All Articles Tagged "parenthood"
‘He’s A Great Dad:’ Jay-Z’s Mom Talks About Her Son As A Father, And What She’s Learned From Blue Ivy
While we wait to figure out whether or not Jay-Z will be a daddy a second time around, Us Weekly spoke with his mother, Gloria Carter, about how he’s faring as a daddy of one little lady so far. While at an event for the Shawn Carter Foundation over the weekend, which helps provide students with lower GPAs the opportunity to afford college, Carter spoke openly about how impressed she is with her son’s parenting skills and the impact Blue has had on him.
“It warms my heart to see how he interacts with his daughter. And when she says, ‘Papa,’ he just melts. He’s a great dad.”
And she’s not a bad grandma herself. Carter also said that she thinks Jay and Beyoncé do want more children, but so far, what she likes best about being a grandmother to Blue is that she can spend all time she likes with her…and then give her back:
“The amazing thing about being a grandmother is that you go get the kids, but when you’re tired, you can take them home!
And the funniest part of the interview came when she discussed how the 16-month-old is starting to learn what certain words mean, and that when she’s tired of being around certain people, like grandmother Carter, she dismisses them in only the way a toddler could:
“She’s very very smart. But [the TV show Babies Choice] teaches the babies that when you say hello, that means you’re going to be around. But when you say, ‘bye bye,’ it means you’re going to disappear. So when you’re around her, when she looks at you and she’s tired of you, she looks at you and she says, ‘bye bye!’ So with me I’m like, ‘No bye bye! No bye bye!’”
She’s too grown already, and we love it!
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I am writing to you for some relationship advice. I am in a happy place in my relationship with my soul mate. We have been dating for quite some time and have been living together for two years. He is in the midst of building a fabulous home and totally has me in his future plans, and I love it all.
The only problem is that he has recently told me that he will be having his teenage son come live with us full time. The teen has a number of issues that they fail to address, like obesity, constant bed-wetting, lack of manners and poor hygiene. Do I put my feelings of happiness on the back burner or try to work out the new living arrangement? I am hoping you can provide me with some help on this one.
Read what Dr. Sherry Blake has to say about this on Essence.com
Tying the knot is a big step in life and while you may seem ready, there are definitely some things you’ll want to know before you say your vows and commit to just one man. Some of these small details can really impact your relationship, negatively or positively. So, if you’re hearing wedding bells in the near future, before it becomes official, here are some must-know details.
Taraji P. Henson may be one of the hardest working Black actresses in the movie biz, and now she’s revealing exactly where she got her work ethic from.
In the latest JET magazine, Henson says that her father showed her early on that anything worth having was worth working hard for.
“My daddy was blue-collar as you get,” said Henson. “At one point he was homeless, but he was always a man. He never made excuses. He got it done.”
Gotta love Taraji! She is definitely a black girl who rocks! Check out the rest over on ESSENCE.
Mama, I’m Grown: Trying To Understand Our Complicated Relationships With Our Parents As Young Adults
As children, we leaned on our parents, absorbing everything that they had to offer without apology. We depended on them for food, clothing, shelter and stability. And, in return, our parents received blind respect. For a long time, everything they said was law, there being undisputed inherent fact and truth in everything our parents uttered. Then, we started to grow up… and more often than not, we began to see the flaws in our parent’s logic and their insecurities; and their desperation and fearfulness became more transparent.
As these changes occur, and self-realization is actualized, a ‘tug-of-war’ ensues. The independent personality that’s developing challenges our parent’s perception of who we are as their child, because they don’t want to acknowledge who we’re becoming as growing individuals. And the failure to recognize that metamorphosis causes a strain on the relationship between, one that will undoubtedly worsen as we become more defiant and independent and our parent becomes more controlling and/or judgmental. We decide as teenagers and young adults that the decisions and choices that we’d like to make are unique, and should be made freely, and without the regard or permission of our parents. And, our parents, who have made similar strides in their lives, are anxious to project our failures and successes based on their own, often finding themselves wanting to dictate and hover over our decisions because they don’t want us to make the same mistakes that they’ve made.
The struggle between powerlessness and power is an inherent part of the parent-child dynamic, because it’s several people fighting over the direction of one life –and what makes it a fight, as opposed to a negotiation are feelings of entitlement. Parents feel that they have a say over our future because they’ve invested our lives, and financially and physically nurtured us. Less grateful for parent’s support, we see any attempt to direct us as a hasty attempt to manage us or stifle us.
The trouble with our parent’s hands in our lives is that as we grow, those hands have a less deserving place as a controlling hold on our lives, both physically and metaphorically. And, part of that growth is relieving our parents of responsibility. Some of our parent’s confusion over the power they hold over us is based on the fact that many of us still financially lean on parents –and within recent years, many of us have returned home after college. The issue with that is while using our parent’s funds and abusing their hospitality –as we did when we were children, we still express the desire to be treated like adults (stay out as late as we want, do whatever, whenever, even though we’re still coming home to our parents). But the blunt fact is that we can’t demand the benefits of adulthood, if we’re still behaving like children.
The only clear resolution to the parent/child problem is to find a place of understanding. Parents have to take a step down from their high horses, and children have to move out of a place of arrogance to discuss expectations and goals. Getting to a place where communication is possible may not resolve all of the issues that reside within the parent and (adult) child relationship, but it generates the possibility that both parties can explain their positions and help their relationship grow.
Name the classic black TV shows and the usual suspects always get named: “Cosby Show,” “Martin,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Living Single,” “In Living Color,” and so on and so forth. But we all know that the ’90s and early ’00s were the golden age for great black sitcoms, and while the ones already named got all the shine, a flurry of awesome ones deserved just as much love and notoriety for their hilarity, realness and for being just plain ‘ol good TV. Here are nine of our favorites that could have used some more love (and views), and feel free to name your own underrated joints. Be prepared to click. *winks*
Who else can remember getting their two-step on at the daddy-daughter dance?
Me neither. Getting my jig on to “Everybody/Backstreet’s Back” with my pops wasn’t really my thing. However, as the child of a father who spent more time slaving for the Chicago Public School system than he did showing up for basketball games, volleyball games and after-school activities, I relished the time I got to eat lunch with my dad and feel special during “Take Your Daughter To Work Day.” Plus, it was time out of school! Being that my dad always worked so hard, this school allowed quality time together was the beez-neez back in the day.
So maybe that’s why I was a little sad to hear that a School District in Rhode Island had banished the concept of all daddy/daughter, mother/son activities. Why? Because a single mother complained to school officials (the American Civil Liberties Union) that her child felt and was being left out of daddy-daughter dance activities because she doesn’t have a father or even father figure in her life. Feeling some sort of pressure, the superintendent of the Cranston, Rhode Island school district, Judith Lundsten, decided to ban all parent-child activities, with the ACLU even following up to say that such activities were actually a form of gender discrimination. Say wha? The ACLU statement, which we obtained through CNN, was released saying the following:
“The school district recognized that in the 21st Century, public schools have no business fostering the notion that girls prefer to go to formal dances while boys prefer baseball games. This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ activities and is contrary to federal law.”
Parents seemed to have a mix of opinions on this decision, with some, as you’ll see in the WPRI video below, seeing it as a “travesty” and others thinking that as times have changed, activities like this do need to change as well–or be done away with.
Talk about a sticky situation. I can somewhat understand what the ACLU is trying to say, but to ban ALL parent-child activities seems like a horrible idea to me. Why not make the dances shindigs for both moms and dads, as well as sons and daughters? Why not keep the baseball games and not make it gender specific? To ban it all seems like an overreaction, one that will put unnecessary heat on a parent who sounds like they just wanted everyone to be included in such specialized events, and punish mothers and fathers who want to partake in these activities. I think we all know that in this day and age, having events like this while kids are young, even if it’s something the school forces, helps more than it hurts, and it’s definitely needed in a time where people seem to be losing control and grasp of their children (see all the youngsters gangbanging in the Chi) and teen mothers have become common. Shoooooooot, we need as much daddy-daughter, mother-son time together as we can get, and if school officials can just make it a parent-child dance, baseball game, or take your child to work event, even better. But to cancel it all? What’s up with that?
What do you think? Should they have canceled all parent-child activities? Was the mother wrong for speaking out or was the school district tripping?
Photos courtesy of Black Celeb Kids
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As I made my way down the street today,with a lot on my mind as I headed to a doctor’s appointment, I found myself stopped at one of the many lights that separate me from my train station. While waiting, thinking that I should have checked the weather before I hit the streets in tight black jeans, I heard a mother say the following to one of the two children she was trying to give orders to. I guess he might have been calling himself having an attitude:
“Unfold your damn arms! I don’t know why the f**k you be actin’ like yo a** don’t know how to listen.”
…When I was young, most parents didn’t embarrass their children like that when at home, let alone curse them out like they stole something on the streets. They might put a finger in your face or put some bass in their voice in public, but you got yourself together just in time before they let you know you were going to get tore up when you both got home. In fact, my mother could make me feel just as guilty and bad by simply giving me the “Girl, you had better stop unless you want to see my belt when we get home” face or letting me know that she was truly disappointed in my behavior. But these days, people are talking uglier to their kids, referring to them as even uglier names and just can’t discipline them without calling them something you can find in Urban rather than Webster’s Dictionary.
Not only was this woman’s statement to the little boy embarrassing as people watched him get berated on the street, but it was unnecessarily harsh. I know that children can often be a hardheaded pain, but it always makes me cringe when I hear an adult curse like a sailor at a child who will most likely soak in that language and use it on someone else; Whether that be a classmate or a teacher who gets called everything but a child of God because they tried to keep them in check. People underestimate how much their outbursts or explicit conversations with other adults around their children can influence the language kids use with others. And sadly, using strong and unacceptable language to address children has become all too common.
Need another example? Well, just a few days ago, as I walked with a friend back to her place post-church, I heard a young mother talking to her friend while pushing around her son in a stroller. Out of nowhere, instead of calling him by the name she gave him, she chose to say, “Yeah, that little n***a tryna walk already.” As I watched my friend’s face turn up, I asked her, “Did she just call that little boy a “n***a”? She had, and after the fact, she laughed about it and went on with her day with her friend. I’m sure as the day went on she probably called him a lot more than that.
I don’t know about you, but it seems as though if folks aren’t cursing out their kids like Mo’Nique in Precious, they’re referring to them as everything from little “n***as” to “muthaf****s” and more. And they’re clearly doing it everywhere too: on the streets, in the stores (grocery AND retail), at the parks and at restaurants. A few are older parents, but many I find cursing up a storm are young parents, ones barely out of high school, maybe a few years into college who don’t seem enthusiastic about the responsibility that’s become a constant in their lives. I often wonder if these parents are the same ones who we hear about holding their babies under scalding water because they cried too much and too long, and starving them because they resent them. These stories get people’s blood boiling and remind folks of why not EVERY woman is fit to have children. I guess it’s a testament to the fact that if people aren’t ready to handle their responsibilities, and only find themselves yelling rather than talking to their kids, they might want to rethink their sexual activities and doing what’s putting them in these positions in the first place.
Maybe I’m being too judgmental, but I can’t see how cursing a child does them any kind of real good. All I know is that patience is wearing thin and the results are hurt and confused faces like the little boy I watched on the street today. And if you were wondering, after his mother’s rant, he looked like someone told him that he wasn’t and was never going to be anything. I’m not saying she was is a bad parent, but that behavior would probably rip her out of the running for “Mother of the Year.” Nowadays, both parents and kids are having the tantrums, and it seems as though it’s the parent who could use a time out…
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This post only applies to single mothers who were never married and find themselves on an emotional rollercoaster with the father of their child or children. It is intended to be the swift kick in the behind your family and friends have been trying to give you for the better for months—maybe even years.
Most women do not plan or desire to hold the baby-mama title. But, with a 73 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate, nearly three-fourths of black mothers fit the mold. That makes the handling of “baby-daddies” a real issue in our community. Sex is generally an emotional act for women and those emotions are often magnified during pregnancy and continue into motherhood. And what is a hormonally complicated time becomes more emotionally complex when the situation gets real—he’s with other women, he’s too busy to visit more than a few times a month, he’s maybe even hoping you might go for an abortion–the list goes on.
Angry, confused, desperate—some single mothers entertain foolishness that only ends up eating away at their self-worth and esteem in the end.
So to save yourself (or a friend) from further heartache and/or catching a case, here are eight of the biggest mistakes to avoid:
For as long as many of us can remember, we have seen the black women in our families work. Some scrubbing the toilets of other families, while others labored long, stressful office hours. Before it was the only way; most women had no choice. Becoming a homemaker-breadwinner hybrid, or superwoman, was the only option.
Thank God for giving us the strength and endurance to be more than we could ever imagine.
While white women used the feminist movement and education to get out of the home, black women have been searching for ways to stay inside. In our community it is a luxury to stay at home, an opportunity few black families can afford—whether it’s for lack of finances or a second parent.
Furthermore, there is also an underlying notion that being a housewife somehow diminishes one’s value, a belief that modern homemakers (particularly suburbanistas) are lazily wasting away their talents and academic achievements. It’s the place where traditional (or white) feminism and black womanhood conflict. But the rise of “mommy bloggers” and mompreneurs, such as Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price (who scheduled business hours around her family), are proof that there are benefits to being “kept,” and stay-at-homes moms are indeed utilizing their assets. Oftentimes, in more ways than they once did in the workplace.
Still, the decision to stay home is an internal struggle, as our hearts and minds pull us in different directions. Naturally, we want to be there for our children; we want to be present for every first and “complain” about the perils of carpooling. But, in the back of our minds, we also feel as if we will lose our independence in doing so.
I’ve been a stay-at-home mother for nearly three years and, in the beginning, my journey was one of isolation and confusion. Although most would attribute that to the percentage of unmarried black women, that was not the case at all, having the benefit of growing up with a stay-at-home mom, for me, this sort of self-sacrifice is normal if not ideal. Nevertheless, I also pride myself in being a smart, ambitious woman. So, when other women would give me that look in conversations or say things like, “But, you’re so smart,” I questioned my decision. In fact, at one point, I started interviewing again—thinking that was the way to be all-woman. And, during those interviews I realized I could never leave my children to help make someone else rich. It was also during that time I began to understand the window of opportunity I had. My decision to stay at home ultimately gave way for me to pursue my dreams; it was liberating. Now, as an entrepreneur, I have the best of both worlds. My three-year-old is reading and work revolves around my schedule.
So, if you’ve been considering trading in your corner office for a cozy place in the kitchen, remember there is great freedom in being the Mommy-in-Chief, and you may actually find yourself in a place of greater independence.
LaShaun Williams is a Madame Noire contributor and columnist whose work has appeared in the New York Times and across several popular sites, such as HuffPost Black Voices and the Grio. Follow her on Twitter @itsmelashaun and Facebook.
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