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

Posts tagged ‘Urban Parents’

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.

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.