Category Archives: Parenting

Joy and Pain


Our first experience with love starts at a very early age. It shapes our belief in it, or it makes us question everything about it. Our thoughts about love are being formed well before we even understand what true love really is. Our loved ones that mold our thoughts are not aware that they’re creating a generation of curses or blessings.

As we begin to experience love for ourselves, it usually starts out like a fairytale, but we never really come to understand why we pick the lovers we do, or why we react in certain circumstances until a few failed attempts, and we realize it might just be us subconsciously self-sabotaging, because of our limiting beliefs about love and what we do or don’t deserve. It takes time to look within, because it’s difficult to think that something or someone in our childhood could be responsible for our adult dysfunctions and relational behavior.

It’s a cycle of joy and pain, but it definitely teaches us more about who we are, and as we heal, it allows us to be the change that our future generations will benefit from. We’re taught that experience is a good teacher, and I couldn’t agree more, but I also believe that we don’t always have to experience everything first hand.

Terry D.

Are We Grooming Our Black Sons & Daughters For Marriage?


familyAs a culture,  we don’t groom our children for family and marriage. Just because marriage may not have worked out for you, or you never walked down the aisle, doesn’t mean you taint the views of marriage to your children. We should always want more for them, than we had/have.

Things we shouldn’t be saying to them:
1. All men are dogs (Lack of Trust)
2. Make sure you get paid first (Soft Prostitution)
3. Women will use you (Lack of trust)
4. You’re a player, don’t get trapped by one woman (Womanizer)
5. Keep her in her place (Promotes abuse)

Our habits, good or bad, are mimicked  by our offsprings, and if they see us as women, disrespecting the man in the house, it teaches our daughters not to respect her husband,  and our sons to either be doormats or even abusive, because of resentment.  We don’t like to use the word roles, until it applies to the heavy lifting responsibilities,  like certain chores or finances.  I like being a lady, I like feeling safe, I like handing over certain things to him, I like him walking on the outside  of me, opening my door. See that’s his “Role.”  Yes, there is a surge of single parents, so it becomes second nature to just do things for yourself.   It’s not a sign of weakness, if you relinquish carrying  out the garbage, or changing a lock.  It does take some getting used to.  These are all the dysfunctional behaviors we subconsciously  teach ourselves and our children, and before you know it, your daughter is saying, “I don’t need a man to take care of me.”  In all reality, it feels good to have the option, but when all you’ve seen is Mama doing it for herself, it just seems natural to adopt the same feelings.  I talk a lot about generational curses, because it’s the very thing that is tearing the black family apart.

Groom your son for marriage. Don’t teach him to be a player, by telling him at the age of 2, that he’s a pimp, he will be a heart breaker and all the girls are going to love him.  Planting seeds of womanizing is dangerous.  If you’re a man who likes  a lot of women,  and you flaunt this in front of both your daughter and son, she will think it’s okay for a man to cheat, and your son will admire your slick ways, and soon mirror them.

Ladies, please stop bringing every Tom, Dick and Harry around your children.  Especially  your daughter.  We can teach our daughters to respect themselves, by how we dress and how we conduct ourselves. Stop looking for a man to pay you for sex. Yes, I said it, because it’s nothing short of hoeing yourself out.  Do you wonder why your daughter is now giving it up for a $25 fill in?  She felt obligated,  because it’s what she’s been taught.

Be the change agent and role model for your children.  Teach them to respect the opposite sex.  talk to them straight up about sex and respecting not only their bodies, but others as well.  They need to know that NO means NO.  Abstinence is not “The SIN!”

The not so funny piece to the puzzle is, when we see our children behaving in disrespectful ways like us,  we are now angry and ready to beat them down.  When the truth is,  they learned it from YOU!

Dysfunctional behaviors are created well before they’re teens, and will follow them into their adult lives.  It’s easy to create them, but like hell to break and redirect. We do have the power to instill positive and strong influence within them.  We have to take our families back!

Terry D.

The Love We Lost


No, life is not the same, and yes, life is more complicated now, and there are way more variables that are in play now, but let’s talk about the foundations that were not negotiable, when our parents dated, the ones they hoped to pass onto us, and how they held their marriages together, in spite of…

None of these  lessons start when you’re grown.  These values are put into motion early.  If we want change, if we want the divorce rate to decrease, and the marriage rate to increase  among African-Americans, we have to be the change agents!

seedThe Foundation – They Took Us To Church

All of us knew that Sunday morning was reserved for church.  For that matter, a few more days of the week as well.  Even if we didn’t want to be there, we went, participated, and the seed was being planted and rooted, but somehow along the way, we began giving our children a choice, as we attended service on Sunday, as they stayed home and slept.  Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

The Parents Were Involvedfamily

You couldn’t just pick up a young lady, by blowing the horn, and before you started leaving the house together, there definitely had to be several supervised dates at the house.  They did things together with the family, so that everyone could get to know the character of this young man.  If he didn’t seem to have her best interest at heart, it wouldn’t be long before he was no longer allowed to come around, and even if the daughter was hurt, she respected her parents, because she knew there were consequences.

daddydaughterThe Father Made It Crystal Clear of What was NOT Going to Happen, While Someone Dated His Daughter. 

When a young lady brought home a young man for her parents to meet, the father and the brothers made sure he saw them, and let their presence be known, and the unconditional love they had for her.  Just in case he wanted to disrespect her, by calling her names, put his hands on her or step out-of-pocket for any reason, he knew he would have someone to answer to.  We have to be unapologetic in teaching equal respect to not only our daughters, but also our sons.  It will be reluctantly acknowledged, mimicked and appreciated later.

They Taught Us About Love, Through Actiongrowingold

We may have seen them fight, but we also saw them work through it, and honor their vows. When things got a bit thick, that’s when the foundation helped, because that ‘s when you saw/heard Mama praying.  They loved us enough to discipline us, when we were wrong.  The main component to their love, was that they didn’t fight for power, they shared.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Sometimes, just the basics may be not be enough, but God has always been enough, and that is where the love begins.  You have to put the work in, because our children really do imitate our actions.  It means something to attend church with your parents, It means something to see functional relationships as  a child, it means something to know that love begins at home and it definitely means a whole hell of a lot, when you can use these same tools to keep that foundation together.  

IMAGES CREDIT:  GOOGLE

I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences.  Please leave your comments below!

Terry D.

America’s View on African-American Relationships


We’re upset at the fact that mainstream networks view us as negative vs. positive when it comes to portraying  African-American relationships on television; and are afraid to feature an African-American male http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines/46907/first-black-bachelor-announced/ or female on ABC’s The Bachelor, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bachelor_(season_16) and even more upset that their views on African-American relationships are almost non-existent or incapable of true love.  Although America has personally witnessed successful African-American couples for themselves, the cable networks paint a different picture; but what’s even more disturbing is the fact that we play these degrading roles that depict African-Americans in dysfunctional relationships, being angry, cheaters, money-chasers, ballers, rowdy, blinged out, attention seeking characters.  Until we stop being the #1 viewers and participants of these shows, the airwaves will continue being inundated with these type of shows.  We have allowed these shows to become the blueprint for our relationship behavioral actions.  There are some who can separate the two, but some can’t and don’t care to.  We can’t be upset for others labeling us, when we insist on living up to stereotypes.

We use the excuse that drama sells, but we also watched The Cosby Show, and they weren’t cursing one another out, or pulling out hair and glamorizing unethical behavior.  Is it more so that we just enjoy animalistic behavior, because that’s all we think we are?  There are shows out there that actually prove our capability of civil behavior in relationships, like Reed between the Lines, but you never see this trending on the Social Networks, because there’s not enough ignorance… Here’s a show that carries so many positive tones; how to deal with conflict resolution without anger, blended families, a couple that actually loves one another, and doesn’t have to be at each other’s throat all the time; but for some reason just like the rest of America, we join in on the myth that this isn’t the norm for us.  In reality, we do have more and more blended families, and need to learn how to live in them, if not in perfect harmony, at least with humility.

I saw disagreements among my parents growing up, but I also saw the love as well.  It’s up to us, which we decide to act upon.  We can’t keep hiding behind the excuse that this is the way we show our love.  Why accept defeat?  We’ve taken it so far as to think that we have to be okay with the negative connotations attached to our culture.  What happened to releasing the shackles and breaking the generational curses?

People can only do to you, what you allow!  NO, none of us are perfect, but we can’t continue to blame others for things that we accept!

-Terry D.

Love and Single Parenting


Our relationships we develop with our children can determine the relationships they not only build with their own children, but with their significant others.  http://www.naturalchild.org/sidney_craig/feelings.html

I know we are adults, and proclaim the right to our own decision-making when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex, but it is our parental duty to make sure we are providing our children with the best possible examples and the necessary tools to be productive adults that carry a heart of love and not resentment.  While we can’t predict whether they will make sound decisions or not, we have fulfilled our God-given duty to Train them up.  Proverbs 22:6 There are fine lines that exist when you are involved in romantic relationships as parents.  If you plan on spending a significant amount of time with someone, you have to be assured that they are a good fit for you, as well as your children. 

An unhealthy relationship can be an emotional benefactor in the way he/she will view and behave in the relationships they develop.  http://www.bizymoms.com/parenting/relationship-with-opposite-sex.htmlOur

  • Having sex with them in the next room:  If you think your children don’t know what’s going on, you are sadly mistaken.  If it’s your choice to have sex in your home, please make sure your children aren’t home.  Closing the door and telling him/her to be quiet is not a choice.  We can’t expect to flaunt open sexual relationships in front of our children and then expect them not to explore their own sexual curiosities, or tell them to wait until they’re married, if we’re not leading by example.
  • Ignoring them for our New found Love:  New love can be a beautiful thing for us, but a nightmare for our children, who now feel left out.  There has to be a balance between the two, and your new love has to understand. You can’t allow your relationship with him/her to interfere with your children, nor can you make them feel like they’re not included in your activities with the two of you. 

Our consciousness of healthy relationships have to be raised to higher standards, because our decisions have a domino effect.  Our children are observing and absorbing our unhealthy behaviors…

-Terry D.

Raise Your Son to Love Early


As single moms, we have to do better at teaching our sons to love, and that crying does not make him weak.  We shouldn’t want to raise our sons to be the men we don’t want to date or marry.  I’ve found that as single parents, we try to overcompensate for the lack, inadvertently becoming enablers.  We don’t correct them if they have multiple girlfriends, we wait on them hand and foot and we don’t teach them to clean or cook because we want them to grow up and be manly men.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, and she was telling me about how her son had his own apartment, but when he wants to cheat, he brings his other girlfriends to her house.  I was stunned as she told me this story as she laughed saying, “Girls are so stupid.”  As my mouth hung open, I thought to myself, are you the stupid one, and is she serious?  Not only is she teaching him to be disrespectful to women, but did she ever stop to think, she would never want a man to treat her in this manner, nor would she want someone to treat her daughter like that.    I’m sure we’ve all had similar conversations with our girlfriends, and they’re joking and saying, “Girl he is a trip.”  He has more women that I can keep up with, or we’ve been that mom uttering those same words ourselves.  I’m sorry, but I don’t see the humor in this. Double standards can sometimes send the wrong message.  As “Modern Day” moms, we accept any and everything, and we try to be our children’s friend and not their parent.  It’s also in the way we conduct ourselves as single women in relationships.  If we are flaunting multiple men in front of them like we’re running an escort service, we are essentially teaching them that it’s okay to be disrespectful to women, because that’s what mama did.

I think we take for granted that they just know better, but that’s not always the case.  I was having a conversation with a family member of mine (early 20’s) and explaining to him, how it wasn’t cool to lead women on.  His interpretation was that it was okay for him to go out with multiple women if he wasn’t having sex with them all.  He asked, “What’s the big deal?”  If they don’t mind, why should I?” 

When my siblings and I were growing up, my mom didn’t tolerate disrespectful behavior toward women from my brothers.  If they had a girlfriend, she was the only one allowed in our home.  She made it clear to them that her home was not a motel, and if that’s how they were going to conduct themselves, they wouldn’t do it around her.    

We teach our boys not to hit women, we teach them not to initiate fights, how to read and write and all the essentials they need to grow to be productive adults, so why is it so difficult to teach them to respect women?

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

 -Terry D.