All Articles Tagged "parents"
Parents with kids know all too well how easy it is for your privacy and “adult time” to go out the window. As much as you love your little ones, sometimes you want a night to yourself — that doesn’t include changing diapers, bottles and dealing with attitudes. Here are some ways parents can get back to dating, even when a babysitter, family member, or friend isn’t available.
Over the weekend, tons of images of baby Future and Russell Wilson hugging at a training camp sparked an Internet-wide debate about Ciara’s decision to have her new man around her son. But Wilson isn’t the first guy to date a famous woman with kids and want to play poppa. Was it too soon for these celebs to take over daddy duty or is it a good thing?
I kept it hush, but I did it. I didn’t tell many people, because I knew certain circles of friends wouldn’t understand. Others would have jokes. Even women, would suggest I was less than a man. But, quiet as kept…I did it on the low-low. Last year, I spent over six months as a vegetarian.
Through the years, I have lightly explored bouts as a veggie head, primarily for weight loss. However, as I have moved forward in life, I have found that this life as a part-time vegetarian actually works for me. I am at my lightest weight in years. I managed to crank out a half marathon last year and I am far more active than ever. Granted, this is a different time in my life and good health is a priority over all. So, perhaps I could get similar results eating more meat. I just didn’t.
However, what is more important is that I take the kid on this journey with me. Here I will outline my reasons for doing so and perhaps you will ponder it more. These reasons are not that of a doctor so please consult one or a nutritionist when really delving deep into vegetarianism.
1) General Good Health.
I know I’m not a doctor, but I don’t have to be to know this: vegetables are good for you. Duh! Generally, we just don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. There is a general practice that I have in my house, there have to be at least 2-3 brightly colored items on our plate at night, if we happen to have meat. You can get any nutrient from vegetables that you can get from meat. This is one of the mistakes I made earlier in my exploration, but last year I got help getting my total diet together.
2) Instill Good Health
I know this sounds like the first one, but its not. I intend to fully instill the proper way to eat to my daughter now so that she keeps that forever in life. What I mean its, its not good enough to just put it on the plate. You have to explain to them why eating veggies is important to their lives. I share with her the dramatic health ailments that some of my friends and associates have had in their 30’s and 40’s. It may not be solely meat related, but it certainly is junk and lifestyle related. I let her know, if she starts and maintains this healthy life, she can have a great quality of life. Once, upon a time, I thought Hamburger Helper was a good, home-cooked meal. My parent didn’t feed me garbage growing up. I just didn’t know.
3) Meat – Gotta Rethink It
I realize now one of the reasons I ate meat a lot of the time. It just got me full and kept me full for a longer time. Also, you could get meat for shockingly cheap prices – that $2 for two cheeseburger deal was the bomb! And I was broke. There is another side to this and it lies in high cholesterol levels, hormone-injected meat, antibiotics, other toxins and no fiber whatsoever. Meat actually contains more pesticides than fruits and vegetables, one study said. Also, meat simply stays in the system far too long. It takes a lot of energy to process. A year and a half ago, ate a giant jalapeño burger in New York City and the ‘itis was so bad, I called it a day. It was the last time I ate beef. My daughter has cheerfully joined me on this journey. Her mother recently told me that she goes to her home and even shares some of the things we cook at my house.
One of my favorite rappers, KRS-One planted the earliest seeds of vegetarianism. Shout out to him and his song “Beef” from 1990.
4) Vegetables and Fruits Taste Great!
I stopped having junk food in the house. I openly admit, I don’t have the will power and neither does my daughter. I recently tried to have cookies in the house as the occasional treat for her. I looked up there high in the cabinet and saw there were way less cookies than before. She had been sneak-eating! I left her the following note for when she goes for another stealing session!
Huxtable quips aside, I have learned that vegetables taste really good and even better when you add the proper spices. Add some legumes, quinoa, brown rice or fresh-cut potatoes and you won’t have any issue have a full-filling meal. I admit, it takes a bit more time and planning, but it is well worth it. I don’t want to discount fruits – I love them way more than fruits.
5) I Want To Stay Around
My daughter and I have a great time together and I’d like to keep it that way. I am the product of a father that left the Earth in his mid-40’s. I am acutely aware of my mortality at all times and my health as well. It is my intention to say around, strong and healthy as long as I can – primarily for my daughter. Heck, I want to stay around for myself too, but I just know that it is necessary to help guide your children even when they are grown. She’s do the same for her kids and so on and so on. This has to be a movement.
I just finished a month as a vegan. Let me tell you…that was not easy for me at all. Its like vegetarianism on steroids! However, I will continue to delve deeper into living healthy, as we all should do. Right now, I am a mere pseudo, part-time vegetarian that is weighing out the options. After my month of veganism, I had some great hot wings during the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. I’m back now though. For me, its not necessarily about rigid vegetarianism. It is about sharing the full breadth of options to my daughter. The food our kids ingest is very different that the food of old even the fruits and veggies. (About 70% of all that stuff is genetically modified!) It just isn’t good enough to ignore the obesity rates in kids, which is about 1 in 3 here in America. Understand, this is a war over mind and body. It doesn’t sound pleasant, but it will be when you’re child is running the same way at 40 when she/he was 14. Now, that’s a vision for the future.
When I was in high school, I swore that the dress code existed for the sheer purpose of making my life miserable; that and gym class. How was I supposed to attract the senior boys without strapless shirts and short skirts? My glowing personality?!
As a parent I find myself defending the school’s policies — both the reasonable and the somewhat ridiculous– explaining to my children that they do have a purpose, and taking every opportunity to remind them that they go to school to learn, not for a fashion show; a line that’s completely lost on them. (I’ve apparently failed them in the Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff department.)
However much of a nuisance dress codes may be to the students who have to abide by them and the administrators who have to enforce them, they’ve long been an important part of both public and private educational systems. And now, a school board member in Broward County, Florida, is taking things to another level, pushing for a different kind of school dress code for parents, arguing, “If we’re going to train little boys and little girls to dress appropriately at school–no sagging pants, no hair curlers, no short shorts–parents should follow the same rules.”
To that I say: Thank you!
Not that I’m completely for the whole thing. A formal dress code for adults and parents may be going a bit too far, and realistically it would be pretty difficult to enforce, but I at least applaud someone for actually standing up and saying something about it.
Yes, teachers and administrators have a lot more to be concerned about when it comes to educating our children… I’d much rather have them mulling over ways to boost literacy rates and keep our schools safe than how to regulate what I’m wearing when I drop my kids off in the morning. But is this something that the school should even have to address? Shouldn’t we, as parents, already know better?
I get it– somewhat. With four kids, most mornings it’s hard enough getting them together, let alone make myself look at least halfway decent (emphasis on “halfway”) before stepping out the door. Have I been guilty of wearing my nightgown on the occasional drop-off when we’re running late (which is more often than I’d like to admit)? Um…yes. But in my defense, it’s tucked into my pants and I always throw a coat or long cardigan on over it so no one can see it. I try to keep it classy; as classy as you can be wearing sleepwear outdoors.
I’ve also seen some unique attire worn by other parents, sometimes downright offensive…yoga pants with no underwear, anyone?
I don’t do it because I’m trying to spare my children the embarrassment. (Some mornings I’m tempted to do just the opposite.) I do it because I respect myself and the institution enough to try to look like I give a damn when I’m there.
Is it really too much to ask that other parents do the same?
Should family always stick together no matter what? These celebrity parents and kids who just don’t get along say that sometimes family ties just have to be broken.
We thought we knew all about these A-list stars. We bet you can’t name all of the celebrities with gay parents either!
“It has been and still is a hard time for many…but today we turn the page.” – Barack Obama
Lets just keep it real, it has been a hard, long, bumpy road for President Barack Obama. Last night’s State of the Union address underscored the massive conundrum that POTUS still faces as he manages everything from world affairs, the economy, The resistant Republican Party, and a country on seemingly the verge of Civil War.
Parents face a quandary as well, and the president addressed those concerns in his speech.
He asked, “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well, or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”
The answer is one that each and every family, parent, and child will have to answer on their own. From an African American perspective, there must be less and less tolerance for mediocrity and more focus on economic development within our own communities. The truth is, there is no “everyone” and far too many folks have drunk on the Kool-Aid of complacency for far too long. We have failed to give our kids the straight facts in an effort to shield them from the coarse American reality.
The President also tossed out a few cliches like: “This country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” If that’s the case then the nation has never really operated at its best. As we move forward, we are going to have to be real about what is going on in places like Ferguson and move forward accordingly with your kids. Some have taken drastic measures like Lawrence Otis Graham, who monitors heavily what types of clothing his boys wear (Read: Police Brutality: Is It Time For A Black Boy Dress Code?”. Perhaps we look closer at what we let into our kids’ impressionable minds (Read: Is Empire A Good Representation Of Black Family Life? ) and bodies (Read:Wendy’s Fast Food Takes A Healthier Route). Or maybe, just maybe…we have a bit more patience for those that need more patience (Read: Who Failed Bobby Shmurda?). We have to care, people.
Like it or not, we have to do better and while police brutality is a scourge the nation must address collectively, the Black Community is going to have to come to terms with our inner Civil War. Far too many of us are looking at the president for solutions when the answers to many of our issues can only come from local activity. Again, the poor was unmentioned so we must become a village again.
Obama has the nation looking and feeling a bit better and that is a good thing. His approval rating is at 50 percent, a remarkable feat in these times of strife. He boasted about insurance rates, employment rates, a booming economy, reduction in combat mission overseas and other advances. When my big body vehicle filled up after only $41.00 I tweeted the president. So, when President Obama says the state of the union is strong, he’s not lying. The fact remains, the union he speaks of doesn’t address myriad of discrepancies that our children face.
Still, parents have a many matters to consider if the state of our families is to continue to be bigger, better and stronger.
“We are a strong tight knit family that has made it through some hard times.” – Barack Obama
There are more hard times to come, but the vigilant are already prepared.
These celebrities have lots of kids.
We all met DMX’s estranged son on his infamous episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life. But did you know that DMX has a total of eight kids? And if you ask some of DMX’s former lovers, the number is closer to 13…
It seems like every time I come home, I find some fundamental difference between myself and my parents. In the past, these differences would have bothered me, gravely disturbed me even. But I’m trying to grow and understand that people I love don’t always have to agree with me. I can’t lie though, these drastic differences in the way we see the world do catch me off guard sometimes.
This year, my sister and I shared with my mother that we wanted to purchase grills for the bottom row of our teeth. Nothing permanent just something to slip on when we go out or when we’re trying to stunt. Personally, I’ve always liked the “trillness” a grill can add to your mouth. And even more than that, I understand that Black folks have a special relationship with gold that goes back at least a millennium. Kanye said it best, “It’s in a black person’s soul to rock that gold.” Honestly, a very large part of me views the wearing of gold, in any place, as a link to our African ancestors.
I had a suspicion that my mother wouldn’t feel the same way, even though my grandmother, her mother, wore a gold crown on her tooth. But I didn’t know she would take it so seriously.
At first when we told her about it, smirking at her disgust toward the idea, I didn’t think she was so affected. It wasn’t until later, perhaps after she’d thought about it some more, and came back to discuss it, that I realized she was really in her feelings.
“…With these grills…what if you’re out and you’re talking to a man and he sees those things in your mouth and it turns him off?”
I told her then obviously he’s not the man for me.
She let it go, then.
Later though, when my cousin came over to visit she shared the news of our desire for golds with him and most likely asked him to try and dissuade us from purchasing them. He said he understood my mother’s point, that men might judge us unfairly for having them in our mouth. Again, I said that judgmental, uptight man wouldn’t be the type of man I’d be interested in speaking to, more less dating.
But now I was really shocked and surprised by her reaction. She was so against the golds that she had to solicit the help of my cousin? Once he left, my sister and mother went to the mall. My sister came back and told me she saw a kiosk where they made grills. And I asked her if she went over there to see how much they charged. She, within earshot of my mom, said she didn’t because she didn’t want to upset her.
In an attempt to be dramatic, I asked my mother why she was so hurt by this.
“I really am.”
“I just really think that some men will judge you unfairly and won’t want to associate with you because you’re wearing that in your mouth. It sends the wrong message.”
Here was this “man” again.
“Mom, I can’t live my life trying to please some hypothetical man.”
“Well, you all are going to do what you want to do so…”
I don’t know if my mother was using this “man” to try and scare us or what but it was actually having a very different affect. Instead it was making me question her.
This conversation just took a very odd turn. What did grills have to do with repulsing a man?
I’ve had hairstyles my parents hated–and they let me know that they hated them. And I’ve bought accessories and clothes that my parents hated or didn’t understand and let me know that they hated them. But never have either one of them ever made some type of comment about a hairstyle, outfit or an accessory turning a man I might meet, off. And that, more than her distaste for the grills, troubled me. It was just wasn’t on par with any of the other messages I’d received from her.
When we were growing up– and even as recent as this week–we were told, implicitly and explicitly, that our lives were about more than finding, getting and keeping a man. We were told to have our own, live and do what we want now, while we don’t have the responsibilities of properly loving a romantic partner or raising children.
We weren’t taught to make trivial or even major decisions with men in mind… not until we were married. And even then, some things he just won’t have a say over.
I can’t understand how the mere conversation about a removable mouth accessory would change all of that.
Perhaps my mom might have had a lapse in judgment. Or maybe now that we’re in marriage/childbirth years she thinks our philosophy should be a little bit less rigid. But my sister and I both agree, that’s just not going to happen. They taught us better than that.
So, I am training for the New York Marathon next year.
The reality of the matter is I have been training for the marathon for a few years now, building up my mental as well as my physical. The conditions are now optimal. To start, I am running a half-marathon later this month to start getting into marathon mode. This requires training at increased intensity. This also means taking my daughter along.
Yesterday, she and I embarked on an eight-mile run/bike ride. She, of course, rode the bike while I ran the lengthy route. I knew the length of the run/ride would be difficult for the both of us, as where we live has a reasonable amount of hills, but we set out to do it. And it turned out to be n opportunity to teach her about hard knocks.
Along the way, I definitely got frustrated. She was on the bike and I fully expected that she would actually push my pace forward especially down the hills. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. She kind of plodded along for the first four miles, like we were joy riding. Did I mention it was a wet, messy day on the East Coast? I was trying to finish up as soon as possible!
Unfortunately she still lagged behind. So we stopped and I shared a personal story about my father. My dad was a teacher and he cared deeply for his students. So, I told her about a particular kid that was crying as hard as I was during his funeral. I’ll never forget her or her face, and I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when it comes to that day. I explained to her that that student, a female, really took to my dad because he was fair, firm, funny and always encouraged her to do her very best. I also explained that he didn’t allow for lame excuses from her, nor did he permit disrespect, which was an issue at times with other educators. As a good teacher should, he made her “show and prove” she could achieve her goals.
I converse with my daughter a lot. I think there’s a different approach, because I find she limits herself, halting her own progress. So, we continue with the eight-mile run, which was tough on both of us. Every now and then something would pop up. She would need to put on her gloves. Or she’d need to used the bathroom. And, of course she got tired. When we hit mile number seven, I asked her if she wanted to stop and bail at a neighbor/friend’s house. And she tried to say, “Yes” and I cut her off, letting her know we’d finish this run/ride together – daddy/daughter style! I’d never run that far before and she never biked that far either.
I wanted her to see what she was capable of, made of. I didn’t want to tell her she can do it. I wanted her to savor this victory that she gave herself. Once we hit that eight-mile mark, we reached our goal and planned to ask my friend for a ride home. Then I flipped it and decided to just run it home and she joyously obliged riding her bike that extra mile. Our total trek was nine miles.
Kids these days, they don’t have enough victories. They don’t experience enough failure either, in my opinion. There’s no redemption and every encounter is lukewarm. Telling them that “life is hard,” or that they will see _______ (fill in the blank) one day just doesn’t work anymore. We have to create or offer up situations that give them “real world” experience that will serve them well at a later date. This could be–my daughter and I have had these situations, but not enough. And as she gets older, the responsibilities will increase (to her dismay).
After the run/bike ride, we both felt accomplished. I realized I can do this half marathon. And she crossed the finish line in her own personal race. At the night’s end, we wound up watching “The Amazing Spider-Man” and learning about spiders, lizards and the inner workings of New York’s sewer system.
See, training takes many different forms and life is the ultimate marathon.