A Glimpse into my Parenting Journey : Guest Post by Tara Fela Durotoye


Tara Fela Durotoye is a woman who needs little or no introduction. One of brightest stars to come of the continent, she is known not only for being  a pioneer in the nations make up industry but also an inspiration to the her peers and the next generation. Born 43 years ago, Tara is a Nigerian beauty entrepreneur and lawyer. She is the founder and CEO of House of Tara International and passionate about sharing her experiences as well as coaching and mentoring other entrepreneurs.

Tara has received multiple awards for the contribution to  Entrepreneurship and Empowerment and more . A few recent awards are  Business Woman of the Year 2018 by the African Economy Builders Awards Abidjan. Also in 2018  Tara received the African Makeup Icon by Ghana Makeup Awards as well as the Leadership Award for Entrepreneurship by Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria, and the most recent in 2019 the award of excellence for Social Impact and Job Creation, a National Recognition by the Vice President of Nigeria.

She is an alumnus of the of Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme, INSEAD Abu Dhabi, Yale University, The Stanford SEED Transformation Programme, and the Harvard Kennedy School having completed the Global Leadership and Public Policy in the 21st century, She is a member of the France/Nigeria Investment club which was incorporated in 2018 by the French President Emmanuel Macron and she was recently mentioned as one of Forbes  Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa . However with all the accolades and titles she bears the ones she holds dearest are being the wife to the eminent Fela Durotoye and mother to three young men.

Recently her oldest son turned 18 and it was a good time for her to share parenting struggles , victories and a few tips to help Mums and Mums to be on the journey called ” parenting”. Read and be inspired.

Recently, I shared a post about my first son turning 18, and received lots of congratulatory messages and prayers. I also got a few notes from women still trusting God to have their own children, and women who are trusting God to touch the hearts of their children.

I talked about my first son becoming the child of my dreams, but you know, this was not always the case. In fact, there were several times I was invited to his school, and not for good reasons. From primary school to secondary school, being called by the schools to come in, receiving teachers’ notes, in fact, he is the one child that has made me cry in front of teachers or in front of a head teacher.

Listen,  if you have children, I encourage you to be patient with them and consistent in what you’re teaching them. You may be discouraged at first but keep believing that you will see the fruit of your work if you don’t give up.

As parents we must always remember that when we are training our children, they are also going through their own growth process, and we can’t determine what that looks like. Children grow differently, even children from the same home. Many times, when all the efforts on our children don’t seem to be yielding fruit we may second guess ourselves and we begin to feel that we are not good enough  or doing enough . I felt the same way for a long time but I didn’t stop training my children, and telling them the things that I tell them.

With my first son and indeed all my boys many of those teachings have now become a part of who they are. Today my son was recently advised by his teachers to run for school prefect and hostel supervisor. Look at that!

I am so grateful and proud that I didn’t stop teaching because of those initial reactions I got. They may act like they are not listening, but please don’t stop.

It’s an honour to raise a child and personally I see parenting as a chance to impact another human being and ensure the legacy of your family values remains on the earth.

I have learnt a lot on this journey and here are six tips I’ve applied to my own parenting:

  • Be involved- Make a choice to be involved in your children’s lives. As much as possible ensure you do school runs, listen to their conversations and hear what they have to say about things.

  • Build their minds- Encourage your children to ask questions about life. Expose them to things and activities that will build their minds. It is also important you encourage them to become avid readers.

  • Engage them – When your children ask questions, don’t dismiss them as it’s a teachable moment . Ensure you engage them in conversations and never shy away from letting them know your perspective on different issues.

  • Be value conscious – Equip your children with the right value system. Pay attention to what they watch and listen to and ask yourself if they are they in line with the values you want them to live by. Also be aware of the company they keep. Know their friends and the people they listen to outside the home.

  • Social skills – Talk to your children about the importance of social skills. No matter how brilliant a person is, he or she can only go so far without good social skills. Social skills include how to relate to people, how to be cautious, how to show empathy, etc.

  • Teach them about God – Help your children to develop a relationship with God. Teach them God’s word, teach them about the importance of prayer and show them how to pray. As in most thing children learn from your example. Whatever you want to teach them, teach by example.

To help you implement the above tips quickly, here’s an exercise I enjoy doing to assess my children’s  strengths and help them become self-aware. Grab a list of words that are strengths from the internet, words like “reliable” , “hardworking” , “honest”, “dependable” e.t.c and read out the list to each child. Ask them to write down the words that describe them or resonate with them. Have a discussion afterwards, affirming and encouraging them. That’s it!

Again, ensure that you do not stop talking to your children…trust me it works!

Thanks for sharing your story and for the great tips Tara! Happy Birthday once again to the young man , and may he and all your children be a source of pride and joy.




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