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/.

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Finding the Beauty in Broken Things

This was one of the topics my therapist and I discussed a couple of weeks ago. She was telling me that I needed to find the beauty in the broken things and stop being so pessimistic. I couldn’t help it. I literally felt like everything around me was falling apart and that life was dragging me along.

I felt alone.

I know you’re probably thinking, “T, how can you be alone if you have this great guy that you love and adore and is good to you?” Easy – he’s not always there. We don’t live together so sometimes I am the one fighting for his attention when he has many other things going on. Not that I’m jealous. He takes care of a lot of people. I know that. I support that. But…

Sometimes my mind makes me believe that there is no one when I’m going through the storm. I can sit there and call my top five people and they are all busy. They will usually call back, but in the middle of my self-imposed crisis, I feel like I’m drowning. In the ocean with no raft.

That’s when my therapist told me that I needed to change my mindset. That I was being consumed by the negative and I needed to see the beauty in the broken things. She was explaining how there is a Japanese art form called kintsugi that uses gold to fill in the broken pieces of bowls. “The Japanese art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride.” – Steffano Carnazzi , LifeGate

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That’s what she wanted me to remember that life may seem broken and I may get overwhelmed, but I need to sit back and see the beauty of all that is around me. There is beauty within me no matter what. She said you’re like that bowl.

She said that I need to stop being overwhelmed by the issues/situations that are affecting me and celebrate some of my successes. So, I’m doing that. Here are three success that I’m sharing with you today:

  • I’m a TODAY Parenting team contributor. I’m truly excited about this. Baby steps.
  • I wrote two grants for my son’s school last year that were approved and will be funded. Pretty cool huh?
  • I pitched two pieces last week and I’m hoping that they will be picked up. Hey, the worst they can say is no, right?

That’s about it. I know that I have a lot of people praying for me and Munch and I truly am grateful. I just need to change my attitude and start counting my successes more than my failures. There are a lot out there and I’m just in awe of God’s grace.

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Note: I do not own the rights to these photos. A Google search showed on kintsugi images showed them.

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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Not Even Superman Texts Faster Than A Pissed-off Girlfriend

So…. yeah about that pissed off girlfriend… who texts so fast that you can’t even get one text out before she’s already sent 5. And I when I say 5… I mean 5 loooong texts. You know the ones… your cell phone provider can’t handle the length so they break them up into different texts while you’re still trying to compose one!

Yeah, I’ve been that guy… I’m a generally fast texter, but not one male on the planet earth, matches the raw texting speed of a pissed off girlfriend (or wife). It’s like, in that moment, nothing else matters to her. It’s gets so bad you just stop responding and wait for that brief pause, so you can press send on your 1 measly text.

I’ve gotten so frustrated, that I just put my phone down and let the notifications go off. At that moment when they stop… you pick your phone up, and another one comes through (face palm). So… most men know, when this happens, you have seriously f’d-up. So what’s your next move? You send back a text with 10 words, vs. the 10,000 she sent—and she responds…”that’s all you have to say?”

At that very moment, you have no words… just a blank stare.

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You start to type in your response, and you stop, read what you typed, and delete it. Then, you start again, stop, and delete it. This redundant process goes on for the next 15 minutes. No sent text, no reply, no rebuttal. If you do happen to press send, you’ve reviewed what you typed like the editor of a world famous magazine.

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no dammit, it’s your girlfriend trying to get her point across.

My advice?

Let her.

Motivational Monday Moment – 02.05.18

Happy Monday! Today’s Motivational Monday Moment came to me as I was sitting in church yesterday. I’ve been really going through it. Letting the negativity of co-parenting and the stresses associated with it weigh me down. It was weighing on my spirit.  I couldn’t get out of the funk and distress every time I received an email. It was overwhelming.

Everyone kept trying to encourage my spirit and make me feel better. But, they couldn’t. I knew who could and I wasn’t going to Him with my problems. I was trying to let man handle and help me through this situation. But, man was ill equipped because only God could.

Can I just tell you that when I went to church yesterday that the message was so on time. I had to remember that I am covered. I’m covered by the blood. God is the shepherd and I’m part of his flock and when I gave my life to Him He covered me. I’m protected. I just sighed. God was speaking to me yesterday.

Stay with me now. God was telling me that the is battle is already won because he has fought and protected me from so much now that I should know better. He was speaking to my soul. I was sitting there with amazing awe in my spirit because he was reminding me that no weapon formed against me shall prosper.

I had a shifting in my spirit yesterday morning. I was so busy being distracted by things that God doesn’t want me to focus on. I was being distracted by man instead of focusing on Him. I realized that I needed to do a couple of things. I needed to fast and pray and give it all to God in earnest. Not the “Oh, I’m going to see what God can do way. I mean full on give it to Him because He’s always protected me way.”

God was so generous to me yesterday because when I took my nap after church God gave me a dream that eased all my fears. My fears are always about Munch. God showed me that Munch was going to be okay. I just had to trust Him and lean not on my own understanding but that of God. He is the one that can truly handle any and every situation I find myself in.

Man, when I tell you that I’m in a different place than I’ve been in months, that was God. The Holy Spirit showed up and showed out yesterday and I am better for it. I am going to truly let Him work through this situation as He sees fit.

I’ve never fasted before and this is the first time that I’m ever attempting, but God wants me to fast and pray and turn it all over to Him. So, I am trusting that. I’m disconnecting from FaceBook for a minute and just going to journal, write, fast and pray. I’ll still blog. I’ll still be around. I just have to get together mentally and physically for the battle that is ahead.

My Motivational Monday Moment is simply to know that you are protected. You are covered by the blood because whom He has set free is free indeed. Whether you are going through your own storm or facing your own Goliath or trying to break the stronghold of the devil, know that you are covered. Know that this battle is one that can be fought if you stayed prayed up and covered.

This week’s video selection is from the movie The Gospel and I’ve chosen “Now Behold the Lamb” sung by  Tamyra Gray from American Idol. She sang the heck out of this song. This song speaks to my spirit in ways that you’ll never know, but it further planted and watered the seeds the pastor preached yesterday. I pray that this song speaks to you. In it she sings:

Even when I broke, broke your heart 
My sins tore us apart
But I’m standin’ right here in the midst of my tears
I claim you to be the lamb of God
New life can begin, yeah 
For you washed away, washed away everyone of my sins
Whom the Son sets free is truly free indeed 
I claim you to be the lamb of God

You are covered by the blood. Even when you think you’ve been forgotten and you still sin God is still God and He forgives. He washes away your sins. You are because He is. We are because He is. He is the Lamb of God.

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.

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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/.

Welcome February

It’s the second month in 2018. Where are you with your goals? What have you accomplished? What have you tried and just realized that you need to revamp? It’s never to late to start making goals.

Here are my goals for the month of February:

  • Volunteer at a fair
  • Submit pitch to Huffington Post
  • Plan out 2-3 blog posts a week
  • Plan out 2-3 meals a week
  • Get moderate exercise at least 3 days a week

Short and sweet I only have 5 goals this month. Here’s to hoping that I can accomplish what I have planned to do and even if I don’t here’s to trying to get organized. There’s no shame in trying.

I did something that I kept saying I was going to do for some time now. I bought a Kuerig for my desk. I love coffee and had bought K-pods because someone had brought in their Kuerig for the office to use. They took it home and it never returned. I still had k-pods and was spending money on coffee every day at Dunkin Donuts. I am now making my own coffee at work. It’s a mini so it will sit on my desk. I’m happy.

Don’t take yesterday’s problems into February and focus on having a great month. I’m wishing you nothing but love, peace and an awesome February. I know it is also Valentine’s Day, but don’t get depressed if you don’t have someone. Love you first. Self-love is critical. Do what works for you eat candy, buy your own flowers and just love on you. It’s not about having someone. It’s about having and loving on the person looking back in the mirror.

You.

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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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Women Of Color – Beautiful For So Many Unrecognized Reasons

That being said, me being a creative man, I gravitate toward things that are colorful and vibrant. By colorful, I mean that literally and figuratively. Women of color just astonish me. That means, Indian, Native American, African, Latin, Arabian, Polynesian, Asian and anyone else I left out.

Why do I Love Women of Color?

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Not just because of a skin color, but because of the heritage, the culture they all come from and the history of said culture.

From the beauty and vocals of Dorothy Dandridge, to the dancing grace of Maria TallChief.  Or, we can easily tout the powerful presence of Eva Peron or Tejano vocalist Selena Quintanilla-Peréz. What about the eminence of Hatsheput or the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement Rosa Parks? I find all of them the most attractive. Not just physically but on a much more profound level.

What About That Look?

That being said, I can’t leave out the physical aspect. The facial features, the various skin complexions, tones, contours and hair textures. Did I mention the accents? There’s nothing like a Latin woman born in the Northeastern section of the United States. Or, a woman born in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica. What about the culture and beauty of an African woman from Nigeria, Somalia or Ethiopia? The storied history behind those countries’ women and all that comes with the heritage. What about an African-American women from all-over the United States? They themselves bring a certain uniqueness that I find most sexy.

From their  level of intellect, charisma and fortitude, to their independent yet humble nature. That melanin carries historical perseverance and pride, while the tensity of their hair represents the strength of their people. How can you not find that beautiful?

 

These women are more than just a beholding of beauty to me. They are the very definition of perseverance and inner strength. Which, is so much more significant when you view women of color.  You must look beyond the surface.

Women of Color Are Profound

Think of the native African or even the African-American woman and what they or their ancestors endured and continue to encounter in today’s society. Slavery, War, Segregation, Racism, Sexism, Discrimination, Genocide are all trials embedded within their beings. When you look at a woman from these cultures, you have to see more than a face. More than pulchritude. More than sexual commodity to be had. They are the essence of overcoming an oppressive state of being.

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Photo Credit: Marc de Groot

Women of color are born into a world where they are automatically at a deficit because of their gender. Even with the feminist movement and the rapid advancement of women’s rights on the rise in the United States and other countries. Women are still at a bigger disadvantage than their male counterparts. Add to that, a lot of these women are born into cultures where they are beneath the men and have to scratch and claw their way to prominence. There’s a certain beauty in that… a certain sex appeal. And a definite strength.

 

The Deficit

In a earlier blog I spoke about, “Dating and the Plight of the Black Woman.” I highlighted the literal canyon of obstacles black women have to overcome just to be seen as intelligent, desirable and beautiful in the dating world when compared against women of other cultures. To give you a small example, I want you to do something for me:

  1. Pull up another window on your phone, tablet or laptop.
  2. Do a google search on, “beautiful women.”
  3. Click on images.

What did you see? What did you notice?

5 out of the first 100 images are of women of color. I would’ve gone farther, but I chose not too. You have already received my point. Women of color are not considered, “as-beautiful-as…” white women.  This is the deficit that women of color face. They already have to work 5 times harder just to be viewed as beautiful. Can you imagine how difficult that is, in the world of modeling and fashion alone? That is unacceptable. However, as shown above, it’s a harsh reality for women of color.

Hadley Freeman from, theguardian.com states in her article about black women and fashion…

Black models never, with single-digit exceptions in a decade, appear on the cover of major fashion magazines, because, as the black model Jourdan Dunn told the Guardian last year,“people in the industry say if you have a black face on the cover of a magazine it won’t sell.”

 

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My Final Take

That is how black beauty is viewed the world over. Vogue, Elle, GQ, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, L’Officiel, Harper’s Bazaar, and more… rarely place women of color, let alone black women on their covers.

I for one, believe that all women are beautiful in their own unique way. No matter how they pull up in a google search or if they regularly grace the cover of internationally syndicated fashion magazines. Women of color will always be beautiful to me, inside and out.