Freedom Friday – 02.16.18

It’s been a minute since I did one of these, but I wanted to share some photos of things that I’ve been up to in life. Wanted to let you know that Munch just got his second quarter grades and got 10 A’s and 4 B’s. I’m over the moon. His award ceremony is this morning.

Munch had his flute concert last month. Here he is looking so handsome. He’s actually enjoying playing the flute and I will be doing private lessons for him.

My siblings and I at my brother’s wedding. I love this photo because I just colored my hair and it was popping. LOL.

Munch and I worked hard on his STEM fair project this year. Although he didn’t win he won an award because of his creativity and enthusiasm. He was ecstatic about it.

My sorority sister made me this beautiful plaque for my birthday last month. I love it.

Munch went to the dentist last month and had to get two silver caps on his teeth, but one fell out right at the dentist. That was two teeth lost in 8 days. Hilarious. But, I’m still flossing his back teeth. He can’t get those and I am tired of paying for these silver caps. This is the second one. But, what was best about this is that Munch and I actually went to the library first and he selected a book to read for fun and couldn’t put the book down.

Finally, I’m trying to devote more time to appreciate the beauty in life. I’m learning to bask in the glory of nature and release my mind from negative energy. I’m learning to redirect my thoughts and pray more. I’m fasting and trying to increase God’s presence in my life. I wanted some fresh flowers in my office and so I went to the grocery store and bought some tulips. The next morning they had all bent in different directions and I snapped a picture because it reminded me of life. Even though we’re in the same jar some of us are bending in different directions and it still looks magnificent.

Happy Friday folks!

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/.

Advertisements

Parenting: Discipline Part II

I told you in last week’s post entitled Parenting: Discipline Part I how Munch had disrespected his teacher and the level of disrespect had me questioning who was this little boy. I know that many of you experienced parents are probably laughing at me right now, but I genuinely had no idea who this young man was. But, I had to discipline him because he had to understand the lesson.

The lesson that I was trying to teach is about learning when to speak. It’s hard. We tend to speak first and think later. I get it. But, that’s a lesson you learn over time and it was something that I had to teach now. I explained to him that the Bible is full of lessons about holding your tongue and how you can make things worse. We read James 3:5 which states:

James 3:5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.
How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!

We didn’t stop there. We read Psalm 19:14 which states:

Psalm 19:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

I explained to Munch that it’s not easy to bridle your tongue in the face of things you may consider unjust, but you have too. We all do. I tried to tell him that we will all fall short but that he needed to learn self-control and it won’t happen overnight. You just have to keep at it.

There was a lesson in there for me. We all need to learn how to bridle our tongues. He didn’t get TV or electronic privileges and no dessert. He was unhappy, but he understood that there was a consequence to the action. We talked, we read and we went to the library. We spent the weekend redirecting negative thoughts and bridling our tongues.

This parenting journey is rough.

taming_the_tongue

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/.

Parenting: Discipline Part I

I told you awhile back that I practice positive parenting. Positive parenting basically means that I embrace positive discipline. That I listen to Munch and don’t physically spank or lay hands on him. Now, this is new age in my family who believes in spare the rod and spoil the child, but I am an advocate for allowing Munch to understand that his choices will have negative or positive consequences, but he needs to understand that.

I treat discipline as a teaching opportunity instead of a physical task of spanking. Pretty much everything becomes about examining the issues, understand why the behavior occurred, making you accountable and still providing love, hugs and kisses. I know this may seem like with craft to some folks, but I don’t believe that you have to go around spanking children to correct their behavior.

Positive parenting tries to strengthen the parent/child bond by creating a more affectionate relationship. This works with Munch. He is a hugger and loves to be hugged, petted (LOL, his words) and encouraged. However, it’s not always easy.

Last Friday night, I got this email from Munch’s teacher:

I wanted to let you both know that Brennan had a problem in English class today. He had a discussion with a classmate about the biography book report. This is my knowledge of the situation. Brennan and the classmate were discussing who they were reading about. When Brennan heard the boy was reading about the life of a white person (students can choose anyone) he told the student he had to read about a black person. The student then called Brennan a racist. The boys both raised their voices and argued. Brennan was yelling I am not a racist. I was teaching, standing in front of the class and immediately raised my voice in order to be heard, and stopped the argument, reprimanded them both and moved Brennan from that table. I reprimanded the boy and we had a mini class discussion about racism. I told them that I was upset with them both for not stopping when I asked. At the end of class I met with the boys. The 1 student said he was at fault, said he should not have said that and admitted to inciting Brennan. Brennan said, right, I was wrong, too. I complimented him for being mature and respectful. But then he immediately told me, I’m being sarcastic, and continued to say he did nothing wrong. I tried to convey the idea that yes, the boy was wrong, but you were rude and disrespectful to me as I was trying to resolve the problem. I felt I had taken the time to discuss and reprimand the boy, in front of the entire class about his name calling. But Brennan was still defiant and defensive about my correction of him. I had a class coming in and no time to continue our discussion. I sent him to class but it was unresolved. I wanted to advise you of the incident. Please let me know if you have any questions.  Mrs. B

Yeah, it was rough. Basically my son told the teacher that he was being sarcastic with his apology as she was complimenting him. Huh? Where does that happen? I was mortified. I really like his teacher. She’s phenomenal and just a good human being. I trust her.

Now the question became how do I approach Munch with this positive parenting? See, I knew that my mom would have smacked my mouth for being disobedient. Positive parenting doesn’t allow for spanking. I needed to teach Munch a lesson. I needed him to see how he was wrong and needed to apologize, but I had to make sure that he understood the rules/expectations of self-control.

Could I do this? Was I ready? The challenges were only going to get bigger. I knew how I handled this would set the precedent for future parenting discipline moments. The key was to teach him, not to break him.

-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/.

Today Parenting Team

As if I don’t have a lot going on already, one of my goals is to really get my name out there and grow my blog. One of the ways that I’m looking to do it is by publishing on different sites with hundreds of thousands of readers. I decided to share what I’ve learned whether from dating, relationships or parenting with others. Check out my cool new badge.

tpt-badge_contributor

Check out my latest post and let me know what you think in the comments. You can also vote for my post to be featured on the Today show.

You Lead and They’ll Follow

 

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/.

Holding Crazy Accountable

I’m in a lot of Facebook groups and one thing that I come across a lot is that “women are crazy” comment. Whether it be in a dating situation that’s gone bad or in co-parenting situations – women are the root cause of the problem. LOL. Are we always the problem or do people not hold themselves accountable for their choices?

accountability-in-friendship-is-the-equivalent-of-love-without-strategy-quote-1

I’ve always believed that there are three sides to every story. His, hers and the truth. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. But, many people don’t accept accountability for their actions and like to blame everyone else for their shortcomings instead of looking back at the man or woman in the mirror. Are you that type of person?

b158f967e2fb1449773c7a153c61214d

I hate when men say that women are crazy. Heck, men are crazy. People are crazy and in reality anyone can have a crazy moment and just lose their minds on you. These are called traumatic events, love.

No, for real, we all have the ability and power to lose our minds occasionally. Haven’t you done or said something you’re not proud of out of anger? Does that make you crazy or just annoyed and out of bounds? I think there is a difference.

When dating men that say that their ex is crazy, I ask a lot of questions. You should too. I ask some of the following questions:

  • What types of things did she do that were “crazy”?
  • What did you do preceding these “crazy outbursts”?
  • Did you break-up after she showed you her “crazy” side? Why or why not?
  • Do you believe that you are an enabler?
  • Did you seek therapy after the break-up?
  • Did she experience trauma that changed her mental health? Was there a death of a parent, child or close friend/relative?

You can learn a lot about a person just by asking questions. You can learn whether or not they take responsibility or accountability for their actions? How many of us do that in dating and/or in our relationships? Go deeper when getting to know someone. Men can be vague, but you have to know who you are dealing with so you can get beyond the surface.

You know how I feel about accountability. I know that many people will tell you to not ask about prior relationships, but I want to know. How a man talks and treats women in his life: his mother, his ex wife, ex girlfriend or child’s mother gives me an indication of how he views women. Does he talk about her always in a negative light? Why? Is he taking accountability for his part?

I’ve always said that it takes two people to get married and two people to get divorced. Two people make a conscious choice to have a relationship and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but rarely is one person truly blameless. If you are is it that you ignored the cracks in your relationship hoping and praying that ignorance is truly bliss? Then when the relationship disintegrated around you did you lose it?

160496

Playing the blame game doesn’t get you far. Accountability is important not just in life but in our relationships as well. How can you strengthen your relationship if you are not holding yourself and each other accountable for the success and/or failure of it? You can’t and maybe just maybe you are the crazy one.

 

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 Sins of My Father

I have a confession. I’ve struggled with forgiveness for so long. I told ya’ll about what my therapist said about how I gave my dad grace and not forgiveness. So, here I am feeling somewhat guilty because it has been 3 weeks since my dad called me. He called me on my birthday.

The first time in 34 years. Do you know how disappointed I used to be each and every year? But, God. Each year got easier. I realized that it just didn’t matter to him.

Until 2018. I guess it did matter. He called and left a message saying Happy Birthday. 

I haven’t returned his call. I made up excuses. I had some real stuff going on and real health issues that took priority. But, I haven’t called him back. Why?

I honestly don’t know. I think I am just struggling with my feelings for him. So, I’ve been trying to catch up on some blog posts. Forgive me for my delays. Muddling through emails, throwing myself back in work and then I read two posts about forgiveness.  I stopped.

One was by Maya Moore entitled Football & Forgiveness  and the other by Chris Weatherly entitled What I Wish Everyone Understood About Forgiveness. Two posts in less than 30 minutes about forgiveness? What was going on?

It was as though God was speaking to me. Talking to me. Telling me to push forward and understand where I’m at and decide where I want to be. To talk to him and to let him know. The truth.

I declined to do so. Me and God don’t always see eye to eye, but I know that in the end His word is forevermore, no matter how stubborn I am. So, I pushed his voice to the side and kept it moving. Until Chris Weatherly posted this:

via What I Wish Everyone Understood about Forgiveness

I couldn’t hide anymore. I couldn’t ignore. God was trying to tell me something.

Please read these posts about forgiveness. It will truly encourage you. Are you struggling like me?

sunday-photo-forgiveness-quotes-estilotendances-1

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/.

Parenting Lesson: I Will Not Chase You

Munch is the best thing that ever happened to me. But, sometimes I really feel like I’m sucking at this parenting thing. Not that I’m mean, but sometimes I have to teach him a lesson and I wonder if my teaching those lessons are having an adverse effect on him.

Last month we were working on homework and then we were going to review his oral presentation. He had to memorize a poem. He chose “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes. It was awesome, but he wasn’t in the mood. When he’s not in the mood to do anything, he pretty much shuts down. He acts like he’s bored and it’s really like time consuming and emotionally draining.

That being said I decided to push forward and chastise and ignore his negative attitude. I wanted to record him saying his poem. He was nonchalant and had no emotion. He was literally just acting like I’m forcing him to plow the field. It was draining. I had enough. I said “I love you Munch, but I’m done. I’m reclaiming my peace and you’re going to bed. Go upstairs and get your shower so you can get in the bed.” He was upset. “What about TV time?” I said “It’s not going to happen. You’ve tried my patience this evening with your behavior so TV is a reward that you don’t deserve this evening.” He cried.

Cried in the shower. Cried when he went to bed and then cried himself to sleep. Even when I tried to tuck him in bed and give him his kiss good night he cried louder and turned away from me. No problem. “I love you and goodnight” was all that I said.

I spoke to Mr. C and he listened and then commented how our parenting styles are different. I know. He’s told me before. I’m used to getting spanked as a child if I cried for no reason, but I left him to cry it out.

The next morning I did what I always do…cook his breakfast, pack his lunch, lay out his clothes and make up his bed. He then comes upstairs and criticizes me for all that I’ve done. “You’re not letting me do anything by myself. My daddy says that I need to do things on my own” he stated in frustration. I smiled sweetly and said “Love, you know what?” I don’t have to fix your breakfast each morning. I can sleep later and you can get up and fix yourself a bowl of cereal. It has always been important for me to send you to school with a hot breakfast each morning, but you want more responsibility so tomorrow, you got it. You can make your own bed and pick out your own clothes and fix your own lunch. I’m fine with it all. Now get dressed please.”

I was peeved. I couldn’t believe this child being defiant and first thing in the morning. I asked God for strength and we exited out the house headed for school. Munch didn’t speak to me at all. Ignored me on the whole car ride. I blasted gospel music to shift my mind and hopefully his too.

We exit and go into the school and as I’m signing him in for Before Care he doesn’t speak to the teachers when they say good morning. He walks away from me and is still ignoring me. I sigh. I said “Good morning” to the teachers, signed him and left. Five minutes later my phone rings and it is the Director of the Before and After Care program. She says how Munch had a breakdown and started crying because I just left.

She said that Munch said “She didn’t kiss me goodbye and she didn’t tell me that she loves me and to have a good day.” She said that they couldn’t console him. She asked could I speak to him. “Yes” I responded. He gets on the phone crying “Mommy, you didn’t tell me you love me. You didn’t kiss me goodbye.” I said “Munch, I realized that you were frustrated when you complained first thing this morning, I realized that you were still angry when you didn’t speak to me in the car ride over. I knew you weren’t over it when you walked away from me and ignored the teachers this morning. I accepted that. I love you so much but I will never chase anyone including you. My love is always given freely but I won’t chase someone to force it on them and this includes you. I love you more than life itself and will always love you. I love you more than you’ll ever know so have a great day.” He said “Okay, I love you too mommy.”  We got off the phone.

This parenting thing is hard. I struggle some days and find peace with my choices on most. But, in the end I’m still a work in progress learning and loving this beautiful boy that I’ve been blessed with.

d0ccb8c0b142e30b87de267b98b2e65a--parenting-tips-parenting-quotes

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/.