Tag: Parents

READERS: Question of the Day – Were You Born That Way?

Are bad people made or born?

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Parents It Is YOUR Fault If Your Children Are Bullies

Bullying has been around since the beginning of time. Michael Phelps was bullied because of his ears, Tyra Banks because of her head and Eva Mendes because of her teeth. Even Jesus Christ was bullied before He was crucified. My dad tells me stories about the kids in his neighborhood getting bullied because they had less than what other kids had (and that was back in the day), and I remember seeing other children getting bullied when I was in elementary school because they were smaller than everyone else. Back in my day (the nineties) when kids bullied you, you stood up to them by either fighting back or going to tell the teachers. Sure, there were some kids that retaliated in much harsher ways, like gathering up their “posse” or jumping you afterschool but for the most part no real damage was done & our parents never found out about it. Kids certainly didn’t lose much sleep over it all and I don’t remember any kids skipping classes, changing schools, or committing suicide because they were being taunted.

But times have changed. Children are being bullied left & right and unfortunately it’s causing some children to commit suicide. Children bully for many reasons, but the result is the same – it can be very hurtful & cause irreversible emotional damage. So when children take their own life because of someone else’s influence, I think it’s time that the government step in and make the parents responsible.

Think about it – If a child kills someone while operating their parent’s car, the parents can be held responsible. If a child kills someone while using their parent’s gun, the parents can be held responsible? A few years ago many states passed legislation that holds parents responsible for their children’s truancy. If a child engages in bullying (or cyberbullying), why shouldn’t the parents be held responsible? Parents need to watch their children – know the signs of bullying & know the signs of one who is being bullied.

Plenty of parents would probably contend that they can’t control their child’s actions, nor are they able to keep up with what their child is doing 24 hours a day/7 days a week. While that may be true, it doesn’t make you any less culpable. I think it is every parent’s responsibility to know where their children are & what their children are doing every moment of the day. Parents are usually all over this when their children are younger and more defenseless but as children get older parents tend to loosen the reigns a lot more, and in some cases, too much.

As a parent, you have the duty to guard your children’s against negative actions & poor behavioral choices. It is up to YOU to watch what they put in their body, as well as what they put in their minds. This includes parental locks on the television, restricted use on their cell phone and getting to know each & every one of their friends (and their parents too). I remember when I was younger I was not allowed to visit anyone’s house unless my mother had visited there first. My mother wanted to make sure that I was not hanging out in a home where someone was doing drugs or chain smoking cigarettes all day long. My mother wanted to meet any men in the house to be sure that I wouldn’t get molested and check for any household pets that may cause me harm. My mother reviewed my cell phone records to make sure I wasn’t talking on the phone too late or too long (actually my dad did that but my mom told him do it). My parents would periodically check in with my teachers to make sure I was showing up to class on time, not getting along with my classmates or talking too much during class. And that was in high school ya’ll! Yes, I was close to being grown and yes I was able to make decisions for myself, but they were under heavy scrutiny and supervision from my parents. Why can’t parents these days do the same thing? Parents, you are responsible for your child until they are 18 – not until junior high school, not until they get their drivers license, and not until they become a senior – but 18. Therefore, you are responsible for what they say, what they do, what they wear and even what they eat.

As you may have seen on the news, twelve year old Rebecca Sedwick from Florida recently committed suicide because of the bullying she encountered in school. Two girls were, aged 12 and 14, were arrested in connection with this suicide. The mother and father of the older girl went on national TV and defended their daughter — and themselves. They said they often checked their daughter’s social networking activity and don’t believe their daughter bullied Rebecca Sedwick to suicide, as authorities have charged. The 14-year-old’s parents said their daughter would never write something like that and the girl’s Facebook account had been hacked.

Now in Rebecca’s case, she did talk to her mother about the bullying and even changed schools yet the tormenting continued online, authorities said. Rebecca decided she couldn’t take it anymore and jumped to her death at an abandoned concrete plant.

Authorities said about a year ago, the bullying began after the 14-year-old girl started dating Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend. The older girl threatened to fight Rebecca while they were sixth-graders at Crystal Lake Middle School and told her “to drink bleach and die,” the sheriff said. She also convinced the younger girl to bully Rebecca, even though they had been best friends. The two girls were charged as juveniles with third-degree felony aggravated stalking. The sheriff said even if they are convicted, they probably won’t spend time in juvenile detention because they don’t have a criminal history.

Right now, it would be considered controversial to hold parents liable for all of their children’s electronic communications, even if it means saving a child’s life. Even the most careful of parents who think they are monitoring their children’s use of cellphones and social media can miss some of what their kids are doing, but that doesn’t excuse them from doing so.

Here are some additional facts on bullying

  • Over half, about 56%, of all students have witnesses a bullying crime take place while at school.
  • A reported 15% of all students who don’t show up for school report it to being out of fear of being bullied while at school.
  • There are about 71% of students that report bullying as an on-going problem.
  • Along that same vein, about one out of every 10 students drops out or changes schools because of repeated bullying.
  • Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University
  • Currently, there are no federal laws that specifically apply to bullying. In some cases, when bullying is based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion, bullying overlaps with harassment and schools are legally obligated to address it

If you know of any young person who is been victimized by bullying, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help:

MakeBeatsNotBeatDowns.org

StopBullying.gov

HeyUgly.org

BullyPolice.org

TeensofAmerica.net

StatisticBrain.com

StopbBullyingNowFoundation.org

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Is It Any Of His Business What My Parents Do For A Living?

I have gone out with more than a few men who have asked me within the first few dates (or phone conversations) what my parents do for a living. I’m sure these men are trying to get to know me by learning about my background but how is finding out what line of work my parents chose getting to know ME any better? Is it to see whether or not my parents are educated, have money or if they have a specific personality? Quite frankly, I just don’t think that should matter to anyone I’m dating nor is it any of their business.

One of my ex-boyfriends asked me this question when we first started dating and I told him that my mother was a maid & my dad was a janitor (sarcastically, of course). When he didn’t respond, I asked him what difference did it make – they raised a daughter that he saw fit to be in a relationship with. He had nothing to say after that. I mean, I could understand if a man was about to meet my parents or if we were in an actual relationship at the time, but after 3-5 dates why would you need to ask me that? Just to make small talk? I hope a man can come up with better conversation than that.

There are plenty of people who think that asking a person what their parents do within the first few dates is important in getting to know them and that it speaks to how that person was raised. Doesn’t that sound a little “classist”? Or perhaps even a little judgmental? Think about it – if your father is a doctor and your mom is a lawyer would that mean you grew up like the Cosby’s? Your parents could be complete idiots and you could have been raised to be a complete idiot like them. If you are trying to get to know me, there are so many other ways to find out. You can ask me how I was raised, or you can even ask about my childhood memories.

Personally, I’m interested in men who have an outgoing personality, intellect and have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m interested in men who have high moral & ethical values and will be undyingly faithful to me. So what if his parents didn’t go to great schools or worked white collar jobs. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a strong work ethic or that they didn’t instill those values in him. Maybe certain opportunities weren’t there for his parents but they worked their fingers to the bone to make sure their son had an education. Does a person whose father drove a bus and whose mama cleaned houses for a living not deserve to be treated as well as someone whose father was a senator?  I know that some people will say, “No one said they don’t deserve to be treated well” but what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a bus drivers’ son versus a Senator’s son? Take a look at Michelle & Barack Obama. Their parents certainly didn’t have extraordinary jobs. Mrs. Obama father was a city water plant employee & President Obama’s mother was an anthropologist. And we see how they both turned out.

While it is true that a daughter of two professionals may be used to a certain lifestyle or certain values, it should be up to the man to find these things out. Maybe knowing what my parents do says a lot about what I’ve been exposed to and values that I may want to pass down. But what my parents do shouldn’t be a sole indicator nor is it something that needs to be discussed before getting to know me as an individual. I don’t ask what a man’s parents do unless we are dating seriously. My judgment does not need to be clouded based on the career choices of his parents. Conversely, he does not need to judge me based on what my parents do.

There are people that come from mediocre backgrounds that turn out great, and there are people from spectacular backgrounds who are no better than average. What exactly does knowing what my parents do tell you about how I was raised?  Absolutely nothing. In order to get to know me, a man needs to dig a whole lot deeper than that, and I just don’t think it should be a part of the early conversations in getting to know someone.

Someone shouldn’t miss out on a good person because of what their parents do. I just don’t see what difference that makes in the beginning of getting to know someone. Get to know me first, not my folks.

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The Wedding Day Is Her Day, So Is The Proposal His Day?

Everyone knows that the wedding day was designed for the woman. The groom doesn’t get much of the spotlight on that day since all he has to do is just show up & say “I Do.” The woman usually plans everything right down to the very last detail, and has every right to bask in her day.

The engagement is a time for both the future bride & groom to enjoy their last few months of “freedom” and prepare for their big day (which again, is really HER day). I think the engagement period is where the rubber meets the road – you get to see how each person really deals with finances, stress, and even meddling family members.

But the proposal is another story. That day is 100% on the groom-to-be. The proposal is such a big day, but do men really understand how huge it is? Well if not, let me break it down for you:

  • You should definitely get parental blessings first –  It is so important to start your engagement off on the right foot. Receiving the O.K. from your future in-laws is the best way to do that. You need to make sure that her immediate family is on one accord before you walk down the aisle. Out of respect you should seek the parent’s blessings (because you would want your daughter’s future fiancé to do it too) – particularly from her father – it’s just the manly thing to do. Most daughters hold their father in high esteem so don’t skip this step.
  • Check your timing – Men this is a big deal, believe it or not. You see, most women have an ideal time of year of when they want to get married. Some of us may want a winter wedding, but if you don’t propose until October, that will just push back the wedding to the following year since we certainly can’t plan a wedding on 1-2 months’ notice. What if I wanted a nice summer backyard wedding, but you don’t propose until April? Again, this doesn’t give me enough time to plan so the wedding won’t be until the following summer. I can do away with my dream summer wedding, but why should I? This is something that should come up in conversation while we’re dating. Please propose during the right time of year so that I have enough time to plan the wedding that I’ve always dreamt of.
  • Pick out the right ring – This goes without saying. Every woman wants to LOVE her engagement ring. So if you don‘t know what kind of ring she wants, ask her friends. Find out before you invest in something so significant so she doesn’t end up disappointed. One other thing, don’t get a ring that looks good to you right now. Remember, this ring has to last for decades to come so it’s usually best to go with something either very unique, or very classic. Either way, it should be something special to her.
  • Private vs. Public – Some women want all their friends & family to witness their engagement, whereas some prefer it to be a more private moment. Take me for example: I am an outgoing person & love to be around people (for the most part) but whenever my significant other proposes to me I prefer it to be just the 2 of us in an intimate setting. However, based on my personality one might not have guessed that. Don’t make assumptions based on her personality; it’s important to know which type of proposal your woman prefers.
  • Make it a repeatable story – Men, make the proposal a story to remember! I am under the impression sometimes that men forget we women have to tell our proposal story over & over & over. All of our girlfriends, family members and even some wedding vendors are going to ask how we got engaged. This is a story that could even be told to our future children & grandchildren. We want a good story to tell these people so please make the proposal either very exciting or very romantic! Be creative! Plus, it just makes you look bad if the proposal isn’t memorable.

So, good luck men! Our wedding day depends on you getting the proposal right!!

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{Please click on this photo & see the best engagement ever recorded!   I still weep every time I see this video}

Single Mother’s Should NOT Be Celebrated on Father’s Day

There is a long standing disagreement over whether or not single mothers should be celebrated on Father’s Day. I am of the belief that Father’s Day is for MEN ONLY. Aside from the fact that a woman can never be a man let alone replace one, there are some very logical reasons as to why mothers should leave this day for the men. Let’s break down why:

Celebrating mothers on a day that is meant for fathers marginalizes the role of fatherhood. It’s disrespectful for a woman to accept recognition for something that is meant for a man, even if she thinks she’s doing the duty of a man. Besides, recognizing your mother on Father’s Day can’t fill the void of not having an actual father figure, so why bother?  Or is becoming a father so easy that you don’t even have to be a man anymore? Are we trying to change the definition of father to exclude the part where you have to be biologically male? If so, then we need to re-examine the roles and perhaps even do away with one of them. Because if a woman thinks she can do a man’s job then maybe Father’s aren’t really needed after all.

There are so many people that rave about being raised by a single mother & how much their mother had to sacrifice with not having a father figure to help them out. I won’t touch on how she got into that predicament in the first place because that’ll be another posting. But honestly, how great of a job can a single mother do if all of the statistics prove that there are many more benefits to being raised in a two-parent household? These stats would be null & void if a single mother could effectively be both a good mother & father. There are just too many women who say they don’t need a man to raise a child. Would you want to be with a man who said that he didn’t need a woman to raise a child? I know I wouldn’t.

So, the question remains: what business is it of mine if someone wants to celebrate their mom this coming Sunday? The answer is simple: our actions always affect other people. Sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. This country is already capitalizing on “the plight of a single mother” – there are Hallmark cards, websites (www.happyfathersdaymom.com as an example) and before you know it someone will be petitioning to change the name of the holiday to something like “Happy Person Who Raised Me” Day. All it takes is 1 person to plant the seed that something is okay when it really shouldn’t be. Don’t believe me? Just ask Osama bin Laden.

If you have an outstanding mother that raised you singlehandedly then just do it big on Mother’s Day and leave Father’s Day for the men. If you are a single mother, then be an exceptional mother but don’t try to be a father too. Respect the role of a real man.

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How Can You Spend Quality Time With Your Children When You Have So Many Of Them?

I was talking to a friend who was telling me about one of her girlfriends who had married a man that had about 6 children (I say about 6 children because I couldn’t remember the exactly number). They had one child together before getting married but between their one child together and all of his own children their house was always full. I asked my friend why on earth her friend would marry someone who had 6 children already and her explanation was fairly simple: Although it sounded like a lot of stepchildren (and it is), it never really posed a problem because most of them were grown or lived somewhere else.

Apparently, her friend married someone in his late 40’s (she’s in her early thirties) that started having children in his teenage years. Four of his six children were over the age of 18 and already out of the house (and off of child support). Although he does have a lot of children he was only financially responsible for two of them. I mean most American households have only 2 children, so the question arose – how can you take care of your children when you have so many?

Let me state up front that I think money is only a single factor in taking care of children. Sure, it allows you to hire a nanny or provide material things for your children but having money doesn’t buy you more quality time with your children when you have a lot of them.

Take for example Jim & Michelle Duggar who have 19 children. Although they are reportedly living debt free and have the financial means to care for all of their children, there just aren’t enough hours in the day for 2 parents to be devoted to 19 different children. Even with their “buddy system” of an older child caring for a younger child, the mother & father should be responsible for raising all of their children.

Another example would be Ms. Nadya Suleman who has 14 children, with no husband and no real job. Aside from being broke, she has to hire multiple nannies just to keep all of her children in line. And to that I say, “Your Honor, I rest my case”.

Children need more than the love of their parents and they need more than their parents money. Children need quality time with their parents.

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