Carol Ofori says marital counselling was an important parenting foundation for them

Radio 2000 presenter, ‘Raising Babies’ host and mom of two Carol Ofori and her husband Greg celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary recently. Carol shares how they’ve been able to successfully parent over the last couple of years, and during lockdown (without fighting too much) and still keeping their marriage strong.

Carol Ofori and husband Greg on their wedding day

Image: Supplied

We have learned kids are manipulative

“I don’t think you can evade not fighting here and there, especially if you’ve had a long tiring day. One thing we have learned is that kids are very manipulative and know exactly how to play mommy off against daddy. So, we make sure we approach everything as a team. If mommy says “no” to something you can run to daddy and he will have the same answer. Every now and then he catches us off guard and we get played. Another big thing is we try hard not to argue about parenting in front of the kids, believe it or not, they’re listening carefully and are looking for loop holes to take advantage of, and yes under 5-year-olds are masters at this.”

ALSO SEE: ‘I changed the last nappy’ and other things all new parents fight about 

Do you agree on everything?

“We disagree on very little. Marital counselling was important as a foundation for us because we had to discuss children and how we would raise them; from what our family values will be, which church we will fellowship in and how we plan to parent as new parents. It was so important for us to sit down and unpack exactly what our expectations of each other were, and where compromise was necessary.”

What is your biggest fight when it comes to parenting?

“The one that was hard for me to accept was teaching my son (who is now 5) to sleep in his own bedroom. We had a little fight because I thought he was not ready. He was just over a year when hubby decided that co-sleeping in the cot next to us was now a thing of the past. I remember the first night he stood in his cot and cried for me for a few hours and my heart was so sore – but in the same breath I knew it would be the best thing. The first night was the hardest but a little over a week later he was sleeping all by himself. To date my son now sleeps all by himself with the light off and door closed. I still can’t believe it.”

ALSO SEE: Help! My toddler refuses to leave our bed

How are you finding parenting during COVID-19?

“The first few weeks of lockdown were the absolute worst. I’ve been working throughout the lockdown and never had a moment to “bunker down”. Radio had to carry on and so did I. The hardest part was having the schools closed and my 5-year-old getting super bored, and I had little time during the day to entertain him. That was tough. He started seeking attention in the craziest ways and I would find that he was naughtier than usual and yet it was his cry for attention. Having him back at school has been so good for his moral and his overall temperament.”

What has been your biggest challenge about parenting during a pandemic?  

“Having my son home and not going to school. He hated being locked up in the house for days on end. It really affected him negatively and all he wanted to do was go to school, see his friends and learn in a classroom. It was so hard because my nanny had gone home to Limpopo for the initial lockdown, and I had a 2-month-old baby girl at home as well. Luckily my mom went into lockdown with us – but wow I missed my nanny.”

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