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

Archive for the ‘Parent Involvement’ 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

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This father shares the love on Facebook

They say a good man is hard to find, let alone a good Dad. But I’ve had the great pleasure of being married to one and enjoying friendships with guys who are exemplary fathers.

One friend in particular is both a colleague and Facebook buddy. His name is Darryl Duncan, an accomplished musician and owner of Gamebeat Studios in the Chicagoland area. Darryl became a single father a couple of years ago. He was awarded sole custody of his twin teenaged sons, Shaun and Stephen.

Darryl is the consummate father who believes that you can be your teen’s best friend AND strong disciplinarian when needed.  He has made certain his kids know when and where he draws the line, and they learn not to cross it.

I was struck by Darryl’s Facebook posts which often featured his sons as the subject. In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to share a few of them with you.

On being a father…

“As a father what does it mean to provide for your children? No, not just clothing, food, shelter or a support check. But if you aren’t teaching them 2 respect everyone no matter how different they are, and giving them the emotional & mental tools they need 2 cope with life and deal with others, then they’ll lack the most important part and they don’t have to live with you to provide this to them.”

On respect…

“I’m not bragging, I’m just grateful, grateful that my 15 yr old twin boys are just not interested in the things many of their peers are. They don’t swear, they could care less about the latest gym shoes, they despise saggin’, they’d rather be home than hanging out, they have a healthy respect for their female peers, and they still address me “Yes sir/No sir”. If I could bottle it, I’d GIVE it away! Yes, I’m Grateful!”

Hittin’ the books…

“[Proud Dad Brag Alert:] Sophomore year – Shaun GPA 4.0, Stephen GPA 3.8, and in honors classes! (My GPA back in the day?……noneyadamnbiz :)”

Discipline…

“Ok, my sons…want a bit of advice? No? Well you’re getting it anyway! The reason it is taking you 4 hours to do one hours worth of homework is because you WON’T PUT DOWN THAT FREAKING IPHONE!!! focus baby boys focus. Yea, that’s ya boy….and yea, she is cute…but they can WAIT!”

Showing affection…

“So my boys are split on wanting me to get my first Tattoo. Been wanting one for a couple of years now and I know what I want. I have Shaun’s full endorsement, but Stephen says he won’t give me a hug or a kiss for 2 years if I get it. Hmmmm, I can ambush him for a hug and I am pretty accurate at blowing kisses. So…”

Settling disputes…

“Who’s turn is it to take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher, vacuum the steps…, fold the clothes, clean the toilets, or whatever….To end all the squabbling, bickering, arguing and debating over who does what, I have now declared that everything between Stephen & Shaun be decided by a chess match. What son? You’ve already done that chore 4 times in a row……well sharpen up your game buddy! lol”

Supporting their interests…

“My 15 year old teens have the absolutely most diverse musical taste for their age it is freakin’ me out…..acid metal, jazz, classical, Japanese rock, pop, hard core rap, I guess that’s a good thing, but listening to them pump their music I don’t know what the hell mood to be in!”

Giving quality time…

“No School today for my boys, we’ll do a movie (Skyline), then some house cleaning, Then I’ll cook dinner (Chili), then we’ll play some Call of Duty Black Ops later on.”

Leaving a legacy…

“I believe there are but 3 main criteria by which a man’s legacy is ultimately judged. #1. What he has done or tries to do for others, #2 His body of works, talents and accomplishments and #3, The character & integrity of the children he has raised to carry on. To simply be aware of and to strive for all 3 is an accomplishment in itself and I feel the continued endless pursuit of this trinity, makes our Maker happy.”

Now that’s raising your kids well.

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.

A “no-show” at your child’s school functions?

Before I get to our topic, let me introduce myself. My name is Edye. I’ve made my living as an ad professional but I’ve lived my life as a mother of two sons, and now “G-ma” to my two grandsons. My hubby Darryl and I have gone through our parenting challenges with much pleasure and pain. I’m relieved to say, the boys, now in their twenties, turned out “aight”. Young parents today are going through some stuff, e.g. family conflict and lack of support, baby daddy/mama drama, school, job and money issues, drugs, abuse and more. There is no longer a sense of community support and guidance like it was back in the day. So many parents are raising more hell than raising their kids well. But I figure, if you know better, you’ll do better. Maybe that’s why young moms and dads come to me for advice. My blog gives you a slice of what raising hell versus raising your kids well looks like (see video below) .  It’s all my opinion – my perspective. Agree or disagree. Add suggestions. Ask a question. I’d like to feature it in my next post.  With that said, on to our question:

Dear Edye,

“I’m a single parent. I work long hours and come home tired. The last thing I feel like doing is going up to my son’s school for Parent/Teacher’s Night, PTO meetings – whatever. Some parents work hard for a living. I just don’t have the time.  Am I raising hell?” – “Tired Mom”, Chicago, Illinois

Raising Hell…

Raise Them Well…

Raising a Point…

It’s rough working long hours  and dealing with your child’s school obligations too. I feel you. I’ve been there.  But if you don’t show up, your child may show out. Research shows, students do better in school if parents are involved in their learning. No-shows can include not being available to help with homework, volunteering at school, attending student’s special events, as well as parent-school functions. Some teachers invest less time with kids whose parents are no-shows. Some kids invest less time in their studies when their parents are no-shows.   Low performance gone unchecked can lead to frustration, lack of confidence, low self esteem and negative behavior. That’s raising hell.

Quick Tips:

  • Arrange ahead of time with your employer to leave early or have that day off to attend a school function or event. That means reading the flyer and marking the dates ahead of time.
  • If you absolutely can’t make it to the Parent/Teachers conferences and school meetings, schedule to meet the teacher at a later date, then show up.
  • Develop a partnership with teachers. Exchange emails and phone numbers. Communicate regularly.
  • For parent homework support, attend parent homework workshops or talk to the teacher for help.

When you show your face in the place, you show you care. And your child feels more motivated to learn. That’s raising them well.

Like I said,  hit me back with your opinions, suggestions and critique. Or if you want to raise an issue or question, that’s cool too. It may end up in my “Raising Hell or Raise Them Well” series, which I’m making into a book.

Disclaimer: Don’t be alarmed by my weird mixed race, robotic, Lego-like characters. I am experimenting with different visuals. I’m open to suggestions.