All Articles Tagged "children"

What Do Your Children Know About Africa?

October 13th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Every Saturday my sister and I teach an ethnic studies class. Basically, we teach minority children, who range from 7-12, about world cultures. Naturally, since history and science has told us that human life was first documented in Africa we decided to start there.

I googled “Introducing Africa” and there were some great resources available. Including an introductory lesson about “Unearthing Stereotypes” about Africa. It actually turned out to be very thorough. There were 12 pictures, each from various countries in the continent. There was a boy drinking from a Coca Cola can, buildings in downtown Uganda, a castle in Morocco, the pyramids of Giza and a Black man and White man working side by side in South Africa.

The children were supposed to look at the pictures and determine whether or not the subjects and scenes in the images were located in Africa and explain why or why not.

We heard all types of rationalizations.

- The boy with the Coke can wasn’t in Africa because they “don’t drink from cans in Africa.”

– The pyramids were not in Africa because the pyramids are in Egypt.

– The skyscrapers were not in Africa because they don’t have tall buildings there.

– The crossing guard wasn’t in Africa because they don’t have those in Africa.

It completely and utterly blew their minds when we told the students that every last image they had seen was a scene photographed in Africa.

I’d like to think they learned that day.

When my sister and I took their papers home, I was saddened to see some of their thoughts about Africa and the pictures they saw. It wasn’t until my sister asked me a very rhetorical, very telling question about our own education system, that I started to understand it really wasn’t their fault.

“What did you learn about Africa in school?”

Really, aside from a unit on Egypt, in middle school, not too much. And even then, I don’t know if the fact that Egypt was in Africa was really stressed. In all honesty, my African education came from my parents first, later, research of my own and then traveling to Ghana and Egypt once I was old enough.

Our children aren’t the only ones ill informed or misinformed about the continent. For instance, today when we wrote about Nicki Minaj’s canceled concert in South Africa, someone suggested she didn’t show up because was she scared of contracting Ebola.

Nah.

Ebola is currently affecting West Africa. And Africa is a continent. It’s the equivalent of saying people in the southern most point of Mexico should take cover because there’s been an outbreak in the northern most point of Canada.  There are thousands of miles between the two regions of a continent.

In our ethnic studies class, we have a lot of Latino students so we were going to just spend a couple of days on Africa and then move on to other countries, so they see themselves represented in the lesson. But seeing those responses, we might have to take a few more days to make sure they understand the width and depth of Africa’s richness, diversity and influence the world over.

I’m writing all of this as a cautionary tale. Don’t assume your child’s school is doing their due diligence when it comes to educating our children about our heritage, outside of slavery. And you know if our children, in this age of connectivity, don’t know what they should about Africa, our generation and older learned practically nothing. This could be a great way for us all to get it right together.

Are Men Turned Off By Women Pursuing Them?

September 28th, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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dating for sport

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From Your Tango

By: Paula Mooney

When I was a silly little 22-year-old, freshly graduated from college in 1991, I eloped on the shores of Panama City Beach, Florida. High from too much weed, giggly all giddy-like while serious marital vows were being spoken over me, I didn’t think about the months and years to come – and how distance would affect my new marriage. With that marriage, I didn’t have to pursue the man who would become my ex-husband. He chose me. Thank the good Lord above and inside that union ended in divorce, as it should have ended.

Before long, I’d be remarried – but I wouldn’t say outright that I had to chase after that man to land him, either. In fact, I believe in just the opposite. Those Facebook viral photos of a woman on her knees proposing marriage to her boyfriend kind of make me cringe inside. I’ve always believed that a woman should wait for a man to show interest in her, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t let him know – in subtle yet obvious and ladylike ways – that she likes him.

Therefore, when the dating site Millionaire Match asked, “Is it a turn-off to men when a lady pursues them?” they received interesting answers on both sides.

This writer would land squarely on the side of yes – even though I’m not a man. However, as a female, I’ve learned that it helps to wait for a man to make the first move. If he’s shy, throwing on a nice dress and pretty make-up doesn’t hurt to get his attention, but as far as pressuring him for a date – that just seems desperate to me. Men know what they want and if they are really into us, they’ll find a way to make it happen.

Of course, us Christians like to point to the fact that the Bible says that “he who finds a wife finds a good thing,” a verse that insinuates that it’s the man who does the looking, not the female that’s on a major hunt for a husband. (Even if she is, she doesn’t need to look like a Needful Nelly all the time.)

For more.

I’ll Pass: Celebs Who Don’t Want Children

July 9th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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To be a parent or not to be a parent. That is not the question for these celebrities. While children can be a blessing to many, these stars have decided to forego being called “Mommy” or “Daddy” and have opted for a kid-free lifestyle.

Celebs Who Don't Want Children

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Cameron Diaz

In her upcoming movie “What To Expect When You’re Expecting,” Cameron Diaz plays a mom, but in real life the 41-year-old has gotten a lot of flack for being single and never becoming a mom. She has been vocal in the past about not having children and has admitted that she made a choice to focus on her career instead. “It’s so much more work to have children,” Diaz told “Esquire” magazine. “To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for — I didn’t take that on. That did make things easier for me. A baby — that’s all day, every day for eighteen years. Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision.

My Kid Caught Me Cheating…Now What?

June 14th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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caught cheating by your kids

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If you’re a J. Cole fan you may have caught the surprise ending of his video for the single, “She Knows”. I won’t give it away if you want to check it out, but the moral of the story is if you’re going to cheat, try not to be messy about it. It always amazes me how people will cheat so egregiously and then have the nerve to act surprised. It’s all fun and games getting it on with your side piece in the same bed you sleep with your partner in until you’re staring at hidden camera footage with the host of Cheaters.

In this digital day of screen caps and Catfish, it’s becoming harder and harder to get your creep on and what’s even worse is that children are increasingly more technologically savvy than their parents meaning that all too often they become aware of a parents’ infidelity before their spouse even does. I had a friend who discovered her dad was cheating on her mom just because he didn’t know what the “Trash” folder was for. In my opinion, this is the worst kind of secret you could ever place your child in a position to have to keep. It’s right up there with the “bad touch/this is something special between me and you” betrayal. And although some may think I’m being pretty harsh with that comparison, I believe it’s ultimately disrespectful to a child when you force them to deal with adult feelings and make mature decisions before they are prepared for them.

Relationships are complicated enough for children. There are some adults who can’t even make sense of their feelings, so to ask a child or even a young teenager to make sense of complicated emotions like love vs. lust and “growing apart” can be an unrealistic expectation.

J. Cole may be relieving some trauma from his child in the “She Knows” video. The lyrics in his song “Never Told” reveal that he was forced to keep quiet about his own father’s infidelity:

“Could it be cause my father let me know
That he cheated, and somehow I never told
I never told
Hey, you wanna be a man?
Yeah I wanna be a man.
A man don’t run tellin’ mama everything he see.
I ain’t gonna tell.
Alright then man. You’re a man now.
Okay.”

When a child witnesses a parent being unfaithful it sends the indirect message that you don’t respect their mother or father. On top of that, you place a child in the painful of position of choosing to be honest and hurt one parent or protect their bond with the other one. It compromises all the values that parents are supposed to want to teach their children like respect, honesty and integrity. People make mistakes, parents or not, but that doesn’t mean your children should be traumatized because of your carelessness.

If a child chooses to reveal to a parent what they have witnessed, the reaction of the parent could have a serious effect on how honest that child chooses to be in the future. If the parent believes them, the child may feel like they are partially to blame for their parents’ breakup. But if that parent doesn’t validate that child’s feeling or flat out tells them they are wrong, they may never feel free to talk openly again. So often what children say is invalidated or not taken seriously. Especially when it comes to the painful truth, so many parents are quick to discredit their children if it means they can spare their own feelings.

I won’t get into a lecture about avoiding infidelity, but I will say if you are going to cheat, make an effort to protect the ones you love, especially your children. And if they do catch you cheating, don’t ask them to keep it on the low to protect your own ass. Being an adult is all about accepting your flaws and taking the burden off your child to be the bearer of bad news. Once your child catches you cheating it’s time to come clean to your partner and explain to your child the best way possible how you and their mother/father will proceed and take ownership of the part you played in the deception. Cheating is not only disrespectful to your partner, but being careless about it is also disrespectful to your child.

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

Where Are The Parents? Vine Video Reveals Toddler Smoking Weed

April 15th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Vine

Vine

 

From The Grio

A viral Vine video shows an adult letting a toddler smoke what appears to be marijuana.

The video was uploaded two days ago by Vine userChiefSmokes with the title “Wow f**ked up parents smh.”

The appalling video shows a young child dressed in a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, sitting on a toilet, smoking what an adult puts in front of him. An adult(s) can be heard laughing in the background as the toddler blows smoke out of his mouth.

The video was then reposted by user NikoWavy, who received an immense amount of backlash after this version was uploaded to Reddit.

Users who did not read the full caption assumed it was NikoWavy’s original video.

Read more about this toddler smoking weed at TheGrio.com 

Who Needs An Epidural? Celeb Moms Who Gave Birth At Home

February 18th, 2014 - By Ashley Page
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Celeb Moms Who Gave Birth At Home

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Giving birth is no joke — ask any mother you know and she’ll tell you that while the end result is nothing short of a beautiful miracle, the grueling hours before giving birth definitely take a toll on the mind and body. While giving birth in a hospital has been the norm for some time now, mothers nowadays have reverted to old ways and brought back the popularity of home birthing. Here are 14 celeb moms who gave birth at home.

Why I Focus On My Husband And Not My Child

February 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

“Are you and daddy getting divorced?”

I was four years old, sitting on the bathroom floor and chatting with my mom while she soaked in the tub, when I blurted out this question. “No, of course not!” she immediately responded. “Why would you think that?” I don’t remember what I said next, but somehow we moved on to a new topic.

Later I heard her whispering on the phone about what I’d said. She must have been thinking, How did my little girl, the one with the stay-at-home mom and Catholic upbringing, know about divorce? It’s not like my parents were screaming and slamming doors all the time. Their unhappiness wasn’t supposed to be obvious, especially not to a little girl. But somehow, even at that young age, I could sense that my parents were deeply unhappy in their marriage. 

Turns out they did get divorced—four years later, right around my eighth birthday. The quietly hostile relationship that my parents had when they were married bloomed into an outwardly hostile one during the split, and it stayed that way for years after the divorce papers were signed. By the time my sister and I were pre-teens, our dad had remarried and pretty much vanished from our lives.

Read more about marriage at YourTango.com

 

Could’ve Fooled Us: Study Shows Most Women Don’t Know How To Conceive

January 31st, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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teen pregnancy

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From Essence 

“Mommy, where do babies come from?”

It’s a question most parents dread to hear their children ask. Although it’s quite understandable that kids won’t have these answers, the truth is, their mother’s should. Ironically, most don’t.

Results of a controversial new study reveal that an alarmingly high percentage of women don’t know as much about their reproductive health as they should—many think that it helps to have sex multiple times a day and raise your hips afterward when you’re “trying” to conceive. Sadly, they’re mistaken.

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine noticed so many misconceptions about medicine in their patients, they decided to survey 1,000 women ages 18-40 around the country about reproductive health. The findings, released Monday by Yale and First Response and published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, found that 51-percent of women surveyed incorrectly believe that having sex more than once a day would increase their chances of conception. A whopping 40-percent of participants believed lying on their back and raising their hips after sex and using certain sexual positions help with conception, despite the lack of any scientific evidence to back it.  Since only 50-percent of women surveyed had ever discussed their reproductive health with their medical provider, we felt it was time for a little doctor’s visit for all.

We checked in with Lubna Pal, MBBS, MRCOG, MS, who is the Director of the Program for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Associate Chair of Education at Yale University’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science, to find out what’s really going on here and what a woman hoping to concieve really needs to know.

Read more about pregnancy at Essence.com 

Should I Stay? My Boyfriend Lied About Having A Child

January 24th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Essence 

Dear Dr. Sherry,

Here’s my convoluted mess of a life: About three years ago I moved to a new city. Six months later, I began seeing a person I worked with during my internship experience. He was a good guy. When we started, I was adamant that everything be kept casual. He really wanted a relationship, but I did not want to have drama at my new work place. He respected my request.  I told him that it would just be between us and when he tried to push things further, I quickly, and a little rudely, rebuffed him.  He eventually began dating someone else. Since I was the one who decided not to take things further, I understood.  He dated this woman for several months. I was eventually promoted and moved to another division of the company.

In October 2012, he began calling again and he told me that things were over between him and the other woman. He and I still work for the same company at different locations, but I am in a leadership position now. Even though I still had reservations about dating him, we began a physical relationship. He came over in November depressed but could not (or would not) explain what was wrong.  In December, someone that still works with him told me that the other woman he dated revealed that she was pregnant.  I know him. I know he wants to be a good father and make things work with anyone who has his child. I asked him if she was pregnant and he told me “no.”

Fast forward to last week and I see a photo of the girl and the baby, who looks just like him. I asked him again and he finally admitted that he was the father. He asked me to forgive him for lying, but I feel betrayed.  I cannot handle this, so I told him that it was over after a year and a half of dating seriously. He asked me how long I thought I would be mad about this. Umm, forever!  Then he said that she is here (meaning the baby) now and that we can’t be mad anymore. The baby is four months old.

I know he did not cheat on me but he damn sure lied about his child. He didn’t want me to end things again, but I do not feel I can trust him. I love him truly but this is some Maury mess and we are too old for this foolishness.

I went to the doctor recently and found out that my blood pressure has gone way up and I’m a month pregnant.  He used condoms every time; I really don’t know how this happened.  I have decided not to tell him.  He is going to have to see her and what if things kick up for them again.  I couldn’t take him leaving again. I’m tired of the stress.  Is it best we cut ties and I raise this baby by myself? Am I being fair? Does he deserve fairness?

Oh, everyone in this scenario is over 30.

Help,

My Life’s A Complicated Mess

Read Dr.Sherry’s response at Essence.com 

Comfy Much? Madonna Calls Her Son N-word On Instagram & Then Gets Mad At Critics!

January 19th, 2014 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Madonna Son"

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Late Friday night, the pop icon known as Madonna was feeling proud of her 13-year-old son Rocco and his MMA-style workout so she posted a picture of him on Instagram.  Many parents are proud of their kids, right? Right. But the problem with her picture was the caption:

"Madonna Pic"

Instagram

If you’re having trouble seeing it, the caption reads: “No one messes with Dirty Soap. Mama said knock you out! #dis[n-word]

Her comments section immediately blew up, both with people criticizing her use of the word as well as people defending her use of the word.  Well, it all seemed to annoy Madonna so she took down the original picture but put it back up with a new caption that said:

“Ok let me start this again. #get off my dick haters!”

Hmm. So people who are criticizing you for using what many consider a racial slur are now your haters? That’s an interesting way of seeing things.

But of course, as all things go when celebrities find themselves in major hot water, she then took that picture down too and  according to Hip Hop Wired, she apologized for it all on Saturday:

“I am sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the N-word on Instagram. It was not meant as a racial slur…I am not a racist. There’s no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention…It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white.  I appreciate that it’s a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression. Forgive me.”

Be clear: Madonna is not apologizing for using the word, she’s apologizing to anyone who may have been offended by her using the word. This is obviously something  she says on a regular basis under the guise of it being a “term of endearment.”

Madonna is also the mother of two black children and many immediately questioned how she speaks around them.

Here’s thing: If you’re going to say something, stand by it. There’s no way Madonna didn’t know that her posting that word would start this type of uproar.  If you’re bold enough to use it, then be bold enough to stick by it and keep it up.  Apologies are unnecessary when they’re empty and not truly sincere.

What do you think? Is Madonna wrong for using the n-word or is it okay for everybody to use it freely?