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Whenever women congregate, the conversation may easily turn toward endless tales of “no-good men.” You know, the liars, cheats and heart breakers. Chances are, you’ve dated, been in love with, or even married a man before realizing he was of the “no-good” variety, without considering how he got that way.

Society’s unspoken secret is that parents influence your habits, tendencies and relationships, for better or worse. No one’s perfect, including mom and dad. The most many can hope for is that your parent’s imperfections balance each other out so neither screws you up too much.

Far too many boys in black communities are being raised by single mothers, which throws the whole balancing act off. It also puts all the child-rearing on moms shoulders. Many of the lessons children learn from parents are informal and so subtle that you can teach plenty of bad lessons without even trying.

Fast forward a couple decades and your sweet little boy is the grown man women love to complain about. Clearly, grown people are responsible for their own actions, but it’s a lot harder to make better decisions when you’ve been weaned on no-good habits since birth.

Parenting is a challenging job, with far too few displays of recognition or positive guidance. But no one wants to raise a child who causes heartbreak and suffering to others.

If you can identify with any of the following, stop, think about your goals for your child, then take action.

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