All Articles Tagged "raising kids"
Dear Single Sistahs,
I am writing this letter to all of you who are singly mothers by choice, by force, by divorce, or by other circumstances. I am writing this letter to all of my Single Parent Sistahs to encourage you to be the best mother and parent you can be to your child or children. I’m writing this letter to encourage you to be your child’s parent, particularly be your child’s mother because as the first woman in your child’s life, you set the tone for how he, she or they will view, treat and react towards women. You set the tone for how your child will view women because you are the first example of a woman he/she will see and know.
For my Single Parent Sistahs who are mothers of daughters, you set the tone for the way your daughter will dress, the way she will speak, the way she will carry herself, the way she will maintain a household, and especially the way she will conduct herself in relationships with men. Not only do you set the tone for the way she will speak, dress, conduct herself, and maintain a household but you set the tone in the way your daughter will view herself as a woman as the first woman in her life. For my Single Parent Sistahs who are mothers of sons, you set the tone for the type of woman your son will bring home to you, the way your son will view women, the way your son will treat a woman, and the way he will conduct himself while in the presence of a woman. Not only do you set the tone for the way your son will view, treat and conduct himself in the midst of a woman, but you set the example of what a woman should be or should not be.
My Single Parent Sistahs, it is so important that we are positive role models for our children. I know many of you may be saying that you didn’t have that example of how to be a positive mother because your mother was not a positive example, but the truth of the matter is, whether or not your mother was the example you thought she should have been she was still an example.
My Single Parent Sistahs, I also encourage you to be a single mother who is not desperately searching for a father to help you raise your child. While I do agree that a man’s presence in the household is extremely valuable to a child’s well being, I don’t agree with the way many unmarried mother forget about the fact that they have a child to raise and have the tendency to focus more on having a man around rather than focusing on raising their child. Focus on being a good mother to your child, then a man of quality will take notice of your sincere actions with your child and admire you for being a good mother and the rest will follow.
Lastly my Single Parent Sistahs, I encourage you to see the beauty that is your child. Learn how to spend quality time with your child and enjoy it. Talk to your child daily (no matter how young or old they are) and not just when they’ve done something good or bad…just talk to them to see how their day went. Set some time aside daily to bond with your child, and see the blessing that they are, and if you don’t think your child/children are blessings from God just ask a woman who wants to have children but can’t. I know at times this journey can get very tiresome, trying and discouraging, but I urge you to hang in there. Not only do I urge you to hang in there for your child, but I also urge you to find balance in being a parent and also being you. This is something I often struggled with as a single mother. I would feel guilty for going out (not all night) while my child would be home with a sitter, but I soon learned that it was okay for me to go out and enjoy myself with friends. Finding that balance and taking time for myself made me love and appreciate being a mother more than ever. Why? Because when I was out, I knew I had a beautiful child to return home to, whether I had a good time or not. I also learned that I need time for myself to be a better me and to be the best mother I can be to my son. So as I close this letter to all of my Single Parent Sistahs, I wish you and your child/children the best on your journey in life. Remember, kids are a gift from God, and we should cherish every moment we have with them… no matter what.
Sincerely, Your Single Sistah,
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
by Marissa Ellis
One of the most emailed stories on The Wall Street Journal in the past few days has been “Billionaire Says Her Kids Aren’t Fit For Inheritance.” You can pretty much tease out the essence of the story just from the title, but for information’s sake, the article is about Australian mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, who herself inherited a “mining empire” from her father. As things usually go in the case of inheritance, the grandchildren (in this case, Gina’s children) were also left with ownership stakes in the business; however, Gina sought to block her children from their ownership stakes. Now, three of her four children are battling it out with her in a high stakes court case.
Why would a mother bar her children from an inheritance? In court papers, Rinehart said that “none of the plaintiffs (her children) has the requisite capacity or skill, nor the knowledge, experience, judgment or responsible work ethic to administer a trust in the nature of the trust in particular as part of the growing HPPL Group.” Basically, the kids who are all in their 20s and 30s, never even held jobs and have failed to act as responsible adults.
At first listen, it seems that Gina’s case stems from a good place – the sentiment being that she doesn’t want her children to be further corrupted by the spoils of money. But upon second thought, like many observers have pointed out, one has to wonder how Gina, who is said to be worth $17 billion, got to this point? Did she not raise her children to be the responsible adults she apparently wished them to become? If not, why is she now disciplining and condemning their spoiled ways in their adulthood?
One problem that wealthy people have is raising their kids to be humble and to have a work ethic. According to the Wall Street Journal, “most of today’s self-made rich didn’t grow up with money (surveys show 75% of millionaires didn’t inherit their wealth).” It’s funny that the qualities that many self-made millionaires (the public, celebrity ones at least) admire and extol about themselves are virtues that they pretty much discourage in their offspring. The MTV show My Super Sweet 16 provides a good example of wealthy parenting gone wrong for the most part. How is it that a child whose whims are catered to and whose lavish desires are instantly fulfilled is expected to have a balanced perspective on the world?
There’s really no way to half-A$$ it: Your kids are incompetent.
As I ease into life as a first-year teacher for an under-funded, shoddily-staffed, failing charter school on Chicago’s Far South Side, I’m learning the myriad ways in which young black children are being bred for failure – if not general insufficiency – in an economically crippled society that increasingly demands competition.
I could write a long thesis paper about the socioeconomic failures of our government and society when it comes to how we handle poor minorities. In this case, however, I’d rather focus on things that I think you, dear reader, can actually control:
Raise ‘em old school: It sounds prosaic when older people say that the new generation doesn’t have the respect that they had when they were kids. But dammit, it’s all the way true…mainly because parents are getting younger and younger. If grandma is 39 years old, how much can you reasonably expect from students who literally, unabashedly curse out their teachers? Since I can’t pop ‘em in the mouth like I’d like to at times, perhaps you should make them a bit more respectful. Just a thought.
Bathe them: I teach freshmen. By the end of seventh period every day, it’s a safe bet my classroom will smell less than stellar. I have certain students I can’t even stand next to. I was a grubby kid (and some might argue I can be a grubby adult at times), but I was at least acquainted with a bar of soap. Get them familiar just the same…do you really want your boy to grow to be a man without ever having a woman within a reasonable circumference of their person?
Help them with homework: I was not the class valedictorian, by any means. And though I had very educated parents, they didn’t ride me to study and perform well. But boy, I knew the value of getting my homework done. Too many of my kids look at me like I’m speaking Mandarin Chinese when I ask them to get homework in. So many are failing for that reason alone. Your average 14-year-old needs to be ushered into high school the right way, so do your best to help them with the basic algebra at home. And if you don’t remember it, pay your nerdy cousin with free sixers of MGD to tutor your kid.
Have frank sexual conversations: As of this writing, I’m dealing with a student who is now the rumored Amber Cole of the school because she got busted in the boy’s bathroom. Twice. Servicing two different boys. As can be expected, her name is buzzing around the school in a major way. Make sure you don’t have that daughter. If you have a son, give him the common sense and wherewithal to see that he is not the teenaged sire of a child destined to be one of the many students I have with no papa at home.
Teach them the true value of material items: It’s funny how many students I have who think that I’m paid because I wear an $80 pair of Cole Haan shoes and a nice leather motorcycle jacket. If only they knew. I went to school with a bunch of materialistic hood ferrets who valued Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica more than they did bread and water, so I know what misplaced priorities look like. Teach them that a brand name is just a reason to exponentially increase the price of a sweatshirt. The sartorially awkward geeky kids will thank you for it.
More on Madame Noire!
Just this week, I’ve received tons of emails from women desperately seeking relationship advice. Email after email, these women poured out their hearts. And though their stories varied, they all boiled down to one major commonality: all these women were asking how to deal with boyfriends that were liars, cheaters, and just basically trifling. I empathized as best I could, and explained that not all men are liars, cheaters, and opportunists. But for the ones that are, there is no working it out. Coming from personal experience, I advised these women cut all ties with their men for two major reasons: one, because these men will likely never change. And two, because you don’t want to be anywhere near them when karma strikes- and it will!
Sons who have fond childhood memories of their fathers are more likely to be emotionally stable in the face of day-to-day stresses, according to psychologists who studied hundreds of adults of all ages.
Psychology professor Melanie Mallers, PhD, of California State University-Fullerton presented the findings August 12 at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.