Back to School: Parent Edition

Are you excitedly awaiting for back to school? Your kids have eaten you out of house and home? A couple of them you’re not sure what to do? I get it! Rejoice! It’s back to school time! So I’ve written a blog for how you can your kids ready for back to school. It was filled with all great and helpful suggestions. I am quite proud of that piece, but now it’s time to shift gears for the parents. Yes the parents.

I told you how you can get the kids successful but it’s the parents turn! You are the one in charge of you and helping you get ready for back to school first helps the kids get aligned!

Plan Early

Listen I’ve had some years where I’ve gotten supplies last-minute. It happens for various reasons but plan and do as much as you can early enough to cut down on anxiety. I for one will bargain hunt for supplies. So for me aligning sales is important to me. It’s important to know that I’m saving money. Let’s keep it real, having 3 kids means that back to school expenses expensive. I’ve never understood my parent’s life until recent years. I as a child just thought parents just went to the store, paid and rolled. I had no clue until I had my own that there is work to be able to do it all!! Shout out to parents who are trying to do their best.

Make a list and come up with a plan to attack school uniforms, supplies, tuition and back packs. It’s imperative to figure out as early as possible your game plan of attack!

Look over previous report cards

Although it would seem that this is exclusively for your child to do, learning to see trends will assist you as the parent to outsource help. It’s not ashamed to not know something it’s a shame to not do all you can to identify ways to make your child as successful as they can be. This may mean helping to fine tune their skill sets. We noticed a few lacks in concentration and so we started taking it back with practice work to help our children get better in that area. There are several sites that offer free printouts. Also you should have been tuning in often times the previous teacher is a great place to start. We had the kids start their Summer assignments early. We also increased reading and I looked online for other books to add to the reading list.

Get the Kids on their early back to school 3 weeks or more

We used to wait until the week before school and then send them to bed early and wake them up like a test run. This year outside of a few movie nights we have kept them on the same schedule. We didn’t even implement our normal Summer schedules. They are in camp all day and it’s easier for them and in reality for us. So far with us doing that and making them keep after camp studying at least 2 days a week it’s been helpful. My son is zooming through his sight words and our daughter is arising to the occasion in her work. It sounds harsh but some kids can’t really break too much and for the parents the house can have that well deserved rest time!!

Reorganize

It’s important for you to either place a station or two aside for the kids ahead of time for paperwork. One of the worst things is getting a slew of papers and have no clear direction of where it is. Our kids school don’t play and will give you an eye roll if you request another copy. I used to get so mad if they gave me an attitude. I soon stepped back and realized the lesson is helping the kids understand that you don’t always get the chance to fix things. I also started making copies or scanning forms. This way I didn’t have to bother with things. We never let on to our kids that we had the back up. We would depending on what it was give a consequence like delayed electronic use for having us assist in obtaining or using the back up.

Attitude Check

We all know back to school is coming. There is zero no reason to be upset, frustrated and upset that money is going to have to be spent. Even if your child is public school there will be money to be spent. You can attend a free back to school event in your town if you need it. However adjusting your attitude will help your child to adjust as well. They are relying on you to show them the ropes. Having a good attitude in general is helpful! Trust me going from this:

Versus this:

You decide!! So may your wallet be blessed, your nerves settled as we all push onward and upward towards our children education. Also may your wine glasses be bountiful as the time draws near!!

Advertisements

Teach the Babies-You’re Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

So this week the recurring theme has been forgiveness.  This is a tough lesson for many adults let alone my own son. This week for both of my older kids the trying to teach them to understand that its okay to have a disagreement with a person, work things out or decide to work things out but be cordial and not be friends.

My son who is 6 is having the hardest time which is to be expected.  I do not expect him to understand adult like themes and to me forgiveness will come to him as he grows and matures.  So the issue is allowing my kids to find out whom feels safe to them.  I even teach my kids even those closest to them can give bad vibes, you have the right to retreat.  I do not make them give hugs or be around ANYONE who makes them uncomfortable.  This means that if you come to my child and my child rejects you for whatever reason, there’s no make them give into your insecurity of showing you love they don’t feel is genuine to give. We stress to kids to be aware but then judge them for feeling ill feelings.  My husband and I don’t.  We try to help them work through these feelings.

Image result for safety with kids

For my daughter she has been going to the same school for years and most of the kids she has known since Kindergarten.  At this point she is well aware of certain people’s triggers, how they act, and what they do when the teachers and principals aren’t watching.  I am not one  of those parents that push my kids into certain friendships.  If there are mean girls in her school and she identifies that is who they are, I trust that I have raised her well to this point to know who they are and if she chooses not to embrace them outside of a school setting that is fine. We really can’t push the all the kids are angels routine.  I am all for her or my son working it out but its one thing to work it out and it’s another thing to have a blind eye to a problematic child and act as if that child isn’t an issue.

So this week my son has been having an issue with one child in particular.  He has tried being nice.  He has tried having meetings with the kid etc. However to no avail.  This kid is problematic.  My advice to my son was be cordial.  Work together when you have to in the classroom because in life you can’t always disengage with someone just because you don’t care for them.  However at recess is your time to play.  You shouldn’t have to spend your time in recess trying to push back negativity from one child.  Some days he gets the message other days he doesn’t.  The days he doesn’t its a hard conversation to have.

Yes we are all for kids getting along.  Yes we are well aware that at this age kids go back and forth and are learning how to socialize. The same rules that apply to me with other adults do NOT work for kids.  However let’s also keep it real and stop acting like some of these kids already come in the door with whatever they have at home and spew the most hate, the most vile words on other kids and in the name of letting kids be kids we give these kids many chances in hopes they will fare better.  They don’t always fair well.  So we can’t just act like it’s not the case.  As a parent I would love to tell my kids that the world is awesome all the time and that they won’t have issues with other kids or other people but that is not the case.

Image result for safety with kids

My conversation with my son is about helping him weed out those he thinks are bad news for him and show him how to make healthy relationships with those who want the same in return.  He needs to be cordial meaning just because there is friction, school work still needs to be done.  If his teacher assigns him to the student that he is having issues with then he needs to buckle down and get things done.

Parenting is hard and I am sure there will be someone who disagrees with my conversation but the beautiful thing about parenting is that it is an individual pathway per parent and its a collective pathways for the parents involved.  My only hope is that my kids get to the point where they don’t waste energy on those who don’t mean them well.  They learn to keep their peace with them and not get entangled with those kids who have ill intentions.  That’s my hope for adults too.  Stop giving your energy to the bad person in your life regardless of relationship.  If it doesn’t serve you, leaves you feeling less about yourself, etc then the point is moot, leave them alone and allow the right folks to come in your life. These are life lessons.  They should be taught early.  I want my kids to grow into confident human beings that know what they want, who they want, and to go where they are celebrated not where they are tolerated.  These lessons aren’t to wait to be learned.  These lessons are taught early on.

Ear Muffs

I respond to things that I am passionate about.  The things that affect my here and now or my and my kids future.  I respond to the petty things of the world sometimes and have to remind myself constantly to use ear muffs.  No my ears aren’t cold but they need to be shielded.  Sometimes we yell ear muffs to our kids and they know that means cup them ears mommy or daddy needs to express adult content.

Image result for ignore

For adults the same technique sometimes needs to be used.  You are in control of what you entertain.  You are in control of what you allow to get into your spirit.  You’re an adult.  You have the ability to end the things that no longer serve you.  You have the ability to say no to images, sounds, and social media that do not line up with preserving you.  You have a right not to argue and debate a fool who will not listen to anything you or anyone else has to say.  You can be pulled in but as an adult you control the stops in your life.  You have to be willing to look wrong sometimes.  You have to be willing to look off when someone wants to engage you and you know it will lead no where.

Image result for ignore

Even on social media. I told you about the time I allowed myself to be pulled into a debate.  Even though I felt I was being targeted or the person was saying things about my kids for one, I still had a right to end it early and deal with that person face to face. So you have the same power.  You have to evoke ear muffs to shield the very things that will cause you to be upset.  Anything that takes space in your mind that has you thinking of it for more than an hour that isn’t something centered around making you better, putting food on your table, getting you that much closer to your destiny-cut it off.  Disengage on social media, stop hanging around the family and friends who do not mean you well, stop arguing with your mate and getting no where, find another job so every day you aren’t crying in the parking lot or miserable at your place of employment. Control the parts of your life that you can.  Trust me I have been in that place before.  It tears your spirit down.  Activate your ear muffs so you can hear what you need to do, where you need to be, and how you are going to get there.  You don’t have time to entertain things that don’t build you.

Protect your Spirit

Happy Monday to you.  Happy I am just making it Monday.  Happy I am alive Monday. Whatever your Monday looks like to you, make it that and rise above it.  Yes the weekend has left some of us dry.  If it wasn’t the news that is constantly being pushed in our faces, to relationships, situationships, kids, jobs, etc you may be at wit’s end.

Image result for wits end gif

So we all know that we need to protect our spirit.  Your spirit is your essence.  It’s your wits.  It’s you in a nut shell. I know there are many times when I have to take a time out. I give my kids one and have no shame in taking one.  You need to protect your essence. All of life’s drama can take the beauty out of you if you let it.  Today I am even more guarded to keep being informed but to filter some of the junk to avoid getting too overly emotional or let things take me out of my element.

Image result for wits end gif

Life is hard but cover yourself today and everyday.  Cover your children who don’t fully understand but are in the presence of the same junk you are touched with.  Never underestimate that they are able to pick up on negative vibes just as much as you do. Protect what they see and hear.  Protect who they are around.  Who you allow your kids to be around speaks volumes as they take on what on who is around them.  Protect what words you say around them as well.  Words have life and death in them and you have to be careful that the tearing down isn’t occurring in-house.  We are worried about the outsiders but truth be told you can cause more damage in house than you will ever know if you aren’t careful.

Image result for wits end gif

Filter what you take on when it comes to social media. I love social media but the down size is that it doesn’t always allow you to be social.  It can become battle grounds.  It can become warfare. It can zap your energy.  It can take up so much of your time.  It can allow you to not be able to disengage with those around you.  It is a choice and you must make good choices on what you entertain on social media.  Everything isn’t worth a response. Everything doesn’t need a clap back.  You have to clean your social media act up. Delete some accounts you don’t need.  Take a few folks off that you allow to get you all up in arms.  Learn to take a step back with who you call friends on your social media accounts.  Never post anything you don’t stand by 100% and be prepared to live with any backlash.  Learn that some things that inspire you may just be for you.  Learn that you can choose to spread hate or love.  Love on yourself.  Practice self-love everyday.  Mental illness is real and it can be elevated by social media because when the mind is weak it allows the defenses of everything to be low.  Be careful.  Speak life today.  Speak life into your situations and find ways to make your bottom line better.  Reach out to help others when your able.  It’s no different from when you’re on a plane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on you first.  Same rule applies in life, stop handing out all of your resources to others and leave yourself depleted.  Help you than you can help someone else.  Have a great Monday and practice self love and love on others around you.

Mid Week Recap: June 7, 2017

Since the days have been a little crazy and I haven’t blogged in a few days I figured why not today?  So if you read my last recap than you know that I am preparing my house and myself for my hysterectomy.  I figured since I have now had my gall bladder and appendix removed and outside of child-birth would be done with surgeries, but I am not. As I handle the logistics like meal prepping, laundry and cleaning (as if that will ever be done) my mind is all over the place.

Another issue that has come up is that I had to get a mammogram.  I have never done it before until yesterday’s appointment.  Let me dispel all of the horror stories and say that it isn’t life changing in the fact that you hurt so bad you can’t think.  It is uncomfortable. It feels what ladies feel at the first few days of your menstrual when you are sore.  It was painless and didn’t take long.  I was pretty optimistic that things would go well until I got the results 30 or so minutes later and now I have to go back next week and have the procedure redone.  Now before I allowed my mind to take me there with a grandmother and mother who have had their dance with breast cancer, the technician warned me since it was my first time I most likely would be called back.  The reason is simple, there are no images to compare if there really is something wrong.  So next week I will be back.  Until there is a reason to worry I won’t.

One of the things I can’t stress enough is for ladies, please do monthly self breast exams. They are yours-touch them and make sure all is well.  Breast cancer is devastating but what’s more devastating is having a line of defense to feel when something isn’t right but not use it.  Be vigilant about your reproductive health as well.  There aren’t a lot of do overs in the reproductive world.  You need to care about yourself enough to check yourself.

Image result for breast exam gif

So in the next week things are going to get crazy.  My kids will be starting camp and finishing their last week of school.  I will have had the surgery and my husband will be the one that the kids run to the most until I heal.  I am okay with it.  I have talked to many women that have all suggested a few things and one of the top things that all of them have stated was to be good to myself during this process.  It’s a bit nerve-racking when I think and wonder if I will have to do hormone therapy and how that will affect me and my family mostly.  I will be talking to the doctor about that in-depth.

Emotionally one of the things that I have felt was like wait I really can’t have anymore kids.  It went away but it was a bit overwhelming.  It wasn’t something I felt when I got my tubes tied after my 3rd child.  I had no sadness in me until I found out about this hysterectomy.  I can’t explain it but I know that other women have gone through it. It was like I was at a funeral.  You know me and funerals never get along.  So after about 15 minutes of this semi despair feeling I was okay. I got myself together.  I was able to move on.

On a happier and lighter note, my son, my bubs graduates from preschool today. If you know me know nothing else I make all celebrations big.  Now don’t get me twisted I am not inviting the masses or throwing a party.  I do things like decorate his room, and just make him feel overall special.  He has picked where he wants to go out to eat, just a day of showing him how super proud of him we are.  He moved from one school to this amazing school and since he has been super happy.  Seeing how unhappy he was before and now is such a relief.  Listen let me say on a side note when you have good kids and they start getting into trouble, do your research.  Find out what is going on.  I noticed with my son he would tell us things and we would ask things and it wasn’t adding up. However what I should have done months ago was moved him.  I felt it inside of me and didn’t act.  I was more concerned with having all 3 kids in different schools.  It’s a lot trust me but his happiness is worth it.  He is smiling everyday at drop off and pick up. He has friends who parents are more geared to how we raise our kids.  That matters trust me.

My job as a parent is to correct him when he needs it and celebrate him always.  We are going to do that.  He is super ready for kindergarten but I am not sure if kindergarten is ready for him!! This beam of light is going to be something amazing and not just because he is my child, but because he is determined to be great! Super congrats MJ!!

Image result for preschool graduation

Weekly Wrap Up: March 24, 2017

So I want to start doing a weekly wrap up with my readers.  I first want to say thank you for rocking out with me.  Some of you have been loyal since day one 2 years ago and some are brand new.  Even if you came to see what I am doing and have something to say about that, either way you are here.

With this new weekly wrap up I will attempt to wrap a few news stories as well as personal highs and lows that went down this week.

News

  1. Missing black girls in the DC area.  I have a 7-year-old and to know that these young girls are missing and not much coverage is being done to bring them or any lost child home is most disturbing.  I need our men to step up and assist our single mothers in DC and all over the world.  Men make such a vital part of our community especially in homes where no male is present.  So let’s say a prayer that these young ladies make it home safe and sound.
  2. Violence breaks out outside the UK Parliament-it is the sad day that we live in where these senseless acts of violence and terrorism takes place.  My prayers to those who were injured or lost their lives.
  3. The United States government as a whole.  It’s no secret that Trump is in office. There are a lot of laws and a lot of back and forth taking place that affects and will affect of the everyday life.  My suggestion is that we need to all start pulling resources together.  We need to look out for one another.  I have been saying this since I started this blog, we need to take it back to the old land mark where we would watch over our elderly, feed the kids, and help the single moms and dads where we can.  A little can go a long way and not just around the holiday times either.  Step it up all year-long

Image result for missing black girls in dc

Personal Highs

  1. Lost 2 more pounds this week.  Even managed to almost loss my clothes on the treadmill.  Contemplating if I should buy smaller size clothes as I have gone down one and a half but I am attempting to wait it out.
  2. Made some time for myself and I have a few things for myself this weekend. I am on a mission to attempt to balance my life as much as possible to not give more than I need to in any one area and pour back into my own life like I pour out into others.
  3. Daughter’s report came home and we are loving her new confidence.  We are working with her on not just hearing what we say but applying.  We want her to be strong and confident and speak up for herself respectively.
  4. Concurred the water demon aka drinking water more.  I do not like water however its one of the best components to losing weight is increasing water.  I can actually drink it whether its flavored or not and that’s major progress.
  5. Keeping up with my new natural hair style.  I thought it would be harder especially with the fact that I work out at least 3 days a week but so far so good.  See my blog on my natural hair, Natural is not a phase

Image result for happy gif

Blogs for this week:

If you missed anything and you I hope you haven’t but if you did this is what we were talking about this week:

  1. Marriage and medical deal breakers.  We helped a married couple navigate should they leave their marriage over a medical problem.  You have to read my answer.  It’s not always a flat-out no.  Yes we have vows but sometimes……
  2. Rapper Future is not on my top list of greatest rappers.  I do not like this just learned how to read, cookie cutter, make money off of stupidity rap.
  3. Open marriage in the communication lane and taking trips without your mate
  4. Whether or not you should leave a significant other who refuses to wash.  The short answer is going to a yes…..
  5. We highlighted KJM a blogger that keeps it straight no chaser.  Let me say she gets the nitty and gritty of where I leave off.  I blog light but my mouth is just as sharp.  Don’t know who KJM is, catch up
  6. Spring must do

Personal Lows

So this has been a trying week for me in that I am still dealing with the aftermath of my kid’s school.  I really am trying to find the appropriate way to start communicating and liking it my kids teachers.  I believe in keeping decorum but the struggle is in having to save face after I am clear that personalities no longer mash well.  Parenting is not an easy road.  I as always taught to handle my business but I find that I am on a hi and bye level and I am not sure if that will be enough to salvage the broken relationship.  I do not play when it comes to my kids.  Once I see someone lie, discriminate, or even not give them the basic education they deserve my first step is to get through the year and think ahead on new schooling.  I know that sounds like running but it’s not.  I believe every child needs to have a good education. I believe they should be safe, and be in a welcoming environment. My kids do not go to school for free.  So once I start shelling out rent payments and car notes I expect a high level of expectation to be met period.  So I am still figuring things out and weighing out all options.  The trick is putting my issues to the side for the better of my children but not taking no junk from anyone regardless of title or position.

Image result for irritated gif

This past weekend wasn’t a very good one for me.  I had a hard time coming out of a funk. No I am not super positive every moment.  I can go left real quick.  It is something that I am aware of and try to stay away from others and retreat if I need to.  My patience can become quick and the only ones I am not short with for the most part are the 3 that call me mom.  I am working on getting better on working through my triggers.  But hey I am human and I bounced back fine.

Educators

This last week or so have been a whirlwind.  I have been at both of my children’s school as well as making sure that both of my older children have what they need.  Since the death of their grandma my husband and I know that they have been affected.  The day of the funeral my son went into a behavioral spin and has been spinning since then.  Now let me make a quick disclaimer, I am not one of those parents who think their kids are angels. Trust me they are not.  However as hands on as my husband and I are I know for a fact that I can separate the things about my children from a spike or a low.

Image result for angry teacher gif

So of course for the sake of my children’s privacy I am not about to blog about anything in particular dealing with their issues but I want to highlight a few things for educators. Educators have a hard job.  They are underpaid and have to contend with the best and the worst of children.  However let me give you a few lessons and nuggets from a hands on parent:

  1. Communication.  Its one of the things that educators complain that they don’t get enough of from parents.  FYI if you have parents who are on top than its up to you to hold your end of the bargain.  My kids are the type that will tell me the real.  They have told me what a teacher says in my presence doesn’t align with what they actually do.  I am not talking in the form that benefits my kids either.  I am talking about straight, no filter of what took place.  To test that theory I will mention something and check the response and find that my kids were on point.  It’s important to be clear with rewards as well as be consistent in discipline.
  2. Watch your words.  I was in the bathroom at one of my children’s school and overheard a completely negative comment. The not so funny thing is that my child was in ear space of the comment as well.  Words have life.  You make enough comments about how bad or how horrible a child is when I had been watching that child and could physically see that the child was just standing there is one reason for me as a parent to not trust you.  Even if the statement was a blanket statement my question is, do you have no filter?  Let’s say the child in the class is practically Freddie incarnate, what benefit will you get by saying to a child, you are the worst child I have ever seen? Some of these teachers can say the meanest thing and then want a positive response.  I haven’t yet dealt with the teacher in question but I definitely plan on it.  We are teaching our children to be respectful and as a child they can’t always properly put into words what was said but they do know how it made them feel.  As a parent, from one adult to another, it’s a problem and I want an explanation.  You can be human all day but understand that human or not as an adult the expectation is much higher on your side than a child.  Don’t like it get a new field.
  3. Seek an answer.  Just because a child is doing anything, never assume.  Ask.  Do you know how many kids are being emotionally abused at home?  I hear it all the time, parents swearing at their kids, talking down to them, embarrassing them and then they come to school and you do the same thing but you choose the tone of your voice to be different to sound better than the parent and you’re no better.  Everything isn’t black or white.  Investigate the grey area.
  4. Have empathy.  Did you know that child only eats at school so in the am before food is being given out they may be grumpy?  Did you know the child that is being molested before school?  Some of your worst students can’t all be turned around but you can at least make a positive impact for the few hours they are in your care.  Being a teacher is no different from being a social worker. Some of the same skill sets need to be evoked.
  5. Have fun. No one wants to come to a class with someone with the most sour face in the world.  Why should they want to enjoy your class?  Make it fun to learn.  It doesn’t matter what grade a student is in even in college classes, be fun.  Be stern and don’t slack on the rules.  If the rules take away from pure enjoyment than you need to find a new subject to teach.

Educators aren’t babysitters not even daycare workers. Educators especially in the early education component have a unique opportunity to shape our next leaders.  It is imperative that you either be about the children you manage or bow out.  There’s no room for you to simply do the basics to just get a check.

Image result for angry teacher gif

Let me give you an example.  When I was in high school I had a 4.0.  I was one of the top of my class. I had a guidance counselor that made the comment that I wouldn’t need to know about scholarships because I wouldn’t need it.  Que?  Why would a straight A student not need to know about scholarships when at the time I had been accepted into every school I had applied?  When I went home and told my parents what was said, my mom immediately called a meeting.  When we got to the meeting the first time he was too busy talking and hanging out with students to meet.  My mom had to reschedule.  The second meeting he had his legs folded on his desk trying to talk to her.  She walked out of that meeting immediately. She called another meeting with the principle and from that day I never had that guidance counselor again.  My mom’s concerns were that no one sits their feet up on a desk for a meeting with a parent like they were on familiar terms.  The second was that she demanded his respect in regards to me and clearly since he disregarded her she could see why I felt the way that I did.  Shout out to my next guidance counselor, she got it right and assisted me in everything I needed.

The point was simple.  As a child even an almost adult child, listening is clear.  Finding a solution won’t happen when all you want to do is label a child.  If I was labeled being a straight A student who had never gotten into trouble at school at least, how much more any other child.  A child shouldn’t have to be perfect to receive respect.  Words matter. What you do to appear as an advocate of that child matters as well.