A couple of years ago, my husband and I attended a Parenting Class by the legendary Dr. Stanley Mukolwe. At the time we were pregnant with our second child and were excited and eager to learn everything we could on how to raise them up well. Unfortunately while still undertaking the Parenting Class we lost our son Thayu Kiheo through a miscarriage. We however decided to continue with the class to completion.
During this class we learnt maaany things from how our upbringing greatly influences our parenting to disciplining the children. One word from my encounter with Dr. Mukolwe however has been seared into my mind and I always refer to it in my parenting : EXTRAPOLATE
What does it mean?
Dr. Mukolwe repeated himself horse that for every behaviour you see in your child you need to extrapolate that behaviour to when they are 18 years of age.
- Is your child rude? Extrapolate
- Does your talk back at you? Extrapolate
- Does your child not listen to you and obey simple instructions? Extrapolate
- Is your child kind and generous? Extrapolate
- Is your child a slow learner? Extrapolate
This extrapolation was to help me as a parent to take appropriate action today to ensure that the outcome of my extrapolation is positive and beneficial to the child, myself and society. Ultimately that is is a result that glorifies God. So going back to the above list and the result of the extrapolation exercise what is the appropriate action?
- Is your child rude? Discipline them and train them not to
- Does your child talk back at you? Discipline and train them not to
- Does your child not listen to you and obey simple instructions? Discipline and train them not to
- Is your child kind and generous? Encourage and guide them
- Is your child a slow learner? Encourage and seek help for them
The essence of the EXTRAPOLATION principle is that to help you deal with situation today in the best way possible just extrapolate the positive or negative consequences of the status quo and that will jolt you into appropriate action. As I have continued to apply this principle of EXTRAPOLATION in my parenting I realized that in fact this it can be applied to other facets of life. How so, you may ask?
In every area of your life you can apply the EXTRAPOLATION principle to guide you on immediate action to take. This can be in relationships, in work place, in spiritual life, in your physical, in your social well being. For example:
- You are dating a controlling/overly demanding/abusive individual – EXTRAPOLATE
- Your are thriving and enjoying the work you are doing now- EXTRAPOLATE
- You have not/are not developing spiritual discipline (Prayer, Reading/Study/Meditating of God’s Word, Fasting, Evangelism etc) – EXTRAPOLATE
- You are keen on what, when and how you eat and exercise is a discipline you are building up – EXTRAPOLATE
- You are not ‘taking care of your village’ and neither are you being a worthwhile ‘villager’ – EXTRAPOLATE
Unlike in the Parenting Class where we were to EXTRAPOLATE to 18 years of age, in general application of the principle I find that the extrapolation exercise can be both short and long term. For all the above scenarios and many other I am sure you are already coming up with, extrapolate the positive/negative consequences of your current status quo in the next one week, one month, six months, one year, 5 years and so on.
If you like what you see, BUILD it up
If you do not like what you see, CHANGE now