Tag Archives: United States

Renounce Hate

When I see what is going on around the country it makes me wonder how will all this play out in the end. Seeds of hate and division are sprouting all around us. We are becoming a nation divided… a nation where only people of a certain skin color are welcome. Ironically those who profess to be evangelicals seems to see nothing wrong with the hateful rhetorics and the seed of hate they are being sewed. They turn a blind eye. Safe in their religion they have forgotten that the Christ they profess to serve is one of love and acceptance. We must renounce hate and bigotry and come together as one nation. 

Nelson Mandela

 

Sleep Well Nelson Mandela. You have left an indelible mark in this world. You did not just exist, you were an inspiration. In the face of oppression and discrimination you stood resolute in your bid for equality. You had your freedom taken away because you dared to fight against apartheid. After twenty-seven years you emerged from those prison walls with your fighting spirit intact. You were beaten down but not broken. You didn’t just talk the talk you walked the walk. You had a game plan and you executed it well. We will remember you as one of the greatest and selfless man to ever walk the face of this earth. Your memory will forever live on. May your soul Rest In Peace.

 

The Knock Out Game

There is a growing dangerous trend where people are getting hurt in what is known as ‘The Knockout Game’  It is spreading across the Sates and this criminal act is endangering the lives of people. The attackers are walking up to strangers and punch them just for fun. They punch the victim hard enough to knock him or her out.

There have been reports of these attacks  in Brooklyn, Washington DC and New Jersey.  Its been reported that a man in New Jersey had seizures and died after he was punched.

Hurting people is not a game and I hope those perpetrating these acts will come to their senses and stop this dangerous activity. Stop the madness before more people are seriously hurt.

Government Shutdown

The government shutdown has entered its second week with both parties failing to reach an agreement that will end the shutdown.  It is sad that this has dragged on for so long.  Obama Care is at the heart of the problem and the Republicans are prepared to continue with the shut down because of their opposition to this health care plan. At the end of the day there will be winners and losers.  The question is who stand to lose the most?  This is Obama’s second term in office; he will not seek re-election. The Republicans on the other hand will seek to head the next government.  Will the voting public see their present course of actions justified and in the best interest of the country.  Will they be able to convince the thousands of men and women who are at this moment unsure of their pay checks to vote for them. 

There are thousands of people who presently have no form of health insurance and see Obama Care as their only hope of getting insured.  Will the Republicans be able to convince these people that they acted in their best interest and get their votes?  The Republicans need to be careful that come the next election their present actions do not come back to bite them in the ass.

Honor Killing on American Soil

When people migrate they leave their countries behind but often times they take their culture and traditions with them.  They aggressively try to enforce their beliefs and continue to live by the traditions that they are accustomed to even it is not in keeping with what others would consider to be normal behavior.
The idea of Honor Killing is deeply embedded in certain societies and family honor is more important than life itself.  In most instances there is a gross misrepresentation of the word ‘Honor’.  Usually it is the woman in the family who has to sacrifice her happiness to uphold the family honor.
Let us look at the following scenario:  A girl is forced to marry a man almost twice her age.  He beats her, sexually abuse and tortures her.  Yet if she leaves her abusive husband it will be looked upon as bringing disgrace on the family by  people who are obsessed with maintaining family honor.  She is therefore expected to live a life of misery and suffer silently because her family believes this is the honorable thing to do.
Families will go to the extreme to maintain their family honor.  It is therefore not surprising that on October 20, 2009 Faleh Hassan Almaleki  a native of Iraq living in Glendale Arizona mowed down his twenty year-old daughter Noor Almaleki in what was  considered a honor attack.  Noor died as a result of the injuries she sustained.
Her crime?  Her father felt she had become “too westernized”; he was also angry that she had left the man she married in Iraq and returned to Arizona to live with her boyfriend and his mother.  Faleh felt his daughter had brought disgrace on the family and took matters in his own hands.  He became judge, jury and executioner.  The punishment for her transgressions was death and he executed her punishment by running her over in his Jeep Cherokee.  Her boyfriend’s mother also suffered injuries in the attack.
After the attack he fled the country, driving to Mexico and taking a plane to London.  He was detained by British Police and extradited back to the US.  In February 2011 a Phoenix jury found him guilty of second degree murder in the death of his daughter.  He was also convicted of aggravated assault for injuries suffered by the mother of his daughter’s boyfriend in the 2009 attack.
For those who continue to practice this monstrous act I hope the day will come when they will realize that they are the one bringing disgrace on the family.  In a normal society family member don’t go around killing each other.  Even animals form packs to defend and protect their kind.  There is nothing honorable about being a murderer! There is nothing honorable about taking the life of someone especially the people around you whom you should love and protect.       It is the murderer in the family who should be seen as bringing disgrace on the family.

 

Enslaved

I look at her battered, bruised face,
And she quickly looks away,
“I fell,” she responded, to the unspoken question,
And yet she wouldn’t look my way.
Caught up in a situation of physical abuse
Why did she think she had to stay?
“Leave him,” I told her,
And she pretended not to understand.
“I fell,” she repeated,
Trying to convince me,
Trying to convince herself.
“You don’t deserve this,” I told her,
“He loves me,” she says.
“No,” I tell her,
“Love is not supposed to hurt.”
She nods her head as if agreeing with me,
And yet I wonder,
Does she really understand?

In the US between 1000-1600 women die each year as a result of domestic violence.  It is time to take charge and make changes don’t allow yourself to become part of the statistic for 2013.  Engage in health and fulfilling relationships.  Learn to recognize signs of abuse and remove yourself before you get trapped in a life of physical abuse.

Say NO to Physical Abuse

Recognizing Warning Signs That Your Man Could be an Abuser

Women are often trapped in abusive relationships because they did not recognize or chose to ignore the warning signs.  Since it is often difficult to get out of these relationships it is very important for you to be aware of the negative behavior of your partner and end the relationship before he gets too much control over your life.

One of the first thing an abuser will try to is to control you.  He will try to make you abandon your family and friends for him.  He needs to get the feeling that he is number one in your life; that he means more to you than anyone else.  I recall a conversation I had with a friend of mine  (who we shall call Sharon) very abusive boyfriend.  Her family was upset about the way he was physically abusing her and was adamant that she should leave him.  I remember him saying to me ”Sharon isn’t going to leave me, she loves me.  She don’t care about her family.  She will do anything I tell her to do so they are just wasting their time.”  I recall him being very smug about it, so very sure of himself.

This is one of the first signs that you should learn to recognize.  If your partner is trying to separate you from your family and friends, pay close attention and ask yourself, why is he doing this?  It could be a situation of divide and conquer.  He could be setting the stage for abuse and by controlling you and alienating you from those who care about you, when the abuse begins you will have no one to turn to for help.  The first step therefore to not set yourself up for an abusive relationship is to make sure the relationship you have with your family and friends remain intact.

 

PARENTING

 

 Dealing With Troubled Teenage Boys

There is the general feeling in society that boys are able to look out for themselves and therefore require less supervision than girls. This is simply not true especially now with the growing trends in society which is creating avenues for them to go astray. It is very important that we try to save our boys so they do not end up on the wrong side of the law. More and more young boys are getting involved in gangs. Gang related crimes are playing havoc on the stability of law and order in the Caribbean and across the world.  In Jamaica, for instance a great majority of the crime taking place is gang related. A part of it has to do with gangs fighting for turf.  Migration and later deportation of some of these individuals is a contributing factor.  Some of these boys leave their countries at a young age for first world countries. Some of them get involved in a life of crime often goes to prison and then is deported after serving time. They often return with no skills and no means of making an honest living; so once again they return to a life of crime and not only that, they influence young impressionable youngsters to join them. Many are quick to blame these criminal acts on poverty. While one cannot deny the fact that poverty is a contributing factor, there is the need to look at the broader picture. There are many individuals coming from poor backgrounds who have managed to break down that barrier. They studied worked hard and have become successful in life, others simply turned to a life of crime. Why is it that two person coming from the same background can end up so differently in life; one a successful individual, the other running from the long arms of the law? A lot has to do with how some of these boys grow up and the kind of values instilled in them. It also has to do with education and in a sense it is not just about going to school but also educating them about the many dangers awaiting them if they get involved in gangs. The survival of gangs depends heavily on their man power, the number of individuals they are able to recruit. Gang members often get killed and many go to prison yet these gangs are still able to survive. Why is this so? The answer is simple, they are always recruiting new members. No matter how big an armory they have, they are not going to survive unless there are people to fire these weapons. Young boys are easy targets since they are of an impressionable age and can be won over easily by gang members. It is not surprising to find a thirteen year-old with a gun now a days. Often times the idea of becoming, a gang member is romanticized to the youths. The gang presents them with a glamorous picture of how they can escape a life of poverty. Some people might think that these boys were just born bad; however to understand why they might feel inclined to join gangs you will have to try to see things from their point of view. Picture the following scenario: Paul is a fourteen-year-old boy from a poor family. He lives in a neighborhood where most of the people are poor. He lives in substandard conditions and sometimes goes hungry. He goes to school when he can because sometimes he has no lunch money. Another youth in his community who is the member of a gang approaches him and tells he can make a lot of money if he becomes a member of the gang. He would be able to afford nice clothes, jewels, maybe a car, and a house one day. This sounds good and he is tempted. The youth tells him in order to become a part of the gang he must be able to fire a gun, meaning he must be able to shoot someone. He has never held a gun in his life, he does not like the idea of shooting anyone but he is tired of being poor so what does he do? He decides to join the gang. He gets a gun and they tell that he has to pass a test. He has to be able to go in a community shoot someone and get out without getting caught. He knows he could be heading for trouble but he is willing to take the risk. The night of his orientation comes, he is driven through a rival community, there is a group of people standing by the road and he opens fire. He has no quarrel with the people; he is simply trying to pass his test. His bullets find their marks and bystanders are hit and he has passed his test. He has earned his rights to become a member of the gang. He is in. We will all agree that he made a bad choice, but before we begin to condemn we need to ask some questions. Did anyone try to educate him about the dangers of getting involved in a gang? Did anyone tell him that getting into a gang is like getting into a marriage; only with the gang, the stakes are much higher? If you are in a marriage and it is not working out you can always get a divorce, with the gang it is not as simple. Attempting to get out of the gang when you realize it is not quite what you were expecting could mean possible death. How many knows that once they get in it is as if the gang owns them. They live for the gang and have to do what they are told to do even if they do not want to. Sometimes prison seems like the only means of escape from the gang but even when you are on the inside, they still can find ways to control you. How many of the youths that get into gangs know this. It is easy to get in but hard to get out. Why is this so? Why is it so difficult to walk away? The answer lies in the fear factor, which holds these gangs together. There is the fear among gang members that if they allow a member to leave he might very well rat them out. There is fear on the part of the individual that if he leaves they might kill him in order to keep him quiet. People who are being extorted by some of these gangs keep quiet about it out of fear for their lives and property so they pay out money to these thugs. It is fear that makes some gang members so quick to pull the trigger; they fear that they have to kill someone before that person kills them. Fear for their lives keeps them constantly alert. Fear makes them sleep with guns under their pillows at night. Strip many of them of their guns and all that they will have left is fear. A gun in the hand of someone who is constantly living in fear is a recipe for disaster. He often sees his survival as been dependent on his ability to shoot and kill and he will not hesitate to do so. The evidence of this can be seen by the seemingly senseless killings carried out by members of different gangs from time to time. To understand it all one have to try to understand the psychological state of mind of these individuals. To us the killings are senseless. To them it is survival, it is staying alive defending their turf and controlling the streets. Gangs wage war against each other for control of the streets. The more areas they are able to control the more money they are able to rake in from their illegal activities such as extortion and the peddling of drugs. They are prepared to kill anyone who poses a threat. Gang members however are caught between two deadly forces; there is the rival gang and there are the law enforcers. It is two against one and if one does not get them the other one will. How many young boys getting into gangs know this? What is the life expectancy rate for gang members? How many of them joining a gang at the age of thirteen will live to be thirty? They need to be informed. Across the world, there have been many AIDS and Drugs Awareness campaigns maybe it is time to add Gang Awareness to that list. The threat of gangs taking over is real. It is time to act. Law enforcers are doing their best to dismantle these gangs, but it is going to take more than guns to win this war. Attempting to get rid of these gangs with just firepower is like attempting to get a wound better without applying dressing directly to the wound. It is going to take psychological warfare to help win this war. The gangs are constantly recruiting young boys; these boys need a reason not to join. Unless these gang people to join them, they cannot survive. Ultimately, the group that is able to win the psychological warfare will win the war. Parents it is time for you to lobby to have gang awareness taught in school to educate children about gangs. Until that happens you have to begin in the home by instilling in your sons values and respect for life. You have to educate them about the dangers of gang involvement. If you see the signs or hear that your boys are hanging out with the wrong crowds, do not ignore it. If you are aware that they are doing things that are not right, do not turn a blind eye. There are mothers out there who do this. Some mothers know that their sons are involved in criminal activities but because of their motherly instinct to protect them, when they are arrested they will be in the streets crying their eyes out proclaiming their innocence. Some mothers will say, “Him used to be bad but him change.” Can you say that he has changed when he is still hanging out with the same crowd? Your sons need to disassociate themselves from other youths that are members of gangs. Encourage them to join youth clubs, go to community centers where they can engage in after school activities and get to meet other youths who are living a positive lifestyle. There are other places outside of a gang where they can get acceptance without breaking the law and putting themselves in danger. You should not cover up for your son when you see him going down the wrong path but rather get him to see the error of his ways and exercise good judgment. When you cover up for him, you are adding and abetting him to go on to commit bigger crimes. You might think you are protecting him but his best protection is to stay out of trouble. There was a story of a young man who grew up in a small community. As he entered his teens, he became involved in criminal activities. His mother did not try to correct him or let him know what he was doing was wrong. Eventually this young man committed a serious crime and was convicted and placed on death row. On the day of his execution, his last request was that he be allowed to say something to his mother. He was granted his request. When his mother got to him, he told her to lean closer so he could whisper in her ears. His mother did as he requested and he bit off her ear. He then told her, “If you had corrected me all those time I did wrong, If you had taught me wrong from right instead of allowing me to do as I pleased. If you had been strict with me, I would have listened to you, I would have changed my ways, and I would not be here on death row. Every mother wants to protect her child well at least most, but you need to realize that there might come a time when you are going to have to do whatever it takes to save him from himself. If you know that your son has an illegal gun it is your responsibility to get him to turn it in before he is caught with it. By doing so, you could be saving his life because when a young man gets involved in a life of crime there is usually one of two consequences; he will face a prison term or an early death, neither of which any mother wants for her son. Do not encourage your son to push drugs. Do not take the money he derives from illegal activities because one day perhaps sooner than you expect you might have to use that same money to bury him. Teach your son values, to believe in himself and to aim high. Make him understand that living within the law is the way to go. Nothing worth having in life comes easy and our young boys must be encouraged not to fall for unrealistic promises and get rich quick schemes because they always come with a price. Do not blame yourself if even with your best effort your son goes astray. Do not give up on him either because he is not beyond help. There are institutions set up for children with behavioral problems. When you find that you are no longer in control; when you have tried just about everything and nothing is working, then it is time to exercise some tough love. The only solution left to you might be to get him into one of these institutions. It is not going to be an easy decision, but it could prove to be one of the best you can make for him. Having him in a place where there is discipline, he has to obey rules, and regulations, might be your only chance of saving him. Let him know what you are doing is for his own good. Tell him that you will always love him, you just need him to change. Talk to him even when he refuses to listen. One day he will understand. The moment you see that your son is heading for trouble you have to try to do something to stop him. What do you do if you know that he has committed a crime; do you cover up for him or do you turn him in? This is a very hard decision but you have to do the right thing. When you cover up for him you are only encouraging him to continue commit crimes. He might go to prison but it might give him the chance to look at the way he is living and make a change. There is a chance for him to be rehabilitated and come back out a different person. It is hard and it might even seem cruel but sometimes-tough love is the only answer. One mother related the problem she was having with her son. At the young age of ten he had stopped going to school and had gotten himself involved in a number of housebreaking in his community. She talked to him and even asked people whom she thought he might listen to talk to him but nothing worked. This mother fearing that her son would end up in prison sought from a juvenile institution that dealt with cases like hers. Her son was sent to a boys’ home. He was not happy about going and when she visited him, he wanted to return home. She knew he needed to stay there until he decided to change his lifestyle and he was not yet ready. He was angry, but she knew she was doing the right thing. She tried to visit him as often as she could and after a few months, she began to see some changes in him. He was adapting to the conditions of the home. He was attending school and appeared very enthusiastic about learning which a big change was indeed. A short time later, his behavior had improved to the point that he was allowed to return home for the weekend with his family. I personally saw this young man and I did see the changes in him. In a period of about six months, he had turned his life around. He got baptized was doing quite well in school and in addition he was taking lessons in carpentry. Had this mother not done what she had done there is no saying what might have happened to her son. Change can come about and sometimes you have to help them make that change.

Taking Charge and Making Changes

To you my followers I do apologize for the fact that I have not been posting any thing much lately.  I have been busy working on a book which is now near completion.  I wish to share a chapter with you.  You can give me your feedback.

Single Parenting

     In days gone by the man generally accepted as the head of the family.  He was the one in charge of the household; he was the main provider.  While this is still the case in some homes there is an increase in the number of single parent homes where the fathers are conspicuous in their absence and the job of raising the children rests solely on the mothers.

Too many men are relinquishing their responsibilities as fathers.  Too many are coming up short in the approach they take towards caring for their families.  It is time for men to stand up, be men, and play the role that they are supposed to play.  It is the responsibility of a man to take care of his family and support his children; too many are failing to do so.

Being a man is not about how many children he can father and by how many women.  It should be about taking caring of his children and living a lifestyle that they can emulate.  Men must try to be good role models for their children.  They should be there for them, nurturing them and helping to mold them into the exemplary individuals that they can be.  They should be responsible fathers.

One cannot be unduly harsh since there are situations where many of these fathers were themselves brought up in single parent homes where the fathers were absent.  However, a man should not use this as an excuse.  He should not say, “My mother alone raised me and I turned out all right.”  He should instead seize the opportunity to stop the vicious cycle, to make the change, be the father that his dad never was and do what he knows is in fact the right thing to do.

Men need to understand that although they might achieve great accomplishments, get degrees, win medals, get accolades even; unless they live up to their responsibilities and play the role they are supposed to play in the lives of their families, they have failed.

The job of parenting is not an easy one.  None of us was born with parenting skills; it is something that we learn as we go along and alas it appears to be too tough a job for some men to handle and yet they think they are the stronger sex!

I sometimes wonder if it is a situation that some of these men suffer from amnesia which makes it so easy for them to get a child with a woman and move on to get a child with another and keep moving on without taking responsibility for any of these children.   They seem to have no memory that these children exist.  On deeper reflection these men are not worthy to be called fathers for they are in fact merely sperm donors.  They simply donate the sperms and that is the end of the story.

Women have been forced into the role of single parents in situations where the man was not there from the start or he left at some point in the relationship completely deserting his family.  I know of a case of a woman, who was with a man for over ten years, they had five children together.  The youngest child was about four months old when he left her and married another woman.  I remember her wanting a stove and having to wait for hours with that baby until he got back from church with his new wife to sign as a guarantor for her.  This case is not unique. There is another case where a man left his woman with seven children and married another woman.

Women need to stop been selfish and try to be kinder to each other in order to stop the hurt.  He is leaving her with five or seven children and you take him and you marry him.  What kind of sister does that to another sister?  As sisters, we need to start looking out for each other.   Some women will say, “Oh is him come look me.”  Yes maybe so but that does not mean you could not have said no when you learned about the other woman and her children.  I have been in those kind situations.  I remember this particular guy who kept asking me out, I knew his girlfriend had only recently had a baby so each time he asked me to go out with him I would ask him, “How is your girlfriend and how is they baby?”  One day he said to me, “Why every time I ask you out you ask me about my girlfriend and the baby?”  I said to him, “You seem to keep forgetting about them, so I have to keep reminding you.”  He never asked me out after that.

Women, stop acting so desperate for a man that if one tells you he likes you, even though you know he has a woman and children you are just going to dismiss them and hop into bed with him.  Do not try to ease your conscience by telling yourself that if the woman were doing everything right her man would stay home.   Men do not need a reason to cheat and because he may leave her to be with you does not mean he is going to stay with you even if you manage to convince him to marry you.  Women do not know what it is like to feel abandoned or cheated on until they have experienced it themselves.  I know of an individual who for years was in a relationship with another woman’s husband, eventually she broke up with him found someone else and got married.  When she found out that her husband was cheating on her she said she felt like she was going to go mad, she said it was then that she realized how the other woman must have felt when she was having a relationship with her husband.  Karma can be a bitch.  If you are going to leave someone else hurting do not count too much on having a happily ever after with him.

Getting back to the job of single parenting, as the saying goes a job worth doing is worth doing well.  Despite all the odds women need to do their best in raising their children.  You know how the cards are stacked; you know what you are working with.  You know the one person your children are depending on is you so you cannot afford to fail them.

As a good parent, you have to ensure that their day-to-day needs are taken care of.  You also have to ensure that they get a good education.  Many women are in low paying jobs and this sometimes makes it difficult for them to keep up with day-to-day expenses.  While some of these women decide to go it alone, others simply cannot cope.  Once the fathers can be located, women should utilize the facilities set up to collect money from delinquent fathers.  By right, it should never have to come to this, but the way some men behave, the women simply do not have a choice.

The financial aspect however is only a part of parenting because parenting is more than just putting food on the table and clothes on their back.  It is imperative that children get the opportunity of a good education, as this is one of the most fundamental aspects of their development.  There is also the question of discipline.  There is a consensus that there is a breakdown of discipline in society.  In order to curb this trend and bring things back on par, one has to begin by maintaining discipline in the home.

Boundaries have to be set and rules and regulations lay down by which children should abide.  This should begin from an early age.  Parents should ensure that children adhere to the rules irrespective of gender.  Too often, we monitor the girls while allowing the boys to roam free.  It is understandable that parents are concerned about their daughters, the fear of them getting pregnant and dropping out of school.  However, for a son there is an equal danger of him falling into the wrong crowd, doing drugs or getting involved in petty crimes.  He might be even brainwashed into believing that there is an easier way to make it in life and that is by selling drugs or getting involved in other illegal activities instead of working hard and staying in school.

The bling, bling, the flashy cars and expensive jewels may be hard for him to resist and once he gets a taste for that kind of life, it will be hard to convince him that there is a better way.  Therefore, mothers keep a reign on your boys.  Do not say he did not turn out right because his daddy was not around.  Get involved in their lives.  Get to know their friends.  Know the people with whom they are socializing.  Make sure they adhere to curfews and they are not hanging out all night on the street corners.  The dangers out there may be worse than that of getting pregnant.

Talk to your children, have an open line of communication.  Try to build trust between yourself and them.  Make them feel like it is okay to tell you anything.  They should be able to come to you with any problem that they might have, make them feel safe.  Encourage them to do their best in school.  Take an interest in their school life.  Make sure that they do their homework.  Talk to your children about the importance of having a career or learning a skill.  Although you should guide them in choosing the right career, the ultimate decision should be theirs.  There is no point in forcing a child to pursue a career that he or she is not happy doing.

There are instances where parents not having accomplished their own career dreams try to get their children to live out their dreams for them.  This of course is not a reasonable wish, it is their lives and they ought to be able to choose what it is that they want to do.

We should teach children to stand up for what they believe in and not to give in to peer-pressure.  They must learn to be responsible, to stay away from drugs and not to engage in promiscuous behavior.

The task of holding down a job and been a full time mom is not an easy one.  Can you imagine what it is like for those who are holding down two and three jobs in order to take care of their families?  This sometimes creates a situation where they do not have enough time to spend with their children.  Despite the stress of work and running a household parents have to find a way to spend quality time with their children.  You have to find time to sit and talk with your children allowing them the opportunity to talk about anything they might want to talk about with you.  When they have problems, you have to ensure that you find time to help them get through it.

In order that you do not become too overworked and burnt out, it might be a good thing to delegate the jobs around the house.  You could give each child a chore that he or she is able to perform competently.  With each child, helping in whatever way possible chores will complete much quicker.  This will not only teach children responsibility, but it also creates more time for the family to spend together.

You have to make time for the family to have fun together.  As the saying goes, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.  Children like having fun; they need amusement in their lives.  You could have movie night where the family goes out together.  You can go on picnics or go to the beach and visit local places of interest.  All this will have to be within the family budget.  If the family can afford to go out only once a month, so be it because there are other things the family can do together at home as a form of recreation.  You can have games night where you play games and have popcorn and ice cream for example.  This gives the children something to look forward to and make them realize that they can stay at home and still have fun.

No one has the ability to perform miracles, but it is imperative that mothers try to guide and steer their children in the right direction.  Once children begin at an early age to live a positive life-style the job of parenting as they become older will not be so daunting.  As the old saying goes, “You have to bend the tree while it is still young.”

As a single mother, you need to b careful not to indulge in self-pity. Do not go around looking as if you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulder.  There are thousand if not millions of women in a similar situation as you are.  In fact, you might find that some are in a far worse situation than you are.

There are times when out of frustration you will say things that can be interpreted in a wrong way.  You therefore need to be careful about what you say to your children.  Never say to the child, “If it was not for you I could have done this or that.”  I will leave the impression that the child is being blamed for something, which he or she had no control over in the first place.  Children need to feel that you love them and that they are wanted.  Do not say things that will have a negative impact.  Whatever your circumstances, never give your children the impression that you could have done better if it was not for them.

Do not throw your problems on your children because in time to come they will have their fair share of problems to deal with.  Let their childhood days be happy ones.  While they are still young, let them enjoy every moment of their childhood.

Parenting

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  She is twelve years old today and already the rebellion is beginning to set in.  You know that point in time when they want to have their own way; spend too much time on the computer or watching television, wanting to stay up late on a school night when they should be in bed with the promise that, ‘I’m going to wake up early’, when you know fully well that they can’t.  She is crazy about music videos, she loves to rap and she will spend hours on the computer if you are not firm with her; once she gets in front of the computer she doesn’t want to get up and that’s where we don’t see eye to eye most of the time.  So what do you do in situations like this?  You have to set rules!  Children need rules to guide them they adapt to situations better when they know just what is expected of them.   So on school night she is allowed one hour on the computer; on weekends…well we are still trying to work that out.  The bottom line is to set rules, they might not like it, they might not think it’s fair, but in the end years from now they might thank you for it.