All Articles Tagged "Parenting"
It’s amazing the way God orchestrates things. I say God, some of y’all might call it “the universe” or attribute it to the laws of attraction. Whatever you call it, sometimes, through a series of seemingly unrelated events, the things we need to see, hear or experience, land right at our feet.
Last year, we told you about the incredible opportunity the people at Walt Disney World, Steve Harvey, and Essence Magazine provide for high school students called the Disney Dreamers Academy. A weekend long event, the Disney Dreamers Academy hosts high school students who attend workshops in their field of interest, engage with celebrity and motivational speakers and network. The weekend is meant to inspire them to nourish their talents and ferociously pursue the dreams they have for themselves.
It’s all about the kids. But there’s another piece of the puzzle. Each child comes to Disney with a chaperone, typically one of their parents. And yesterday, while the children were off enjoying free time in one of the theme parks, Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Prep, spoke specifically to the parents about their dreams.
He told the parents that in many of the essays they had to submit in order to be accepted into the program, their children wrote about them. Whether they detailed their struggles or described them as an inspiration, or both, he said, “the children wear your issues.”
Perry acknowledged that most good parents have doubts about the way they’re raising their children. He admitted that even as a principal of a school, dealing with other people’s children for a living, raising his own sons can still present a challenge. But he told the parents that despite their faults, they were doing something right and it was evidenced by the fact that their children had been chosen to participate in this program. He asked, “Those circumstances that you passed on to the next generation, did you imagine that they would be this?” In other words, the darkest moments in the parents’ lives ultimately afforded their children an opportunity of a lifetime. He told the parents, “You’re here because you taught your child to turn tragedy into triumph.”
I hope my paraphrasing of his words do the moment justice. It was powerful and I don’t even have kids yet. After he said it, I scanned the room to see if the other parents were as moved as I was and that’s when I noticed a woman silently crying, wiping away the heavy tears that were streaming down her face. Once Dr. Perry had finished speaking, I went up to her and introduced myself. She told me her name: Jamilah. I asked her why she was so moved by Perry’s words.
She said, “My daughter, so far, is having a very powerful experience here. She was interviewed by Mr. Harvey on his radio show this morning, they’re following her with cameras, a lot’s happening for her. A big part of her essay that she submitted was discussing one of the most challenging experiences that she felt she’s gone through in her life, which was a really difficult thing in my life and some things that I had to overcome…”
I interrupted her to ask if she’d mind sharing some of those challenges.
What she said floored me.
From Mommy Noire
It seems like every new app or social network is for the kids, but grown-ups have a reason to get excited about Chatwala. The recently launched app, available on iOS and Google Play, lets you make a video, send it to someone, and then see their reaction.
Chatwala picks up where Instagram and Vine videos leave off. You can post a video of your baby doing something adorable but likes don’t show how happy aunties are to see your little one take her first steps. Let’s say daddy’s at work and he’s missing the sweetest thing your little one did. You can send him a video with Chatwala and watch his face light up, rather than him just texting back “LOL! Cute!”
Read more about Chatwala at MommyNoire.com
My ex boyfriend and I were together for 8 and a half years before we got engaged. We were living in a foreign country at the time and he lost his visa and had to return home. Soon after he left I found out I was pregnant and it was such a joy. But whilst I stayed abroad, I began to notice changes in our conversations. I thought he was frustrated that he couldn’t be there for me at the time. I went through the pregnancy on my own with two very close girlfriends by my side. To cut a long story short, my daughter’s father miraculously returned just a day after her birth. We were still on great terms. He always promised that everything would workout. About a month later, I learned that he also fathered a child with his so-called friend and she and I were in the same city. I left him and returned home. He married the other woman. Fast-forward five years later: He]’s now divorced and asking me to get married and relocate with my daughter. I worked hard to keep our relationship cordial, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to give our family a chance, and most of all, give our daughter a family with both her parents in it. However, there are other people now involved and a big part of his life. How do I make a choice for my daughter and I?
Read Dr. Sherry’s response at Essence.com
Last week Wendy Williams broke down during a taping of her daytime talk show over her strained relationship with her son, Kevin Jr. According to Wendy, Kevin Jr. no longer likes her and is very much into his father right now.
“What I discovered this weekend is my son doesn’t like me anymore.” Wendy tearfully told her audience.
She later explained during an appearance on “The View” that she and “little” Kev have been bumping heads because he hasn’t been listening to her.
“If I ask you to do something once, you do it then. Barbara, I don’t play that.”
Now she’s further clarifying her relationship with Kev in an interview with Life & Style.
“I’m trying to discipline my son,” Wendy said. “I don’t want to be his friend — I am his mother, and I am the boss.”
Wendy went on to say that she will never allow her son to disrespect her.
“I will not get lost in the pool of disrespect that I see coming from kids his age. He will not curse at me and he will never, ever roll his eyes!”
“I’m going to raise my voice whenever it’s warranted,” continued. “There’s no guarantee he’ll turn out right — but I’m doing what I think is right as his mom.”
While they may be experiencing a little rough patch, it’s obvious that Kevin Jr. loves his mom.
“He made me a beautiful card and gave it to me the next day.”
A couple of days ago we told you that TV host Wendy Williams got pretty emotional during a recent taping of her show as she discussed Madonna’s close relationship with her 13-year-old son, Rocco.
“Rocco is 13 years old and Rocco is a real fan of his mother,” Wendy said before making her emotional confession. “What I discovered this weekend is my son doesn’t like me anymore.”
Wendy went on to reveal that her son, Kevin Jr., has been very fond of his father these days, which often times leaves her feeling like the odd parent out. During a recent appearance on “The View,” Wendy further discussed her strained relationship with “little” Kev, which seems to be pretty temporary and the result of a phase that some teenage boys go through.
“First of all, I was on bed rest to have Kevin. I kept suffering 5-month miscarriages. And he never gave me morning sickness. As a baby he never cried. It’s almost like her knew that I struggled to have him. So I know that 13 and probably the next 5-8 years, according to how I remember me acting, he will be like this. His gravitation towards his father is a natural thing. They both have an affection for sneakers, fast cars…”
Wendy went on to say that she recently found that she constantly has to repeat herself when talking to Kevin because he doesn’t listen to her.
“For about the last year, it has been, ‘Kevin stop leaving tooth paste chunks in the sink’. You tell ‘em that once, you tell ‘em that three times.”
Of course, this is not uncommon behavior for a teenager. But when Barbara Walters suggested that, Wendy made it clear that she’s not going for it.
“If I ask you to do something once, you do it then. Barbara, I don’t play that.”
Wendy also shared that when Kevin saw her tearful breakdown, he reassured that he still loves her very much.
“He was off from school and he came down to my dressing room and was like, ‘Mommy, no I love you. You are so cool.’ I was trying to disrobe and he was like, ‘No, I can’t leave the room. I need to say this to you now so you understand.’”
“He made me a card after this happened. This ’5 Things I Love About Mom.’”
Aw, we’re glad that they patched that up!
Watch the full episode here.
‘I’m Co-Parenting With Somebody Who Got Engaged When I Was 5 Months Pregnant:’ Ebony Editor Speaks On Single Motherhood
Ebony’s digital news and lifestyle editor, Jamliah Lemieux, admits that she never wanted to be a single mother.
“I had an informal list of things I wanted to accomplish before becoming a mother,” she told Mater Mea. “I really wanted to purge myself of all my selfishness, travel the world and be married.”
But as fate would have it, things didn’t quite work out that way. During a tumultuous ending of a two-year relationship, she found out that she was pregnant with her first child.
“At the time I was incredibly in love with this person who was no longer in love with me,” Jamilah says. “There was a lot of shame because I was going into single motherhood — it wasn’t that I was in a relationship that ended during the pregnancy, or right after the pregnancy, or two years later.”
“I always thought being a single mother was the absolute last thing in the world that I would ever, ever, ever want to be.”
After doing a little soul searching, Jamilah decided to follow through with her pregnancy. However, 5 months in, her ex proposed to another woman. She later gave birth to her daughter, Naima Freedom Lemieux-Giles.
“I’m co-parenting with somebody who got engaged to another woman that he started dating the week we conceived, got engaged to when I was five months pregnant, and married when we had a 2 month old.”
Though the co-parenting situation is not ideal between Jamliah and Naima’s dad, she admits that in the end, it’s all worth it.
“We’re both committed to raising a strong and healthy girl,” Lemieux says. “I’m very happy that she has a great relationship with her dad. I may hate the man, but I don’t hate the dad.”
“I am not OK with the situation, but if I have to sacrifice my personal comfort for the sake of my child and her relationship with her father, then that’s something I will do gladly.”
All in all, Jamliah admits that she’s happy that she decided to follow through with her pregnancy
“This child in this moment is supposed to be here. I’m lucky that for the situation that we have, I got the child that I needed.”
“Being a single parent, in a lot of ways, requires a level of self-sacrifice that I did not want to make. I see a lot of women who I feel had to live for their children and sacrifice everything, and it just seemed that there’s nothing left for them. I have a mother who pretty much gave up her life in a lot of ways — her pursuits and some of the things she wanted to do personally and professionally — to just become a mom. That’s not to say that’s not enough and it can’t be fulfilling, but it’s not what I want for myself and it’s not the sort of relationship I want to have with my daughter. I think that she’ll be happy that we’ll get to experience a lot of cool things together — and if I do have other children in the future the same goes for them — because I haven’t put the brakes on everything that makes me me just to be a mom.”
What are your thoughts on Jamliah’s story?
I am a 24 year’s old and the mother of 1-year-old twins boys and a six month old son. I have a full time job and I go to school online too. My ex and I were together for four years and now we are just co-parenting. I admit our relationship was unhealthy. We argued, made up and then argued and made up again. At times I even felt unsafe around him. He used to grab me, pull me and corner me. He threatened me many times, even when I was eight months pregnant with my third child. I got out of that relationship with the help and support of my mother.
Now, 10 months later, he calls every once in a while to tell me how he is going to counseling and trying to change his ways. For the first time in 10 months he actually bought food for our sons. I do everything and I did everything when we were together even when he lost his job and I was pregnant. Now I’m slowly moving on, but for some reason I am still thinking of him and feeling bad because I know he is in a bad place and I’m struggling to get my head right for me.
I met a guy I work with who makes me feel like a real woman. He takes me to dinners and makes me laugh and it seems like he could actually providea great future if thing headed that way. The thing is, I’m nervous because I am not ready to commit and somehow I feel like I should be with my sons’ father.
I don’t know what to do or how to move on. I don’t even know if I should move on. I believe because of the kids I feel like I should still try to make it work, especially if he’s making new effort, but then again, I know going back can be the biggest mistake. I’m not sure he will change. How do I get my head right for my family’s sake?
A Young Mother
Read what Dr. Sherry had to say on Essence.com
We’ve all heard and read about the number of celebrities who have adopted their children from across the United States and beyond, including Viola Davis, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, and Charlize Theron, but what about celebrities who themselves were adopted? Here are 14 celebrities who were adopted and have gone on to find plenty of success and love.
An unidentified woman admits there were signs that her husband was a sex addict. They married only a few months after dating, and both were in the sex-all-the-time mode. Because of this, she ignored what would eventually become a real drag: No intimacy. Only sex.
From a too-much-sex, not-enough-intimacy point of view, this perspective is not as rare as one might think.
As reported by Ree, “The (Ree)lationship Guide” and according to an iDateDaily.com article, the woman explains how she and her now-ex-husband enjoyed the excitement of sεx in the initial stages of their relationship, but as their fast-paced relationship continued to develop — they dated and married in the same year — it became evident to her that the man she married was attempting to “own” her body.
“My ex-husband truly believed he owned my body and that I was in the wrong if I ever denied him access,” the unidentified writer wrote. ”When I wouldn’t give in to his advances because I was friggin’ tired from taking care of little kids, or not feeling well, or just because I didn’t feel like it right then, he would coldly turn his back on me and heave deep sighs of put-upon-ness, and I would cry myself to sleep because I just wanted to feel loved without having to have sεx,” the unidentified woman wrote.
Read more at EurWeb.com
For some couples, the decision to have children is something that was decided well before marriage. But for many couples, choosing whether or not to have children can be one of their most daunting issues. Because this decisions is irreversible, it’s one that can’t be taken lightly.
Sometimes the argument for parenthood is obvious: parenthood can be infinitely rewarding on many levels. There is no bond like that between a parent and child. Having children can also create a special bond between you and your partner as co-parents and may ultimately lead to the incomparable joy of having grandchildren later on.
At the same time, raising a child is an enormous task and its intensity cannot truly be imagined until experienced. Parenting means an incredible energetic, emotional, and financial commitment. Every aspect of life changes when parenting and this new life will account for much of your time. It may even define you!
Exploring the question of whether or not to have children can bring your deepest values, joys and fears to the surface. Start the conversation well before you plan to start your family to make sure you two are on the same page. Here are four of the most important considerations to talk through with your partner.
1. It can’t be about your friends.
The decision of whether or not to have a child needs to be made solely by you and your partner. Yet the pressure from others can cloud your thinking. Just because others around you are starting families doesn’t mean it’s the right time for you. Don’t let the desire to maintain your friendships by ensuring you are in similar lifestyles be a factor in making the best decision for you and your partner. Ask yourselves, “Why do we really want children?”
It’s also not your parents’ decision. Many couples feel pressured by their parents who want grandchildren. Your parents may want grandchildren and be disappointed if they don’t have them, but they’re not entitled to grandchildren. Conceiving out of guilt is not going to serve anyone in the long run. Ask yourselves, “Are we ready to make parenting our top priority? If so, what sacrifices are we specifically ready and willing to make?”
Read more about family planning at YourTango.com