By Estelle Sobel Erasmus
I will be featured on the radio show Make Peace at Home, tomorrow, live to discuss a topic close to my heart, The Power of Self-Expression. I’ll speak about my story, my experiences with Listen to Your Mother, how I’m raising my daughter to have a voice, my transformative journey through motherhood, and tips for finding your own voice as a writer, storyteller and woman.
Wokie Nwabueze, the host, is a certified mediator and conflict coach and the mom of two very young children and understands the potential conflict that we all face as we nurture and grow intimate relationships. Wokie firmly believes that the way we handle conflict shapes the way we and our children see the world.
I interviewed Wokie recently about her show and plans for the show.
How did you come up with the idea for the radio show Make Peace at Home?
I have been a conflict and communication expert for my entire career but when my first daughter was born, my relationship suffered and we really struggled to communicate and resolve conflict as new parents. I started to watch couples–friends, family and strangers–and realized that the stress and transition of parenthood is something that few of us are prepared to manage. I also realized that when I was mindful of my own feelings and the way I communicated in my relationship, things improved dramatically.
Make Peace at Home is a name I chose deliberately because I believe that peace takes action. We must create it, nurture it, for it to survive the ups and downs of life in any family. The radio show provides a vehicle to have important conversations, share important skills and to allow listeners to feel normal and supported.
Who are some of your guests, and what are some of the key points they have made?
My guests so far have been wonderful. Some examples: I’ve interviewed psychologist Joshua Coleman who shared tips on how to get men more engaged in the business of running a household; author and activist Kristin Maschka who discussed her book, Redefining Motherhood and a very compelling perspective on steps women can take to renegotiate elements of their lives once they become moms. We’ve discussed self esteem and how it impacts teen/parent conflicts, biological realities that underpin our relationships, identity and conflict and the list goes on.
When in a conflict, what is the best way to approach it?
The best way to approach conflict is not to be afraid of it. Don’t assume it has to be bad because if approached well, many conflicts can have positive outcomes. When in conflict, try to really understand your feelings. What are you reacting to and why? Then think of the other person and do your best to see it from their point of view. With that understanding, you can begin to communicate effectively by stating what the issue is, how it affects you and acknowledging the other person’s perspective. If both parties are open to a conversation based on understanding and acknowledgement, negotiating a solution comes naturally.
What is the number one thing a woman can do to help her family get along and why?
I think the number most important thing women can do is model the behavior they want to see and be clear about the behavior they will accept. Getting along is really about being emotionally self aware, empathic and mindful of others and clear in your communications.
I write a teachable moments column for examiner.com. How do you use teachable moments in your family?
For me, teachable moments start with the question “why”. I try to explain things to my children as much as I can. For example, if one of my children grabs a toy from the other, I try to use that moment to not only correct their behavior but to also talk about fairness, taking turns and feelings. My hope is that they learn to think about behavior, and choose how they act for the right reasons. It’s so much more valuable if they can say “I won’t take that toy because it’s not my turn yet,” over “I won’t take it because I’ll get in trouble.” It isn’t easy and I’m certainly not perfect at making every moment teachable but the more I make teaching my goal, the more moments I find to teach.
Make Peace at Home is on Tuesdays, 5pm EST. Catch me on the show tomorrow.
For my other radio show “appearances” check out
Blog Talk Radio-Link
For my readers: How do you teach your children to have a voice?