020. How to Raise an Emotionally and Socially Successful Child
- Peep into the life of a school psychologist
- Explanation of social and emotional intelligence
- Tips to enhance the child-parent relationship
Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Wellness Surge Podcast with Dr. Adeola Oke. Each week we discuss our wellness journey with real people like you and me. We have conversations about food, fitness, mental health, financial wellness, and much more, so you can get back to the real you. To make sure that you’re up to date with this and other wellness topics, visit wellnesssurge.com. Information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of the information presented here without first speaking with your primary care provider. Now let’s head on to the show.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:00:36] Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Wellness Surge Podcast. My name is Dr. Adeola. Oke, and today I have with me Mrs. Leticia Ojuriye. Alrighty. We’re going to be talking about ‘How to raise an emotionally and socially successful child’. Say hello to everybody.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:00:55] Hi everybody. I hope feeling great today.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:00:58] Alrighty. So Mrs. Leticia Ojuriye is a nationally certified school psychologist and educator or child and parents and relationship trainer- We all need that one. Right?- A business owner, a Muslima, and champion of change. She is the owner of Kareem education consulting services, where she’s equipped to provide school psychology services to 25% of the United States.
That’s huge. She inspires resilience and compassion. As she brings a personal and professional perspective to her scope of practice that leaves students and families equipped to affect change in their lives and improve the trajectory of their children’s lives and familiar relationships. She currently resides in Arizona with her husband.
Alrighty. Well, it’s a pleasure having you here with us today. Thank you so much.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:01:52] And it’s a pleasure to be here, Dr. Oke. Thank you so much for having me on your show.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:01:57] Thank you. I appreciate you. Alrighty. So when you talk about school psychologists, right? I’m like, oh, what do they do? Do they just like test kids to know if they have like, developmental disorders or like they had some issues with school? So can you please tell us? So we stop coming up with ideas of what you guys should be doing. Can you tell us exactly what a school psychologist does?
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:02:23] So that’s a really great question. I’m glad you started off with the testing part, because for the most part, when I tell people I’m a school psychologist, they say, are you like a counselor, like a school counsular?
And I tell people that’s one component, right? That school-based counseling, making sure that the student on our campus are socially and emotionally, well. Making sure the campus is safe, but you are absolutely right. The meat of what we do. Is that psychoeducational assessment. However, how we do that, is very unique.
So school psychologist, I think we are very skilled team members on a multiple disciplinary education team that looks at, does this child need special education services? Is there a learning concern? Is there a behavioral or emotional concern? Uh, we develop a hypothesis statement. And then we seek to, to find that information through educational testing, cognitive testing, behavioral testing, academic testing. But we’re not limited in that only what we do is have a whole child approach perspective. So we combine various aspects of psychology to determine that. We combine educational psychology, developmental psychology, community psychology, the social and developmental history of a child.
How is their child living in their home at the present moment- bringing those family dynamics? So we’re not just looking at learning as an isolated situation. We’re also looking at the child from a whole child perspective. Is there something going on in this child’s life? Maybe now that was not going on before? That may be bringing up these behavioral concerns or these learnings concerns? So the beauty about being a school psychologist- some of my friends, they call us the gatekeepers special education because we know special education law, so well. But I think it’s not only that testing and assessment, it’s also being like,present on the campus and making sure all of our students – students who have individual education plans who qualify for special education services & also our students who are without those services- they feel safe and they feel loved and they feel welcomed on the campus. So I would say that we’re family advocates, we’re student advocates, we’re community advocates, and we are campus advocates for our schools and the school community at large,
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:04:49] Alrighty! So….the nitty gritty.
Let’s get to the basics. Why we’re here today? What is social and emotional intelligence. And why is that important?
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:04:59] Okay. So that’s a really good question. First, I’m going to start off with just a little caveat. What we’re seeing now in schools, more so than ever is that schools are pushing to teach children about social and emotional intelligence.
And there’s a reason why so social and emotional intelligence is the process in which children and adults, learn how to manage emotions, learn how to set goals, learn how to have healthy relationships, learn how to solve conflict. Right. And so what we’ve learned in psychology, and I think what we’ve always known is that we cannot wait until a person becomes an adult. To think that this adult have those skills that are socially and emotionally positive. So if we start teaching it to children now, right. As they grow and as they go through puberty and as they become adults, they’ll be a quick fit with those skills. Right. So why is social and emotional intelligence so important?
Think about all of the things I said, we want to know how to manage our emotions, right. So if we do not have that healthy social and emotional intelligence where we are faced with a conflict or problem in which all of us will be faced with them. We will choose options that are not healthy, which could be violence.
Which could be physical violence or verbal violence, right. It could be becoming socially maladjusted. You find that people who do not have good social and emotional intelligence, they tend to choose other routes like substance abuse, promiscuity, and those types of things. So if we start teaching these skills early on, it really helps a child.
Uh, developed into a healthy adult and that’s super important. No, one’s life is conflict free. That is not going to happen. You cannot find it anywhere. Right. But I think it’s important that we teach these skills early. And even if we are adults, it is important that if you do not have the skills, there are all types of services out there, all types of free classes or community based classes and workshops that you can attend. Because if you have children you want and make sure that you’re modeling those socially appropriate behaviors to your children or the children who are your lives because children learn through observational learning and through modeling.Okay. So that’s why social, emotional intelligence, is so important.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:07:33] Okay. Very good. Yes. Yes. I think we all need a little of that in our life. Absolutely. It’s always- there is always some conflict going on now. We need to know how to address that… appropriately. So yes, this is, this is like, they’re really one that I need right now.
How come families improve the social and emotional intelligence of their children? Cause, yeah, I got five of them, so I need tips. So how can we do that?
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:08:02] So that’s very beautiful. I think families can improve by being first self-aware right. So when we think about social and emotional intelligence, like I said, prior, it’s the way children and adults manage.
I didn’t say just the way children manage, but I know for sure that if we start off with the children, then. You know, we’ll see a change. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not Peter Pan. I’m not aging backwards. Or I think it was Benjamin Button in one of those movies where a person was aging backwards.
Right. We’re aging forward. Right. And so we’re relying on our greatest investment, the children to take care of us. As we age. Right? And so what we want to do? We want to make sure that we are socially and emotionally sound, because again, and I cannot stress this enough children learn through observational learning, they are looking at what the adults do in their life.
It is healthy for a child to see families have conflict, not fighting and punching, but it’s healthy for them to say, okay, mom and dad have conflict. Auntie and uncle have conflict, or whoever’s raising you. And whoever’s raising that child in their life have conflict, but what makes it healthier is when they see the family resolve the conflict in a healthy way.
Okay. We have this problem. Every problem has a solution. Problems are not necessarily bad. Every problem has a solution. The concern is, is when we have these perpetual crises that do not have a solution and they’re repetitive perpetual crises that never change, and we never have a solution. A problem is healthy.
Especially if we have a healthy solution at the other end of that part. So for parents, and this is just something I want to share, it’s something I do with the children in my family. I’m very blessed. I have eight nieces and nephews whom I absolutely adore. And they live in New Jersey and North Carolina.
And I’m usually every year, two of them, I spend, you know, they spend a summer with me for a month here in Arizona. I make sure I see them. But due to COVID that has not happened this year, but we talk at least three times a week. And just to see how beautifully they have been developing, you know, over their little lives.
Bands are 10 and 15 is just so amazing to me, the maturity. And I’m like, okay. Some of the things that my brother and not my family and I, the things that we are investing in them, we’re seeing some of the return on the investment, which is positive. So for adults, you have to make sure that you have good social and emotional soundness that you had that self awareness, right.
That you learn proper tools to solve conflicts in your life. That you are inviting positive and healthy relationships in your life. Your, you know, your children are able to see that you want to make sure that- so as you can see it, I’m not talking about how to. Raise a socially and emotionally healthy child.
I’m saying to the parent first be self aware.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:10:59] Yeah. But you’re talking about tools for someone that has no clue, right? Like, yeah. Yeah. We’re talking tools. Yeah. What tools?
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:11:06] So the tool, I think first is for the parent to be self aware. Okay. You got a parent right there. Tons of things. Let’s just say in the community, maybe.
Community-based how do you have a healthy relationship with your child? Right. Okay. So a tool I’ll give you a tool. So the first one that I always go back to a self-awareness. The person has to be self aware, so we can project that self awareness onto the child. Another tool is this okay. So here it goes, there is a course that I used to teach called the child and parent relationship.
It was literally called C P R t- training. Right? Think about CPR. We’re thinking about resuscitating a person. But this is child and parent relationship training. You’re talking about resuscitating, the relationship between you and your child and that particular training focused on the parents spending 30 minutes a week with the child uninterrupted playtime, right?
Uninterrupted 30 minutes with your child. So if you have children who are ten or younger. Um, you spend like that 30 minutes with the child. You’re encouraging the child, you’re doing more encouragement than praising, meaning you are allowing their child to pull from their own strengths. You know, Raheem, I see that you were really worried hard to pass that test this week, even though you got to 70 or 80%, you put forth a lot of effort. You studied every night for like 30 minutes, you know, it looks like you really were trying really hard to get that done. What that does is it pulls from the child’s strength versus. Every time a child only gets an a or only gets a B on a test or something like that.
You’re so smart. You’re so wonderful. You’re so great. Because those types of things come from what the parent thinks about the child versus the child being able to pull from their own strength and their own perseverance. Right. So what we believe in psychology and anything regarding a child. Children have what it takes to pull from the environment. And I think sometimes we underestimate children and think, Oh no, they don’t understand what’s going on around them. They have what it takes to have their needs met through the environment. So what I would encourage parents to do is spend 30 minutes of uninterrupted time with your children, where there are no phones around .These phones are just taking over our lives.
30 minutes of uninterrupted time to play with your child. You’ll be surprised as an adult how playing with a child pulls something from you when you’re able to reminisce on your own childhood and how you grew up. Right. Um, we tend to parent how we were parented, right? There’s nothing wrong with getting some extra parenting tips and extra parenting classes.
Another thing I want parents to do, I want us to think about when we have a donut. Right. And this is one of the techniques and the child and parent relationship workshop that I used to teach. When we have a donut, we’re not looking at what’s missing from that donut, even though a donut has a hole.
Sometimes I forget when I’m eating, I forget that there was something missing from the donut. Right because I’m focused on all the yummy stuff outside. And eating the donut. Um, focus on the relationship that you have with your child. Don’t focus on what’s missing. Right. So if I think about it from a donut perspective, I’m not thinking, Oh goodness, there’s this big hole in the middle of this donut.
Right. I need to fill it up with something. I’m focusing on all the yummy stuff on the outside. So focus on the relationship. Do not focus on what’s missing. Spend that 30 minutes a week of uninterrupted time with your child. If you have five children try to set. I know this sounds like a lot and especially with our busy lives, but give each one of them 30 minutes of just you and them playing.
Whether you go outside, you roll the ball.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:14:49] Yeah. It’s easy with the little ones for those teenagers. And so all those things you are saying, they’re all for me. I’m very selfish. So when I invite somebody on it’s because I want to learn something. Okay. So, because I want to learn something and most of- most people do have that child, right. That like- we just can’t get it right. So when I write something, it’s like, I want to learn something. So I hope people are also getting tips. When I was like ‘Give me tools. You’re just telling me tool. Tell me what I should be doing.’ So I got it.
Okay. But those teenagers, it’s a little trickier, right? I can play with the little ones. It’s no biggie. But, the teenagers, especially the one that doesn’t want to communicate with you. How do you go about breaking that ice?
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:15:30] You know – and I’m going to throw in a little,uh, developmental psychology here. One of my favorite theorists was Erikson, right?
And Erikson goes over the different stages of development. And as we know, when teenagers get to those year-, peer influence is more important than parent influence. Right? Because I’m having the same concern with my niece who’s 15, who used to think the sun would be put on me.
You know, she would write me these cards. I have all of them that are misspelled , but telling me how much she loves me and I save them all, right? But now she’s 15 and sometimes I call her and she doesn’t want to talk or she’s busy or doing something like that.
And I’m like, goodness gracious. Okay. Imagine if I had my own child, I would be heartbroken. She’s my niece and I’m heartbroken. What we want to do is we have to understand the position that they’re at. They’re teenagers. Peer influence is more important than parent influence. And again, again, we want to focus on what is there. So the kid does not want to talk. Now that statement is not completely true, because I hear all parents say that ‘they just don’t want to talk.’ So you mean to tell me, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This kid doesn’t say nothing at all to you. Ever?
Dr. Adeola, that can’t be the case, right?
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:16:49] That is not the case.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:16:53] You’re probably looking at the kid from when they were like seven or eight and they thought the world of you.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:16:58] Yes. Like, where is my baby? What happened?
You know, it’s equally the parents’ fault. We, should realize this child is grown she’s or he is his own person, whatever. And so, yes. Um, yes. Okay. I got it. So let me just rehash what you said.
-Self awareness for the parents. Right? Think like a donut, think about what’s present. there, not what’s missing.
–30 minutes per week with your child.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:17:27] 30 minuites per week with your child. Because if you think about it, like in your case you have five children. And most people I know have multiple, like three, four or five children. You spend time with your children automatically right throughout the day. But the time that I’m talking about is uninterrupted time with that one specific child per week.
Now, can you spend 30 minutes a day with five children and manage all of them? It would be difficult. You will probably be like, why did I invite her on the show? She’s given us some really bad advice. I’m not saying that. Designate 30 minutes. So with your younger ones who are 10/10 and younger, right? Do not rule out that the older ones, the teenagers, they don’t want to participate in play.
They’re play may look a little different. Maybe with the older ones. It’ll be a wall. No, come on. Let’s just take a walk. You know, allow them to talk to you. One of the main problems that we’re having is that a lot of our teenagers and a lot of adults as well. That goes back to those boundaries, that social, emotional intelligence, that self awareness, that building healthy relationships, we do not have boundaries as it relates to technology.
So our whole lives are spent….sort of- kind of socially disconnected. Right. Emotionally disconnected all of the things that we want. And this is even for adults, it’s not just for children. This is why I’m turning the mirror back on us as the adults, I’m purposefully doing this right? So the point that I wanted to make- the little ones you’ll play with they’ll enjoy the play.
Come on, let’s roll a ball. Let’s play doll, right dolls with the adults. If you have sons, your sons, believe it or not can play with dolls and trucks. Why can’t your son play with dolls and trucks? One day, maybe he’ll become a dad. He’ll have to know how to take care of a little baby as well. Right. So that’s just a little, just a little caveat, right?
A little caveat. So the point that I’m trying to make with the older ones, maybe that 30 minutes of uninterrupted time will look like a walk. You know, just going to get ice cream, let’s talk. How are things going? Let them open up organically, pull from their critical thinking skills. Find out what’s going on in their life, not through yes or no questions, but through those open ended questions. Tell them some things that are going on in your life that you’re working on and ask them. What do you think about it? Like, can you give me some advice? Like what would you do. We will be so surprised how amazing. The kids that are in our lives, the teenagers- they know so much stuff.
It is amazing to me. And it’s just us valuing what they know. Sharing what’s going on in our lives. Sometimes as parents, we…they know we have stuff going on. They know we’re working on things, but we don’t know always allow them to be a part of that. So allow them to be a part of that. Another thing that I wanted to share as well. Families, it is so important that we produce children who are critical thinkers.
We do not want children to be limited in their thinking and only go by what they see maybe perhaps on television or what their friends are telling them. And encourage them to have an opinion. Even if the opinion sometimes is opposite of what our household opinion is. That would allow us to understand the child a little bit better.
Sometimes our children do not open up to us or the children that are arrives do not open up to us because they are afraid. Like my mom is going to think that’s a stupid thing that I’m saying, or it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes if they say things that we don’t agree with, we can always probe a little more.
We can make it a discussion, right. Where they’re having more options. So we want to. Have not only children who are socially and emotionally intelligent. We also want to have children who are critical thinkers because these children will become adults one day.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:21:18] So let me break that critical thinking down because yes, that’s a word that for some, it maybe a little heavy. So when you say critical thinking, I’m thinking like, this is how I do it, my kids . Don’t let me say, this is how I do with my kids, but I know some people that they tell their kids. Every single thing they’re supposed to do- down to the nitty gritty.
I want my child to use their brain to figure out what they’re supposed to do. Like when do you think, what do you think? And then you do it, how you want. Is that what you mean by critical thinking?
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:21:43] That’s what I mean by critical thinking. And necessarily at the end, it’s not always that you do it the way you want, but giving that child some options. Were still the adults in each child’s life. So we have to make sure that the options are safe. Right? Say the options I’ll get to options in one second. We want to make sure that the options are safe. We also want to make sure that that final decision as a safe decision for the child and also a safe decision for the whole family.
Because if you asked the average eight or 10 year old, what would you like tonight for dinner? Every single time. They’re going to say pizza. Right?
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:22:17] Ice Cream! Candy! And I’m like, I love you too much. I’m sorry. We can’t have that.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:22:27] But we have to find balance in that, right?
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:22:29] Yes. Yes.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:22:30] What would you like to do? I just want to play my video game all day and I just don’t want to talk to anybody. Right. So talking about healthy options. So when we’re talking about critical thinking- again, if I go back, I see the children have the skills to have their needs met in the environmen. Children- and research shows like children who come from traumatic household environments. They still have a way, even though that traumatic household or abusive household environment. They have a way to have their needs met. Either it’s through creative, baking, a creative play or imaginary play like an imagining that there are in a totally different environment. Their needs of love, their needs of self awareness, their needs of protection are still met, even though it’s imaginary. Just to throw that out there. So when you’re thinking about children who come from healthy home environments, what we want to do is allow them to- give them options. You do not want as a adult in a child life. You have to tell them everything step by step.
Because I work with so many people and children and families, sometimes you’ll see a 19 or 20 year old who cannot make a simple decision and you say, wow.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:23:37] Let me call mummy.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:23:39] Yeah, see, right? And it’s okay to call mommy because you respect her opinion. But it’s another thing if you’ve got to call mommy, because you just do not have those simple thinking skills.
And then when we think about critical thinking skills, we’re like, okay, now we’re in this situation and we don’t know how to get out of maybe a more complex situation or even like basic simple situations. So it’s helping the child thinkthrough a process. It’s allowing the child to pull from his or her own strength.
And a lot of that comes through encoragement. Having comu- good communication with the child, having good conversations with the child. Seeing what their child’s thinking in mind. Mine does that I think is absolutely awesome. Another thing, just to tie that in with this, and this is where I was trying to go with this…
Parents often set limits when there’s no need to set a limit, right. And then we do not give children options. And I’ll tell you what, that looked like. A parent- and I come from an old school family backgrounds, southern background parents, you know, parents grew up in the South, grandparents: Southern. They would often tell us all the things we could not do.
You can’t do this. Don’t do this! Don’t do- I don’t know. You know, people my age or a little older, usually grew up in households like that. Right. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. But the parent rarely says, you know, Hey. I don’t have to set these limits and telling you what you can not do. Now under normal circumstances, we want to tell our child do not use drugs. Those types of things we know, but you know, sometimes parents will tell a child, you don’t do this. Don’t do that. Everything is a limit, right? And it’s like, the kid is not even, you know, going in that direction to do those things. When we set limits, what we want to do is set them when we see sometimes not all the time, a concern, right. So do not set too many unnecessary limits because what we’ll do, we’ll restrict the child from exploring the environment right.
In a healthy way is what I’m trying to say. Um, another thing is whenever we are setting a limit, whenever we say, okay, you can’t have ice cream tonight for dinner, I want to give the child two healthy options, right. Or two options. That would make sense. Okay. You can’t have ice cream, but you can have yogurts with berries and granola.
Right. Frozen yogurt, or you can have piece of fruit, right. Even though you’re choosing for that child. It would be very empowering if the child felt like, you know what? I can’t have that, but I still have an option between these two things because when the child grow up in life, they’re going to have tons of options.
But you want to make sure that they’re always choosing a healthy option or something as close to healthy as possible. Does that make sense? So you’re empowering your child through allowing them to choose. You’re empowering them through allowing them to see their own strengths. Like I used the test example earlier. You know, Bobby, you probably didn’t get a hundred on that test, but you studied at least 30 minutes every night for that test.
Okay. You got an 80%, you you’re pulling back. You did this, you study. And as a result of your study and your effort and your hard work, I know that was difficult for you. And you were still able to achieve… you know, this end result. Right. So that’s, I hope that was helpful in that explained.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:26:57] That did. It did. It brought it down to the basics.
So thank you for that. Thank you for that. So, yes, while we’ve been talking for a while now, so…. yeah. What is the one thing you’ve, you’ve said a lot of things today, right? But what is the one thing you want to make sure that people take away from me today? Even if they kind of like glossed over the rest?
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:27:16] Even if you glossed over the rest?
Know that, you know, children are amazing. And that are our greatest, greatest. Um, investment, you know, I know not easy. I can only imagine it’s not easy being a parent, right. Where it’s not easy raising a child, even if you’re a family member, raising a child. But know that they are amazing, know that they’re capable, know that we’re not aging backwards. So we nurture them in their youth so that they can nurture us in our old age. Okay. Um, and that’s what we, as adults, in children’s lives, that’s what we want. God willing. Spend that 30 minutes every week of uninterrupted time with your child where no cell phone is important.
No. Phone call for work is important. Nothing right. Is more important than spending that 30 minutes of uninterrupted time with your child. And, m, I think it’s Maya Angelo who said it, that every person needs a rainbow in their cloud. And then another person said that every child needs that the champion on these are just really important statements.
Even if you’re not a parent, if you’re an auntie, if you’re an uncle. Whatever the situation is just be a rainbow in a child’s cloud and also be a champion for their children. Be an advocate. you know. Children are very simple. All they want is love sweets, safety, and those types of things. And I think as adults, we’re self aware about where we sometimes fall short and get the support and help we need for ourselves. We’re able to provide the children in our lives with those important.
Um, supports that they may need.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:29:01] Okay. Well, thank you so much. It was wonderful having you on the show. I have learned a couple of things, you know, like I said, being a mother of five, there will always be that one that you be like, I need some extra information and tips to work this through. So thank you.
Is there a way that people can get ahold of you if they like need your resources? You need your skill set for like their schools, or even for like kids possibly, you know? Yeah, is there a way they can get ahold of you.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:29:27] Sure. So, m, if anyone ever wanted to get a hold of me for the child and parent relationship training class, it would be something I would do virtually. Or I could do it as a group or individually.
Um, you could contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exactly the way it sounds.
Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:29:55] Okay. All right. Cool. Cool. Thank you so much, Mrs. Latisha Ojuriye. It was a pleasure having you. Let me say that again. schoolpsychologist number 7, number 9 @gmail.com. Right? I think a couple of people could use some help with child-parent relationships and yes, we just touched the surface. We can go deep. Thank you so much. I hope you have a wonderful week. I’ll see you all in the next show. Bye bye.
Latisha Ojuriye: [00:30:24] Bye guys. Take care.
Ending: [00:30:27] Thank you for listening and sharing your precious time with us. If you enjoy the show, then follow us and subscribe on iTunes, YouTube, or any app that carries podcasts. Have an awesome week. Best wishes to see you thrive.