Posts Tagged ‘parenting’


Bounce BackBlogBack in the 1900’s (well, that’s technically correct, but it makes me sound old)…In the late 90’s (ok, not much better. I was an adult when many of you reading this were not even alive, so I still feel seasoned)…Let’s just say “back in the day”, yeah, let’s go with that…Back in the day, I rode my bike without knee pads or a helmet.  However, nowadays, it seems that they issue safety equipment with every bike purchase. I used to drink water from the garden hose, but today, water must be bottled, chilled, and vapor-distilled with electrolytes.  I left the house in the morning and did not return until the street lights came on.  There were no apps or smartphones with GPS to track my every move and guess what, I turned out just fine.

Before you pounce, I agree, times are different now than they were “back in the day.”  Perhaps our awareness is greater due to technology and the internet but just go with me for a second. Think about it.  What life-skills did you develop when you fell off your bike and licked your wounds and kept playing? Or what about when you had to think critically to solve problems or resolve conflicts amongst friends because adults weren’t around to intervene? When we loss a game we had to deal with the emotion of not being good enough, this time.  Some took their ball and went home, but we know how life turned out for them if they continued on that path.  We did not receive feel-good trophies just for participating.  There was a level of resilience that was unintentionally and/or indirectly learned that may be absent from many of our kids today.

As parents, we are so close that we are able to grab our kids by the hand before they fall; anticipate their problems, and mitigate the risk before they are encountered. We mediate their conflicts and even provide solutions before providing them with the opportunity to think through their options. We lessen their loads so that they do not have to work as hard, but all at what cost?

Building Bounce-Back Power!

In our effort to provide our children with the life that we did not have, perhaps we are eliminating the character-building experiences that made us who we are. I believe that the majority of parents goal is for their children to be positive, productive citizens in society. Society includes others. Although we may be teaching them to be productive, but are we equally considering their ability to relate with and to others?  We doing our kids a disservice when we remove the resistance that builds the core of their internal resolve and strength — Bounce Back Power!

Fertilizer has a purpose.  It smells awful, but it also creates a fertile environment that promotes growth.  The same goes for our kids.  What stinks in their life could be the very thing that helps them grow. Resilience is one of the main characteristics that, I believe, is essential during a child’s adolescent years.  When a parent is not intentional about developing coping skills in their child(ren), it can significantly increase their stress levels as adults and impact their ability to socialize with others.  Without an ability to cope with life circumstances, adults become paralyzed and seek alternative means, outside of themselves, to produce happiness and peace.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust in God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill out hearts with his love.”  – Romans 5:3-5 LAB

I do not believe it is a mistake that the above passage mentioned these three characteristics that develop as we go through problems and trials.  The legendary coach, Vince Lombardi once said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” At some point in life, he knew we all would get knocked down, but are we intentionally teaching our kids how to get back up?

Think about it…where would you be if you did not have these three characteristics to depend on as an adult?  How would you respond in the midst of your storm? (Pause to allow time for reflection). So now you understand why it is equally important for you to be intentional about allowing your kids to face some level of problems and trials so that they develop an ability to cope as children.

Just in case you could not imagine what your life would be like without these characteristics, consider this.

Patience

According to Dictionary.com, Patience is your capacity to accept and/or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting upset or angry.  Perhaps you could not imagine life with patience, because you have none (IJS). Stress is real and it is a killer.  You can’t teach what you don’t know. Modeling the behavior is the best way to teach your child.  Use your life circumstances to point out when you had to be patient and how it benefited you. Continue to model it until they catch it.

Refer to Galatians 6:9 ESV – Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we don’t give up.

Character

Life is about choices.  The choices we make will be based on who we are as a person. Without patience, our character is the only thing that will keep us out of trouble. Problems are only compounded when our character causes us to make bad decisions in the midst of a trial.  Our character is based on how we think, who we are, and the moral compass that guides our actions. Your abilities may get you in the room, but your character is what will allow you to maintain what you obtained. What’s influencing the way you think?  How you think will determine who you become, which impacts what you do.

Refer to Proverbs 23:7a NKJV – “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Trust in God

“Do you!” is a popular catch-phrase that, in my opinion, is misguided, to say the least.  It proposes that we know what to do and have complete control over the future. But, I contend, as parents, we should stop telling our kids “you can be whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it.”  I believe this sets them up for failure and disappointment. The reality is they were born with a purpose.  Although they could be good at many things, there is something that will bring them great joy and fulfillment. As our kids “Original Mentors” (their parents), it is our responsibility to guide them on their journey toward discovering why God placed them on this earth.  Once they are on the path, we should help cultivate their faith in a way that causes them to depend less on us and trust more in the one who knows the plans that He has for them. God will reveal who they are and His intentions for how He will use them to impact the world. This is a matter of perspective.  You are not teaching them to think small or limit their capacity. You are actually expanding their capacity by getting them to depend on the one who is able to do more than we can ask or think — God!

Refer to Proverbs 3:5-6 NLTTrust in the Lord with all of your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 

Parents…to help your kid(s) fully realize who God has created them to be, you must be who He designed you to become. – TheOriginalMentor.com

Where Do You Go From Here?

Perhaps you read this blog and realized that you need to take action steps to help your child(ren) develop patience, character, and trust in God.  I suggest you read Super Pencil as a family.

Super Pencil & Revenge of Talking TelevisionsSuper Pencil is a realistic fiction, coming of age story about a boy growing up in the suburbs who has to be patient, build character, and trust God. when he is forced to navigate finding friends, fitting in, feeling lonely, and react to being bullied.

From fourth grade boys to middle school girls, or a parent wanting to spend quality time with their child (ren), Super Pencil is a non-stop adventure that will make you laugh, think, cry, and then cheer for the good guy. 

Go to SuperPencilSaga.com/shop to order your copy today.

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I have prayed, pondered, and almost wept over the last several weeks while trying to make sense out of all of this.  I have asked myself, which American do I prefer my son to live in?  If I had to choose between a society where he is aware of who dislikes him because of the color of his skin and they are open and honest about their prejudices OR would I prefer he lived in a country where people overtly express their love for him, but covertly act in a way that does not support that notion? My answer…Neither! But if I had to choose, I would much rather know who hates me and have the ability to respond accordingly than to not know and suffer the effects of their hatred and discrimination. I would rather know than to be frustrated by an invisible wall of resistance, not understanding why I am not able to get beyond where I am.

Honestly, the Neo-Nazi / Racist protesters in Charlottesville don’t scare me. I am more fearful of the Congressman who verbally detest what they did and stand for, but not willing to make policies that counter the systemic injustices that are taking place within our criminal justice system.

I am more afraid of the police officer who pulls me over because he does not think I can afford or deserve to live in my neighborhood and points a gun at me because of his preconceived notions of me.

I am more terrified of an Attorney General who believes Affirmative Action is an injustice to him because he fails to process or understand the need for the law, to begin with.

I am more panic-stricken by a social construct that is built to limit the economic opportunities of an entire community of people but can make it appear as if it is their fault for not working hard enough.

I am more frightened of people who did not know, realize, or acknowledge that racism still existed until seeing the torches and swastikas in Charlottesville.

I could go on, but there is a group of people who look far less threatening, but possess an extraordinary amount of influence and power to impact my son’s life in ways that will affect generations to come.

Elie Wiesel said, “the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.” To say you care for someone and detest actions that hurt or offend the ones you say you care about without the willingness to make sacrifices for them, will cause your genuineness to be called into question. Colin Kaepernick simply chose not to be indifferent. It is evident why he protested is true and still taking place today. It’s ok to question his motives until he explains why he took a knee in the first place.  To continue to have a problem with his non-violent, silent protest after he explains why, only exacerbates his reasons for kneeling, to begin with.

Kaepernick is a microcosm of what I fear. He represents a community of people doing a right thing for the right reason, however, because someone has POWER and INFLUENCE, they oppress them, remove the economic opportunity, and make it appear to be ALL their fault.

Suppose that was your kid with a conviction? Do you believe he should lose his livelihood and ability to take care of his family because he decided to have a voice?  Would you support your son or ask him to compromise?

In closing, Steve Bannon called the protestors of Charlottesville a “collection of clowns.” At first glance, it appears to be the “pot calling the kettle black.” However, after I mused over it a bit more, I believe it justified my argument above. Bannon is the type that I fear. He is someone with influence, in a position of power, who can oppress the opportunities of a set of people. He can call the Neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville “clowns” because he views them as being beneath him and only masquerading with no “real” power or influence. If this type can cause us to focus on them (the clowns), then those with influence and power can continue to “Make America Great Again” without any opposition.

We must not allow tweets from 45 and social media post to distract us from what they are enacting or the indifference of those who were elected to follow through on what they say they stand for.  It is not enough to make public statements that denounce bigotry, then fail to pass legislation that eradicates the same; or worse, write laws that perpetuate the injustices.

Call your Congressman or Congresswomen, today, and tell them that they can no longer be indifferent.  Cause them to act on what they say they believe. Secret hate is far worse than public love.  Make the call today!

TheOriginalMentor.com


You Are More Than What They See

OK…I will get straight to the point.  Parenting is only a “role”, NOT who YOU are.  Do not lose yourself trying to help someone else discover who they are, even if they are your children.  This is easier said than done.  We are only 3 sentences in and you have already quoted or remembered advise that someone told you before your first one was born.  “Make time for yourself!”  But in reality, with all of the demands (task) that others place on our schedule, we feel an overwhelming burden to make sure that everyone else’s needs are taken care of that we forget that we have needs, wants, and desires of our own.

Parenting is only a Role

The above image (courtesy of www.rebirthofreason.com) is a great depiction of our lives.  It is easy to become consumed with the many tasks associated with the various roles that we lose who we are. Parenting is no different.

Before becoming a husband or wife, a mother or father, a professional or tradesman, I was (Insert your name here).  You never ceased being (Insert your name here) when you took on these roles.  These roles simply meant that you have new responsibilities and tasks associated with who you are, but they should not redefine who you are.

The Danger in the Chaos

You can not delegate the responsibilities of being (Insert your name here) to anyone else.  Therefore, if you do not make the time to remember, discover, and cultivate (Insert your name here), you may wake up tomorrow, or even worse…years from now, wondering where all of the time has gone.  You may even resent the roles, task, responsibilities and the people associated with each because you now realize that it was all for them and not you.

The Battle Within

Selfish, huh? NOPE!  Maybe from their perspective, but not when you have neglected other God-given assignments, passions, dreams that have been lying dormant inside of you because of your focus on all of the other “stuff!”

When kids move out, some parents realize they have lost their sense of self and for others their marriages fall apart because a disproportionate amount of time, talent, and treasure was spent on one role (name your role/task here) than on others (husband/wife or name your role/task here).

Parenting is a role that lasts a lifetime, but should be redefined as your children reach various milestones.  I believe some parents enable their kids, self consciously or purposely, so that they do not leave the home at 18.  This allows them to continue being a parent and not face the reality of it only being a role.

Digging for Treasure (Discover & Cultivate You)

There is a treasure, a passion, a calling that was hidden inside of you at conception (2 Corinthians 4:6-7 KJV).  When we were kids, our self conscience allowed us to live in that place for hours at a time, imagining (visioning) what life would be like when we were older. To cultivate something is to prepare and develop it for a greater use.  We must put down all of the tasks, even the ones that we feel are most important and even define who we are, to discover and cultivate our true sense of self.

When you know who you are, I would venture to say that you will preform your tasks at an even higher level of excellence, because they will be wrapped in the true essence of who you are.

So…Tell Me About (Insert your name here)

I just love that interview question, “Tell me about yourself.” Even when meeting someone for the first time, we define ourselves by the “role(s)” we value most. “Hi…I’m a Doctor, a Lawyer, Stay-at-home Mom/Dad.”

Why don’t we say “Hi, I’m a Christian, an optimistic, adventurous, generous, caring creative, resilient, hard worker, etc. These descriptions actually give a glimpse into who you are and how you handle the various roles, task, and responsibilities assigned to you.

Start TODAY!!!

Below are a few steps that you can take TODAY to discover and cultivate the true YOU!

  1. Find Quiet Time. Find at least 30mins a day, when you do nothing but sit in silence.  I know..30mins seems too good to be true.  Start with 5 mins, then work your way up.  I hear you, I need more time! MAKE THE TIME!  Delegate some of those other tasks and responsibilities. This is important to your mental and physical health and well-being. Remember, quiet time.  Not reading a book or browsing social media.  Complete silence.
  2. Find Your Frequency: Drown out the noise, so that you can hear what is going on inside of you.  Your brain will be used to being overstimulated, thinking about what you should be and could be doing.  Relax!  Give it time.  This is kinda like a finding the frequency to your favorite radio station.  It is always on air, but it is up to you to “tune in” to the proper frequency to hear what is being said.  Give it time.
  3. Write YOUR Vision: But Not Yet!  You must take the time to retrain your mind on how to drown out the noise so that you can hear clearly.  After a couple weeks, your true self will continue to speak.  Do not worry about forgetting what you thought about.  If it is really who you are and not just another good idea for someone else’s benefit, it will come to your again.  Listen for patterns and themes of thought.
  4. Cultivate: After you have written down who you are, begin to take the steps required to prepare and develop YOU!  This is a journey, not a destination.  When you are tuned in, you will continuously discover ways to become the YOU you were born to be.

TheOriginalMentor

 


F-You

Think of everyone who has ever made you MAD…Everyone who has ever BETRAYED you…everyone who OWES you something…Think of all of your HATERS…Think of everyone who has ever said they loved you, but BROKE YOUR HEART…Now…scream as loud as you can… (((((( F-YOU!!!! ))))))  again  ((((( F-YOU!!! )))))).  Feel better?  Whew…I Do!

I was reading a social media feed and someone asked, “what is the number one quality for creating a lasting relationship?” I read the typical answers of Communication…Faithfulness, Loyalty.  My typical answer is always “friendship”, but after I typed my answer I was surprised to read it. It was like an out-of-body experience.  In my mind I thought “friendship”, but to my shock, I typed “FORGIVENESS”?  I erased it, to retype Friendship, but “Forgiveness” appeared a second time.  #BlankStare

I sat and pondered what just happened.  I have never considered “forgiveness” as the #1 quality of a good relationship, until that point. As I thought about it more, I decided to hit enter. #FinalAnswer.

Relationships end when a person decides that they are not willing to forgive a person one more time than they mess up.

As parents, we tend to forgive our kids more than anyone in any other relationship that we have.  Our kids make mistakes daily, but our unconditional love for them enables us to forgive them and even reward them on the very same day.  Of course, any good parent does not reward negative behavior, but when I say “reward” I mean we feed, cloth, shelter, and love them in spite of.

With most other relationships, if someone betrayed us, it may take us days, weeks, months, or years to even speak to them again, if we do at all. Some of you reading this have people who you have not spoken to in years, due to how they wronged you.  Why can we so easily offer forgiveness in the context of parenting, but not to other relationships that we seek to nurture?

Even as husband and wife, we do not offer the same level of unconditional love to them as we do to our kids.  We hold grudges and give a false sense of forgiveness, only to reveal that what you did 6 months ago was only tucked away until you did something new that reminded me of how you hurt me before.

F-You! is an empowering phrase that allows you to release the weight and stress from a past hurt.  It gives you permission to love again, to care again, to be vulnerable, to the point that allows you to experience the connection with others that you long for, but reject because you are afraid of being hurt again.  Failure to forgive is, really, self-punishment that creates a landmine in relationships where the other person has to tiptoe around praying that they do not step in a spot that sets off an explosion In you

Forgiveness is your WILLINGNESS to let go of bitterness toward someone who has wronged you.

It is a choice.  You chose to take offense.  You are choosing to be unhappy.  Forgiveness is more than words, it must be a change in heart, a change in how you feel about a person.  It is not to simply think of them as if they no longer exist. Forgiveness is being able to speak to someone or be in the presence of someone who wronged you and not wish ill will upon them.  When you do not forgive it takes root in your heart and then spreads and choke out every good trait that is within YOU.  Yes…Within You! Forgiveness is for you.  The person that did you wrong often continues to live life none the wiser, while you continue to devote energy in a direction of someone who does not deserve it.  You are now distracted from concentrating and focusing on you, your life and accomplishing the goals that you have set.

Dealing with Unforgiveness

Your future is your responsibility.  Take control of your future, by taking back the power that you gave to the one who harmed you.  By allowing them to have a piece of you, you are not able to give all of your self to the ones who truly deserve to benefit from who you are. You are cheating the people who love you because you are not willing to let go of what was done in the past.

#1 – Pray

Allow God to deal with it.  We spend too much time trying to control things and people who are outside of our control.  Ask God to remove the bitterness from your heart.  Unforgiveness is a sin.

#2 – Demonstrate Forgiveness

Do something for that person to serve them instead of resenting them. Generosity is the ACT of Love and prevents you from being imprisoned by things of your past.

You know you have Forgiven when:

  • You see the person and your bitterness is gone.
  • The Love of God causes you to want the best for them.

Perhaps you are the one who wronged someone else.  Go to them and ask for forgiveness. Read Mathew 18:15

#3 – Forgive Yourself

Sometimes the person we need to forgive most is ourselves.  Love yourself, God Loves you and will forgive you, no matter what we did.  Read Psalms 103:12 

If you want a relationship that last, that is meaningful, fruitful, and happy, you must determine if that person is worthy of being forgiven one more time than they mess up.  Are you willing to tolerate their flaws one more time than they get it right?  I am not talking about the big things, because far more often, it is the little things like leaving underwear on the floor, not letting the toilet seat down, not putting the toliet paper on the spool, and leaving the lights on that weighs become the landmine that destroys the relationship.

Do you love them enough, to remove the conditions, and accept them for who they are?  At that point is when you know you have found someone you can be in a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

Micah 7:18-19 18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. 19He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.


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I did a Facebook poll a couple weeks ago where I asked my “Friends”, “Mom vs. Dad: Who has the hardest role?”  Instantly, they began to answer Mom…Mom, MOM (no question), Mom!  I even challenged them to really think about it before answering, but it did not appear that anyone had to ponder long.  After a couple post, a few people responded Dad, then the answer that I was looking for sprinkled into the conversation. BOTH!

I was raised in a single parent home, by my mom.  I did not meet my father until I was about 4 years old (he was in prison).  I watched first hand the struggles my mother endured to ensure that all of my needs and wants were met.  Without thinking, I could easily determine that a mothers role is much more difficult than fathers, but then I became one.

I understand that perspective has everything to do with how a person answers this question, which is why I wanted to challenge everyone to reconsider who has the more difficult task of raising a child.  The gravity of the responsibility, I believe, is one of the reasons why some fathers run instead of embracing it.  If more men embraced their role, we would not experience the many societal ills that plague our communities.

According to the Father’s Manifesto, statistics show that:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
  • 85% of youth in prisons grew up in fatherless homes
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in drug treatment centers come from fatherless homes

Children from fatherless homes are:

  • 5 Times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of school
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substance
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison

My goal is not to paint a doom and gloom picture.  Scores of single moms do an amazing job raising their children.  My mom did.  I am fortunate to say that I am not ANY of the statistics above.  However, considering the statistics should give you some indication of how important the role of a father is, because, without it, the wheels seem to fall off.

To know the purpose of a thing you have to go back to when it was originally created.  We can not judge who’s role is hardest based on our perception of that role.  Societies subjective view of fathers has caused us to demonize, forget and even minimize the relevance that fathers have.

And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction. – Malachi 4:6

A father’s role is to Guide, Guard, and Govern the family:

Guide

When you are lost, a compass can be instrumental in helping you navigate to your destination.  A GPS is helpful, but only when you know where you are going.  A father’s role is to, first, help their children determine where they are so that they can have an understanding of which direction they are trying to go.  Not just physically, but instilling a moral compass provides a foundation which helps the child(ren) make good decisions when their parents are not around.  (Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

Guard

Generally speaking, God made men physically larger and stronger than women.  Instinctively, men embrace the role to protect and guard their family.  However, threats come from many directions. Men buy guns and home security systems to protect their homes, but many of the things that we should guard against were walked in by our kids.  Whatever influences our children’s thoughts determines who they become, which impacts their behavior.  Men, we must be gatekeepers and watchmen of our homes to prevent anything from invading the minds of anyone within our household.  The music they listen to, the TV shows they watch, the websites and social media sites they surf, the video games they play, should not have a greater influence than our words and the behaviors we model. Being on guard against the unseen may be more important than guarding against who is trying to sneak up behind you…at least you can see and hear them coming.  (Read Ephesians 6:12)

Govern

Learning to respect authority begins at home.  Although, as of late, I do not agree with the actions of law enforcement, I will continue to teach my son to adhere to the laws and even demands of a police officer.  Properly disciplining him and reinforcing what his mother says teaches him to love, honor, and respect women, not only his mother.  Without these lessons at home, children develop a trigger that causes them to challenge authority, not because the authority is wrong, but because it is not what they want to do at that moment.  Fathers should not abuse the authority given to them, instead of governing their household in a way that everyone develops a healthy respect for all authority.  (Read Ephesians 6:4)

I invite you to think and evaluate parenting outside of our circumstances and consider the true role of a mother and father.  When each role is fulfilled as intended, I think that it is difficult or even impossible to say that one is harder than the other.  Both are needed and required to help children maximize their potential and fully develop into who God intended them to be.

“Mothers teach children HOW to love, but Fathers teach them WHO to love.” – Pastor Smokie Norful

When the mother or the father is absent,  the child will either know how to love, but never find the right person or know who to love, but never realize the benefits, because they do not know how.

For The Single Mothers: Some of you may take exception to this blog.  In no way is this intended to minimize the exceptional role you have played as a single mom.  As I stated above, I am a product of one.  If you have been forced to parent alone, my heart goes out to you.  However, I would like you to objectively imagine how different your life would be if you had someone, a true partner like I described above. It is possible! Perhaps not with the one you chose to be the father of your children, but it is possible.  Click Here and read another blog that I wrote about that very topic.  My prayer is that it will liberate you and empower you to keep going.


protect and serve

“Hi, Mr. Police Officer!” I recall my son saying when we walked into the Wendy’s on Telegraph and 5 miles. #Detroit Two police officers were enjoying their lunch. I remember the surprised look on their faces when they saw a little black boy cheerfully greet them. A few moments later, I also remember the joy I felt when I realized that my son had not yet developed a bias for the very ones who are called to “protect and serve.” The two cops engaged my son and I allowed him to approach them and talk because he had nothing to be afraid of. Although I struggled as I had flashbacks on the 1….2…3…4…5…6…7…numerous times when I was pulled over and confronted by police since I began to drive at 16, I will still teach my son the importance of respecting authority.

Below are a few instances that I recall:

1. As recent as 4th of July weekend of this year (2014), I announced and warned the officer prior to reaching for the glove compartment to get my insurance papers, in fear of making a sudden move…All while my other hand stayed perched on the steering wheel making sure it remained in plain view. Many of my precautions have become second nature to me because I have learned from my “experience”, stories of others and news reports. Be cautious.

2. I recall another instance of helicopters overhead and a 12 gauge in my face. “Get out of the car now!” I refused, keeping my hands held high, with a look of wonder, only to be snatched out and slammed against the car, handcuffed, car searched and trashed. I overhear one cop say, “this is not him”, but the one cop refusing to give up and continues to press against me and question me. In the end, with no apology, they simply let me go and refused to give an explanation as to why I was treated so. They realized I was only guilty of being a second-year college student at the Michigan State University, who was driving a nice rental car. #mistakenidentity

3. I recall a time being pulled over because my “windows were down and it was cold outside.” #brokenwindow?

4. I recall being pulled over because my “headlights were on and it was daytime.” #nowstandard

5. I recall being detained and demanded to searched because “they assumed that we were trying to steal the car…this is a nice car.” Well, sorry to disappoint, we are friends who were wrestling because we all wanted to sit in the front seat. Our reply, “now that you see that it is our car, not stolen, tell me why you are requesting to search for it again?” We knew our rights, so we refused. They let us go. #havingfun

6. I recall being pulled over because I was trying to “avoid a traffic signal” but I was going to Office Depot. #ineededpaper

7. I recall a time with my wife at my side and my son in the back, while they approached with hands on the guns screaming to “stay in the car.” No worries, my hands will remain visible at all times. “Next time wear your seatbelt and do not place your GPS on the windshield.” I replied, “Mr. Officer, where do you suggest I place it…and I always wear my seatbelt.” #Wheaton, IL …I could go on and these are just a few that I recall.

Reminiscing brings back the feelings of betrayal, disgust, confusion, and anger that cycled through me back then because I was never really told “why” or their motive for pulling me over. Instead, I was given an excuse to justify what I believe was in their heart. It is unfortunate, but there will come a day when I will have to school my son on the protocol and precautions that are required for him to minimize the chances of those who are supposed to “protect and serve”, saying that he provoked them to take actions that could harm him, embarrass him, or even end his life. Although I will not pass down any bias or cast dispersion on the whole because of a few, as a parent, father, black man in America, I feel that is it my duty to prepare him for what he may encounter.

It does not feel fair or right, but unless you are “me” you can not relate to or understand the pressure I still feel as a Black Man. Unfortunately, they do not take the time to realize that I am a God Fearing, educated, gentle, kind-hearted, polite, well mannered, son, husband, father, HUMAN BEING, that is Black.

My heart cries out for the families of ALL the young men who did nothing to cause their demise. #praying Police have procedures to follow and levels of protocol and progressions that should be adhered to, EVERY TIME. I respect them for putting their lives on the line every day, to “Protect & Serve.” However, we must not tolerate negligent and even blatant disregard for life.

Does the shot have to be a fatal one? Especially when no weapons are found on the individual?

The Internet and social media have allowed us to witness and contrast the way officers detain and arrest minorities vs. Whites. Example, in Aurora, Colorado James Holmes was “arrested” after killing 15 people and wounding 50. Arrested, not killed. He proved he was a threat, however, the polices reaction was not a fatal one.

Media must stop being bias and even silencing their own when it does not benefit their “corporate interest” and “political agendas”. We can not tolerate the slaughter of a community and crippling of family structure. I understand that all cops are not bad, but we must look deeper to determine why the “fatal shot” is becoming all too common.

Saddened and troubled because it is far deeper than what we see. If we do not get to the root and continue to treat the symptoms, it will be just like rubbing alcohol on an open cut to cure Cancer….action that is painful but has not a solution.

The Original Mentor


spank

“Black-ish” is a new series about a black family in American, who is a has matriculated the finest universities and assimilated into an upper-class neighborhood but grew up in the culture of the inner city. They are now faced with choices within their new culture that collide with the culture they were exposed to while growing up. This dynamic has challenged them to create a new normal for them and their children. During the show, we are able to watch them discuss and ponder the effects of parenting based on what they know or adjusting to what they now feel is feel is the best. Last night the father (Dre) played by Anthony Anderson had to make a decision on whether or not to spank his youngest son for the practical jokes that they continuously told him to stop doing. Dre spent the entire episode being judged by his father who called him “soft” for not “whopping” his son, to his co-workers who were appalled at the very thought of “someone” else whopping their child…even though they thought it was ok to spank their own. Ultimately he decided to do what worked best for his son and his family, however, it was interesting to watch him and his wife Rainbow, played by Tracey Ellis Ross, consider the consequences “To Spank or Not To Spank”?

Spanking has always been a hot topic and has resurfaced, due to recent studies and the case against NFL superstar Adrien Petterson. The grand debate and academic study are centered around if it is really beneficial to spank your child(ren) or are they harmful by teaching that “the stronger person is right; hitting models hitting; hitting leads to abuse; spanking devalues the child; etc.”

First of all, I did not get spankings, I got WHOPPINGS!!!  Although I got whoppings with a little blue patent leather belt and other times I had to go outside and pluck the leaves off the “tree branch” that I was going to be beaten with, I am now a very loving husband and father.  I was raised by a very young single mom, who always disciplined me in love. I was spanked and I turned out alright, so that means that it is alright for me to do the same to my son…right?

Truth is, my son is now 9 years old and besides an occasional thumb to the chest when he was younger, he has never ever had a whopping (spanking…whatever you call it).  However, if you were around when he was deserving of any form of discipline, the way he cowards when I approach (or a simple snap of my fingers) would make you think that I beat him on a regular basis. He has a respect for me and his mother that did not have to be obtained by spanking him every time he did something that we did not approve of.

I really believe in spanking (at least I think so). Although, as I said, I have never had to actually spank my son. I was not driven by the notion that just because “I turned out ok,” that spanking was the correct way to discipline him.  He is his own person and spanking him could have a drastically different impact on him than it had on me. Instead, we used positive reinforcement by rewarding the behavior we desired, explaining “why” certain behaviors were not acceptable, and by modeling the proper behavior. Besides, the undesirable behaviors all came with natural consequences. Helping him understand the principle of cause and effect prevented him from making the same mistakes twice (most of the time).

The societal norm seems to have shifted to the opinion that spanking is not acceptable and that parents should resort to other forms of discipline.  However, when a person is unruly, we accept it and even encourage it when law enforcement uses force to bring order.  I would much rather a parent spank a child, in love, to prevent them from having an encounter with the billy club of an officer.  I believe if the appropriate level of discipline is given at home we could minimize the number of encounters needed by police.

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24 (NIV).  I believe that parenting is intentional…thus being “careful.” Parents must be in tune with the consistent forms of discipline required to cause their children to be obedient. As I stated, I was a child that received whoopings and even preferred them over losing privileges.  When my mother gave me a choice between a spanking and not being able to play outside, I always chose the spanking.  Spankings were over in 5mins. Whereas a “punishment” lasted weeks.  Eventually, she caught on, especially when she realized that whoopings did not even hurt me anymore.

About a week ago, in New York, Appellate Division said there was insufficient evidence to uphold that charge, and gave him a pass on the spanking.

“The father’s open-handed spanking of the child as a form of discipline after he heard the child curse at an adult was a reasonable use of force and, under the circumstances presented here, did not constitute excessive corporal punishment,” the four-judge panel ruled in a unanimous decision.  Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/court-parents-spank-kids-article-1.1874088#ixzz38hvJMwx0

I am happy to see that the court left the power of parenting in the rightful hands of the parents.  Although, I do understand that regulations are required to ensure that parents do not cross the lines to abuse.  For this reason, I believe that parents and politicians will continuously debate what is to be appropriate, by generally imposing their own parenting style on others, instead of objectively evaluating each situation to determine what was a reasonable use of force.

What do you think?  Is spanking good or bad?