Somewhere inside every mom is this desire to share her heart with her children. Not just the basics on life and living but the real scoop without filter. This is especially true with a girl-child because we often want to spare our young girls the negative experiences we may have had or the bad choices we may have made. This need to speak frankly to our baby girls is often born from the wish we all have to talk to and advise our younger selves. Because in a way, when we speak to our daughters, that’s exactly who we are talking to: our younger selves.
Here’s my shot at bringing the past and future together:
My Sweet MaKayla:
Many times we make things more complicated than they have to be. We entangle ourselves trying to “figure” out God’s will for our lives. We search through hundreds of self-help books and blogs for our “purpose.” And while I believe He appreciates the effort, I sometimes feel like God is shaking His head at us and saying, “Child, be still. Go with what I gave you.” LOL! Like he told Moses when he questioned how he was going to free the Hebrew people, “What do you have in your hand?” Moses had a staff and that staff was an integral tool—not the only one, for sure—used to gain their freedom.
You have many gifts, my love. And I will ensure you are educated. These, at least initially, will be the resources you will need to accomplish your purpose. Go with that. Read more…
By NICK CHILES
While parents may feel inclined to protect their children from every situation where they might fail, child development experts say that allowing children to fail is crucial to their development.
“Think of the things you learn when you encounter and move beyond failure,” child psychologist Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., director of the Healthy Steps program at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, NY, said in a story on Parenting.com. “You learn how to tolerate frustration, how to get creative and take different approaches to tasks, and also how to ask for help—all things that are necessary for long-term success in life.”
In a variety of situations, from teaching little ones to eat by themselves, to playing competitive games with your young children, to the little ones comparing themselves to older siblings, it is helpful that the children be allowed to face the situation alone and sometimes to experience failure. So while it might be tempting to let the child win in a board game, you’re not doing him any favors in the long run. But when he does lose, be prepared for a tantrum.
“At this young age, they simply don’t quite have the coping skills. They give really strong, honest, emotional reactions,” Briggs said. Read more…
By Denene Millner
By Denene Millner
I was 27 when I married the man with whom I created two children—at the height of my career as a political reporter-turned-journalist and just as my first book made its way to store shelves. Two years into our marriage, we decided to have children. Each of them was made from love. Wanted. Mari arrived when I was almost 31—Lila three years later, almost to the day. I can honestly say that by the time my second daughter arrived, I was exhausted—working an exacting job as a magazine editor, traveling from state-to-state promoting my published books, writing more books in the middle of the night—later, dealing with the grief of losing my mother and a massive move South and the bold journey to becoming a full-time author and freelance writer. In other words, I built my career while I built my family—something the women from my generation were wont to do. But I saw a shift in the sisters coming right behind me—women who put career-building ahead of family-building, and suggested that I was “rushing” into having kids when I should have been nurturing my burgeoning career as a journalist and author. They wanted love and babies, but not at the expense of the jobs they’d studied for and worked so hard to get. They understood the stakes. Took the chances. And some of them are just fine with their decisions. But some of them, now in their late 30s and 40s, are not. Read more…
BY NICK CHILES
In these incredibly difficult times, we can easily find our families dealing with stressors that perhaps we didn’t have to confront a few years ago. Financial problems can bring a whole lot of other troubles along with them—marriage and relationship conflicts, family tensions, divorce, abuse, addiction. But the director of the Yale Stress Center advises that we need to try to protect our children from stress as much as possible because they will become more likely to carry it into adulthood. Read more…
By TOKEYA C. GRAHAM
I have been a mother for almost half of my life. I had my first child when I was still a child myself. At 19 years old, two years out of high school and four years into what I thought was true love, I became a mama for the first time. As I pushed my 12 weeks-premature, 2 lb., 8 oz. baby into the world, I knew I would forever be changed. And I was right; unknowingly, I stepped naturally into the role that was tailor-made for me. Read more…
By RACHEL GARLINGHOUSE
If you’re thinking about private adoption, be clear: it’s pricey. Domestic adoptions generally cost between $15,000 and $30,000 per adoption, and international adoptions cost even more. Add in legal counsel, paying birth parent expenses, and travel costs, and adopting a child can really take its financial toll.
Adopting a child is expensive because adoption is an industry; there are staff members to pay, court costs, expensive price tags for background checks, travel expenses and much more. Still, you can make adoption affordable. Consider the following to cut costs and raise capital for one of the most rewarding, enriching choices any one person can me—becoming a parent through adoption: Read more…
Please understand, the southern caste system that kept Gamma Bettye and Papa Jimy from getting the educations all children deserve made them value education like no other; they came from a generation of African Americans born and reared in the South—where black babies were relegated, by law, to substandard schools and books and jobs and neighborhoods and services. And so the first chance they could, they high-tailed themselves up North, first for jobs, second to find each other, and third to give their children the opportunities they were denied when they were little. But for your grandparents, there was no time for PTA meetings and school bake sales, no know-how when it came to writing essays or figuring out tough algebra problems, no advocacy with teachers. Maybe they felt like they couldn’t handle it. Perhaps it was what parents like them did in their time—trust that teachers are professionals capable of doing their jobs without parents getting in the middle of it all. Read more…
My blog homie Britni Danielle, who holds it down lovely over at Clutch (my online Bible for all things young, black, smart and feminine), has been putting in work at BabyCenter, where she blogs about motherhood. I’m so very proud of her work there (and super happy that someone thought to add a mom of color to the massive blogging line-up that, until Britni joined, included only one non-white mom—my homegirl Kimberly Allers Seals of MochaManual.com). Occasionally, Britni gives me a heads up on her writings, and yesterday, she hit me up on Twitter with this:
The comments are heating up. What do you say? Ever feel pressured to have more kids?
She was referring to a piece she’d written on BabyCenter, in which she declared that her son would likely be an only child, not because she’s not physically capable of having a second baby, but because she doesn’t want to have one. In her post,“Ever Feel Pressured To Have More Kids,” Britni writes:
Growing up, I visualized a house full of kids. I’d picture myself whipping up meals, while my children made mud pies in the yard, or I’d think about corralling them into the minivan for a family road trip. When I pictured my ideal life all those years ago, I never thought I’d be the mother of an only child.