LagosMums interviewed Remi Makanjuola the founder of Grace To Parent and Chief Promoter of The Family Ball; a one-of-a- kind black tie initiative focused on celebrating families and supporting communities. It is an event for parents and their children ages 6-15 to engage, bond and learn. Read and learn as she tells us about the importance of family time and lots more.
1. Please introduce yourself
My name is Remi Makanjuola and i’m the founder of Grace To Parent, a positive parenting platform that inspires parents to joyfully raise children that have a desire to please God.
2. Tell us about your family
I am married to my best friend and we are blessed with our three children; 6 year old boy, 4 year old boy and a 20 month old girl. We make our home in Atlanta GA
3. What does Grace to Parent mean? Why is it necessary? What does lack of grace to parent look like?
Grace To Parent is having the unmerited favor of God, His divine ability to raise a child. When a child is born a parent is born and neither comes with a manual, it’s God’s grace that helps us navigate our parenting journey.
Every parent’s dream is for their children to make good choices, to be obedient, it gives us joy and peace of mind but the truth is, parenting is not always peaceful and regardless of our faith background or lack of, the reality that we cannot control our children quickly sets in and the necessity to rely on grace becomes apparent. Grace To Parent is simply accepting the fact that we do not own our children, therefore we need His instruction, His manual so to speak to raise them.
[Raising children based on scripture]
4. What challenges do you face as a parent and what challenges do you see parents facing today?
One of the most apparent challenges I face and I believe everyone faces is also the solution to many of our parenting hurdles, the responsibility of being the change we want to see in our children. As parents, we are naturally an authority to our kids and we tend to hold them to a higher standard than we are willing to hold ourselves to.
For example we don’t want our children to be rude but the way we talk to others is not a good example, or one of the most common ones, we all demand that our children use the “magic words” but our own requests of them sound like “give me that remote”, “get me some water.” We fail to realize that our actions and inactions, our words spoken or unspoken become the blueprint on which they build their own character.
5. How did you get inspiration for the family ball
The Family Ball was inspired by The Holy Spirit. It was birthed out of a burden for families to connect again. In recent times and increasingly so, we are loosing children to all kinds of atrocities, children as young as even 5 are depressed, preteens are abusing drugs, kids are getting into all kinds of things in a bid to get their parents attention.
Parents are physically present but mentally and emotionally absent. A lot of effort is being put into building businesses and providing for our families, which in itself is very noble, nothing wrong with that, except that less emphasis is being laid on spending time to with our children, answering their pressing questions spoken and unspoken, bonding with them, connecting with them; and so at the end of the day many are making a good living, but not living a good life.
6. Who should attend?
Every parent that is intentional about changing their parenting narrative. Fathers and Mothers with children aged 6 to 15 are the core target audience for the Family Ball, however our creche partner The Baby Lounge has made available a creche space for children ages 5 and below on a limited first come first served basis.
7. What should we expect from it?
A celebration of families, for families. An intimate, fun time where families can spend quality time together. There will be father-daughter dance, mother-son dance and general parent-child dance, games, a parent-child panel for parents to hear things from the child’s perspective and vice versa and keynote speaker.
The goal is that we change the narrative of parenting and reprioritize spending quality time, such that parents and children adopt a new family culture of intentional parent-child dates.
8. How do you hope it will help family bonding
The Family Ball is a first of its kind, I think one of the biggest statements it makes is that families are that important for parents and children to take time out just to spend time together in an intimate gathering to have fun and learn when they could have been doing a million and one other things.
9. There are a few parenting resources in this e-village of raising kids. Is there a way we can make more positive impact in families?
There’s so much we can do. We must keep the conversation going, encouraging families on the journey of positive parenting by constantly creating avenues for families to come together and bond, inspiring parents to fill their self care cups because no one can give from an empty cup and equipping parents with practical tools on raising children that not only make good choices but have an intrinsic desire to please God. As we burn the torch on our individual platforms, it’s important for us to collaborate to make even greater world impact.
10. How can parents connect with Grace to Parent? e.g. blog, programs, social media, podcast etc
On Instagram and Facebook @gracetoparent. We have a live video show every Tuesday at 5 pm (WAT) called Let’s Talk Parenting, quarterly parent-child dates called Play ‘N’ Pray in cities all over the world and a host of other programs in the pipeline.
11. Name 3 things you think parents need to be successful in raising children today.
First and foremost, God. We must lean into Him for instruction on how to parent. It’s important that we rely on Him and accept His grace to parent.
Secondly we must be willing to make the time investment required for our parent-child relationship to thrive. The truth is children don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. To make an impact on our children, we must give them our presence, our emotional and mental presence, it is not enough to just co-habit or just be physically present.
Last but certainly not the least, we must be the change we want to see in our children. Our culture tells us that children must be better than us, but the truth is bitter is relative. If you are 90% bad and your child is 80% bad they are better than you but is that good enough? Children may not always do what we say but they will at one time or another they will do what they’ve seen us do. They are great imitators so let’s give them a noble blueprint to build on.
**Thank you for giving out tickets to LagosMums followers; see contest rules below….
The family ball holding on Sat May 26th is almost here!
A ball just for families to spend quality time together!
Tickets are sold out but we have good news for you!
LagosMums has passes to give away to 2 families to attend The Family Ball courtesy @GraceToParent.
Join the giveaway on Instagram