Urban Parenting Tips for Young Moms, Dads and Grandparents By Edye Deloch-Hughes

Archive for the ‘African American parenting’ Category

We’ve Moved. Check us out at Chicagonow.com!!!

Just in case you didn’t know, I accepted an invitation to write for ChicagoNow. I’m excited. Here is my new link: http://chicagonow.com/raising-hell-or-raise-them-well. If you would like to read previous posts, simply scroll down. BTW, don’t forget to  subscribe (or resubscribe)  and  “Like” my “Raising Hell or Raise Them Well” community page on Facebook.

Also visit my new blog, “Trending Over 40”  Trendingover40.com.  I explore social media, trends and how my over 40 and social-media challenged peers fit in. Any questions, write me at,  Trendingover40@gmail.com. Oh! please  “like” my Trending Over 40 Facebook page too!

Blessings,

Edye

Do like Michelle Obama: LET’S MOVE to end obesity (video)

Our first Lady Michelle Obama recently launched the Let’s Move program to combat the epidemic of obesity among children, adults and families.  Our kids are spending more time on the computer and playing video games than being physically active. Raise your kids well by encouraging  them to move. Enroll your children in sports or other activities in your community. If they’re stuck on video games, buy a Wii or XBox Kinect system which has awesome dance videos.  Get up and dance with your kids. We parents could stand to shake our groove things too.  Mrs. Obama has some smooth moves herself. Check her out!

How do you keep your kids (and yourself)  moving?

Does your son think sag means swag? Sagging pants outlawed in Florida schools.

Dear Edye,

I just read that Florida passed a bill outlawing sagging jeans in their schools. I, being a son and a father, feel that it is just a style. That people should wear whatever they want.  Women have more leniency in their clothing. They wear short skirts, no bra straps. no underwear, etc. But men have more restrictions. It’s just a style. I don’t choose to wear it. But I won’t outlaw others who want to.

Signed,

Dad Who Doesn’t Sag (Not by law, by choice)

Dear Dad,

Some people think the new Florida bill is a long time coming and should spread throughout the U.S.. Others like you,  think it’s a violation of a person’s rights; and that it targets young black males. Personally, I can’t stand the style.  The look originated in prisons when belts were forbidden for fear of suicide attempts. It spread into the streets.  I also heard that it was a sexual invitation to other men.

Bill passes prohibiting sagging pants in Florida schools

Am I glad such a law exists? Hesitantly, I say yes, because of the blatantly negative and vulgar image it gives. One young black male said to me, “I think the Florida law is good. Nobody should wear sagging pants because it’s tacky.” The goal is to create an environment of learning and readiness, which this dress style does not convey.  On the other hand, Florida’s anti-sagging bill could open the door for restrictions that may infringe on other rights.

We as parents should not let the law do what we should be doing at home. We should be teaching values, pride and respect. Lack of parental guidance and moral upbringing is, in my opinion, raising hell.  Because of the lack of training, some of us parents allow our sons and daughters to sink into the abyss of indecency. It’s reflected in how they dress and conduct themselves in public. Even some parents need to check what messages they send by how they dress and act.

Somehow, we have accepted this “do what you feel” philosophy into our culture as normal. Speaking of culture,  Hip hop has many cool points in my book, however this so-called “sag swag” ain’t one of them.  Let me also say, though many young African-American males sport the saggy pants style, there are whites and other nonblacks who wear it as well.

It will be interesting to see the response to Florida’s new bill. The NAACP and ACLU are against it  for the reasons I mentioned above. What do you think? Should sagging pants be against the law?

Here’s a video bonus “Pull Ya Pantz Up” rap

What do you do when your kid does the darndest thing?

Dear Parents,

My grandson did the darndest thing…

His mom didn’t beat him senseless. But she did let him know the importance of letting Mommy help him wash his hair. What would you have done if your baby got into something he shouldn’t have?

I was put to the test just the other day as I was writing this post. My grandson got into my bathroom and sprayed Windex everywhere. Then he poured Spongebob bubble bath on my tub. He wanted to clean the bathroom.  I followed Jayden’s mommy’s lead.  And said to him next time we can clean the bathroom together. He helped me wipe away the mess, which he was happy to do. Moms and grandmothers can learn from each other.

Kid’s are natural explorers, all the reason to keep a super watchful eye out for our little buggers. I didn’t childproof my bathroom cabinet. My bad.  I will be buying safety latches pronto. If you’ve got little ones in the home, I suggest you do the same. Also make sure you childproof your electrical sockets with outlet covers. There are companies, e.g.  OneStepAhead.com, that sell a host of childproofing gadgets.

We also need to let our kids know what they can and can not touch. Some parents remove all valuable or breakable objects out of reach of children. What I did was take my kids around to look at the items. I let them touch them and say, “Pretty, pretty…” That took away most of their curiosity.  Then I told my kids  that this was the items’  home, so let’s leave them alone. For the most part that worked. But kids will have their “cookie jar moments”. We can correct them without yelling or beating our kids senseless. And it helps to see the humor in things like Jayden’s mom did. That’s raising them well.

Got anger issues?

Dear Edye,

I admit, I have anger issues. If I have a bad day at work or an argument with somebody, I tend to take it out on my kids. When they act up, I blow up. And now I see my anger rubbing off on them. I saw on TV a mother  shot her teenage kids dead because they talked back to her.  I’m not that bad, but that got me thinking about myself. How do I control my anger better?

Mad Mama, Forest Park, IL

Dear Mad Mama,

Give yourself a pat on the back for recognizing your problem and addressing it. That’s half the problem solved, In the wake of the recent murders of two teenagers by their Mother, I think it’s important to deal with the subject of anger. However, that mother’s horrendous act went beyond anger, which is something I’m not qualified to address.  But  I can talk about anger, because we all deal with it  – some of us parents handle it better than others. It is not wrong to get angry.  But when it consumes you, there’s a problem. I always told my kids growing up, if you lose control, you lose your power. That applies to parents too.

Listen to this 911 call from an enraged mom. Is she raising hell?  (Listener discretion advised)

Here are some anger management tips to help you keep your power:

Address past unresolved hurts:

Where did this anger come from? Past disappointments? Childhood abuse? Molestations? Rejection? Abandonment? Be honest with yourself. Your kids may be paying for the hurt and abuse you suffered as a child.  How do you start the healing process? For many, prayer is a good first step. To seek guidance beyond yourself, is a form of admittance, and desire for healing. It can be a stepping stone to going toward that next step: seeking professional help. It is wise to talk to an objective party whether it’s a therapist, your clergy or a counselor. Be wary of well meaning friends and relatives. Their advice could make matters worse.  If you don’t know where to find professional help, talk to the school counselor for resources (Click here for resources). Heal your hurts before you end up harming your children.

Ask yourself, is it that deep?

Some of us snap at the littlest things. Is that you? Do you carry a short fuse? Do you keep your children on blast?  If so, it’s time to chill.  Put the situation in perspective. Ask yourself, are your kids’ antics really anger worthy? There’s the small stuff, the irritating nuisances such as accidentally spilling Kool-Aid on the floor. And there’s the big stuff, where harm is done to self, others or property. Reprogram yourself to not sweat the small stuff. With the big stuff, you still need to respond with reason.

Admit that you’re angry

Holding anger in or denying your feelings makes matters worse. It’s like plaque build-up. If you don’t take care of it, your teeth will rot. Anger build-up rots your spirit. It cause you to explode. Who gets caught in the blast? Your kids.

Think before you act

Become self-aware.  Consider what you’re about to say and do. Assess the situation. Was it an accident? Did your kids mean any harm? Did it hurt anybody? Was it really that big of a deal or just annoying?  Try not to overreact. Pause a second and take a deep breath. Is it small stuff or big stuff? Once you’ve assessed the situation, respond. Keep your voice calm. Don’t curse the kids out. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Don’t shoot now, ask questions later. Take it easy. Counting to 10 is always a good strategy. Don’t hit out of anger.

Know the difference between harmful anger and helpful anger

Dr. Sears, renown  family wellness educator, says “Healthy anger compels you to fix the problem, first because you’re not going to let your child’s behavior go uncorrected, and second because you don’t like how the child’s misbehavior bothers you. This is helpful anger.” Harmful anger is when you don’t use it to fix the cause. You just react in it. My friend found out her 12 year old  son was ditching school. She was understandably livid. At first she wanted to beat him down then ship his butt to Mississippi to live with his Daddy. But she used her anger to fix the problem. By talking it out instead of beating it out,  she found out her son was being bullied at school. He was afraid to go to class. Because she controlled her anger, she discovered the real problem and handled it appropriately.

Look out for anger triggers

In this hustle and bustle called Life, we are bombarded by many challenges.  Add your high demanding kids on top of that, and you can blow a fuse. Recognize what sets you off. Overworked? Lost your job? Tangled in a difficult relationship? When big issues are compounded by little annoyances it can push you to the breaking point and your kids will likely become the unfair target. Apologize. Tell them you love them and that it’s not their fault. Tell them you will do better. Then do better.

Don’t be hard on yourself

Learn from your mistakes. Let it motivate you to respond better in the future. Your kids learn from you. How you handle your anger will determine how they will handle their own.

The Great American Beatdown.

Check out this video of an Uncle’s response to his nephew faking gangbangin’ on Facebook. Do you think  Uncle’s raisng hell or raising him well?  I welcome your comments and opinions.

Edye’s 5 Parenting Wisecracks

Dear Edye,

Do you have any new year’s resolutions for parents?

Dina K., St. Louis, MO

Dina, I don’t really have any resolutions, but I did come up with some quick random tips on how to raise your kids well that you can put into practice this new year. I call them Edye’s 5 Parenting Wisecracks. If you want to add to my wisecracks, please do. I also threw in a short video at the end about reading, raising kids, etc. that you may enjoy. Viewer discretion advised.

Here are my 5 Parenting Wisecracks:

1) Crack a book

Read to and with your kids.

If you can’t afford the bookstore, visit your public library. Not many things are free in this world, but a library card is. Books and videos are at your disposal at no cost to you – that’s the ultimate hook-up. Take your kids when they are young so they develop a love for books.

If your kids are older and find reading difficult (or you find it difficult too) get books with bigger type or  graphic novels. Some parents and educators may turn up their noses at comic and picture books. But I say do what you gotta do to spark interest.  Audio books are great too. Hey, whatever it takes.

I can’t emphasize this enough: Be active in their school. Know their teachers. Help them with their homework.

Make up books. Get some paper, pencil and crayons and allow your children to make their own storybooks.

For older kids, pick out a book you all like and read it together, then discuss it – Actor Will Smith does it with his family. Not only does it foster a love for reading, it brings families closer together.

Start a book club with fellow parents and their kids. If reading is a challenge for you, improve your skills. Check out your local library or community college for literacy resources. Visit, www.literacydirectory.org/

2) Crack an egg

Teach your kids how to cook. Don’t know how? Get a cookbook and learn together.

Ask your grandmama to teach you and your kids how to prepare your  favorite recipes.

Make sure your kids  eat at least three healthy well-balanced meals a day.  (Doritos and Coke is not a meal)

Make sure they eat breakfast. Have it handy and easy to reach when you can’t be there to fix it, e.g. instant oatmeal, fruit, cereal, milk, juice packets…

Chill on the junk food and take-outs.

Cut up fresh fruits and veggies,  put them in a container and set it on the bottom shelf of the frig so the little ones can grab it.

Cool out on sugar, candy, pop and sugary juices.

Note: Chips don’t count as a vegetable and milk shakes aren’t a good source of calcium

3) Crack the whip

Have clear-cut rules of the house, and follow through.

Don’t let them run you.

Have consequences for bad behavior.

Make them accountable for their actions.

Don’t let them get away with it.

Mean what you say, say what you mean. And follow through.

Avoid beating them “‘till the white meat shows”. Don’t spank out of anger.  Personally, I believe an occasional spanking on a covered bottom may be necessary, But whooping kids with extension cords, brooms and fists  is downright child abuse. Constant hitting and slapping causes emotional and behavioral problems. Shaking a baby or small child can cause brain damage or death.

Try using time-outs. It actually works! (Trust me, some kids hate time-outs worse than spankings) The length of a time-out is their age. Example:  5 years old: 5 minute timeout. Note: Once they get around eight – 10 or so, that time-out stuff gets old. Time to pull out the big dogs…

Take away something they enjoy like their cell phone, video game, mall trip with their friends…

Be reasonable. Don’t over punish.

Be consistent.

Watch your mouth. Be firm without the screaming, cursing and name calling.

Explain why they are on punishment.

Recognize that some consequences are punishment enough. Example:  A four-year old falls off the bed and hurts himself after using it as a trampoline. Here lies a teachable moment. Punishment may be overkill.

Keep the lines of communication open. That means you learn to listen. Be fair. Let them know you love them, even when you discipline them.

Don’t hold it against your child or nurse a grudge.

4) Crack a joke

Parenting doesn’t have to be so serious all the time. Have fun, with your kids, people!

Live, love, laugh with your kids. Catch them doing good and let them know it.

Get down to their level and play with them  (If your knees can take it ).

Have Wednesday game night (A treat for homework and chores completed).

Do crash and burn Fridays (Pizza and an action B Movie) or a girls pamper day at the nail shop (Again, for homework and chores completed).

Have open discussions. Give your kids and yourself permission to truly connect.

With that said, be friendly with your kids. Befriend them. But don’t try to be their BFF. You are not on the same level.

5) Crack kills

Have honest  nonjudgmental discussions with your kids about drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

If they are younger, talk about the meds you give them when their sick and how it’s used for a specific purpose, the dosage etc.

If  a friend, family member or favorite celebrity smokes, abuses drugs or alcohol, talk about it. Ask your kids how they feel. If it affects your family, how will you handle it?

If they’re older, share your experiences. Keep it real. Why did you do it?  Or why didn’t you? For some of us, why do you still do it? If that’s you, be an example and quit. For help, click here: drug addiction support and here:  how to quit smoking .

Know your kids’ friends and their “people”.

Don’t feel guilty about checking their book bags  and chest of drawers from time to time.

Read up on the latest drugs so you know your stuff. For more information, click here.

And now for your viewing pleasure, check out this video.