Hello everyone. I had the pleasure of interviewing a wonderful woman within The Fabulous Woman Network, Britta Ofori Kuragu on purposeful parenting. She is just amazing and her interview is especially relevant as we celebrate mothers. Enjoy!
Ama Duncan (AD): Hello Britta. It is such a pleasure to be able to finally interview you. I’m so grateful.
Britta Ofori Kuragu (BOK): Thank you for having me Ama. I’ve always admired you from a distance so when you asked me to do this with you I was so excited! Thank you for having me.
AD: So first we’re going to start by you telling us what you do. What does purposeful parenting entail?
BOK: I coined the term “Purposeful Parenting” myself. It is a culmination of all my experiences. That’s what’s brought me to this pivotal moment of what I call a Purposeful Parenting Practitioner. What I do basically is support my clients to develop self-awareness, because I believe it is important to become self-aware, know our triggers and know how to regulate and manage our emotions in order to relate to our children. Also, I equip mothers with tools to develop a deep sense of connection with their children because I also believe if we as mothers cultivate and nurture deep trust and a sense of connection with our children, we have a relationship where they’ll be able to come to us and we’ll be able to positively influence them. I say all the time, it’s always connection over coercion. I also support my clients to identify their children’s unique interests so they can nurture them and if possible, create a business or enterprise around that. It doesn’t mean your child is going to be a business person in the future, it just means they’re acquiring key skills through creativity to know that they can build an enterprise around whatever their interests evolve to be in the future and I think that is a very important skill to have.
AD: We will talk about your star children shortly. Before that, I’m very interested in your childhood and how that made you decide to venture into this profession.
BOK: I was a real “Daddy’s girl” growing up. However, at a very early age, I realized my Mom and Dad didn’t like each other very much. This is not to air my dirty linen in public but it is more about raising awareness on how much our adult relationships, marriages and how we relate to our spouses have an impact on our children. At about the age of five years, looking back now, i was in the midst of domestic violence. My dad one day made the decision to up and leave my mum and I, and I was my mom’s only child. My dad left and he just left a letter that I later read at the age of 6. Trying to grasp all this barely before the age of 6 coupled with being a Daddy’s girl and not having to see or experience him anymore was really difficult. Looking back now, I can say my mum probably sunk into depression, she became extremely anxious and stressed. We had to move houses, she lost all her money and she had to start all over from scratch. Life became really difficult for us. And even sometimes we didn’t have food to eat. She really had a good job that she had to leave to be able to take care of me because we had nobody and nothing. Long story short, I realized how much of an impact everything that had gone on with my dad was having on her and inadvertently, she was taking it out on me. So anytime I fell out of line, it was the constant yelling and the beatings, you know. And that wasn’t pleasant. But that seems to be the accepted mode of discipline. However, knowing what I know now, I know it strips children of their self-esteem and confidence. It affects them emotionally, psychologically and all of that. So that is what I channelled into the work that I want to support mothers to do now.
AD: That’s really interesting and I admire your strength, you know. Now by God’s grace you have your two children. A seven and four-year-old. And they’re already appearing in the newspapers and all. Please tell us about them.
BOK: My seven-year-old son Prince, has a little enterprise called Plush Playsoap by Prince. He basically makes solid, hand wash soap with dinosaur, unicorn and tropical fish inside toys inside them. This all came up because we decided one day to spend quality time together and we went on the internet trying to find activities to bond us. We looked up pottery, jewellery and soap making. And he engaged with the idea of soap making. He then suggested we put dinosaur toys inside the soaps. I initially thought it was a far-fetched idea but I ordered the things we needed anyway and then one lovely Saturday we created our very first soap shaped like an egg with a dinosaur inside it, which encourages children to wash their hands because they want to get to the toys inside it. The following day which was a Sunday, we decided to take a sample of the soap to Junior Church (Sunday School). There was a painting activity ongoing for the kids and they had to wash their hands afterwards. Our soap came in handy, the kids were excited to use them and parents wanted to order some. I talked about it with Prince, that since it was in demand, he could start a business with it. We then created his first packaged product and sent samples to friends and we got amazing feedback. All this began when he was about four and half. We started selling to the public by setting up stalls and pop-up shops at Gift and Craft Fairs.
Right about that time, I had my daughter Verity. On her second birthday, she had her first ever beautiful, black doll with gorgeous Afro hair which she named Baby Verity. She couldn’t stop talking about how the doll looked so much like her. Meanwhile, my best friend who is Caucasian complained of how she couldn’t find black dolls for her children in our local shops. So I realized there was a need for this Black doll and that’s how the Baby Verity doll became the basis for Verity’s business.
AD: This story about your children is amazing! Well done! Please tell us about the book you wrote with a hundred other Black women called Love Letters To My Girls. BOK: In the beginning of February 2020, an opportunity came up for me to be a co-author and a part of this project envisioned by an amazing woman called Dr. Cherita Weatherspoon. She had this vision because of the ongoing issues of race and racism even before the George Floyd situation happened. She had this brilliant idea of writing a book and bringing together a 100+ Black women to speak to the beauty, essence and vulnerability of Black women and girls because being out here in the West, it feels like you’re the minority, where you are constantly having to be hypervigilant in terms of racism and micro-aggression and how you’re treated, you know. I decided to write about the fact that our childhood experiences affect us as adults in terms of purposeful parenting.
AD: I did read your letter and I think it’s beautiful. Thank you for writing it. You promised to teach us women in business some tips and tricks and since we in The Fabulous Woman Network like to create wealth and empower people. Tell us what you’ve got for us.
BOK: Right Ama. This is something that’s so simple but to me, makes a huge difference. You know as women we have a about a million things to juggle. I personally love not just the voice recorder on the phone but the notes app on the iPhone that transcribes things for you! Whether its content you need for your social media or reminders you need to set or appointments, you just speak into it and it writes everything for you. It has its way of making life around me so easy, especially when a pen and paper isn’t readily available. It’s probably ancient news but for me, I found out just a few months ago and it’s been revolutionary! I hope it helps someone.
AD: Of course, It’ll definitely be helpful to someone. It’s an easy way of brain dumping your ideas when you are not ready to take action. Thanks for sharing. Please share a tip or two to help young mothers like me. How do we get our kids to be outliers in whatever it is they indulge in, especially in the space of entrepreneurship?
BOK: I think that we have to give our children the room and opportunity to be curious because that is how creativity is birthed. Let’s give our children opportunities to express themselves and stop this notion that we have of children to be seen and not heard. Children have brilliant ideas but sometimes as adults, we seem to think we know it all but that is not the case. With children, they’re not trying to please anybody. They’re genuine and come whole as they are and so we need to make sure we encourage them to speak and not shut them down when they come up with new ideas. Also ask for their feedback as well. Sometimes we try to impose rather than work collaboratively with our children. It will amaze you what they come up with. With my family, we have family meetings every Sunday evening. That has been really life changing for us. Sit together as a family and try to figure out what your values are as a family, what it is you aspire to work towards and it builds trust within the family and the children learn to speak up. It is so important. Another thing is, let us not try to live through our children. We want our children to take up prominent positions in society but it should be by their own choices. Let us just allow them to be authentic and try various things with our support.
AD: Before we wrap up, please fill in the blank to the following…
If I could advice my younger self in one sentence, I would say, “stay true to yourself, be true to yourself and trust the process because through the process comes your unfolding and your becoming.”
I am fabulous because “I don’t think my past defines me. Because I turn my wounds into wisdom and support other women to do the same.”
One book that has greatly helped me in business is “Simon Sinek – Start with the Why.”
AD: Great choice! So in your business you have the ebook, the book you wrote with a hundred other women and you have your childrens’ businesses as well. Is there any other exciting thing in your business that you’d want us to be a part of or that we should know about?
BOK: I don’t know if I mentioned that already but I have a mini course called the Yell Less and Stress Less mini course. Basically, it is just about a 60 to 80 minutes online course that you can take at your own pace. It tackles self-awareness and it prompts and alerts you to be mindful in the moment and take a pause before you respond. It teaches you to ask yourself a few questions before responding to your child’s behaviour. Also it touches on things like reparenting yourself, self-care and self-love, then you can pour into your children. And at the end of the course, there are tools to enable you become a more conscious and purposeful parent.
AD: Thank you so much Britta. You’ve been an amazing guest. And I’m going to make all the links you’ve provided available for the viewers. I wish you all the best and please come home to Ghana soon.
BOK: Yeah, we can’t wait to pay a visit back home. And thank you so much for your fabulousness. We’ll make it a point to see you when we come home to Ghana. You’re doing amazing things in Ghana. You’re so appreciated and loved.
I really hope you guys enjoyed this interview as much as I did and I hope you’re able to take out and learn some useful lessons from what was shared. Also check out the links she provided as well and spread the word with other people. Until the same time next week, it’s bye.
About Britta Ofori Kuragu
Britta Ofori-Kuragu is a Purposeful Parenting Practitioner, Coach and Mentor and her mission is to support mothers with a childhood rooted in adversity to reclaim their power so that they can live and thrive in their uniqueness, purpose and creativity while creating a peaceful home that empowers their children to do same. Britta has a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter who each have a business centred around their unique interests. She is a firm believer in the idea that in order for mothers to nurture their children to thrive and be authentic, it is important to cultivate a relationship with their children based on trust, mutual respect, a deep sense of connection and collaboration.
PS: Here are the links to the resources mentioned
- Love Letters to My Girls: A book written by 100+ Black women and girls to Inspire, Uplift, Motivate and Inspire Black women and girls. https://www.purposefulparentingparadigm.com/loveletters
- A free guide to speaking your child’s love language https://www.purposefulparentingparadigm.com/free-giveaway
- ‘Raising Young Entrepreneurs: The Purposeful Parenting Paradigm’
Africa + Worldwide👇🏾
- Yell Less & Stress Less Mini Course https://www.purposefulparentingparadigm.com/mini-course