Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

Make this your response: Dear haters, I still want you to win

I want you to win because I believe in empowering people, women and men. I hope to motivate and inspire you to believe it for yourself too. I want you to win, because I want to see you happy. I want to see you rise above your ways, thrive and flourish into something beautiful. Even when you don’t wish the same for me, I still want to see it for you. I want you to have all that you’ve ever hoped for, wished for and dreamed for. Everything that you think will make your life great or greater, even those things which cause you to envy, or despise who and what you don’t know- I hope that someday soon, that you can have it. I want you to win.

I want your life to be an on-going list of amazing experiences. All the places that you want to go visit, all the luxurious hotel beds that you want to sleep in, all the first-class flights, jets, or private charters and yachts you want to take, the house that you want to live in, the financial situation that you want to have, the emotional state of happiness that you need, and whips that you want to push, I want you to have it all. I want you to have the clothes, the friends, the networks and the support. Even though you don’t support me, I still want you to win. Even though you have not been a friend to me, I still want this for you. I hope that someday, in the near further, that you won’t have to live vicariously through anyone, and that you can have the life that you so desire.

I want you to win. I want you to place every egg that you have in one basket, and I want it to multiply for you. I want you to reap seeds of prosperity and I want you to love yourself. I want you to be able to do all the things in life that will bring you peace and joy, whether it’s to have kids, work a job you love, have the career that you want, the title in life that you want, and I want you to be with someone you love. I want you to have the relationship with family that you want, sip champagne just because it’s Sunday and enjoy brunch every day, with people who wish you well. All this, because I truly want you to win.

It doesn’t matter who you are, I still want you to win: Whether we went to high school together, and you judge your own success in life off who went further, or whether you are an ex, who can’t get over a past of pain, in which I never knew I brought to you. I still want you to win, whether we worked together at some point and you did your best to get me fired, I still want the best for you. I will still put my best, in sincerely wanting you to have everything you took, take or are trying to take from me. Whether you were a girlfriend to an ex, who never wanted to see me with him, whether you were a parent of someone I used to know, who hates me for no reason. Whether you are a teacher who never wanted to see me graduate, whether you came in, 2nd place to me in a competition for a title or position that you wanted, whether you are someone who gets sick at the sound of my name, I still want you to win.

Even though you secretly stalk me, wanting for a moment to swipe my happy moment, I want you to win. Whether you are someone who, with bad intentions and motives, prowls my social media, I want to see you win….Whether you are a church member caught up in the hoopla of lies and deception, games and trickery, with no will to see me come out on top. I still want you to win. If you are an attorney, who took my money, with no intention to help, but all the desire in the world, just to get information and then take it back to those who betrayed me, I STILL want you to win. Whether you have taken my deepest secrets and placed your own verse on them, creating your own rendition, before sharing them with more people, who are just like you, I still want you to win.

I still want you to win, despite the blatant ways you have tried to make me lose. I still want you to win, even though, when you knew the truth, you still sided with wrong, just to see me fail. I still want you to win, even though you take from me and I give to you. I still want you to win, even though we don’t know each other, but you judge me based off things you may have heard. I still want you to win, even though you constantly look for ways to bring me down.

You can have it all, but if your heart is not right and your spirit is corrupt, you’ll never be able to see it. You’ll never feel the joy that comes into your life, long as you’re blocking the door with hatred, spite, anger, envy, jealousness. Wishing Hurt, harm and pain on someone else, or damaging a person, sabotaging a person, destroying someone’s reputation, credibility and life; will never return to you all the things you want. I want you to win so that’s why I’m sharing this pearl.

I want you to win, so that you can stop hoping and wishing it away from other people, and so that you can stop dwelling on what they have, and how you wish they didn’t have it or how you hope they lose it. I want you to win, so that you don’t have to rely on your happiness coming from seeing someone else lose the things they have worked so hard for.

But, here’s the catch: I want you to wake up and decide that you are going to be happy and that you want to win, fair and square. Your win can not come from taking, stealing, lying, or being manipulative, deceiving and dishonest. That’s when you’ll know that you’re WINNING

Then, with intentional purpose, set out to just be happy. I want this for you, that you will be able to do just that- so that you can live again. So that you can shut off that internally redundant behavior of hating on other people; by which you have been gossiping, spreading and perpetuating lies and creating drama. I want you to stop engaging and dealing in acts of hatred toward other people’s happiness and their possessions.

I want you to have a life that is so full of the things you love, that you will no longer concern yourself with me or anyone else that you think is doing better or that may have the things that you want for yourself. I want you to have the luxury of being involved with things that can be positively life altering for you as well as a blessing to the world. I want you to experience a transformation that is so powerful, that you wake up and realize that hating on someone else, will never grant you the happiness that’s required to truly enjoy any of the things above. I am still rooting for you!

Originally published on Cafemom.com. See it here

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Give The Children What They Need, And Put A Little Something Extra In Your Child’s Lunchbox – It’s Time To Go Back-To-School

Image result for food productsA portion of my summer, was spent doing product trials with my child, to determine some of the best items to add to a kid’s lunchbox, or snack bag when school began again. And now that the time is upon us, I am confident that I will not have to be on the receiving end of the teachers concerned phone call or little handwritten note, to tell me that my child “seems to still be hungry, after lunch.”

Imagine how I felt, momentarily… that one time in April, when my child’s teacher reached out to me, via text, to give me a “heads-up.” She said that my child doesn’t appear to be getting enough to eat, and seems hungry. First thought, wow- I have been paying child support and my child does not have lunch? Second thought, who’s packing my child lunch and why were they not giving him enough? Third thought, dads claim to fame is how much money he makes, certainly he can afford to pack a healthy, hearty and wholesome snack and lunch for our son.

Ok, so then I calmed to a normal pace, to avoid jumping to conclusions and to try to understand what was going on. I got a little emotional, because I wanted to advise my sons dad of what the teacher said, as well as, to ask the appropriate questions regarding my child nutrition. However, due to the nature of our relationship being what it is, I walk on egg shells with what I say, out of concerns about how he will take it. For instance: Will he think I am taking jabs at him? Will he think that I am saying that he is not winning at parenting, if I relate this concern?

I paused, to allow the anxiety to subside, and to truly look at the situation, as one that could be an easy fix. Especially with the bottom line being, IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED, and I have no time to sugar-coat anything. I 86’d the above questions and I emailed him. I offered my assistance to find amazing snack ideas, if he had been too busy to do so himself. I offered to price them at three different stores that was near his home, to make shopping easier and most affordable for him. I offered to make the list for Monday-Friday, on what should be packed each day, where to get it and how much it would cost. While my proposal wasn’t accepted prior to the summer beginning, and before school ended; I will be pitching it again this week, in hopes that going forward, it will.

So, anyway, over the summer, during my quest to find something, I came across the following:

Black Forest Gummy Bears

Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears: “America’s Best Tasting Gummy Bears! Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears are made with thoughtful ingredients like lemon juice, organic cane sugar, potato starch, carrot and beet juice. These lovable little Gummy Bears are made with love and feature a taste YOU WILL LOVE. Every bag includes cherry, orange, lemon, apple and pineapple flavors. USDA Certified Organic. Gluten Free.” (http://www.blackforestusa.com/products/)

Image result for clifbar

CLIF Kids Zbar: “CLIF Kid Zbar® is an organic, baked whole grain energy snack, made with a blend of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat to give kids energy so they can keep zipping and zooming along. Our products never include high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.” (http://www.clifbar.com/products/clif-kid/zbar)

SunButter

SunButter: With nearly three pounds of shelled, roasted sunflower seeds in each jar, SunButter has 7 grams of protein per serving, and it has more vitamins and minerals than nut butter. SunButter provides 45% of the US recommended daily allowance for Vitamin E with no trans-fat and less saturated fat than the leading brand of almond butter.

SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. SunButter is also free from Canada’s ten priority food allergens, which include mustard, sulfites, and sesame.

SunButter is made in the US from locally-grown, specially-roasted sunflower seeds, which are processed in our dedicated peanut free and tree nut free facility. Our sunflower seeds are grown in a region of the country where peanuts are not grown, eliminating the risk of cross contamination. SunButter is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and certified kosher.

This is not an ad for the companies above. I am sincerely recommending these products, because I have tried them for myself, and because I got the stamp pf approval, from my First-grader. The good thing is, these snacks don’t just work for the kids, they make great on-the-go snacks for the working mother.

Double check the lunch box, making sure that your child has something filling, and of nutritional value. Moms, I am not the mom Nazi! However, sometimes we just need reminders, from other moms who may have heard a suggestion or two from a teacher… and before hearing it in a less than sensitive memo, I am giving you the heads up.

Unfortunately, I won’t get to be the one who packs my child’s lunch box, to ensure that it is done with a lot of extra love to fill his belly. But it is with all my heart, that I hope he’s getting all he needs from it, when it’s time.

Here’s the perfect starter guide:

Fresh fruit.

Crunchy vegetables.

A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste*

Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt.

Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers.

Water.

Article Originally published HERE, at Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Road Trip! And What I learned along the way, while traveling with my child

After a nine-hour road trip from Houston, Texas, to Daphne, Alabama to visit my parents; I am totally convinced of why children were made. They were made to keep us alive, by talking us to death! Because that’s what it takes to keep us alive, on the road. As sarcastic as that revelation may seem, it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth #ThatsMyFinalAnswer

It was bad enough that the trip should have only taken 6-7 hours, and after one stop for gas, it should have been smooth sailing. Had we departed Houston within the time frame, which my experience over the years, had stressed to me, to be the safest time to leave; I would have had 2 hours less the torture. However, because we were 1.5 hour late in leaving, due to making a last-minute grocery run for travel snacks, we also endured the feat of getting out of the city during Houston’s lunch time traffic.

I have never been asked, “why,” so many times in one day, and so I have never felt so ignorant in all my life. I also felt tired and exhausted, long before we made it to Beaumont, Texas. (Only an hour away). I began to question, “Why did I take this road trip? Can I do this? Am I really prepared for this……and LORD, will he ever just shut up and just go to sleep?” All the arrows pointed toward no, but I was waiting on the last answer from the man above, so I continued to drive.

https://youtu.be/eM6xMA_T6os

I was already tired and still feeling the residuals of an “Adult Only” 4th of July weekend, which was followed by a lot of mommy juice earlier in the week. Nonetheless, I was still good for the road. Or so I thought. In my defense, this was not the first time I took the trip, so I knew what I was capable of doing it and I knew that it could be done. But, I must say, doing this trip with a kid, after the 4th of July, was a little different. Any other time, I can coast, with the music blasting… listening to the sound that my own mind makes, while I entertain thoughts of what I will do when I make it to my destination. I was not prepared for this! And GOD had not answered the call yet, about if my child was going to sleep any time soon. I kept driving and he kept asking questions. He continued to talk. No rhyme or reason of course, because he’s only 6-years old. It was random conversations and I truly felt like I was chasing him through a fully crowded amusement park, trying to keep up with him. He kept switching gears and I kept getting sleepier. I got more sleep than he did, so why was this happening to me? What did I ever do that was so wrong, that I would be “talked-to-death” like this? You can’t tell a child to shut up – that’s just wrong. But the traffic was atrocious! And the road rage and angry driver were all around me, so I had to take the good (staying awake and alert) with the bad (being talked into a coma) …and sang into the oblivion.

https://youtu.be/OgZUINOaDsA

Finally, a phone call from a friend came in. I almost ran off the road, trying to take that call. It was like being stranded in a dessert and reaching for an oasis! I quickly answered and desperately sought out some adult conversation, almost as if in a hostage situation where I had a matter of seconds to get the information across. I just wanted to talk about nothing, just anything that did not involve, “Mom, do you know how many people are in the world? … Mom, do you know how many red cars are in the entire world? … Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? … Mom, are you going to take a short cut? … Mom, Mom, Mom … UTOH!” * RollsEyes… What is it now, Cornelius? What did you spill? So, anyway… I was happy to talk about a customer service complaint that my friend had to deal with at work earlier in the day. Who wants to hear that! ME! I did! I wanted to hear it, because I could not take another Knock-Knock joke, or another Why did the XYZ cross the road, what did the XYZ say to the XYZ, and I did not want to play I SPOT, anymore!

I feel so terrible about the fact that a game as innocent as I spot a little red car, could generate so much animosity. He just wanted to play a game. OMG, I am such an awful parent. I really just wanted to respond, “I SPOT SOME SLEEP! I SPOT A LITTLE BOY WHO WONT GO TO SLEEP! I SPOT A HEADACHE! I SPOT A BED THAT I WISH I COULD BE IN! I SPOT A MISTAKE THAT I MADE BY GETTING ON THIS ROAD, WHILE I WAS TIRED!” At one point, I swear I spotted an exit that said home, but I was still 6 hours away. Or so I thought. So, I took a deep breath and I kept it together though. I Learned how to do that in co-parenting class. I passed that class, so I knew the routine would work. 10…9…8…7… I couldn’t finish the conversation about the angry customer who called to talk about the over-priced service they were paying for, for the last 5 years and how she wanted out of her contract without paying any termination fees. That is because each time my friend got a word out, my son would ask, “ Mom, who is that? … How do you know him? … How do you spell his name? … How long are you going to be on the phone? … etc.

Right about then, we entered Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We were at a snail’s pace for 2 solid hours… until we hit the other side of Hammond, Louisiana and the talking had yet to cease. I stopped for gas and a bathroom break, just to stretch my legs and to give my ears, eyes and brain a break. I allowed him to pump gas and I just walked around the car, did some jumping jacks, jogged in place, did some YOGA, meditated, tried to summon the man above – so I prayed. Where are you GOD?

We hit the road again, for the final stretch home. But to my dismay, we were greeted by another set of halted cars, which prolonged the trip even more and subjected me to the final hour, which turned into the final 2.5 hours. When we made it to Tillman’s Corner, just after the Welcome to Alabama sign, I thought to myself, “OMG- 30 more minutes and I am home free. That is when the little tyke decided he had to do the number 2. Why GOD? Why? When I finally made it home, I realized that GOD was there the whole time. He was talking me to death to keep me alive.

https://youtu.be/OOv-SXrPsmQ

Lifestyle, Parenting

HEY SUNBUTTER! He Likes It

HEY SUNBUTTER! He Likes It!

It would be awfully selfish of me if I didn’t share this tidbit of information with Mom Bloggers Club. As much as I would like to be the keeper of this secret, I just can’t. It’s totally worth sharing, and you can thank me later. Unless of course, it was something that everyone else already knew about. Lol! I found something else that my son gave his stamp of approval on, and so, I proudly gave it my Mom Approved stamp of approval as well, after trying it for myself. SunButter came into our lives last week, while setting up for a Moms Group, to try out the product and see what we all had to say. I wasn’t 5 minutes in, before my own son had cracked open the On The Go sized, SunButter Single cups.

It was a hilarious moment, because as I was trying to video the real, raw reactions and thoughts of the moms that attended, my son can be heard, butting in, to say: It’s good! I’m eating it all up! There couldn’t have been a more natural and unrehearsed moment, as he continued to dig into the cup with his saltine cracker. Take One, Final cut- My work was done! He dismisses us, to ask “Can I have another cracker?”

Where do you go from there? Does it get any better? I found a snack, on my hunt for some back to school goodies, and I got one that he took to, off the bat. #Winning I know that moms everywhere can absolutely agree, that this is a monumental moment, when you have a picky eater; one who is hard to please sometimes, who judges food by the smell, the texture, the look, the everything else that frustrates you while you’re saying, “Just Eat The Cake Anna Mae!” All the while, wondering if your child is malnourished, because he won’t eat anything on his plate.

He’s an active 6- year old boy, who’s always running, jumping, flipping, bouncing around off walls, beds, sofas etc. He’s a playful ball of energy who thinks that sleep is the enemy. To get him to sit down is one thing. To get him to sit still is another thing. While getting him to eat, is not impossible, it has been a challenge.

However, on that one-day last week, and every day up until the SunButter On The Go Single cups were all gone, I accomplished a moment of silence. That’s the big secret I had to share. Thank GOODNESS, we had more!

This has made it onto our list of top 5 things to add to your child’s lunch box, while considering that its Back to School time. It also makes a perfect on the go snack for adults! Check out these awesome recipes for incorporating Sun Butter into y…

SunButter Curry Meatballs

Here are a few fun facts: 7g Protein, USA Grown and Made, More Vitamins and Minerals than NutButter, Top 8 Allergen Free, Non GMO.  SunButter Sunflower Butter comes in 5 choices:

Natural -most popular variety – with 7 grams of protein per serving!

Creamy- Creamy, delicious and easy to spread – perfect for snacking

Natural Crunch- Delicious roasted sunflower seed flavor with a crunch you’ll love

No Sugar Added-Simply roasted sunflower seeds and a hint of salt for flavor.

Organic-SunButter Organic is made without added sugar, salt or hydrogenated oil.

SunButter On The Go Creamy Singles -Six convenient 1.5 oz. cups of Creamy SunButter with 9 grams of protein per serving!

Originally posted on Mom Bloggers Club, Here

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

Here’s 5 Reasons Why My Son and I Are In Love With Chick Fil A- They get it right, and therefore perfect is possible

Here’s 5 Reasons Why My Son and I Are In Love With Chick Fil A; They get it right, and therefore perfect is possible

1. I’ve never personally had one unpleasant experience nor complaint about their food, or service. It’s always hot, fresh and the same from one store to the next. They always properly greet you and tell you that it was their pleasure to serve you, which is an added incentive toward making a customer feel appreciated.

2. I’ve never seen a complaint on social media about a bad-experience, nor have I ever heard one in person from anyone. If there has been a complaint, it has clearly been handled and handled immediately, as all complaints should be, and likely with professionalism and apologetic sentiments.

3. I have never walked into the restaurant, in to the middle of a firestorm between customer and employee, over an order being wrong or a dispute about what was ordered and what was received. I have never had to check my order before leaving.

4. I’ve been to at least 20 different cities and the service is consistent. I have never had to drive back through drive through about an order being wrong, as I drove off. The employees are 100 percent on the same page, from state to state.

5. I have never seen a mad, angry or upset employee, or one that may be having a dreadful day, who is now taking it out on the next customer- It’s likely because at Chic Fil A, no one has had to ruin their day after messing up an order over and over. So, they are all happy employees. No one seems frustrated to be at work, doing their job.

Chic Fil A has given me more than enough reasons to, “Eat Mor Chikin” Fast food industries can and should take a page from the book of management, service, professionalism from Chick- because they get it right. Every time.

Instead of resorting to measures such as “a no refund policy” and only offering to “re-make” your order right, I feel like if they were to implement a little more pride in the job, it would increase the possibilities for these other establishments to get it right as well.

Suddenly resorting to a no-refund policy, says that they have lost so much money on messing up orders, that you’ve had to implement measures to secure the money. If you get it right the first time- you wouldn’t lose money. That’s just the bottom line answer. It’s been happening for years and years so there’s no excuse. Even if you don’t get it right the first time, at least get it right the second time.

I am not discounting anyone’s demanding work in the food and beverage industry, because I realize every job has its challenges. I also realize that sometimes, you have bad days. However, when at work, you need to put your game face on and do your best. When you do your best, it shows. When a customer sees that you are doing your best, they are also less apt to explode on you for getting it wrong. When you do not do your best, it reflects in service; beginning with taking the order, repeating the order, conveying or communicating the order, filling the order and delivering it to the customer.

How many times have you gone through someone’s drive thru, where not only do they get the order entirely wrong on the first time, but you go into the store or back through drive thru, only for them to mess it up again! And they have the audacity to be mad at you. This is equally frustrating to a customer. Customers are likely going thru a “fast food drive thru” for a “fast food service”, because they are limited on time themselves. They too have jobs, where they only have a 15-minute break, or 30 minutes to an hour lunch; after-which they must return to work. They do not have time to waste on getting a burger with cheese, only to find out that they must go back in, because the burger with cheese has mayo, mustard, onions etc. on it, when they never asked for that.

Mistakes are something that happens. We understand! I can’t say that when going through the drive thru at other establishments, that they are in the back saying that they deliberately want to screw up your meal, or day, or make you drive back through, or that they want to get a customer so extremely upset about the order, that they will come into the store and curse someone out. What I am saying is, if employees slowed down a little, take their time to listen and communicate an order, as well as see it through to the end…versus rushing to get to the next person in line; they may increase their chances of getting it right on the first attempt. Listening is key. Quality is key. Snap out of the robotic way of making an order and take heed to what the customer is asking for- Because just because a burger comes with all the fixings, doesn’t mean your customer want it with all the fixings.

Here is real-life example of what constantly happens:

Me: (speaking slowly, and clearly, to communicate an order) Hello… I would like a #1…. No onion…. no tomato… no mayo…. with fries and a Sprite. (make that a large, please)

Drive-Thru Attendant: Ok. You want cheese?

Me: No

Drive-Thru Attendant: You want fries or tots?

Me: Fries

Drive-Thru Attendant: What you want to drink?

Me: Sprite

(*But I have already said all of this. However, I am not mad that they have their way of taking the order and perhaps asking questions that I have already given answers to, helps them get the order right- I have no qualms about that) But this is what happens:

Drive-Thru Attendant: Drive around for your total

Once I get to the window, I pay and take my order. I have already pulled off before opening the bag, due to my concern about the growing line and the fact that after she handed me the bag, she slammed the window without asking if I needed any condiments or anything else…as she proceeds with taking other orders. She never once acknowledged me sitting there, trying to ask for a straw, or salt or to tell her that she gave me a Coke instead of a Sprite.

She finally opened the window. She’s angry that I am still sitting there, but I am only still sitting there, because she closed the window so fast, without me being able to bring it to her attention.

This is what I have when I finally leave:

Large Sprite, which is water down from the lack of soda fountain syrup.

A #1 with cheese, mayo, onion, and tomato.

The only thing they got right was the fries- except they are hard, cold, and stale.

Here’s what you need to know:

People will wait on good service, hot food and an order that they know will be right, based their previous experiences. So, you don’t have to rush through, in attempt to fill as many orders within the hour, as you possibly can. That’s ideal of course, that you want to increase your numbers and orders per hour. However, what are you really accomplishing, when for every order you make, you have another order that you now, must remake? When you do that, you get it wrong, and you end up with even longer lines, and some upset and impatient customers.

I see lines at Chick fil A, that wrap around the store. I have never seen anyone drive off. They wait.  Whereas at other establishments, they are constantly driving off. My guess is, they say it’s not worth waiting for.

Originally Posted here, on CAFEMOM

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

For Those Mean Kids, Here’s A Powerful Message From My Six-Year Old As He Heads Back To School

As repulsive as it is to think about bullies, bad kids and mean kids, which to me are all the same; as a mother, I do know that they exist, from what I have seen take place on playgrounds, in back yards, on school grounds and at events. As much as I love ALL children, no matter whom they belong, and from whence they come, I cringe when I hear some of the nasty and hurtful things they say. I grovel at some of the things that I see them do.

It’s beyond kids just being kids, expressions of personalities and clashes, behavioral differences and learning how to get along. It’s the line that they cross, when their words and actions resemble behavior that seems to be taught, engrained and instilled into them, by perhaps elders. Just an assumption about where it may come from….

Image result for racism

Where else, would kids these days come up with their sometime, pre-historic assessments, that someone can/cannot do, or can/cannot afford something, or be something; due to their skin color? And why would they feel this, at the tender age of 6 or 7…8…9 and 10, that being a certain color, means you’re ugly or not worthy of playing with? And why would they ‘feel’ that it’s ok, to pick on another child just because the other child has a different color skin?

Who is responsible for bestowing credence, in these children’s behavior; whereas they would think it’s anywhere near on the side of right, to discriminate against another child or person, for that matter? The nature of the comments and actions just don’t seem to be conceived in the mind of a child. IJS.

We don’t want to think of any child as being bad, or even mean, but that’s the translation sometimes. So, perhaps they are just misguided? Kids are adorable-that’s how they are born. They only become nasty through experiences and exposure. Their behavior is either replicated behavior or sublimated and emulated by imitation.

Image result for bullies

My child was outdoors today, and in his normal fashion of being highly energized, friendly and eager to play. He saw 4 kids, close to his age, one being a bit older, maybe 10- years old; and he asked if he could play with them. I said, yes of course. They were riding bikes, all except one. My son ran alongside of them. Shortly after, they said and did somethings that weren’t very nice. Later, I was told that my son endured it and continued to play. That’s just his nature. He loves everyone. When my parents took notice of what was going on, and how my son was being treated, I too became aware. I went outside to get him.

They hurt his feelings. His understanding was just that he wanted to play, and they were in return, being mean to him. That’s an innocent interpretation, until you hear about the entire ordeal. I summarize to say, I had a long talk with him. After-which, a long bubble bath fixed it for him. They may have hurt his feelings, but they didn’t break his spirit. This is what he had to sing to them, when it was all over. (Video Below- captions inside)

Let’s start at home, by doing the following:

Teach your own children first: Teach your children right from wrong. There’s so many ways to do this and so many books to read with good moral lessons, as well as PBS and other educational television shows, which teach children how to practice good manners, by introducing situations, where a child may learn what the right thing in those cases, are to do.

There are many value-lesson games which you can play together, as well as simply being an example yourself. Set the tone for your child. We must instill, into our children, that which we want to come out of them.

Sometimes, children can overhear us talking about other people or expressing language that is not fit for their ears, and when they leave the house, they repeat it. So, be mindful when the kids are watching. It’s just good manners.

Preparing your child: In a perfect world, your child won’t face any challenges at school with mean kids or bullies or racism. They will go off to school unhurt and they will return unhurt- especially when we feel that we’ve taught them how to act, so they will be ok.

But it’s just like being on the road. The lesson is, to watch out for the “other driver” because you can be as safe as possible, and still find yourself in an accident that was unavoidable. So, while our children are outdoors doing the right thing, we cannot always count on other children doing the right thing. We should however, foster a community where every child is looked after, as it was way back when…

Preparation is key in just teaching them that it’s not always something that they do or have done, which will cause someone to do something to them.

Having age appropriate conversations: Deciding on the best time to have any discussions about what may or may not occurs is up to the parent and the situations that their children are facing. But we do have to take into account age and timing. When is the time right? You’ll know. I didn’t think it was appropriate to discuss bullying or racism, for instance, until he came face to face with it. When he encountered a situation, where he would need answers or understanding, that’s when it would be necessary. Or if someone begins to pick at him, for no reason, taunting him and harassing him, then he needs to know what this is. And he needs to know that it’s not right, so that he will know the steps he needs to take, regarding reporting the behavior.

Letting them know it’s not their fault: I think that when your child comes home, after being taunted about their skin color, or their shoes, or their hair, their reading glasses, their clothes, facial or body features; it’s important for us as parents, being the closest people to them, to constantly be building their morale. This is where their self-esteem rest. These are the years that those mean comments can shape and mold a child, causing them to retreat to the inside, finding something wrong with themselves and then begin to dislike how they were made. It may even manifest into adulthood, where they too become bullies. We have to combat this as much as we can as parents, by building them back up, if someone tries to break them down. But to keep it in the road as well, (balance) so that they do not become full of themselves.

Let’s do our due diligence, when setting expectations of teachers to uphold a standard in what will not be tolerated in school, as it relates to bullying someone, beit due to their race or gender.

After we’ve done this, we hope that in the school that we selected for our children to attend, that there will be teachers who will also reinforce good behavior. We hope that teachers practice good behavior also, and do not discriminate against any child or use intimidation tactics to demolish our children’s esteem. We hope that teachers exercise their ability to teach manners and how good manners are what make people feel good. Doing good, being good and having that returned, is the ideal situation.

Originally posted here. On CAFEMOM

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

5 Ways My Life Has Changed, Since My Son Has Been Living With His Dad: The Pros And The Cons

  1. My schedule is random unless my is visiting on the weekend. When he’s home with me, I provide the stability and the structure as well as discipline that he needs, by following a schedule to keep him on track with bed time, dinner, breakfast, play time, reading etc. It was a schedule that I implemented for him long before he was living with his dad. Now that he’s gone, I sleep in, I eat out, I cook less, and I eat whenever and whatever I want. I take longer naps, make runs to the store at any time throughout the day, no matter how late. I can travel more if I’d like to and not worrying about who would take him to school and pick him up, or even the fact that he would have to miss school. I can take last minute media assignments, make last minute plans, and spare of the moment trips out of town/ in town or even out of the country. Overall, I have free time to pursue many endeavors.
  2. Anxiety: For a while, I had my anxiety under control. I did not experience anxiety on this level at all, prior to having a child. It was not until my child was taken from me, over an accusation, proven to be false; which left me in such a helpless and anxious place. It was because I could not help my child. I could not do anything to give him what he asked for, which was to stay with me. That is when I began to experience anxiety again. The decision on who he would live with, did not rest in my authority. It was not in my hands and no one asked my son where he wanted to be. The reason the anxiety heightened and escalated to the place where I am today, is because over the last 4-years, I became aware of things that were taking place, when my son was not in my care and after hearing so many things, it caused my anxieties to soar through the roof. While most of this, is a thing of the past, it was traumatic for me, and I still live with it, constantly finding ways to cope; reposing in the assurance that everything happens for a reason, and I have seen some of the advantages and blessings come out of it all.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa

  1. Parks will never be the same: One of my son and I favorite pastime was to go to the park. We discovered just about every park there was, in the city. We settled on two, to call own, which were closest to the house. I spent many flex-days there with him and while he would play, I caught a spot under the tree. Today, it’s hard to drive by those parks. It’s hard to sit in those parks, work out, run around or walk around those trails. It’s a real challenge to be there, if other children are there. I have been in a place, where I couldn’t watch the other kids play, without breaking down. Though I am getting better with regards to seeing other children, I have yet to overcome the anxieties of going to those parks without my Bambino. When I do have him, we still make the most of our time. I found another park to create memories at, until the time comes…
  2. Insomnia: In other words, I cannot sleep at night…. Literally. (due to the anxiety) At times, I have been up 48 hours straight. That had a lot to do with the anxieties as well. Constantly worrying about where my kid was, who he was with and if he was OK. I had been fed some things by the Amicus on our case, in which she thought to be disturbing. Naturally, it disturbed me at that point as well. For 4 years of constantly hearing more and more, I was finding that my nights were getting longer and longer. Time passed like molasses. I would lay down with every intention of sleeping, but couldn’t make it happen. Still, to this very day, I have nightmares, terrible dreams that wake me from my sleep, where I fall to the floor and pray that my child is OK. He may be doing terrific! And that’s what I hope, but until I can get over the thought of anything happening to him, I will be woke.
  1. I have more Me Time: Me time has showed to be my best friend. It’s A time to get back to me, and focus on improvement. There’s always room for improvement, right? And since I do have severe anxiety and insomnia, it gives me the opportunity to work on getting myself back to a place, where I am rested, refreshed and refined. It allows me the time I need to “talk” about why I can sleep, why I have so much anxiety, why I stopped traveling as much, why I don’t leave the house as much, why I can’t sit in the park and watch other children play, or why I cannot do anything about what has transpired, but that I can find ways to cope with it. Me Time, gives me the space and time I need to do my make up again, do my hair again, celebrate myself again, in all that I do. Me Time helps me get back to the business of this empire and to pamper myself, heart, mind, body and soul. Me Time has encouraged me to get out of the house and to get active in the world again.

Article Originally posted Here, On Working Mother