I Stand United with MOBB

A moment of truth…It was Trayvon Martin’s death that made me scared for my son’s life. I was sitting there watching the news and seeing his mother’s face filled with so much pain and anguish that something broke in me that day. How could someone gun down a child? It wasn’t the first time it happened, but this was a local member of the neighborhood watch.  It left me wondering how had this country changed. What could I do to protect my son?

In reality, it was nothing. I mean the country had elected the first black president in 2008 and we were worse off than I could ever imagine. Racism, hate and anger seemed to be spewing at him. But, I had a black son. I had a son that would grow up knowing that he was born in the year where America made a decision to elect a black man to the highest position in the country. Anything was possible. I believed my son could do anything and be anything at that point.

But, the country seemed to change. The color of his skin made the closet hate mongers realize that we as a people couldn’t be kept down. We could do or be anything. He endured. He endured people trash talking him, his wife and his children. However, something changed when Trayvon died. When he announced in that press conference that Trayvon could have been his son, I realized that he was acknowledging his blackness in a way that was never done. He was a father before he was a president. He was a man.

It was in that moment that I accepted that my son would always have a target on his back. I held him tighter. Many more deaths. Many more boys and men. Tamir Rice was only a few years older than Munch. I couldn’t understand. Philandro Castille and the country was in an uproar. It was a long hot summer. I was angry and wanted to do something. I am a mother to a black son. I had to save him. I proclaimed that I didn’t endure multiple attempts at pregnancy, bed rest and an emergency delivery to let him die on the streets like a dog. I had to stand for something. I had to do something.

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But, what? Last year, CNN reported that black men are nearly 3 times as likely to die from police use of force than white men. I was scared. How could I keep my son safe? How could I help him to understand why I don’t let him play with toy guns. Why I advocated for clothing that showed him as an innocent non-threatening black boy.

It was at that time that someone added me to a group on FaceBook called Mothers of Black Boys United (MOBB). This group was amazing. I saw articles on advocacy. I saw support and concern from mothers all over the world. I saw women united for the sole purpose of making sure their black sons had an opportunity to grow up.

So, I joined. Not just the FaceBook group, but the organization. I wanted to make a change. Not just talk about it, but be about it. MOBB advocates to change how young black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement and in society. I was now part of a mission to protect our black boys. It was bigger than me. It was a community of mothers committed to make a difference.

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Yesterday was #givingTuesday all over. Many of you gave back with your charitable donations. It’s still time. Still time to give and help raise funds for a worthy cause. Can you please join me by donating to MOBB? Just click this link: Donate to MOBB

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Your support is invaluable. As little as $1.00 can make a difference. Thank you for supporting.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

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Service to Others

One of my favorite quotes is by Shirley Chisholm. She said “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” This is a profound statement and something that I believe in wholeheartedly. I’ve tried to live my life serving others. This service is part of who I am and what I teach my son.

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We must give back. We must make sure that we are serving others because it is through our service that we appreciate all that we have. We are to be thankful.

Whenever the opportunity arises to serve, I will always try to be available. It brings me joy being able to help others. To find ways to give back to organizations that service our community.

Will you help?

Wreaths Across America is an incredible organization that purchases wreaths for the headstones of our fallen soldiers. They rely on volunteers and organizations to assist in their efforts of giving back. They receive no government funding. It’s all individual sponsorships and some corporate sponsorships that allow them to do the work that they do. If you can donate a wreath to place on a headstone this year, it would be amazing.

I and many volunteers will be there to place the wreaths on the headstones of our veterans. We will say the names of those that have died serving our country as we place a holiday wreath on their grave site. We want to cover as many headstones as possible and with your help we can do so. Can you please share this post on your social media feeds? Can you please donate wreaths? You can donate  a wreath through our page by clicking here: Wreaths Across America

I truly thank you and appreciate each and every one of you. One wreath for one headstone is $15.00. If I can get 100 of my followers to purchase a wreath we will meet our goal. Can you help?

Steps for Donating:

  1. Click the link: Wreaths Across America
  2. Click the red donate box
  3. Click sponsor a wreath
  4. Select the number of wreaths you want to sponsor

The deadline for all donations is Friday, December 1, 2017.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 11.27.17

Today is the last Monday of the month. I was trying to think of ways to inspire you when I thought about what I’ll be doing today. I’ll be at Munch’s school volunteering to help the staff get the children’s fall photos done. Yes, we’re late. Yes, I’m disappointed about the time the school selected, but I’m so happy.

Why? Because I love to watch the children smile or hide smiles. Some kids grin is so wide and goofy that you have no other choice but to smile. Others think they’re too cool to smile and I’ll stand behind the photographer and make funny faces. Smiling is very good for you it’s healthy.

I think we all need to remember to smile. No matter what is going on in life you can’t let the enemy see you falter. You have to get up, keep fighting, keep pushing forward and doing it with a smile. There’s truth in a smile. There’s pain in a smile, but there’s also joy and hope in a smile. 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Be A Blessing

Can you be a blessing this year? To our veteran’s? My sorority has partnered up with Wreaths Across America to fund raise for wreaths to be placed on the grave sites of the fallen soldiers. We will be placing wreaths for the fallen soldiers on Saturday, December 16th at U.S. Soldier and Airmen’s Cemetery in Washington, DC and we need your help to reach our goal. Our goal is 100 wreaths.

Last year was my first year volunteering at this ceremony. Munch and I attended with my sorority sisters and I have to tell you that I was honored to be a part of such a beautiful tradition. I thought Munch would be scared, but he wasn’t. He grabbed the wreaths and put them on the headstones wishing each fallen soldier a very Merry Christmas.

This year we will say the names of those that have died serving our country as we place a holiday wreath on their grave site. We want to cover as many headstones as possible and with your help we can do so. Can you please share this post on your social media feeds? Can you please donate wreaths? You can donate  a wreath through our page by clicking here: Wreaths Across America

I truly thank you and appreciate each and every one of you. One wreath for one headstone is $15.00. If I can get 100 of my followers to purchase a wreath we will meet our goal. Can you help?

Steps for Donating:

  1. Click the link: Wreaths Across America
  2. Click the red donate box
  3. Click sponsor a wreath
  4. Select the number of wreaths you want to sponsor

The deadline for all donations is Friday, December 1, 2017.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Want to Guest Host?

Hello my faithful and wonderful readers. I am taking a blogging break from December 26 through January 1, 2018 to spend time with my Munch. If you would like to guest host on my blog during this time, let me know and I would love to host you.

Some housekeeping items for hosting on my site:

  • Read through my site. I discuss everything about life, love, dating, parenting and relationships and anything in between. Keep with my genre topics.
  • Make it fun and relateable. Let readers want to know more about you and to follow you.
  • Respond to any comments a reader leaves on my page. This is a must for me. Let them know that you appreciate their response on your post and answer any questions.
  • Keep the swearing to a minimum. I love a good curse word two, but your post shouldn’t be all about your invention of new curse words.
  • Posts should be between 250-800 words or less
  • Create a catchy title
  • Reblog and share on your site and social media handles

That’s about it. I will host seven bloggers and just let me know on this post if you are interested in being a guest blogger. Thank you in advance.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

A Veteran’s Wreath

A Veteran’s Wreath is a wreath that is placed on the headstone of our veterans. It is meant to honor, respect and teach. We honor our Veteran’s by putting the wreath on their headstone. We respect them by saying their names when placing the wreaths and we teach our children the value of service.

Can you please sponsor a wreath this holiday season? My sorority has partnered up with Wreaths Across America to fund raise for wreaths to be placed on the grave sites of the fallen soldiers. We will be placing wreaths for the fallen soldiers on Saturday, December 16th at U.S. Soldier and Airmen’s Cemetery in Washington, DC and we need your help to reach our goal. Our goal is 100 wreaths.

We can reach that goal with your help. We want to cover as many headstones as possible at our location and with your help we can do so. Can you please share this post on your social media feeds? Can you please donate wreaths? You can donate a wreath through our page by clicking here: Wreaths Across America

I truly thank you and appreciate each and every one of you. One wreath for one headstone is $15.00. If I can get 100 of my followers to purchase a wreath we will meet our goal. Can you help?

Steps for Donating:

  1. Click the link: Wreaths Across America
  2. Click the RED donate box
  3. Click sponsor a wreath
  4. Select the number of wreaths you want to sponsor

The deadline for all donations is Friday, December 1, 2017.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Day 23: Today – Thanksgiving

I’m thankful for today. I’m thankful that it is Thanksgiving and that I can be with my family today. Although Munch will be out of town with his dad, he will be there in spirit. I am thankful for being able to smell the home cooked meals and tasting all my mother’s cooking. In a weird twist of fate, she will be home this year and she’s cooking so I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful that I survived 23 days of telling you what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful that I got to share a piece of me with each of you. I’m thankful for all my followers and I’m thankful for each and every reader of my blog. Truly.

I want you to know that this day is about sharing with our family and friends and being thankful for all that we have. Even if your half is less than someone else, be thankful. Gratitude is a must. Be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

 

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

The Harsh Truth About Spanking – Part 2

In yesterday’s post I talked about how spanking is one form of discipline, but that is one form that we need to get away from. Discipline takes many different forms and you can discipline without spanking. It is possible. There are no statistics that support that spanking makes children better than those who were not spanked. In reality, when spanking leaves a mark it now goes into abuse. Do you want to take that chance?

This is what happened to Tyrese. It wasn’t about men and women. It wasn’t about a bitter ex trying to keep him from his child. It was about a parenting choice to spank your child. A choice about whether or not corporal punishment was better than using the situation as a teachable moment.

I met a young woman in college who grew up in a military family. Her dad was a major in the Army. She said that she had a sister and her dad never hit them. She said that when they got in trouble, he made them do drills. She said that she would have to awaken at 5 a.m. and go on 2 mile runs with her dad and do 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups. She was exhausted. She said that she never wanted to get in trouble because she didn’t want to  do exercise.

That was the first time that I had met someone that was black that hadn’t been subjected to a belt, a switch, a shoe, etc. This was a different way of parenting. Was it better or worse than a spanking? I wasn’t sure, but it was something that was totally different than what I had experienced.

Now, the basis of positive parenting involves the shift in being both positive and authentic with our children. That’s what I discovered a couple of years ago. Munch’s attitude was always so negative. So, I tried to redirect. I decided to find ways to communicate with my child that didn’t involve lashing out and spanking.

Am I perfect? No, I’m not. I haven’t mastered it all. I have lashed out to Munch out of frustration. Remember last year when I talked about it in my post Mommy Meltdown? I talked about how I had cursed at my son. I felt horrible. I cried. What was wrong with me? I felt like I was taking a huge step back.

Many people assured me that they’ve had breakdowns too. Forgive yourself they instructed. I did. But, I also owed Munch an apology. I was leading him by example and I wanted him to know that I was wrong. That I should not have lashed out at him or cursed at him.

This was something I never experienced growing up. But, parents should apologize when they make mistakes. How could I expect him to apologize for his actions if I couldn’t do it? We hugged and talked and after a while the pain of feeling like I failed him dissolved.

Positive parenting involves a commitment to approaching your children with love, kindness and being authentic. You approach it as a way to teach your children without the fear of punitive damages. I admit it was hard for me to get my head around it at first. Why? Because what about “spare the rod and spoil the child”. Was I going to do more harm by respecting, leading and redirecting negative behaviors than not hitting him?

No.

When I learned that more than anything in this world that I wanted my son to grow up knowing that his mother’s hands were those of love and not violence then it was easy to make the shift. I wanted my son to want to learn and understand without me lashing out or spanking him. I changed my tactics.

I’ve never looked back. I don’t see spanking as a way to teach a lesson. I went to college, I have a degree and I liked to think that I have some common sense too. I see the benefits of creating an environment where Munch is respected and can learn in love. Where he sees that we all have bad days, but ultimately we are accountable for our actions.

To that point, I disagree with spanking in general. I disagree with Tyrese spanking his daughter. It isn’t necessary. He now has his 50/50 custody back with a court appointed clinical psychologist as a monitor until June 2018 and has to go to parenting classes and neither him or his ex can use corporal punishment on their daughter. But, why did it take a judge telling him this? Let’s find a better way of teaching our children’s lessons without resorting to physical punishment.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Day 22: A Chance to Escape

Whether in books or in film, I’m thankful for great works that allow me the opportunity to escape reality. Do you escape? Do you get away? Take mental breaks and read about new destinations and places?

We all get burned out and whether it be mini dates with yourself or your loved one or taking a break in your mind, you need to be able to escape. Social media is killing us right now. I’ve never ever in my life wanted to disconnect so much. Every day a new tragedy is occurring and it is playing with my mental health.

So, I escape. I watch TV shows that are creative. I watch sci-fi. I go on a date with Mr. C. I go away in my mind and escape the negativity. I immerse myself in relaxation. You need to do the same.

It’s Day 22 and I’m thankful for a chance to escape. In my #23daysofthankfulness an imagination is a beautiful thing. Self-help is a requirement. Good mental health is a must. Allow yourself all that and more.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

The Harsh Truth About Spanking – Part 1

This will be a two part post. I want to talk about discipline and more specifically spanking and how it must be done. I want to talk about how we need to change our mindset about spanking i.e. corporal punishment.

I’m using my platform to speak about something that has been on my mind for the last few weeks. The whole Tyrese issue and him acting like a mental health case. The man just won’t go away. Let me be clear. He needs to stay off social media, get his life and just focus on being a good father and husband.

But, his antics caused me to get into many arguments with well meaning folks about the issue of spanking. I don’t spank Munch. I’ve spanked him once in his life and it hurt me to my heart. That was four years ago. I try to talk and redirect his behavior and encourage him without violence. Why? Because I firmly believe that violence begets violence. I’m not trying to give my son a lesson in violence.

The whole Tyrese fiasco had many a people up in arms on social media either defending or laughing at this man’s behavior. I didn’t defend nor laugh, but wondered whether or not he was seeking mental help because it appeared that he was having a breakdown before my eyes.  He was apparently crying out for sympathy in his ongoing custody battle with his ex-wife. Something that I find ridiculous considering he basically talks crap about women and tries to pit them against each other. I’m not a fan of this man’s character.

However, the fact that I’m not a fan doesn’t mean that I want a parent to lose access to their child. This goes for both men and women. I don’t think children should grow up without their parents. So, this is isn’t about custody and a parent being allowed to not be able to see their child.

My issue is that Tyrese was in this situation over a claim that he held his daughter down on her stomach and spanked her so hard that she couldn’t sit because she had allegedly taken money from her piggy bank. Two things here: 1. If it is her piggy bank, can’t she take money from it? 2. Did you really need to hold her down and spank her that hard? How much does she weigh in comparison to you?

I got spanked as a child. Did I like it? No. Did I believe it made me better? No. Do I believe that had I not got spanked I would be a crack head or a criminal? No. There’s a whole lot of parenting that occurs between when your child is first born and then gets old enough to use drugs or get involved in illegal activities. But, even if you spanked your child that doesn’t mean that they won’t turn to drugs.

The thing is that you have to be better for your children. If you as the adult can’t find ways to parent that doesn’t involve violence, what does that say about you? Mr. C and I disagree on this. He says that I’m a new age parent. I asked him did he get spanked as a child? He said “Yes”. I asked “Do you believe that had your parents not spanked you when you were young that you would somehow be different? Think about who they are and the values that they taught you?” He had no response.

I want us to change our thinking about spankings and calling it discipline. Let’s look at the word discipline. Dictionary.com showed many different meanings and I’ve pulled out my four three.

discipline (noun)

1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
3. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.
4. a set or system of rules and regulations.

Discipline doesn’t have to be physical and it doesn’t have to be spanking based on the above definitions. I got disciplined in school and it wasn’t physical. How many of us had to go to study hall? That was a form of punishment. I didn’t do what I was supposed to do so there were consequences.

Not physical.

-To be continued-

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.