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[Father/Hood] Fairy Tales For Black Girls: Making Up Stories Of Our Own For Our Daughters

April 10, 2013 2 comments

http://mybrownbaby.com/2013/04/fatherhood-fairy-tales-for-black-girls-making-up-stories-of-our-own-for-our-daughters/

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By SHAWN TAYLOR

Now that my daughter remembers things with remarkable recall, is capable of critical thought, has a keen eye for the differences between people and the ability to provide and understand context, I have to admit: parenting feels like a kind of ridiculous warfare. It’s you (and everyone that loves you and your family) versus the anti-girl marketing commercial complex. The enemy is better armed and much better funded. So lately, most of my time’s been spent trying to protect my daughter from the fallout. She will not be collateral damage.

The first casualty of this war is, you’re forced to acknowledge that love isn’t enough. This obliterates your parental innocence. I thought all I had to do was love and provide for my child, and things would travel along smoothly. I never thought I’d have to protect her on so many different fronts. The attacks against girls come in all forms, but the broader battlefields are: the idea of the princesses being the only hero girls have; pink and frilly clothing; and cleaning toys aimed at girls. Read more…

Easy Bake Oven For Boys: A Black Dad Explains Why His Son Won’t Be Getting One

January 7, 2013 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2013/01/easy-bake-oven-for-boys-a-black-dad-explains-why-his-son-wont-be-getting-one/

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By JAMAL FREDRICK

Over the past year, I’ve had an intense internal struggle over the rise of a parenting philosophy that makes me have almost knee-jerk reactions—that makes me respond in ways contrary to how I perceive myself. Progressive, liberal, forward-thinking, open-minded, not bound by societal constructs of race, class, sex and gender roles—that is who I believe I am. At least I used to. Until conversation on Twitter and blogs started advancing this concept of raising children—boys, specifically—in a gender-neutral fashion. This idea came to a head just before Christmas, when an online petition convinced the toy company, Hasbro, to create the perennial girl toy, the Easy Bake Oven, for boys.

First thought: “This is ridiculous.”

Call it narrow minded, but I take great offense when I continuously see things promoted to effeminize our boys. We’re fast becoming the generation where boys are being raised in a non-overtly masculine way—where they’re being taught to be less aggressive, less competitive, more restrained, gentler. And now, we want them in the house baking cookies. Word? Read more…

Jada Pinkett-Smith Explains Willow Smith’s Independence, Quirkiness In Red Table Talk Series

May 14, 2012 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/05/jada-pinkett-smith-explains-willow-smiths-independence-quirkiness-in-red-table-talk-series/

By Denene Millner

Post image for Jada Pinkett-Smith Explains Willow Smith’s Independence, Quirkiness In Red Table Talk SeriesDuring my Mother’s Day yesterday, I was taking a much-needed book writing break and tooling around on the internet when I stumbled on Jada Pinkett-Smith’s new Red Table Talk project, a series of intimate online conversations she’s having with her daughter, Willow Smith, and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, on child-rearing, family, fame and love, and I have to say, I adored what I saw.

Pinkett-Smith, who’s been working hard to fend off criticism of her parenting style, attacks against her precocious pop star daughter, Willow, and vicious rumors about cracks in her marriage to international acting icon Will Smith, says she produced the Red Table Talk series to help foster communication across three generations of her family—passionate, raw chats she’s hoping will help create a stronger relationship between her, her mother and her daughter. The three kick off the chats both by pulling questions they have for one another out of a bowl and bringing “must answer” questions they’ve jotted in their personal journals. Read more…

Ice Cream Promises: A Son Yearns For True Love From & Connection With His Father

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2011/11/effects-of-absentee-fathers-on-boys/

Post image for Ice Cream Promises: A Son Yearns For True Love From & Connection With His FatherEditor’s Note: Moved by last week’s post about Jay-Z’s decision to delay becoming a father until he was ready to deal with his father’s absenteeism, my longtime friend, artist Rod Perez, shared this piece he wrote to his own absentee father, with whom he’s since re-connected. I’m honored to share it here on MyBrownBaby.

By ROD PEREZ

Dad, I’ve grown up to be a good man. I want you to see that. I want you to see that the boy you left behind is fine. The boy you’ve made “ice cream promises” to is fine.

I was hip to your game, you know—how you would show up just enough times to squelch your guilt. I’ve known for a long time now, Dad. You claimed to have missed me, but all I know is that you missed my birthdays. The creative mind of innocence made excuses for why you never came when you said you would. I actually believed them, too. The hearts of children. Belief is pure. But soon enough, it finds out the truth. Read more…

{On the Parenting Post} Happy Labor Day To the Hardest Laborers Of Them All: Moms

September 5, 2011 1 comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2011/09/on-the-parenting-post-happy-labor-day-to-the-hardest-laborers-of-them-all-moms/

Post image for {On the Parenting Post} Happy Labor Day To the Hardest Laborers Of Them All: MomsI’m almost certain I walked into the hospital backward, bent over and pointing at my spine when I went into labor with my Lila, groaning, moaning and maybe yelling a little bit about how the only person I wanted to speak to was the anesthesiologist. He, after all, was the one with the needle filled with the magic juice—the stuff that would at least temporarily put an end to the wrenching pain that was squeezing every ounce of lifeblood out of my baby-filled gut. ‘Nuff respect to the mothers who, for whatever reason, go the natural route and bear the excruciating pain that comes with pushing a big-headed human being out of their loins. When it comes to childbirth, some mothers are heroic like that.

I ain’t one of them.

Though my labor with my first daughter, Mari, was rather reasonable considering she was my first birth—two hours and twenty-one minutes of labor, including 20 minutes of pushing, and she was getting her nose cleared and her booty smacked—I remembered every… little… teeny… weeny… second… of… searing… throbbing… push… pull… stretch… and tug… that came with getting that child out of me. And that was with an epidural. I did not want a repeat of any of that business, no ma’am. So with Lila, I asked quick, fast and in a hurry for drugs. Lots of them. Read more…

{Bringing Up Boogie} Birthdays Are the Worst Days: Bassey Ikpi On Turning 35

July 29, 2011 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2011/07/a-single-mom-takes-stock-of-turning-35/

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By BASSEY IKPI

I love birthdays; mine especially. Every year for the last decade, I’ve thrown a party called a Basstravaganza! Yes, I am a Leo. Why do you ask? I feel like birthdays are the only holiday that everyone can celebrate regardless of religion or country or culture. You were born! Yay! (Unless you’re Jehovah’s Witness. Then *whispers* you were born. yay.) I’m always looking forward to my birthday and start talking about it at least a month in advance. Read more…

Should a Mother Be Jealous of Her Own Daughter?

July 8, 2011 1 comment

http://nwso.net/2011/07/07/jealous-mother/

By Anslem Samuel

i hate my mom t-shirt

Dear NWSO,

I just recently turned seventeen and I’m always so ridiculously horny! It’s not even funny. I can even get off by listening to Robin Thicke’s “Sex Therapy.” I’m almost always thinking about sex and masturbate quite frequently. At school I imagine being taken advantage of by my male teachers and I mentally bang almost every good-looking person I see.

Read more…

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