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Temi Olajide: Psychologist helping parents unravel digital age kids

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WITH HENRY OJELU

Temi Olajide is a Certified Child Sleep/Potty Training Consultant and Child Psychologist. She is Nigeria’s first Certified Child Sleep consultant, Founder and Lead Strategist at Mummyclinic Global Services.

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Her organisation hosts an online platform that provides strategies and result-driven solutions to the challenges of child rearing.

The organisation which is also a sleep training platform for children in West Africa helps mothers to successfully combine the requirements of life and motherhood while responding correctly to the peculiarities of the digital age. The author of fast selling Amazon book; Wi-Fi Kids and Analog Parents, a comprehensive book that equips parents on how to raise well-rounded kids in the digital age, shares her experience in this interview.

Growing up

My parents did their best to live intentionally and their lives were transparent to us. They were both great role models. I wanted to be a modified version of them though not with as many kids; by the way I’m the first and only girl with three brothers. I would have loved for them to have been more approachable early on in my life because there are some experiences one would have loved to share as a young girl growing up.

But typical Nigerian parents then, they weren’t that approachable. The fear of many other things wouldn’t allow that. But they never lived a lie, so I grew up using their lives as a guide, which I usually encourage parents to do. If you cannot do so much, just be a good example because your kids can see through you and learn just to be like you. Many parents don’t practice what they preach and that’s where you start to lose your kids.

Inspiration behind Mummyclinic

After marriage, I wanted to be that mum that enjoyed her life and work while raising my kids. But the narrative around me didn’t reflect what I desired. The narrative I saw was that as a mother, you will experience sleepless nights; it’s overwhelming, tiring and exhausting. It’s either you choose your career or your children.  I didn’t want my life to be all that. I know being a mum is very challenging but I said to myself; since I can’t avoid it, why not look for easier ways to overcome these challenges and enjoy the journey?

So I started to seek for knowledge and read books to find solutions. I wanted to change this narrative that I can enjoy this journey despite the challenges. So I became deliberate and intentional from day one when I got pregnant with my first child. And that was the beginning of being an intentional mum. I didn’t leave things to chance except pray for God’s guidance and blessings on my effort as I knew God wouldn’t come down to do my job.

Then the digital age came. I joined Instagram in 2016 and saw many mums struggling and unhappy with the journey of motherhood. I remember always seeing posts of mums struggling with getting their kids to go to bed early, sleeping through the night and potty training and I always told myself, this shouldn’t be a problem any mum should be facing.  I wanted to help but didn’t know how. I would have sleepless nights many times thinking why will these mums be going through all these when solutions exist?

Then my late dad’s word will play again in my head: “Temitope, if you die today, what value will you have added to mankind?” So I decided to finally take a plunge and live my dreams because I knew I was called to help working mothers. I knew it was time to overcome my fears and start to fulfill my dreams of helping more mums than those around me and add more value to humanity. I’m always unhappy and troubled when I see or hear  other mums unhappy and overwhelmed  because this was what I wanted to avoid as a mum. I know they can also achieve it if they allow me help them. This was how Mummyclinic began.

Being Nigeria’s first Certified Child Sleep Consultant

We have been able to sleep- train over 700 children in our sleep school and it’s amazing how you see the lifestyle of mums transform and become productive when their child’s sleep habits and sleep is improved. We’ve witnessed improved bonding between husbands and wives as they get more time to spend with each other as soon as the kids are in bed and not witnessing any interruption in their beds through the night too. We have had testimonies of children feeding better, behaving calmer, becoming healthier and doing better at school due to improved sleep lifestyle and so many more.

Leaving the banking industry

I left the banking industry after having my first child to actually give me more time to be with him. I didn’t have a lot of support around me at that time as my mum wasn’t in the country. I also wanted a career as a business consultant because that was my desire after graduating from school.  I became a child sleep and potty training consultant solely out of passion to help other mums. I just want every other working mum out there to enjoy motherhood while achieving their dreams and raising well-rounded children.

Being a wife, mum and a consultant

I have immense support from my husband, children and mum. They’ve been a great help. There is something I never fail to do; I ask for help, even if it will cost me. Being intentional with my life has also helped. I plan my day ahead; I guard the use of my time jealously as I know time is life. I also started to involve and integrate my kids at a very young age with house chores and my work, so that really helped as well. I refuel regularly by taking care of myself and doing what I enjoy to do. I ditched perfectionism. There is nothing like a perfect mum or wife. I just work at being the best for my family.

Other projects and activities

Aside our sleep and potty training services, as a child psychologist, I also help mums through our classes and mummy coaching programs on building trust with their children, getting kids to listen and cooperate with them, sex education for kids, confidence and positive personality building for lifelong success and other challenges mums face.

Potty training nuggets

The first thing about potty training is education. We advise for mums to educate before getting started. Many times we just want to jump into potty training, get potty and tell the child to sit on it. That is why many children wouldn’t cooperate so easily with us at first try. Secondly, the type of potty matters.  Imagine sitting on a toilet that is too low, high or the toilet bowl is too wide for your bum. You wouldn’t be comfortable and enjoy the process of using it. It is likewise with children, comfort matters especially something you’re weaning them into, if not, it becomes a stressful process for you and your child.

The book, Wi-Fi Kids and Analog Parents

It’s a must have because it addresses the changes in the dynamics of parenting in this age compared to ours and how to handle those changes. It provides the much needed guide for raising children in the digital age. It is so all-encompassing and highlights the pros and cons of the digital age, sex education for kids, understanding and communicating with children in the digital age, constructing boundaries, among other salient issues bordering on parenting in the digital age.

We need to understand what our digital children really require from us to allow them thrive and navigate successfully in this age. We, the parents, were trained with walls, our walls were our churches, schools, mosques and families. We believed everything we were told, because there was no other source of information. Imagine our mothers telling us then that if a man touches you, you will get pregnant and we believed!  Even a two-year-old in this digital age will say; “Mum, why are you lying, it’s impossible.”

I have always wanted four kids ― Mercy Johnson

We must understand that we are raising our children now with no walls. If you lie to them, Google is now everyone’s new friend.

Vanguard

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