Updated: Jun 15
“We do not get a manual on how to parent, but we can learn to ask for directions on our parenting journey."
'Parenting: A Journey' encourages every parent to not only look into themselves for the answers, but to look to the world as well.
No one is born to be a perfect parent, and we all get things wrong from time to time. The important thing to remember is that you are not walking this road alone, ahead of you is a pathway left behind by generations of parents.
From a combined experience we can begin to understand our role for our children.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ formula but through education and connection with others we can build a formula that works for us.
'Parenting: A Journey' is the first step on the road to opening a positive conversation.
What inspired you to start writing?
I cannot pin point a single source of inspiration for writing this book. It was more a process and dare I say a journey. It was a matter of, the more time that I spent working with families and interacting with professionals, the more questions I have.
The questions were in the form of: Why doesn't everyone know this? Why ain't we doing this with every family?
For example, doing an evaluation on all prospective adopters and offering them training and support. Why don't we give everyone this opportunity? Maybe people would like to do some self discovery to understand what they bring to parenting before the child arrives.
In the UK, every foster carer has their own supervisor who has a bachelor or diploma in the field of childcare. The carer can pick up the telephone and ask for advice or support at any time of the day. Some organizations offer 24/7 support to foster carers. How can we bring this practice to everyone?
I also worked with parents who were struggling and not only did they not have support, they did not see why everyone around them was worried. For example, walking into a house that has mice dropping everywhere, even on the kitchen counter and the parent is angry that the police want to take their child into police protection. How do I communicate effectively with this parent and why do they not see what the teacher, their neighbour and the police are worried about.
How do I get those who know to share and how do I get those who don't know to be open to the idea of learning?
The answer: Write a book that does not come across as telling but rather asking and encouraging people to have a conversation. Start the conversation but in a non judgmental way. Use simple language and avoid terminologies and jargons. Be motivational and inspire people to share their experiences with others. Open a conversation and get the world talking about parenting.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I like to write between 3 to 6am, so during the days leading to a chapter, I start putting the idea together on my mobile phone. Then I email the draft to myself and I normally build on my draft or sometimes take inspiration from it. I would normally go about my day to day work schedule and then in the evening, have a read to see what it sounds or looks like.
What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
I want to encourage anyone in the position of parenting a child to want more for that child. I would like people to know that they are in control and yes society will place expectations and judge you but the same people can support and guide you. I want people to enjoy their role as parents and for every child to have a smile on their face.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Family time, cooking together, traveling, visiting friends, exploring and discovering new places and playing basketball. Well, that's is if we don't have another renovation or construction project which I always do myself. I love the precision and passion that goes into construction.
What was your favourite story as a child?
I grew up on Kweku Ananse stories in Ghana. Kweku the clever and ingenious spider who could not be trusted. Kweku once faked his own death and asked to be buried in his farm. It was close to the harvesting season so kweku would help himself to the food crops at the expense of his family until they caught him and he confessed.
Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, are there any you would recommend?
I am more visual so I prefer to see the person talking. I mostly listen to Author's on YouTube or podcast. I will listen to Gabor Mate all day.
If you could descibe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Selfless, empathetic and driven.
If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what would you cook?
Oprah Winfrey and I will make an amazing pot of jollof rice to start a conversation with the world. #UseYourCommunityToRaiseYourChild.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I want my readers to be inspired to want the best experience on their parenting journey. I want them to want to know what others are doing and what are the results so that they can learn or copy.
What does success mean to you? What is the definition of success?
Success is to see my dream of starting a conversation with the world about parenting, take off. Our societies are failing because parenting is not on the agenda. People are parenting in isolation and this is impacting on generations. We are social beings but we are getting too comfortable living in solitude which comes at a price, if you ask any psychologist.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book?