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/.

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Day 2: My Niece

I had to send a special thankfulness post to my beautiful niece. In this #23DaysofThankfulness post, I wanted to highlight this amazing young lady that I’ve been blessed to know, love and watch grow into the great woman that she is today. My niece is a sophomore in college and is a cheerleader for her school. What makes her so amazing? Her fighting spirit.

See, my niece is 19 today. Happy Birthday Princess! Auntie loves you more than you could ever imagine.

Nineteen years ago today, I was blessed to witness the birth of my first niece. It was an epic experience as that was the first time ever that I had witnessed a live birth and just being there with my sister and her husband watching life come into this world overwhelmed me with such joy. She was a preemie. She was born eight weeks early. We were so worried, but the doctors told us that her weight being 5 pounds even was a great sign.

She was in NICU and her dad and I went to visit her. She was so tiny and beautiful. I put my hand through the holes in her glass incubator and rubbed her chest as she screamed, crying and oblivious to the world around her. I said “Princess, don’t cry. Your daddy is right here with me.” No lie, she stopped crying, opened her eyes and looked right at her dad. He started crying like a baby.

A fighter was born.

And just like those many years ago that she was fighting for stronger lungs and a low birth weight, she’s continued to make us proud. In everything she does. It was at the age of 16 that my princess suffered a mental break down. I watched this strong and vibrant girl crumble from the things in her mind. I loved harder.

I admired my sister for her continued strength to love and encourage her daughter as well as mother her other two children while being a full-time working wife. Can you imagine having to do all that? I was thankful for it all. My niece brought mental health closer to home for us. She helped us understand her needs. She grew super close to my mom and we just loved each other more.

Throughout her mental health struggles we learned to love and learn how we can help. We encourage each other. We encourage her. We are thankful for the opportunities that her school provides with free therapy and her own room. What a blessing! So, my day two of my #23DaysofThankfulness is for my niece. Thank you for making me love a little harder, learn more about mental health and just living this beautiful life. You are loved and appreciated more than you know.

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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/.

Random Rumblings – 10.12.17

Hey Loves,

Sorry for the silence. So much has been going on. I feel like I’m losing my dang mind on some things. I will update you later in the week.

But, as many of you are aware it is both Breast Cancer Awareness month and Domestic Violence Awareness month. Both are equally important causes that we should know and support. I post more on domestic violence because I am a survivor of abuse and find it important that we stand up for those that are being victimized.

All is well with Mr. C and I. Still happy and in love. Still living our happy black a** life despite some people trying to bring BS to my door. I love that man. Can I just say that? I thank God for sending me a partner that stands with me and for me against those that wish to commit evil.

Munch is doing awesome in school. I was reviewing his grades on-line and it’s all A’s and B’s. He’s adjusting well to 4th grade and went on his first field trip to a science center. I am thankful for his continued growth.

I’ve been in a mood the last week and attended a birthday party honoring my girlfriend a couple of nights ago. It was such the perfect distraction to the drama and I am thankful for my friends. See, God has given me such a support group that I can’t even begin to thank Him for all that I have.

I attended the first PTA meeting last night at school. I signed up for some committees. I think I’m going to try to write a grant to get yoga or a mindfulness instructor teaching the kids at school for a month. The sky’s the limit. I also signed up to be a part of a community advocacy group. Last year, Munch wanted to do a coat drive and PTA couldn’t make it happen. They confirmed to me last night that it will happen this year. What a blessing to be a blessing.

Between chairing the Veteran’s Committee for my sorority and some committees at Munch’s school it’s going to be a busy year, but I’m excited for the opportunity. That’s all for now. I’ll update you later on and I hope you have an amazing day.

 

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: First Day of School

Yesterday was Munch’s first day back at school. It was an exhausting day because our flight was delayed by 3 hours and we didn’t get in the house until 12:15 a.m. the next morning. Ugh! But, we took it in stride and were thankful that we arrived even after all those hours.

I felt so unprepared. I didn’t get a chance to pack his backpack with all the school supplies before heading out of town. That was a bummer. I grabbed some notebook paper and pencils and shoved them in his bag and thought we’ll do it this evening.

Munch woke up in a bad mood. Can you blame him? He was explaining to me that he didn’t want to go back to the same school because the kids were mean to him. I stopped. I breathed and replied “Munch, we are in a new school year with a new teacher and new classmates. No one can make you feel less than you are. Only you have the power to do so. I want you to have an amazing day because you are blessed. We woke up this morning. You have new clothes and shoes and supplies. You are ready to learn.” He sighed.

We drove to school and he said to me “Mommy, I’m sorry about earlier. I was in a bad mood. I’m going to have a good day.” I smiled and replied “Yep, you are and I can’t wait to hear all about it.” We walked into the building.

He saw a couple of children from his old school. Remember that I told you that there are only two French Immersion schools in the county? That was comforting. They spoke in the hallways. His smile was huge.

We met his teacher who is another male (Yay!) this year. I introduced myself and Munch and told him that I will see him at back to school night next week. I left.

This year there was no huge good-bye and lingering around. I felt better. I felt comforted. We weren’t in a foreign territory anymore. I know some parents, the principal and administrators. I made the school smaller by volunteering and I’ll do the same this year.

Here’s to my awesome and amazingly talented fourth grader. He’s ornery, brilliant and changing every day to look like his mommy. He will have a wonderful time in the 4th grade this year and I’ll be right there to make sure that he does.

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/.

Child Support: My Story

The issue of child support is a touchy one. This will be a three part issue. The first part will be my story, the second will be a man’s story and the third will be a woman’s story. I’m going to explore multiple sides about the importance of child support and give you truth here. This may be a trigger post for some of you. So, if it is, please stay off my page with your drama. I am all about trying to equalize the argument for the benefits for financially supporting your children.

Many people see child support as a bad thing. It’s deemed the devil because many states require a man to pay 1/3 or more of his salary supporting a “lazy momma” while being denied visitation or being forced to work multiple jobs to even live.  Others see it as the only way to make a man financially responsible for his child while checking out emotionally. It is a vicious cycle and in reality there are some truths to both sides. Let’s discuss the reality.

In reality, children require more than just love to grow into healthy adults. It takes money. Can your child live without clothes, medical, dental, food or shelter? Nope.

Okay, good. Now, before you start saying that I’m pro the destruction of the man, stop it. I’m not. Women who don’t raise their children should also pay child support. I believe that everyone has a financial responsibility for their children.

For the record, I don’t get nor have I ever filed child support against my ex-husband. He doesn’t get it either. In fact, we agreed that we would equally split expenses for our son. So, I have no “skin” in the game to protect any financial support you think I may be getting.

Now, the difference between me and some other women is that I can afford to take care of my son without his father’s help. It’s not a bad thing. It’s reality. I’ve been blessed to have a great career that allows me both the financial and emotional means to be present for my son. However, I recognize that not everyone can say that they are as fortunate. Some women and men actually need the financial support of the other parent.

 

When I was growing up, my dad was ordered to pay $200 a month in child support for three kids. Yes, I said that right – three kids. Ask me how many checks we received?

Zero.

Not one.

My dad lived his life getting paid under the table. He avoided paying child support like it was a contagious disease. He refused to catch it.

Did he feel bad? In my opinion no. Anyone that avoids the financial support of their child doesn’t have a conscious. Therefore, they can’t feel bad for not doing for their child. Combine that with the fact that he lived in another state and didn’t see us and you have the trifecta of a poor example as a father.

He was not present. Financially, emotionally, spiritually or any form or fashion. We were a non-factor in his life. The life he lived in avoidance.

So, I watched my mother struggle. Struggle to put clothes on our back and food on our table. Struggle to work multiple jobs and go to school so she could provide a better life for us.

I imagined that the better life she was working on would provide better clothes, better shoes and more of an opportunity to have her present. See, when a person doesn’t take care of their children, it leaves the other parent to take care of the slack. But, it took two people to create that child. How come one person gets to slack on their responsibility?

 

Because of that hard life of learning to survive in spite of my circumstances, I worked hard. I didn’t want children. I wouldn’t bring a child into this world without being able to support them on my own. I would never give anyone that power to determine the fate of my child/children.

I would be better than that.

And I did. I worked hard to get my career off the ground. Even when my marriage ended and I had to re-shift my focus, it became about the most important asset in my life. My Munch. He was more important than any job or my career. I needed him to know that.

So, I spoke up. I told my employers during the interview stage that I am a mom first. That it is just me and that I will always be there for my son. I won’t miss school plays, programs or games. I will be present on the first day of school and every day thereafter. I only have him for a short time before he is released into the world, hopefully making it a better place.

My responsibilities were to my son first.  My employers understood. They respected my decision. So, I continued to rise in my career without sacrificing because I was a mother. I have been very fortunate to have that.

Even this summer when I had to adjust my schedule to get my son to and from camp. I called on my village and they helped out. My supervisor understood that I had camp that started at 9 am and there was no before care. I didn’t get to work until 9:45 am. My mother went in early and took off to pick up Munch from camp at 3pm.

I take off to take him to doctor’s appointments, to volunteer in his school, attend his programs (like the art camp) or if he’s sick. My supervisor allows flexibility because it’s just me. I need it. My mother didn’t have that. She had me.

I missed school if my siblings were sick. She had to work. We had to take care of each other.

I’m not ignorant to the fact that Munch has the best of both worlds…a mother that can afford to provide and a mother that is present. This is in direct contrast with what I experienced, but experience taught me. I chose to be a mother and I chose to have a career and thankfully I am able to have them both.

The lack of child support or financial means pushed me to work harder and become more determined to not be another statistic. We needed the financial support from my dad, but we lived and thrived in spite of. No one should ever have to be in that position.

-Part 2: His View On Child Support is Next-

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: Munch’s Art

Munch just finished two weeks at Art Camp last Friday and I couldn’t be more proud. He asked to attend and he learned so much. He learned about different textures, mediums and artists. He had a blast.

I think the best part of the camp experience for me was listening to my son explain his art work. The camp had an art show for the finale and the kids were super excited to showcase their work.

These last two weeks were memorable for him. He was excited and learned a lot. It was definitely worth the investment.

Since he transferred to his new school last September he actually got straight A’s in art all four quarters. This was a change from his last art teacher who I firmly believed pulled grades out her butt. When I questioned his grades changing from a B to A, she had no answer and couldn’t produce graded work that showed a B.

I explained that my son loves to draw and will often spend hours drawing out these great characters. He’s talented. He loves art. She didn’t listen.

Oh well.

Change happened and he’s excelling in his new school so we are blessed. It is as it should be. Art camp was awesome and he was winding down summer on a positive note. Here are some photos of his work.

 

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 – 08.28.17

Happy Monday Loves!

It’s the last Monday in August and I was looking for words to inspire you today. To motivate you. To put you in a good mood. Sigh.

I didn’t have any. My life and my words are all jumbled together. I am working like crazy and preparing Munch for school. He’ll be in the 4th grade. I’m excited. He’s not. He doesn’t like change.

Then it hit me.

The inspiration…

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Change.

I love the above quote. Change is inevitable. Progression is a choice. Change is a process. It means to transform or convert. Munch is transforming from a third grader to a fourth grader. He’s scared. His mind isn’t ready.

But, haven’t we all been there at one time or another in our lives? Afraid of change? Scared of the outcome of some things?

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Change is hard. We like the comfort of the normal way things are progressing. We like to take comfort in the things that we know. But, we have to move forward. Change happens whether or not we’re ready for it.

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I never expected to get married, have a son and then be divorced. I never imagined that would be my life when I said that I never wanted to be a single parent. But, here I am. Change happened. I am good. I survived. And so will you.

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We have to accept that things change. We grow older, we lose jobs, families and the things that we took comfort in will sometimes look foreign. That’s where the opportunity to build again lies. In the newness.

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A transformation occurs. In our attitude. In our ability to see beyond the horrific or tragic situations we may find ourselves in. We begin to let the dust clear and find comfort in knowing that we are still here. No matter what.

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That old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” begins to make sense. You survived. The situation you found yourself facing didn’t kill you. You survived the change. You are a survivor.

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So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about accepting the change. Anticipate and then accept the change. We’re never ready for it, but look at each day and situation as a new opportunity to grow. To learn something new.

Just like Munch is not ready for changing grades, I will help prepare his mind. I will remind him of the new adventures that await him. I will comfort and console and lead and guide him in this new transition. It’s part of life. He’s growing. I’m growing and change is the the only part of life that is inevitable.

Be blessed my loves!

 

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/.