12 Attributes of a Child-Friendly Workplace (11)
Thank God it is Friday. It is the day the Lord has made and I will do nothing but to rejoice and be glad in it. It is a confession I make as often as I can. I wonder why I have not made it a habit to say so every day. I think we become what we sing about. I therefore choose to sing of nothing but the mercies of the Lord.
Friends, I was not here yesterday. There was a conspiracy against my mind, time and system. I thank God that He saw me through. He healed my mind, restored my time and rearranged my system. Thus I am here today to continue this so long a series: 12 Attributes of a Child-Friendly Workplace. I am trusting that I should finish it today or by God’s grace on Monday.
Permit me to begin today by sharing with you the 10th Attributes of a Child-Friendly Workplace: Encourage Child Protection/Parents Support Group or Experience Sharing between Experienced and Younger Parents. This is critical to the peace of the workers though it is uncommon. We live in a society where many of us die in silence. The reason for our silence most of the time is not because we choose to be silent. It is first because we believe we are too busy to have time for counselling. When this first reason takes root, it gives birth to another deception that we can cope without support. Once this is established, we conclude that we will not seek support and things will normalise on their own. What a huge lie? For things not to go wrong, they must be made not to go wrong. For what has gone wrong to be corrected, human being must take responsibility for it.
A lot of times we need counselling on our children. For a lot of us, it is a tall order, if not totally awkward for us to seek permission from work to attend a counselling sessions on matters relating to our children, except medical issues. As a way out, I advocate a Child Protection/Parents Support Group or Experience Sharing between Experienced and Younger Parents. Please note that I use the word, ‘Encourage.’ To encourage will mean to identify the needs for a support group where parents could discuss matters that relate to the protection of their children. . For example I suggest ‘Working Women Support Group on Child Protection. The support group share experiences and learn from members’ victories and failures. The work group make initiate a particular study on a matter important to children. They may choose to read a particular book as a group. They may invite an expert to address them in specific areas of child development
The support group will find time to meet outside work hours. As a matter of fact they may fix their meeting for outside the workplace. The role of the workplace is to encourage same. Many parents in the Third World are engrossed in their work that it becomes a place where they could hear the voice of reasoning. When the workplace encourages this and leaders of a business join his/her members of staff in such group, it will lend credibility to same and encourage members of staff to be part of it.
Let me close with the 11th Attribute of a Child-Friendly Workplace: Acknowledge Special Days in the Life of the Staff Children. Special days in the life of a child include birthday, graduation, end of the Year etc. It means that the workplace is aware of special days in the life of the children of their members of staff and will prepare at least a greeting card to wish the child the best and acknowledge the day. Why is this important? A child needs all the acknowledgement and affirmation he can get.
The healthy self-esteem of the child will be one of the greatest gifts parents will give to a child. Healthy self-esteem is installed through love. Love here means attention and acceptance from those who matter to the child, beginning from the parents.
As I have written before there no other way to express acceptance except through affirmation. In most cases, this awesome gift of affirmation is left to the parents. Parents, even leave it to themselves alone. They do not take time to plan affirmation for their children. When their friends attend their children’s parties, they do not advise them with all gentleness of wisdom for them to bring gifts for the celebrant, the child. They do not mind if friends come empty handed. It ought not to be so. If affirmation only comes from a child’s parents, he may not believe in the universality of it at the end of the day. Affirmation matters to a child, particularly on special days. It also matters to the child the source of the affirmation. If the parents’ workplace, which the child holds in high esteem sends a card and a present to him/her on his/her special day, it will make a whole lot of difference to the child.
My advocacy today, as usual is not very popular, but that does not take away its efficacy and agreement with universal principles on healthy child development. I urge you to take time to meditate on it, research it, query it and if you find them to be in agreement with universal principles of healthy child development to embrace them.
Thank you for joining me today. I urge you friends, Think the Child, Think Today, Think the Future. Do have an INSPIRED Weekend.