EVERYONE DOESN’T AGREE WITH MY CHOICE TO HOMESCHOOL & I’M OKAY WITH THAT!

Everyone doesn’t agree with my choice to homeschool and I am okay with that. I am not in a place in my life where I have to please anyone except my child.  As long as I do right by her, that’s all that matters. She is 4 years old and extremely above average. She always has been according to her pediatrician. (It’s not just a mother’s love.) She is reading at a 2nd – 3rd grade level, doing fractions, bar graphs and 3 digit adding and subtracting. The kid can tell time, count money and speak Spanish. So, I don’t feel right putting her in preschool so she can “socialize” is the right choice for her. In fact, I feel it is an injustice. Her learning will not grow in a school environment. She will be stuck in a class with a group of children saying their ABC’s. FOR WHAT TO SOCIALIZE?  Socialize is the most common thing people love to bring up, as if she is a hermit with no friends, who I don’t allow out of the house. The kid has a slew of cousins, she takes Tae Kwon Do 4 days a week and has a much better social calendar than I ever have with weekends full of play dates and birthday parties.

I understand some adults live for the weekend and their time to socialize with friends. I hate to break it to you but that’s only the working class. The employees who spend their lives making other people’s dreams come true. No offense, but I am tryna raise a C.E.O, a boss, doctor, entrepreneur or an astronaut. I want my little person to live a life that is all her design, full of possibilities and opportunity. I want her to know you can live every day of the week, not just on the weekend.

Let’s face it… it doesn’t take 8 hours in school to complete the work they assign. Most of it is fluff. I cannot send her to school where she will read the words, SLAVE AND WETBACK in her school books but NOWHERE will she read the KLAN or KKK or the fact that white people were her oppressors! I am just not comfortable with the idea of her never understanding the true history of this country until she goes off to college and takes an awakening African American Studies class that turns her head around like it did for so many of us. I will teach her who she is before the world tries to tell her who they want her to be. 

I cannot leave her education in the hands of people who look at her as a number or a check instead of a person!

If your child is average and you are okay with sending them to school to learn the same bullshit you were fed, that’s okay with me. I am not going to try to talk you out of it. If school was great for you, I pray it’s great for them. Me…myself I wasn’t challenged! School didn’t teach me shit but to read a chapter and answer the 6 questions at the end of the chapter. It taught me that even my own teachers were racist, and I was just someone they had to put up with. My saving grace was my tutor Mrs. Ruthann-Crudup Brown. That 5’2” beautiful chocolate tyrant stayed on my ass and went above and beyond what the California school system had set out for me. I’m going to let you go now because I am starting to ramble. I BASICALLY WROTE ALL THIS TO SAY EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT AND THAT’S OKAY.  STOP TRYNA PUT PEOPLE IN A BOX BECAUSE YOU WANT TO LIVE THE COOKIE CUTTER LIFE. It simply doesn’t work for everyone.

CHEER FOR THE CHILDREN, NOT JUST YOUR OWN

My daughter and I hug and kiss and say, “I love you” all day long to each other. She even says it in her sleep because I have been whispering it to her in her sleep since birth. I want her conscious and subconscious mind to always know without a shadow of a doubt that she is loved daily unconditionally.

Not only do I teach her that I am proud of her, I teach her the importance of being proud of herself, which if you ask me is priceless!

Children seek the approval of their loved ones and want to please those who have their hearts. I remember being young and how good it felt to hear my mom say, “Good job” or “I am proud of you.” I watch my daughter turn around in Tae Kwon Do and give me thumbs up during class when she does something well. She’s supposed to be focusing but she is still looking to see if I am watching and if I approve.

I am that loud, cheering mother who sits in the front with no shame. I also cheer for the other children and tell them, “Great job,” as well. I am sure some of the other parents think I’m nuts, but I am okay with that. Everyone gets encouraged, it’s the thing to do. 4 days a week, all the children in her class hear from me how great they did.

I didn’t realize a large number of children are never shown affection. Not only do their parents not show up, they don’t cheer for their little champions. Next time you are at one of your children games, meets or school, please cheer for the child who is excelling but not hearing the cheering echo. Your cheer, approval and encouragement may be the only one they receive that day.

HOW IS LOW SELF-ESTEEM EXPRESSED?

Low self-esteem is expressed through the need to constantly impress others by seeking their approval. When negative feedback is repeatedly offered to a child with low self-esteem, he begins to believe the negative evaluations as truth about his abilities and self-worth. These negative evaluations then become direct reflections of the child’s belief that they are incapable, unsuccessful, and unworthy. There are two common low self-esteem responses: 1) to feel reserved, incompetent and worthless; 2) to feel angry and desire to get even with others. Individuals who feel down generally feel unsuccessful and overwhelmed by the tasks of life. They are shy, tend to remain where they feel safe, and try to find ways of escaping unpleasant realities or situations. Angry responses to having low self-esteem include constantly finding fault with the world, being negative about everything, and taking things out on others. Since their behavior generally reflects their self-image, their misbehavior is derived from their negative self-concept; a child who believes he is bad portrays his behaviors to fit his self-view. The more he misbehaves and the more anger, punishment, or rejection he receives, the more his belief is reinforced that he is a bad child. How children express self- esteem difficulties depends upon their personal experiences and varies among individuals. Some children express more emotional or behavioral difficulties while at school, whereas others may express them at home.

The following profile illustrates a child who has low self-esteem: 

Sue is a seventh grader who is an average student. Her teacher refers to her as “reserved and quiet.” She has minimal friendships, completes half of her homework assignments, and perceives herself as being less competent academically when compared to her peers. She becomes frustrated and gives up easily on tasks that she feels she will never master. She constantly seeks the approval of other adults, but then focuses on and emphasizes any negative feedback she receives. She interprets her parent’s and teacher’s frustrations as indicating she is a “bad” child, which reinforces her core belief that she is a bad child. Her negative view of self influences her outlook on life and keeps her from developing new interests and attempting new tasks.

Intervention options

Individual Therapy – Usually once per week – ideal for identifying and addressing negative core beliefs of individuals. Very helpful for children who wish to speak with someone outside the immediate family. Cognitive therapy is very beneficial for children with low self-esteem and depression. Specifically seek out a therapist who specializes in children or adolescents.

Family Counseling – Usually once per week – good for addressing family issues and examining family roles, structure, and values.

Group Therapy – Usually once per week for 60-90 minutes. Good for education about self-esteem, its origins, and for social interaction with others who share similar beliefs about themselves. Check with the child’s school psychologist for available related groups.

Parent Workshops – Usually offered at various times and places. Check with school resources, therapist referrals, psychiatric hospitals, local support groups, local college or university childhood education departments, or community organizations.

Potential Resources

  • Behavioral health professionals (including psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists)
  • School psychologists, counselors, and teachers
  • Your family doctor or pediatrician
  • Your minister, rabbi, bishop, or priest
  • Parent support groups
  • Your health insurance company (look for ‘behavioral health services’ or ‘mental/nervous services’ listed in your health benefits booklet)
  • Community information referral services
  • Self-Esteem Enhancers For Parents
  • Value Your Child Unconditionally

Accepting a child regardless of their strengths and weaknesses is pertinent for expressing unconditional love to them. This must also be reinforced by the amount of quality time (focused attention) spent with a child each day. Although it is not feasible for a parent to designate all of their attention to a child, it is necessary to spend at least 20 minutes of quality time three to four times per week. Throughout the week parents can continuously express their interest and attention by offering hugs and smiles.

7 IMPORTANT THINGS TO TEACH CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY

1.Teach them to respect money!

If parents treat money with respect, watchful eyes will learn. What ever happened to “Find a penny pick it up all day long you will have good luck?”  I watch children walk by pennies or drop them on the ground. They need to understand that one cent can’t set the foundation and it can’t grow into whatever they make it.

2.Teach the difference between needs and wants.

It’s ok to say, “No, you don’t get that sweater this week because you need a pair of shoes. Teach some things are expensive and need to be saved up for. Don’t just hand them everything they want; it won’t help them appreciate the things they receive in the long run. Also, let them make money decisions at an early age.

3.Help encourage them to save their money instead of spending it.

4.Make sure your child understands the connection early between hard work and a paycheck.

Don’t just give them allowance, instead have them do chores to get that allowance. If they want money or even extra money, it’s ok to make them earn it. No handouts. Teach them early how the world works, that way they will grow up with the concept of real life and they will be able to survive on their own. Write children checks to encourage them to leave their money in the bank. Giving out cash makes it easy to spend.

5.Teach children about credit and how important it is.

Some children’s toys now come with “play” credit cards. Explain to them it’s not just free money.

6.Encourage them to get a small job when they are age appropriate.

7.Teach your child about investments and how to make their money grow.

No better teacher than experience. Teach them the difference between being a shareholder or just a customer.

In the long run, you will be doing your child an extreme favor by teaching them healthy money habits. Money management is one of the biggest struggles in the world with the reason being growing up money is not a thing discussed with children. It’s so important to teach money management, needs vs. wants, saving vs. spending. Smart money management teaches children how to set lifetime goals.

FAMILY MEALS

Family meals are a comforting ritual for both parents and kids. Children like the predictability of family meals and parents get a chance to catch up with their kids. Kids who take part in regular family meals are also:

  • More likely to eat fruits, vegetables, and grains
  • Less likely to snack on unhealthy foods
  • Less likely to smoke, use marijuana, or drink alcohol

In addition, family meals offer the chance to introduce your child to new foods and find out which foods your child likes and which ones he or she doesn’t.

Teens may turn up their noses at the prospect of a family meal – not surprising because they’re trying to establish independence. Yet, studies find that teens still want their parents’ advice and counsel, so use mealtime as a chance to reconnect. Also, consider trying these strategies:

  • Allow your teen to invite a friend to dinner.
  • Involve your teen in meal planning and preparation.
  • Keep mealtime calm and congenial – no lectures or arguing.

What counts as a family meal? Any time you and your family eat together – whether it’s takeout food or a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings. Strive for nutritious food and a time when everyone can be there. This may mean eating dinner a little later to accommodate a child who’s at sports practice. It can also mean setting aside time on the weekends, such as Sunday brunch, when it may be more convenient to gather as a group.

HOMEWORK DOESN’T HAVE TO EQUAL THE BLUES

Listening to my friends, one of the biggest struggles they have with their children is homework. The reason I feel this is important is I see daily many mothers struggle with their children about doing their homework. With the fact that most woman are not home after school because they are working, it makes it hard to set a structured time when homework is supposed to be done. Often children and the parent are restless at the end of the day and tired, so it makes it hard for the both of them to be able to concentrate. So, I came up with some easy homework tips for parents.

#1. Stay informed.

#2. Be positive about homework. Tell your child how important school is. The attitude you express about homework will be the attitude your child acquires.

#3. When your child does their homework, you do yours. Show your child that the skills they learn in school are skills they use in their adult life. If your child is reading, you read too. If your child is doing math, balance your checkbook.

#4. Make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit place to do their homework. Avoid having your child do their homework in a room where people are coming and going, or the television is on.

#5. Make sure your child has everything they need before they start: paper, pencils, and dictionary. Have them gather these things in advance so there will be minimal interruptions.

#6. Help them learn time management. Set a time when homework is to be done, don’t let them wait until just before bedtime.

#7. When your child asks for help provide guidance, not the answer! Giving the answer means you child will not learn the material. Giving them the answer teaches them when times get rough someone will be there to do everything for them so why should they do thing for themselves.

#8. Cooperate with the teachers. It shows the child that school and home are a team.

#9. If homework is meant to be done by your child alone, stay away. Too much parental involvement can prevent homework from having some positive effects. Homework is a great way for kids to develop independence and lifelong learning skills.

#10. Help your child figure out what is hard work and what is easy. Have your child do the hard work first; this means they will be most alert when facing the biggest challenges. Easy material will seem to go fast when fatigue begins to set in.

#11. Watch your child for signs of failure and frustration. Let your child take short breaks if she is having trouble keeping her mind on assignments.

#12. Reward progress in homework. If your child has been successful in homework completion and is working hard, celebrate that success with a special event (i.e. pizza, a walk, or a trip to the park) to reinforce the positive effort.

FAST FOOD FOR MY KID IS A NO NO

Let’s touch on the topic of fast food. This used to be a treat, now for many it has become a way of life. How did we get so lazy that we would rather go through a drive thru than cook our kids a real meal? I have yet to patron a fast food restaurant that serves a side of broccoli with the kid’s meal. Children need to eat a well-balanced meal since they are growing. It is our job as parents to make sure we keep them as healthy as we can. Do you know food also works with the immune system? If your child gets a cold every time they go outside, maybe you need to change their diet.

When our kids eat refined sugars, such as cookies, sweets, white bread and pop, the food is broken down into glucose. Due to the lack of fiber in these food items, they enter the bloodstream in the form of sugar at a rush speed. Research shows that only 7% of children consume the recommended three to five servings of vegetables and two or more servings of fruit daily. Unfortunately, due to poor nutrition and inactivity, the rate of childhood illnesses such as allergies, obesity, attention-deficit disorder and ear infections are rising dramatically.

SET YOUR CHILD UP TO SUCCEED

Set Your Child Up To Succeed 

Allow children to accept themselves by showing that you accept who they are, including their strengths and weaknesses. Explore the child’s interests and successes in academics, athletics, and artistic and musical abilities. Use their areas of strength to reinforce their successes, and refrain from comparing siblings to each other.

Empower Your Child 

Convey to children that they will not have to worry about losing the security of their parent’s acceptance, which will encourage them to pursue new tasks and opportunities for self-development. Provide opportunities and projects for them and encourage positive exploration of new subject areas and activities that are of interest to them.

Help Your Child Develop Good Social Skills 

Model and demonstrate basic social skills such as listening, taking turns when speaking, respect, accountability, and appropriate ways to make and maintain friendships. Provide the rationale and necessity for each skill and behavior and ensure understanding of each skill.

Use Language That Builds Self-Esteem 

Speak to children with phrases that build self-esteem, such as, “Thank you for helping” or “That was an excellent idea.” Avoid using negative phrases that decrease self-esteem such as, “How many times have I told you?” or “Why are you so stupid?”

Encourage Your Child To Be A Thinker 

Encourage children to be creative by exploring subject areas or ideas that are fun and interesting. Offer avenues for them to explore their interests, such as field trips to libraries, museums, or bookstores. Talk with your children and take part in their excitement about what they are reading, thinking, and doing.

Have Realistic Expectations and Goals For Your Child

When parents repeatedly expect more than a child can do, they are disappointed again and again, sending a message to the child to be disappointed in himself. Having realistic expectations provides children with a sense of control over themselves, their surroundings, and their future. Children’s development of self-control goes hand-in-hand with self-esteem, which increases as they achieve success when realistic and attainable goals are completed. When children successfully meet the challenges within their phase of self-identity, they become convinced of their self-worth and competence.

Teach Your Child To Delay Gratification 

Explain the importance and feeling of accomplishment when one works towards and completes a specific task or goal. Give recognition, a special privilege, or increased responsibility for a job well done.

Be A Role Model Yourself 

Let your children know that you feel good about yourself and that you can make mistakes and learn from them. Provide numerous opportunities to demonstrate basic judgment and moral values (respect, kindness, sharing), how to display appropriate behavior and interact with others, and how to constructively solve problems when they arise. Set a good example by demonstrating respect to others, to schools, and to yourself.

Show Them They Are Important 

Show your children what they do is important to you. Talk with them daily about their day’s activities, interests, and schoolwork. Attend their athletic events, parent’s day at school, musical concerts, and award ceremonies. Be available to support them and what activities they chose to do.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TV ISN’T REAL

Photo Credit: YouTube

The best thing you can do is teach your child that TV and YouTube are for entertainment ONLY! If you do that, then you don’t have to worry about the MOMO challenge!

I showed the MOMO lady to my 4-year-old and she said, “That lady’s costume is ugly!” I told her the things the lady was telling children to do. Her words back to me were, “Mom, don’t worry. I wouldn’t kill myself, that’s stupid. I will tell you, no matter what anyone says.” I was truthful with her and told her the lady tells kids if they tell their parents, she will show up in their bedroom. My daughter laughed and said she’s not real…

Long story short, teach children fact from fiction and your worries won’t be so high. Growing up on TV I have learned firsthand.  It’s an important lesson a lot of the population does NOT TEACH! Grown adults have difficulties between TV and what’s real. Here is where common sense can be taught, people!

THE 3 BIGGEST INFLUENCES ON YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM

Family

The family is widely seen as an important influence on self-esteem because it is where the initial sense of oneself is formed. Children with self-esteem difficulties have absorbed what parents and others have negatively said about them. As they begin to define themselves in light of their low sense of self, they may undertake the view that they are different from their peers and siblings. Although at times children may not be aware that they are different, they know they feel awkward and inept when compared to others, particularly higher achieving siblings. The effects of low self-esteem can be reflected outward toward siblings and parents through verbal or physical expression. Their inner tension and shame can lead them to act out in various ways, ranging from emotional and physical withdrawal to aggressive and combative outward behaviors. 

School 

Children with low self-esteem appear hesitant and uncomfortable in the classroom. They tend to only answer direct questions and prefer to keep their opinions to themselves because they fear others’ reactions. Guarded behaviors and minimal interactions with other classmates lessen their social impact on others, which reinforces their belief of having nothing to offer others.

Community

Children or individuals with low self-esteem hesitate when interacting with groups of neighborhood kids or joining social activities, such as parties or games. They generally wait to be invited to play or join others, but then only participate minimally when they agree to play. Their guardedness and self-doubt hold them back from fully interacting with others, again reinforcing their negative self-image.