All Articles Tagged "parenthood"

It Happened To Me: My Daughter’s Teacher Did Her Hair

July 23rd, 2015 - By Rich
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A few month’s ago, a photo was circulating on the internet of a little girl, who had just gotten her hair done by her teacher. To no one’s surprise this garnered reactions on both ends of the spectrum from the cyber world. As a mother, I was torn in my opinion of the situation, with no reason to think it could ever happen to me. As I read through the responses of Facebook friends, and their friends I thought, If I was a teacher, and a student came into class with her hair matted and linted, yes I would probably take it upon myself to spruce her up. However, in regards to my daughter this was not the case. Last Thursday, after a fresh hair wash, and slightly running behind I decided against my better judgment to let my daughter go to school with a headband and her curls out. BIG MISTAKE.

Thursday afternoon, like every day I went to pick up my daughter from her schools playground. As she ran toward me, all I could do was mouth to myself, “wtf?.” Seeing my reaction her teacher scurred behind her, quickly offering an exonerating explanation as to why my daughter didn’t look the way she did only a few hours earlier. “I did her hair, I hope you don’t mind?! She said she was hot.” I was furious. My blood was boiling, and there were no nice words I could find. I offered a limp smile, and could barely utter, “it’s fine.” I was fuming. My daughter’s hair had been brushed, with whose brush? I couldn’t tell you, parted, and braided in plaits, and embellished with rubber bands and barrettes, out of the teachers own supply.

After about 30 minutes to an hour, I called the school and spoke with the director and asked that Lyric’s hair not be touched by anyone, at all, for any reason. She assured me she would talk to the teachers, but I could tell she really didn’t care. For days I debated with my cousin, a former daycare teacher about the violation, boundary infringement, and the subliminal message being taught to my daughter. My cousin argued the teacher had no ill intentions toward my child, and that she thought she was doing a good thing. She assured me her actions meant that Lyric was a favorite in the school, and now that I have made this an issue they will probably treat her differently now.

While I’m 100 percent sure the teacher had no ill intentions when she decided to do my childs hair, but more so just wanted to get her hands in some Black hair. Against my better judgment, I assumed the unspoken rule about not touching Black hair was well known. Needless to say, no matter what the circumstances may be, no matter how tired I am, that hair gets braided down daily! I refuse to allow my child to be mislead into believing her beauty, and worth are defined by what pleases the pale faces of the world. I am a patron of the facility not for beauty treatments, but to first educate, and second care for my child. Unfortunately, I have stigmatized myself as “that mom”, and prayerfully my daughter doesn’t suffer of any ill treatment because of this.

Would I feel as strongly about this situation had her teacher been Black, and decided to do her hair? Nope, because to me that would of been a sister looking out, a homegirl hook up because of the unspoken understanding all Black people share. Is that biased, ignorant, racist? Call it what you want, but because of the history of the Black body, in relation to White people, (ownership, and exhibition) I will never be ok with White hands in my childs hair.

What would you do if your daughter’s teacher did her hair?

Have you had a tricky situation that needed to be addressed at your child’s school? How did you handle it?

“Nobody Asks A Guy That”: Childless Celebrities Explain Why They’re Not Pressed To Have Kids

July 22nd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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childless celebrities

Image Source: WENN

Once you reach a certain age, parents can get a little out of hand with the “Where are my grandbabies?” questions, and friends and family start talking about “expanding your family.” Lucky for you, these childless celebrities have the perfect comeback for such pesky questions.

10 Things You Should Never Say to A Couple Without Kids

July 8th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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No matter if you’re engaged, married, or simply in a long-term partnership, there comes a time when it seems like everyone wants to know extremely personal details about your relationship. And that period of time when you’re quite serious with your sweetheart but not yet parents seems to trigger seriously wacky, sometimes thoroughly clueless remarks and inquiries.

Whether you’re an uber-curious future grandparent or simply the BFF of DINKs (AKA Dual Income, No Kids), here are 10 things you may want to avoid saying to your favorite child-free couple.

10 Things You Should Never Say to A Couple Without Kids

1. “Have you started trying yet?”

2. “You’re so lucky you get to sleep in/travel/spend your money on irresponsible things!”

3. “You’ll see when you have kids!”

4. “Oh wow, you must’ve partied HARD last night, right?! Gosh, I miss those days!”

5. “Being around kids must be like birth control for you!”

6. “Yeah, definitely have sex/enjoy your marriage now, because after kids, nothing is the same!”

7. “You think you’re tired now? Just wait ’til you have kids!”

8. “You’re so lucky it’s just you two!”

9. “You just don’t understand what love is until you have kids!”

10. “So. When ARE you finally gonna have kids??”

So…have you said any of these?

My Mommy Standards: 12 Things I’ll Never Do As A Mom

July 8th, 2015 - By Rich
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They say never say never but there are just some things I cannot and will not do. But let’s face it – in life there’s always something we won’t do. So mommyhood is no different. So there’s nothing wrong with having some non-negotiables. As a mom, you’re in a new league of high regard and expectation, and I intend to carry the title well.   And trust me – I’ve given this list a lot of thought, and it’s all out of respect for my son and my own desire to keep life simple without the extra chaos.

So here’s my list of things I’ll never do as a mom:

  1. Breastfeed past 12 months. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting down the days that my boobs return to me (They’ve been my son’s for the past 11 months). I’m so ready to get my body (and boobs) back. Don’t get me wrong, a nursing mom and her child share a special bond and I’m forever grateful for it but let’s be honest – your body changes. So my goal was always to nurse for a year, and nothing more. Besides, doctors agree that there’s no true benefit to breastfeeding past a year. And I won’t EVEN mention the fact that my son has two teeth with two more on the way.
  2. Use baby talk. In my household, there’s no use of “baba” or “binkie.” Honestly, hearing baby talk makes me cringe. It’s so unnecessary.
  3. Dress my son in any outfits with monkeys. Call me an extremist when it comes to being Pro-Black, but I cringe when I see little Black babies wearing clothes with monkeys in the same way I cringe when I see Black men shine shoes at the airport. It bothers me.
  4. Tell my son to stop crying. Adults do this – tell kids not to cry – not realizing the damage their potentially causing. I’m a strong believer in the power of words. So if you tell a child enough times to disregard his/her emotional expression, his/her emotional issue will eventually become psychological, which will ultimately impact his adulthood, stunting his/her emotional growth.
  5. Deem him as “bad” when he gets rambunctious. Again, it’s all in the power of words. So I’m not a fan of the “B-word.” Kids will be kids. Speak light into them.
  6. Allow him to be pushed in a stroller past age three. C’mon, let’s be real. This has more to do with the parent, and less to do with the child who doesn’t want to walk.
  7. Put him on a leash, literally or figuratively. “The Leash” is all about boundaries, or the lack thereof.  So apparently, the literal device was intended for parents to keep an eye (and hold) on their child in public places. For me the device is just as irrelevant as “time out” – just not my thing. Besides, it looks really weird (and humiliating for the child). Figuratively, I will not put him on a leash. Instead, I’ll encourage boundless possibilities. I want him to be his own person, and create his own norm.  Everything else is already taken, and boring.
  8. Avoid the sex talk. It’s one of those things I’ll just have to do. The day I have the talk with him will be the day that confirms my baby is growing up. There will be more than one “talk” and more than “one day,” but he’ll know it’s all coming from a trusted place.
  9. Wear a scarf/bonnet or pajamas to his school. I represent him as he represents me. We will not go out like that. Ever.
  10. Give money for every A he gets on his report card. I never grew up like that. Despite graduating with honors (and on honor roll as a child), my parents never gave money for A’s as reimbursement. Their logic: You go to school to get good grades. Why “pay” you for something you’re already expected to do? This logic also applied to chores. Their response was why pay you to do certain tasks in the house when you should want to live in a clean, well-kept home. Granted, I was indirectly rewarded in other ways, yet monetary was never the expectation.
  11. Let his girlfriend spend the night. Seriously! Do I really need to explain this one?! Trust – I will be/am one cool mama, but I’ll never be that cool. I will always be his mother first, and friend second. And because of that, he’ll know better and won’t even dare ask.
  12. Let a day pass without telling, and showing, him that I love him. May he never doubt my love for him.

How Having A Baby Can Be Bad For Your Marriage

June 15th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Corbis

Corbis

Having a baby should be a time of bonding and immense joy—and it can be! However, if you go into parenthood expecting it only to strengthen your relationship with no bumps along the way, you’re confused. In fact, having a baby could have an adverse effect on your relationship with your partner. Here are surprising ways having a baby can hurt your marriage, and how to prevent it from happening.

Is Adoption Right For You?

June 12th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Adopting a child is a tremendous act of generosity, kindness, and love. But just because you’re capable of being generous, kind and loving, that doesn’t mean adoption is necessarily right for you. Ask yourself these questions first to find out.

“How We Do It” Video: It Shouldn’t Be This Hard For Working Parents

June 10th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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In this new comedy short, Adrienne C. Moore (Orange is the New Black’s “Black Cindy”) chronicles a day in the life of a mom trying to keep her head on straight as the demands of work and family swirl around her.

Entitled “How We Do It,” the video is funny, uplifting, and heartfelt all at the same time. It also has an important message: it shouldn’t be this hard for working parents to make it work.

 Can we get an “amen”?

Adrienne has teamed up with Make It Work, an organization advocating for economic security for working Americans, to make this video to let struggling parents know they’re not alone and encourage them to speak out about what they need to make it work. She is getting involved in this issue because she herself struggled to make ends meet when she was starting out in acting. During that time, she worked as a babysitter and was shocked to see firsthand the challenges facing parents as they’re expected to be all things to all people (the best mom, the best employee, the best PTA member) without any help or support.

How do you do it? We want to know! Share using #HowWeDoIt

Season three of Orange is the New Black premieres June 12.

www.makeitwork.org

What we can be done to change our workplace policies to better support parents?

What If Kids Could Shame Parents? RIP Isabel Laxamana

June 5th, 2015 - By Rich
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Isabel Laxamana, 13, is dead.

Early reports suggest strongly that the Tacoma, Washington, girl died after she willingly took her life by leaping off a highway overpass late last week. Her body hit a car below and she died the next day. The suicide was an apparent response to a public shaming video by her father, where he cut off her long tresses as a form of punishment.

As I suggested before, there are times where public shaming apparently works, but I loathe it with every fiber of my being, particularly in this era of unchecked sharing, social media and creepy voyeurism. Keep it real, there has always been some sort of public shaming. When your mother or father “papped” you in the supermarket? When you were showing off and had to get checked in front of your friends? These were early forms of what is now called public shaming, but it was not amplified in this digital era. They were also unplanned and simply instant discipline.

Honestly, most of these parents should be ashamed of themselves. Shaming isn’t discipline. Fact is, when a parent publicly shames their kid its almost like a humblebrag where they are trying to tell people, “Hey, everybody look at me…I’m a good parent. Watch me punish this kid in front of you all.” I definitely felt that in the last case, where the boy was failing every grade and smoking weed. The correlation between parents that shame through social media and their kids behavior has to be linked directly to the way kids were raised. I know kids have free will, but their failures are often our failures.

Father Wayman Gresham feels a lot like I feel. He recently posted a video on Facebook stating, “It’s time for me to discipline my kid the tough way! Why? I don’t play that!” But, then the video took another turn. He hugged his boy and started to spit straight facts.

“There’s no way in the world I would ever embarrass my son like that,” he says on the video. “Good parenting starts before he even gets to the point of being out of control. Good parenting is letting your child know that you love them regardless of what they are and who they are and showing them the way by example.” (If you look at his son Isaiah’s face, he’s elated to know he won’t have to endure public shaming.)

Isabel Laxamana’s dad is probably dead inside if he was any sort of father to begin with. This hurts. I’m sure he had the best of intentions, even though can’t see how he thought hacking off his daughters hair was a good idea.

What if the roles were reverse?

What if kids took their parents shortcomings and put them on social media for all to see? What if kids were able to cut their parents hair off and send them into the workplace or church with a “George Jefferson” haircut? What if they were able to put these embarrassing, mostly mean moments in front of their friends and family? What if children got a kick out of it? It is problematic that more parents don’t see this is an abuse of power or bullying that can go horribly wrong. It is not out of love and feels pathetically masochistic and self-serving. Isabel was going through a lot when she posted the following last year:

“I feel hated most of the time im in school i feel looked down on and i get judged a lot…. But what keeps me going is people like kian who have gone through the same thing as me… In a school with so many people its weird to say “i feel alone” but the truth is that you really do feel alone. So thanks for everything kian….”

Isabel Laxamana

Hopefully, parents understand the results of their actions are unpredictable and kids often exercise what control they do have in most tragic, destructive ways.

15 Ways Getting A Dog Prepares You For Kids

May 8th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Couples with dogs sometimes get teased for their devotion to their animals. Some people say, “They think they’re real parents, but they’re not.” But the truth is that couples who have a pet together may be more prepared to have children than those who don’t. Here’s how getting a dog prepares you for kids.

 

 

 

Things You Shouldn’t Say To Your Childless Friends

April 16th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Don’t say the following eight things to your childless friends…

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

“Don’t you want a family?”

It’s great that you feel your family has grown and become more solid because you’ve had a child. And it’s sweet that you worry about your friend being lonesome…