonly known as the executive function of the brain.

However, how do you train them to find solutions to things like death? If you too are always stressed, how do you teach them to avoid it? Stressed people are less resilient because they do not think clearly.

So, you need to make sure that you can manage your stress levels, as a parent or teacher, so that you are attentive to your kid’s needs. If you cannot handle it, seek medical attention.

  1. Addiction

Like stress, either the children or the parents could be suffering addiction. If you or your child is an addict, then you know very well that you turn to your substance of abuse whenever you face challenges.

You need to be sober for you to notice the way your kids react to adversity since that is how you test their resilience levels. You must be attentive and observant. They too have to be sober to find amicable solutions to their issues, and to practice what you teach them.

Addiction ruins both the physical and cognitive ability, and that makes it the number one threat to self confidence.  Luckily, it is an ordinary phenomenon in our society today so it is easy to find professional help.

  1. Restrained relationships

There is no need to explain the effect of an absentee parent to a child’s life. Nevertheless, it is possible to be present physically but uninvolved. Studies show that a good percentage of today’s young people are grown up but not brought up.

Restrained relationships are a threat to building self confidence, resilient and personal disciplined. All children have different ways of responding to stressful situations so parents need to deliberately bond with each child.

If you create a distance between the two of you, a lot might escape your attention. In addition, beware of replacing love with gifts. Nothing and no one can replace you in your child’s life.

  1. Low self esteem

This point is tied to the other three. If you suffer from poor self esteem as a parent, you will find it hard to raise the esteem of your children. Look at the way you solve issues in your life. For instance, are you the kind of person that keeps fighting with other people?

If you think that fighting is a solution that is what you are likely to instill in your kinds. They also will be watching the way to bounce back from challenges and do the same. Children are the world’s best imitators.

Therefore work on your esteem as you raise them. Do not confuse having high self esteem with being a perfectionist.  Studies indicate that nobody has perfect esteem. Life shakes our confidence and self image at one time or the other.

Conclusion.

No one is genetically wired for resilience, thus it is possible to boost it at any age. Building resilience is not a one day job. In addition, you cannot predict what the future has in store for you and your family. Hence, do not be too hard on yourself or on your kids. You will make it.

 

 

 

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Know the three main reasons why successful businesses fail.

 

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You have heard that to succeed in business you need to create a unique product first. There is no doubt that you have spent time designing and packaging that product so that it can be as appealing as possible.

Then you have formulated exceptional strategies for marketing and conversing leads to sales.  Marketing is critical for without it people will not know what you are selling. In fact, the most successful businesses in the world invest a lot on marketing with the aim of raising equity.

Why then do the best fail? You probably have had great success in the past hence you still cannot figure out why your company went under this time round.

This article will highlight the three main reasons why flourishing companies fail even after spending a fortune on marketing.

  • Creating a product instead of a brand.

 

Why did you start your business? Most people will create a product to sell and make money. Money is good and many companies in the world want to make as much money as they can. However, if this is the main reason why you joined the marketplace then it is also the reason why you went under.

 

The merchandise might attract attention for a few months or years but eventually customers move on to something better or cheaper.  Products that make money very fast fade as fast as they came.

 

The solution to this problem lies in creating a brand. The main objective for inventing a brand is to add value to peoples’ lives through providing solutions to existing problems.  Once the problem is solved, these customers become loyal to the brand and invite their friends.

 

Brands have objectives and values that are timeless. Think of long term solutions. Have a vision that will last for many years.

Once you have the product, give it a personality that rhymes with human emotions. This is the essence of branding.

Your customers will pick your brand if they feel it has a similarity to their personality. To achieve this you need to give it characteristics that appeal to human emotions. These character traits are known as brand personality.

There are five most common personalities: Sincerity, excitement, sophistication, ruggedness and competence.

For instance, people who feel classy are highly likely to buy products that exude sophistication while those that love family values will go for sincerity.

 

 

 

  • Personality issues.

 

Have you ever heard the cliché that ‘your brand is an extension of your personality?’

Well, that is true.

 

Studies show that personality has a direct impact on the success of a business. For instance, you lie about the features of your invention. As the customers use it they will unearth the lie and consequently dismiss your invention as fake.

 

If you work with a team but they cannot approach you, and you cannot take constructive criticism from them you are bound to fail. Building a brand starts from within.

 

You must love and cherish your product. You have to know it well-its weaknesses and strengths. Also, all your employees should have in-depth knowledge about the invention.  They should be in love with it.

 

If you and your team are not passionate about what you are selling why do you expect others to adore it? Has your creation added value to your own lives?

 

In addition, encourage the team players to be innovative and keep sharing ideas and strategies that can either improve or recreate what you have. Finally, do you give your customers a way of providing feedback?

 

  • Competition and technology.

 

You can do everything right and still fail because your competitor has overtaken you or there is a new invention in the market.  Today’s market is tough. New things sprout everyday and consumers love to experiment.

 

That means you have to keep up with the internet. Be open to rebranding whenever necessary. Have enough tricks up your sleeve so that you can always stay ahead of your competition.

 

Final thoughts

 

If your business has failed you can restart. Remember it is the business that failed, not you. Your target clients will always be on the lookout for new things or improved versions of your inventions.

 

Nevertheless, keep creating things that will resonate with their feelings and improve their lives. Keep your vision, change your strategies. You will make it this time round.

 

 

 

 

3 Places You Must Visit When On Safari in Kenya

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Kenya is one of the countries in Africa with the best Safari deals throughout the year. This coupled with great weather and diverse cultures, makes the country ideal for both local and international tourists.

This article highlights the three key tourist destinations and how much you are likely to spend on each.

 

  1. The Maasai Mara Game Reserve

 

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This national game reserve is famous because it is home to one of the wonders of the world- The Great Wildebeest Migration. Every year over two million species of animals migrate from Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya.

 

Majority of these animals are wildebeests. Tourists travel to Maasai Mara to watch the breathtaking spectacle of these animals crossing The Mara River which is invested by the Nile crocodiles.

 

This phenomenon can be watched twice a year; between late July and September when the animals cross the river from Tanzania to Kenya and late October to November when the cross back to Tanzania.

 

You can experience the great wildebeest migration from the following places

 

  • Governors’ Camp

This camp is situated right in the heart of Maasai Mara with a fantastic view of several crossing points. The camp has luxury camps, lodges, land rovers and aircrafts used to fly guests. Prices range from $650 to $1200 per person per night and they give discounts to children under 12 years.

 

  • Mara Serena Safari Lodge

 

This lodge provides excellent views of the Savannah as well as places to watch the animal migration. They have an airstrip, the Mara Serena Airstrip, which is two kilometers from the lodge.

 

 

The place is also accessible by road from Nairobi City. The road trip takes five hours through the diverse Maasai land. Prices range from $600 to $1000 per person per night. They also have several offers for individuals and families.

 

  • Sanctuary Olonana

 

This is a camp located on private property within the Mara. However, visitors watch the animals migrate from the camp’s doorstep. To get to this location you will take a flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi city.

 

Olonana has over 12 executive tents and prices range from $800 to $1800 per person per night.

 

Please note that these prices include meals, rooms, parking, guided safaris and VAT

 

  1. Mount Kenya

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The mountain is the second highest in Africa, and there is a national park around the mountain. Visitors visit the park to climb the mountain, watch over a hundred species of birds and see large herds of elephants.

You can stay here when you visit Mt. Kenya.

  • Serena Mountain Tree Lodge

 

This lodge is situated within Mount Kenya National Park. Prices are between $200 and $600 per person. There are special rates for children under eighteen years.

 

  1. The Tsavo National Park.

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Tsavo is one of the biggest parks in Africa, and the largest in the country. It is divided into two; Tsavo East and Tsavo West. All types of wild animals are found here including lions, leopards, cheetahs and elephant.

 

The park is home to several springs and rivers. It is easily accessible by road whether from Nairobi or Mombasa.

 

You can experience the magnificence of Tsavo from these places

 

  • Voi Safari Lodge

 

The hotel is famous for providing scenic views of the park. It is found in the heart of Tsavo East.  In fact visitors can see different species of wildlife from the hotel. Rates start at $400 to $800 per head.

 

  • Kiraguni Serena Safari Lodge.

 

This one is in Tsavo West. It has dreamy views like the Chyulu Hills and animal water holes.  Make sure you have breakfast at the Lions Rock. Rates start at $200 and there are special offers for children.

 

In conclusion, whether you visit Kenya for business or pleasure make sure you go to these three places. You will discover a part of yourself that you never knew existed!

 

 

 

 

 

Strategic Leadership: Managing Politics And Stakeholders.

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After the August 2017 general election in Kenya, the opposition leader Raila Odinga called on all his party supporters to boycott all products from Safaricom- a mobile service provider in the country. He alleged that the company had been involved in election malpractice.

 

This opposition party has close to nine million supporters, of which majority are part of the over fifteen million Safaricom subscribers. Most opposition supporters hail from Western and Nyanza regions so businesses providing Safaricom products in these areas were greatly affected.

 

According to The Business Daily, on November 10, 2017 the company’s share price dropped leading to a loss of twenty billion Kenya shillings. This was a week after Raila and his supporters boycotted its services.

 

This case is one of the many, all over the world, where business owners and leaders get caught up in power struggles. Such have a direct impact on stakeholders and if not properly addressed companies will go out of business.

 

Honest strategic leaders will admit that leveraging politics and stakeholders is one of the challenges they face in a VUCA world. It is hard to separate the two for each has an impact on the other.

 

How then can you as a strategic leader control the effect of politics on your stakeholders? How do you manage politics and stakeholders?

 

  • Know your stakeholders

 

Some stakeholders are more powerful than others, and their decisions will have a direct effect on your company. Others may not be as powerful but they have a genuine interest in the business so they may resist or accept change.

 

One question you need to ask yourself when dealing with the powerful group is; what makes them powerful.

Are they powerful because they own or control the natural resources you use? Can the company do without them? Have you relied on their power to solve problems in the past?

 

The third category of stakeholders consists of the low level customers who can be swayed by the powerful group.

 

There is a direct link between these three categories of people and politics.

 

As a leader you must understand that these people have different interests in politics, religions and the economy at large. Whenever their interests and believes are compromised or under threat, there will be a shift of loyalty.

 

Know that powerful stakeholders may not necessarily engage in politics but may influence the political class in decision making.

 

So study your region and map the areas your stakeholders occupy. Seek to know their needs and prospects. Then move to the next step.

 

  • Anticipate your stakeholder’s behavior.

 

The opposition leaders in Kenya also asked their supporters to boycott Brookside Dairy products because the company belongs to the Kenyatta family-current president.

 

Would it have been possible for executives at Brookside to anticipate such behavior? The answer is yes.

 

The moment Uhuru Kenyatta declared he would run for presidency, they should have expected low sales from regions that supported his opponent because historically tribes and regions in Kenya vote as blocks.

As a strategic leader you know that there are things that trigger behavior, even among your stakeholders. For instance, if you declare a profit after tax in mid-year reports you might have more people buying your shares.

 

In the same way, political declarations will elicit different reactions from your customers. These reactions will modify behavior.

 

Why is it important for you as a strategic leader to anticipate stakeholders’ behavior?

  • You get time to prepare solutions to possible problems.

 

  • You know how to preserve your image and that of the company.

 

  • You start looking for new opportunities.

 

Conclusion

 

The best leaders in the world have not managed to successfully control stakeholders’ reaction to political issues. Nevertheless, you can minimize the risks posed by such issues by a continuous study of your stakeholders.

 

 

Factors To Consider Before Enrolling In A Strategic Leadership Program

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We live a world that is unstable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.  Requirements for employment keep changing and for you to fit in today’s corporate world, you have to exhibit great leadership skills and work ethics.

 

At one point in time you will be required to either attend a strategic leadership program or create one for those you supervise. This article will show you the most important factors to consider before enrolling in a strategic leadership program.

 

  1. Your level of leadership.

 

Most training programs will offer coaching for the different levels of management. It is advisable to invest in the level that is most suitable for you so that you get value for your money.

 

George works in the IT department in a marketing firm. Every employee in the firm must interact with the clients at one time or another. Catherine is also an IT specialist but works in a hospital. She only interacts with fellow employees. Do these people need the same leadership skills?

 

George might invest more in a program for interpersonal skills, conflict resolution and public relations. Look at your job description. Do you supervise other employees? Are you tasked with allotting duties to the people you work with? Are there people you ought to mentor?

 

Your answer to the above questions will determine which level of leadership training is best for you. Let’s assume that no employee reports directly to you but you interact with the customers. Then you can invest in a program that will coach you on interpersonal skills.

 

Likewise, if you are the overall manager look for a program that will equip you with mentorship, conflict resolution, supervisory and delegation skills.

 

  1. Have in mind the objectives of the organization you work for.

 

Your job description is aligned to the goals of the company. Right now you want leadership skills that will make you a better employee in that company. You cannot succeed in that organization if you do not join the team in achieving company goals.

 

 

We measure the success of a program through evaluation. You want to invest your money in a program that will add value to you. How will you know that that leadership training program was effective?

 

A good program will give you a tool for evaluating yourself from time to time. It could be a questionnaire or exam.

 

Items in the tool must test the skills you will get from the training. This evaluation kit must be measureable and time bound. The kit should also help you identify where there are gaps for future training.

 

  1. Cost

 

This may sound cliché but it is wise to invest in a program you can comfortably afford, unless the company sponsors you for a particular course.

 

Final thoughts

Strategic leadership training is necessary for all kinds of employees and employers. It is a continuous process; hence make sure you invest in a good course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to find balance between work and raising godly children

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Do you often feel as if you are not doing enough to find balance between doing your job and nurturing your children spiritually? Do you feel that were it not for your job you would have taken your children for that bible camp or you would have had more time for family bible study?

 

The truth is that as a working parent you rarely have time for all the things you would like to do for yourself, your children, your spouse, the church and the community at large. It’s worse if you have to work away from home. The following points will help you find a way to balance work and your God-given responsibility as a Christian parent; raising godly children.

 

  1. How you start your day matters a lot.

 

Many times it is hard to find time to say grace together with your children in the morning. You have to pack their lunches, prepare for work, beat traffic and feed the dog. Whether you have a partner or not there is a tone of activities to do in the morning,

 

Grace would interact with her children in the morning. Between picking her husband’s clothes for the day, keeping the toys in a safe place and packing their lunches, she had very little time left to prepare herself and leave for work. Yet she would have loved to have breakfast and share the grace with the family.

 

The key to having a blissful morning is planning for it the previous night. Before going to bed set aside what everybody will wear the next day. Have the children put away their toys, and pack their school bags. If possible place the bags, keys and other items to carry out of the house closer to the door.

 

If you have pets, you can take turns in feeding them. Plan your breakfast at dinner. It will be easier if you make a small note and stick it on the fridge. If possible you can make a menu for the week before it starts. In case you are married and have grown children; you can take turns in preparing breakfast.

 

That way you will spare a few minutes each moment to eat breakfast together. No matter how spiritual you are, please note that this is not the time to conduct bible study. Holding hands and saying a simple prayer is enough. You can also take turns to pray. That way, your children will learn to pray.

 

  1. Your work can instill some biblical virtues in your children

Have you ever told your children that the reason you can afford to take them to a good school, drive them around in a nice car, and live in a beautiful home is because you have a job? I know that Christian parents tend to over spiritualize everything.

 

You have probably told the kids that God shall supply all they need according to his heavenly riches. While that is true, it is also important to let them know that He provides through the money you make at work.

 

Tell them how your work impacts the church and the society. If possible take them to work or share a few interesting stories from your job. That way they will know the value of your job. They can also know the importance of godly virtues like hard work, excellence, and servant leadership.

 

When you gather to pray as a family, remember to thank God for your job and teach the kids to do the same. That makes it easier for them to see your work as a blessing, and not a burden. Besides, that salary makes it possible for them to get things.

 

  1. Relax, rest, retreat

 

Tim Hansel, the author of ‘When I Relax I Feel Guilty,’ encourages Christians to rest and discover the mysteries of joy, resting and freedom. The Lord also rested after six days of work. Therefore resting, relaxing and retreating are godly.

 

The dictionary will show you that relaxing and resting have the same meaning but in this article we shall look at each separately.

 

  • Relax

No matter how hard your job is or how dull your day was, make sure you relax before bonding with the children. There must be something that relaxes you after a long day. For some it’s music or basketball, while for others it’s a walk in the park or a long shower.

 

Whatever it is, do it first then go to the children. Some parent might find this selfish because the kids come first, but when you are relaxed you are able to observe more, listen more and do more.

 

As a Christian parent I bet you want to mould your children’s behavior to the best of your ability. This will be hard if you don’t listen to them, observe their behavior and engage in activities that will shape that character.

 

  • Rest

Psychologists advocate for eight hours of sleep each day. As a grown up, you already know the importance of getting enough sleep. In addition to that, let’s look at another meaning of rest-the kind that is mentioned in the bible.

 

Jesus tells us to cast all our burdens to him and enter rest. As a human being there are things and people that will trouble you. As a parent, your children will not always do what you want or behave the way you want.

 

Enter rest. This means that allow yourself to do what you can, change what can change then leave the rest to God. Forgive yourself when you fail your children. Know that your children do not behave a certain way because you are away working.

 

Kindly know that raising godly children is not easy. Apart from societal expectations there are religious expectations. At one time you might have to spend more time at work than with them. Therefore, forgive yourself more and enter rest.

 

  • Retreat

Move away from anything that does not add value to your life. Retreat from activities that are likely to take up your kid’s time. You must prioritize all the activities you want to engage in-including church activities.

 

Michael is a single father of two, a member of the protocol team in church, a marketing executive and a volunteer counselor at the local counseling center. Recently he forgot his daughter’s birthday.

 

In his defense, he had to rush to church after work for a minister from overseas was visiting so as a member of the protocol team, he felt he had to be there. Although the two duties are crucial, Michael the parent is irreplaceable while Michael the usher is replaceable.

 

If you want to find balance between work and raising godly children you must retreat from some activities and even relationships. Whatever or whoever comes between you and your children is not a priority.

 

 

  1. It takes a village to raise a child.

You probably have heard this saying many times. Lori Long, the author of ‘The Parent’s Guide To Family Friendly work,’ stresses the need for each parent to have a support system.

 

The most important person in your support network is your employer. Work for an employer that values family. Otherwise, work will stand in the way of raising your children.  It is advisable to know beforehand how an employer treats employees with families before accepting the job.

 

The other vital person is your spouse, a relative or a friend. This is a person that you can entrust your children with. Somebody that can help you around the house, fill in for you at work or represent you at the PTA meeting.

 

Know and accept the fact that you cannot do everything by yourself and still find time for your children. Delegate some responsibilities to others so that you do not get overwhelmed. If you find it hard to relax then know you are overworking and you need assistance.

 

Remember the people you choose to support you in raising your children should know the values you aim to instill in them. Whether they are members of the extended family or hired helps, those children are yours and you have a plan to bring them up in a certain way.

 

  1. Dinner-to-bed bonding

Parents who aim at raising godly children would want to equip them with the word of God, among other virtues. If you spend this time between dinner and bedtime well you will achieve most of your family objectives.

 

You can invest in story books that have biblical themes then ensure you read them together with your children. Stories are a fantastic way of teaching positive moral lessons to kids. Sometimes you can add a bible verse that fits the story.

 

If you have older children then you must be past the age of storybooks. However, there are other activities that you can do before bed like playing a game, baking, singing, painting-the list is endless. You can share the word amidst these actions.

 

Having a meal together presents a wonderful opportunity to bond with your children- teach them to pray, observe their behavior, learn new things, share jokes and plan for the following day. A family that eats together stays together.

 

 

Final thoughts.

It is not easy to find balance between work and raising godly children, but it is possible. Your role at work, in church and the community can be given to someone else; but you are irreplaceable at home.

 

 

Ways of boosting your child’s self confidence

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If you are looking for ways to boost your child’s confidence/self esteem/ self image, then this article is for you. I have been a high school teacher for the last seven years, and one of the challenges I have had to deal with is students with low self confidence.

 

I have seen parents who want to delegate the responsibility of building their children’s self esteem to teachers and other members of the society.  However, after extensive research and life changing experiences I assure you that nobody can play the role a parent is supposed to play in a child’s life.

 

If you are reading this article then probably you want to take charge of your child’s self image. This is noble. Congratulations. The following steps will guide you enhancing the way your child feels about himself/herself.

 

  • No one can love your child like you do.

 

James Dobson talks about the significance of parental love to a child. Apart from telling your child how much you love him or her, you need to show affection as well. Hug your child whether you are happy or angry at him. This shows the child that your love is unconditional.

 

 

Do simple acts of love like spending time with your child, showing interest in the things that he loves to do. Once I had a student that loved to go camping. The father thought that accompanying the son for camping would enrage the boy, so he never showed interest in the son’s hobby.

 

 

One day this child told me that he wished he would go for camp with the father-just the two of them. Once in a while of course! Later the two went for a weekend getaway and that transformed the boy’s self esteem.

 

 

Love is a doing word. It is patient, kind and unconditional. Love is the greatest gift any parent can give to a child. When your children come home after a long day they hope to find loving and affectionate parents.

 

 

 

  • Discipline your child.

 

 

If your kids do not fit well in the society they will feel lonely. Each society has norms that guide people how to live, and in most cases people who do not conform to these norms are judged harshly.

 

 

Train your child to respect peoples’ opinions, be kind to classmates and team members, observe traffic rules, keep time, observe deadlines, dress properly…the list is endless.  A disciplined child finds it easier to relate with other people in the society.

 

 

As a parent, it is your responsibility to discipline your children when they show uncouth behavior. It is difficult to love ill mannered kids and once they realize that few people want to associate with them, they will hate themselves or have a low opinion about themselves.

 

 

  • Your children are not you!

 

Darlene told me that she had nothing to write in the college application essay. She felt inadequate because her mum told her so. Teresa, Darlene’s mum, is a high flying economist and one of the most famous philanthropists in town.

 

 

She has received countless awards. She makes the news! She felt that her daughter is unaccomplished because, in her words, Darleen does not have great people skills thus she is destined to fail in the market place.

 

 

It is normal to want your children to follow a certain path. Maybe you want your little girl to join the cheerleaders for you were a cheerleader.  Please understand that your kids are not obligated to be like you. Rubbing your achievements on them can easily damage their self esteem.

 

 

Your daughter/son is unique. Appreciate that uniqueness and allow him/her to be! Commend that child even if he/she has chosen to follow a different path from what you had in mind. Be your child’s number one fan.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Your child’s self confidence will be shaken at one time but your love, support and commendation should not waiver even at your lowest moment. As Dobson says, parents must protect their children from self hatred.