Monthly Archives: February 2018

Yet Another One

A couple years ago, the conversation in my household was about how to teach my little big boy to interact with the police. At the time, unarmed men and women of color were being shot and killed on a regular basis and I fought with what to say to my son, if anything.

This year, the conversation has circled back around to school shootings. In our country, there have been close to 300 school shootings or incidents where someone has brought a gun to school in the past few years. My son is in third grade and since he entered kindergarten, he has had regular lock down drills where he and his classmates have had to lock themselves in a classroom or a closet.

In my day, we had fire drills but never experienced a fire.

There are so many discussions floating around about school safety, gun control laws, and student protests. But as a parent my concern is always how to broach this subject with my son.

I try to shelter him from most things but this time I told him exactly what happened at a high school in Florida. I told him how important those school drills are and how he needs to follow directions. When he gets older, the conversation will turn to keeping his eyes open for suspicious behavior and not being afraid to report what he sees or hears to someone who can help.

I recently joined a panel of mothers on our local news to discuss our children’s safety in schools. Check out the clip here:

http://www.wusa9.com/mobile/video/news/parents-discuss-school-shootings-with-their-kids/65-8018005

 

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Mommy Revelations

During a book club meeting, I received some much needed revelations as it relates to my babies.

The book of the month featured an Indian young lady with parents who were extremely involved in all areas of her life. The question posed to our group was, “As parents, do we sometimes push our own dreams on our children?”

When I thought about it, I realized that what I’m pushing on my babies isn’t a dream; instead, I’m pushing expectations on them because of my own fears.

With my little big boy, I find myself constantly in “teacher” mode. “Remember not to do this.” “You shouldn’t do that.” “You know better than that.”

I always have a fear of using my words more to instruct than to show love and encouragement. Teaching is part of my job as a parent and I know and embrace that. They say all the time that a parent is a child’s first teacher and I have never taken that role lightly. But sometimes, I get carried away and see every interaction with my son as a lesson to be learned or reiterated.

I realize that I focus so much on this because I am worried. I know that as a Black male, there are going to be strikes against him automatically. And I feel like it is up to me to make sure that he has a fair shot in everything he does while also making sure he is well equipped with information and knowledge.

It’s a slippery slope but I know that easing up on him, even just a little bit, will go a long way in his development and in our relationship.

Then there is my little lady. She spends so much time in her own world of imagination, and singing, and dancing, and Disney Jr. I worry sometimes that she is simply existing with other kids and not actually interacting with them. They call that “parallel play.”

I’m not with her when she goes to school but I often ask the teachers about how she plays with the other children. They admit that they often have to coax her to out of a corner to join everyone else on the mat.

I worry because, should this behavior continue, some doctor will be quick to label her with a social or mental dysfunction or disorder. I went through that roller coaster with her brother and I don’t think I would survive it a second time.

Mind you, she’s a 3-year-old.

But I am putting that pressure on myself to make sure she’s well rounded and well adjusted.

Bottom line: I NEED TO CHILL OUT and let my babies be who they are supposed to be.

 

 

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See and Embrace the Vision

I was fortunate enough to meet with some of my fellow mommies to create a vision board for 2018. Though I have done this before, this was my first time actually taking the finished product and displaying it in my home. As I type this, it is directly in my eyesight where I pass it every day.

A vision board is an extended version of a to-do list. While a to-do list normally covers goals to be accomplished in a 24-hour period, a vision board can cover a long stretch of time. Vision boards can be created by cutting out pictures or phrases from magazines or by drawing images on a poster board. The images can represent your goals or desires for the next month, quarter, year, etc.

For my board, I made myself and my lifestyle the focus. I haven’t been completely happy for a few months and I know it’s all due to me living inside my own head and worrying about things I cannot control. I know that changing my mindset will require daily action on my part and that’s why hanging my vision board in plain sight was important for me.

Here is a breakdown of some of what my vision board entails:

WORDS/PHRASES:

  • “No Thanks” to remind me that it is okay to say no sometimes. I cannot spend my life trying to be a people pleaser.
  • “On A Mission” to remind me to stay focused on projects and plans I have already started.
  • “Go You” to remind me to be my own biggest fan and to never stop believing in myself.
  • “Treat Yourself Better” to remind me to do those small things that are necessary for my physical, mental, and emotional well being. I want to be more physically active, stop thinking negatively, and discourage myself from getting too overwhelmed.
  • “Red Hot” because I desire more passion in all areas of my life.

PICTURES:

  • Hangars to remind me not to get hung up on things that are not important.
  • A watch to remind me to take my time and not allow my time to be wasted by anyone or anything.
  • A smiley face to remind me to smile and take the time to be happy at least once a day.
  • A bed to remind me to get more rest at night.
  • Some purple wings so I can remember to take the chance to fly and soar by not talking myself out of anything.
  • And a pair of red painted lips because sometimes I get so stuck in mommy mode, that I forget I was a woman first. I want to get back to doing those little things that make me feel womanly and pretty.

What would be on your vision board?

 

 

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