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Whatever Happened to the ‘Village’? #RRBC

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Thanks for dropping by my little place here in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I hope to get your opinion on the topic below.  Please join in the discussion by leaving your comment and you automatically get an entry into my giveaway pool!

Giveaways: 

(1) $10 Amazon Gift Card

(1) 5 Amazon Gift Card

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I’m writing today because I’d like your opinion on something.  Recently, while speaking to a mom of a teen-age daughter, I found myself embroiled in a discussion which caused me great angst. I mean, the conversation literally caused me to go into full migraine headache mode (my poor head).

This mom of a 15 year old who delivered a baby a few months ago, shared with me how her daughter’s newborn son, accompanies his teen-age mother to school every day.  Confused, I asked, “Well, how can she focus on her schoolwork if she has to care for the baby at the same time?”  This mom then shared that the entire school district where her daughter attends school, has a nursery/daycare on the campus of every high school in the district to accommodate teen moms.  After hearing this, I went completely numb.  Hence the beginning of our discussion (debate).  I  mean, if your conversation is going to cause me to go numb, then you can bet your bottom dollar, we’re gonna talk  about it!

I shared with her my disappointment in hearing this, and how I  whole-heartedly disagree with the idea of daycare centers on high school campuses.  I said, “If a school district has to have daycare centers on EVERY HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS in their district, then they have a major problem with teen-age pregnancies.  The focus then, in my opinion, should not be on adding daycare centers to school campuses and accommodating these teenagers, but on how to rectify the major problem…that of the number of teen pregnancies of their female student body.”

In my opinion (and as you can see, I have lots of these), having daycare centers on these school campuses is like slapping a band-aid on an open sore…it’s not going to heal the real problem, just cover it up, so to speak.  Instead of spending that money on campus daycare centers, how about putting it to even greater use…like educating these girls in a different manner on how these poor decisions will impact their lives and their entire futures.  How about we put that money into special programs to teach these girls how NOT TO become teen-age moms?  I mean, since the school is offering free childcare for these teenage moms, what’s going to keep them from repeating the act?  What’s going to keep them from going off having another…and another, and yet another?  Who’s policing these possible serial teenage moms?

Here is where we should all begin to miss “the villages” of old…the ones that it took to raise a child;  the ones that cared enough to go above and beyond, to do whatever it took to ensure that not only their kids, but all the kids around them, excelled at life?  What happened to those?

I often hear people say “Times have changed,” but you know what, just because the world is changing in every arena, doesn’t mean you have to.  I know you saw this one coming, but if all the world decides to one day drink poison and lay down on the ground and die, are you going to join them?  What about that cliff ahead?  I see they’re all getting ready to jump…have you suddenly sprouted wings, too?  I would like to think that you have your own mind, you think with your own mind, and you would make up your own mind to do the right thing if you were ever faced with either of these situations.  Just because some feel as if it’s ‘old fashioned’ and “no one does that anymore,” doesn’t mean you have to buy into that common mentality.

Stand for something, or you will fall for anything.  Remember having that drilled into your head as a child?  I do.  Again, I ask, where have those villages gone?

I’d like to hear from you.  What are your thoughts on these high-school campus daycare centers?  Are they encouraging more of the same or, are they meeting a very serious problem head on?

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Here’s a solution to the problem…

TGMG on BN counter med

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’  GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS”

(During a recent phone conversation with an old friend of mine, she asked:  “You’re not a grandma yet?”  I replied:  “Have you received a wedding invitation from us?”  She said, “No.”  I responded, “Well, if you haven’t received a wedding invite first, then you shouldn’t be expecting a baby announcement.”  You see, in our home, the cart doesn’t go before the horse.)

#HighStandardsInOurHome

#EvenHigherExpectations

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#RRBC SPRINGTIME #BOOK & #BLOG BLOCK PARTY: You’re a Bad #Parent…

…or maybe you’re not!

RRBC Badges (2)

Hi and “WELCOME” to RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY at ASK THE GOOD MOMMY!  Location:  Shreveport, LA.

# of Winners for this stop:  2

Here’s What I’m Giving Away Today:

(1) $15.00 Amazon Gift Card

(1) e-book copy of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS

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I know, the pic above is hilarious, but my daughters sent this to me!  Huge hint, you think?

I am so tired and just so busy that I thought I’d offer you a re-blog (to make things easier for me and to also engage those who hadn’t seen this post yet).

Many often wonder what separates a bad parent from a good parent.  In my mind, a very thin line is all.  But, I’m going to give you my 5 Top Tips of Good Parenting and if you can’t handle these, then we’re going to have to ask you to return your PARENTING LICENSE.  (Oh, I forgot, the law doesn’t require those for this very important job, although they should).  Here goes:

5 TOP TIPS FOR  PARENTING TEENS:

*BE A GOOD LISTENER.  Do you ever respond to your child with those horrible words your own parents used to throw at you…“Because I said so?”  The memories of those words haunt me still today.  I hated hearing (my mom) say that, and boy, did she say it often.  As a parent now, I have realized (thanks to my teenager who keeps me grounded) that “Because I said so,”  is not a response, nor is it a proper response.  When our kids come to us with their issues or questions and concerns, they are looking for solid answers from the people they are taught to trust, respect (and listen to) the most…their parents.  Learn to listen intently to their concerns, so that you are fully able to form a positive, clear, intelligent response;  one that will lead them in the right direction and not drive them into the arms of others, whose responses may not be in their best interest;

*AIM TO BE THEIR BEST PARENT…NOT THEIR BEST FRIEND.  Many parents spend so much time trying to be their kid’s best friend, that they lose sight of their real position, that of Parent.  Yes, we want our kids to think we’re “cool” and that we understand all they’re going thru, etc., and that’s OK.  But, what happens when you have to step out of BEST FRIEND mode and guide them in the right direction…which you can only do in BEST PARENT mode?  What do you do then?  You see, your kid’s friends are their age and they all have the same issues.  And, because they have the same issues, if they are advising each other, it’s like the blind leading the blind.  I remember some of the kids who grew up with my daughters, the ones who didn’t have traditional parents, the ones whose parents partied with them and drank with them, and allowed them “too much freedom.”  I would often hear them say to my daughters, “I wish I had a mom like that,”  or “I wish my mom was like your mom.”  You see, no matter how often they say that “we’re not cool,”  or “we just don’t understand,”  they really do want us in PARENT MODE with them.  It is only in that mode that they feel protected by us…safe. If you make it a habit to always “stay in your lane” (as the kids put it), the Parenting Lane, that is, then you will nurture the relationship as it should be.  Believe me, you have plenty of time to become their BEST FRIEND.  My timetable says that time should be rolling around pretty quickly, when they are adults, and maybe with kids of their own;

*ALWAYS REMAIN CALM.  Being a good listener is the best way to develop great rapport with your kids.  When your kids come to you for advice, no matter the topic (boys, girls, sex, relationships, drugs, etc.) listen to them and fully take in what they are communicating to you.  Your response to what they are sharing, is the make or break as to how they will handle their situations.  Don’t interrupt while they’re speaking, think before you respond, and above all else, remember that yelling is never the answer.  Don’t become part of their storm.  Be their calm, so that when their storm hits, their “emergency kit” will be filled with all the right tools to weather it;

*MODEL WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO AND BECOME.  Television, radio, social media and even friends at times, offer such negative influences that you want to remove it all from your child’s world.  I’ve been there myself, where I’ve heard of a profanity-laced TV show or one filled with too much kissing and ‘other stuff,’ that I’ve said to my kids “Nope, we won’t be watching that.”   That being said, I allowed my wonderful kids to watch shows like SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and THE SIMPSONS, which other parents forbade in their homes.   Because my daughters were taught the difference between right and wrong from the very beginning and consistently, I wasn’t the least bit worried about them picking up any bad habits from these shows, but, I did appreciate the fact that there was such humor in the shows, that my children, with us, appreciated the laughs.  We love “funnies” in our home, so these were shows we enjoyed together.  Actually, we all still watch SPONGEBOB, even today.  I’ve said all this to say that, WE modeled what we wanted them to become.  Profanity is not allowed in our home, we don’t drink or smoke, we have open and ‘honest’ discussions, and we treat each other and those outside our home, with the utmost of kindness and respect.  We not only talked the talk, we walked the walk and that is what you should do, as a good parent;

*LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEM, UNCONDITIONALLY.  I’ve heard parents say that sometimes, the poor behavior of their children makes them hard to love.  Although I’ve never felt this emotion, I’ve seen some kids who have put their parents thru the ringer, so I can definitely believe it.  I recently heard of a book called  HOW TO HUG A PORCUPINE and to my understanding, the premise of the book is that kids in their formative tween and full teen years, don’t really welcome the loving hugs and attention that they craved as babies and toddlers.  My daughters get so many hugs, kisses and so much love daily, that they probably want to run in the other direction when they see me coming towards them.  And, although they pretend as if they don’t like it, they really do.  I know this because when my oldest was away at college, she once said, “Believe it or not, I miss you kissing me all the time.”  My youngest said to me recently, “I’m going to miss sitting on your lap and snuggling with you when I wake each morn and before I go to bed at night.”  See, proof they like it!  So, go on, hug your porcupines!  They secretly love you doing so and don’t worry, their pines aren’t that prickly.

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Do you have some great parenting tips to share? Please share your comments below.  You know how much we like those!  I would also ask that you share this page onto all your social medium forums.  Thanks for dropping by and I hope to see you along the tour tomorrow!

Are you not a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, why the heck not?  What is wrong with you???  LOL!  We’d love for you to join us!

 

 

Now We’re Putting #Disrespect On A Pedestal? #RRBC

OK, so the latest nonsense in this no-parenting Parenting, which is ringing loudly in my ears and almost causing me to go deaf, is the theory  (and I quote) that “Kids who talk back, become more successful adults.”  Well, this “nonsense” infuriates me so much, that lots of choice words come to mind each time I read that line, but, since this is a kid-friendly blog, I will keep them to myself.

It should come as no surprise to all who have read my parenting guide, “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS…100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love”

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…that I don’t agree with this “nonsense” at all.  (I will continue to refer to it as nonsense, by the way, as that’s exactly what it is).

“Kids talking back is a perennial complaint of parents,” states an article that I read on Yahoo recently.  Well, that complaint is valid, and kudos to those parents who are upset about this and not embracing the “nonsense.”

This Yahoo article quotes the experts who say that, “This behavior is developmentally healthy for kids.”  I would have to disagree and say that, as an expert, “This behavior in my home would be extremely unhealthy and could prove to be detrimental to a kid’s teeth.” (Yes, I said it!)  I mean, kids do still lose their teeth by methods that aren’t traditionally used in dentist’ offices, right?

My very own teenager, who, when I shared this theory and article with her, looked at me and said:  “Mommy, that’s just an excuse for certain parents to let their kids get away with talking back to them because they don’t want to take the time, or they don’t know how to properly discipline them.”  (#ProudMommyOnBoardHere!  As they say, “From the mouths of babes.”)  Even she, as a child, understands this point, so, why can’t people twice and three times her age get it?

I have two of the most successful daughters in all the world.  My teenager is on track to graduating Magna Cum Laude in her school;  she’s a literal genius (smarter than a whip and sharper than many adults I know);  she’s a phenomenal athlete,  and she’s honest and uberly respectful.  Never talked back a day in her life!

Then, there’s my adult daughter:  on her way to getting her two masters degrees, busy as a bee in very constructive ventures, highly sought after by every employable agency in her field, doesn’t sleep around with every Tom, Dick and Harry (YES! An adult Lady who still has her virginity…go figure), and uberly, uberly respectful.  Never talked back a day in her life!  Never used a profane word in her life!  Yet, out of all her adult counterparts who are her age or older, I can’t name one who is as successful as she is.  I can’t name one who has a reputation like she does.  I can’t put my finger on one who is as trusted and respected as she is.

And then, there are their parents, my husband and I…successful business owners, highly regarded in our community, and yet, neither one of us ever talked back to our parents…we dared not!

Are we still going with what these experts say?  Has anyone heard of the entitled kid from Dallas, Texas with “Affluenza” Disease? (What a joke).  You know, the one who killed four people while driving drunk and was then only given a slap on the wrist (probation)? The one who then spit in the face of the same justice system who gave him that slap on the wrist and fled the country to avoid charges after he violated that probation?  The same one whose mom, when asked how she disciplined him when he acted up (talked back), said she took his toys and games away.  Really?  That’s ALL you did?  Hmmm…no wonder.  I would stake the life of everyone that I hold dear that he talked back!  And probably was using those choice words I withheld above by the time he was 2 years old and could mouth them!  I think we should start measuring success by more than just the size of our bank accounts.

So, I’m sure you all can see why I’m going to have to agree with my teenager, who says that this “nonsense” is just another excuse for certain parents to get away with raising their kids improperly, OR, not even raising them at all.  The sad part about all of this “nonsense,” is that these same kids who are being allowed to talk back, in hopes that they will become more successful in their adult lives, are being set up to fall into a few (sometimes deadly) traps:

*What do you think is going to happen when they are in daycare or after-school care with people who have low tolerance for kids who talk back or disobey?

*What do you think is going to happen when they’re in classrooms at school with teachers who have zero tolerance for kids who talk back or disobey?

*Lastly, what do you think is going to happen when they are stopped by a law enforcement officer who has the power to strip them of every right they have, on the spot, just because you allowed them to “mouth off” to you?

We need to remember, that what we allow in our homes, is not necessarily going to go over well outside of our home. Then, we need to also keep in the forefront of our minds, that everyone isn’t in love with our kids the way we are.  And lastly, never forget, that evil sometimes walks the earth day and night, in the form of daycare workers, teachers, and law enforcement officers.  So, I would advise you to teach your kids to be respectful, manner-able, hardworking, and driven Go-getters.  In my eyes, all signs that they are properly armed with the tools they’ll need to become successful adults.

My beautiful daughters have never been spanked, cussed at, berated or made to feel anything but the most staggering kind of love in all the world, yet, I am a firm believer in discipline, teaching kids right from wrong, and teaching respect, manners and accountability.  I am, because it’s the way I was raised.  I am, because I looked around this earth and saw what was being “bred” to walk and rule our land, and I refused to bring more of that “mess” into the world.  I am, because I know that we can do better as a society and as Parents.

My friends laugh when I see kids in the store throwing fits and tantrums, talking back, or stories on television, such as this one about the Affluenza Disease, and I shake my head and say:  “God gave me what he knew I wouldn’t strangle.”  It’s funny, but I do believe it’s true.

So, these are the kinds of kids that I have:

1Happy Daughter

Because the other kind…

1Mom yelling at daughter

…wouldn’t last one second in my home!

My latest quote: 

“I’m not being judgmental, but you’re not parenting properly.”  ~ NJ Original

Again, “YES, I SAID IT!”

NJ Cover Design-1

…and I didn’t bite my tongue or stutter when I did!

“Teach and discipline your kids properly, before the world and law enforcement steps in to do it for you.  Unfortunately, you might not like the lessons they have in store for your child!

~ Nonnie Jules

So, do tell, what is your take on this style of parenting?  Are/Were your kids allowed to talk back?  Do you think success is only measured by how much money is in someone’s bank account?  C’mon, be honest.  We don’t judge here.

Discipline Your Kids, or Law Enforcement Will Do It For You! #RRBC #Parenting #Parents

My 1st book, THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS”, 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love, delivers on it’s title.  The tips included in this book are tried and true.  There are some who will argue that there is no such thing as a “perfect” person, so for those naysayers, let me make myself clear, I raised (almost) perfect daughters, that means, they’re as close to perfect in the eyes of many, as you can get.  And the reason they were raised this way, is because I have zero tolerance for undisciplined children.

Recently, on a trip to WalMart, I could hear a kid screaming at the top of her lungs somewhere in the store.  Literally, screaming.  I then heard a little boy yelling at the top of his.  Well, I tipped over to find out what was wrong and to ensure that these kids were not in any danger.  (Yes, I’m that Mom).  What I found was a little girl sitting in a basket (unharmed), just crying/screaming; a little boy standing and yelling at an older woman, who appeared to be his grandmother/caregiver.  The woman walks over and says, “Let’s go, I’m not buying that for you.”  This little boy, who looked to be between 7-8 years old, stood there defiantly, folded his arms and shot back at her, “I’m not going anywhere! You are buying me those chips!” My eyes literally popped out of my head and are still on the floor of that WalMart.  That was a month ago, so please pardon any typos you might find here as I’m working without my usual eyes.

1screaming little girl

The woman notices me and others who had started to gather, customers and employees alike, to witness this sad display of parenting.  When the boy didn’t budge, the woman says, “Well, I’m going to leave you right here.”  She walks away, pushing the basket which held the still-screaming little girl.

All you could hear was chatter in WalMart, people lining the aisles whispering and pointing, and it was extremely obvious that this woman was totally embarrassed.  She continued to shop as the little boy runs behind her, shouting what she was GOING to do for him.

I’m leading the pack that’s standing in the center aisle in disbelief, just waiting for the moment when this lady was going to put a stop to all that nonsense of screaming and embarrassment that they were causing her.

Then, out of nowhere, pushing her cart down an aisle, this older lady turns, stoops down and says to the little boy: “Why are you behaving like that?  You need to go and find your mom and do what she says.”  He folds his arms and stands in front of her, with that same defiant look he’d given to his guardian.  The lady stands up, shrugs her shoulders and just walks away.  The next scene that plays out, is another little older lady, who comes up to the little boy, grabs him by his arm (I’m smiling, cheering her on, by the way), and she is almost shouting in her little voice: “You are too old to behave this way!  You know better! You stop that screaming at your mom and you do as she says.” Then, Mr. Police Officer walks by, shaking his head in disbelief at these two kids who are being allowed to create such chaos in a public market.

The little older lady continues her rant and you can clearly hear her saying out loud, “Maybe someone should get that police officer to talk to him and scare him a bit.”  By this time, this little older lady is my champion.

So, the guardian returns when she sees little older lady talking to the boy, and says to him, “Get over here and let’s go!”  (Finally, she’s commanding him and he’s not commanding her).  It didn’t work, though, as he walked away and stood on yet another aisle pointing to the new object of his attention…screaming at the top of his lungs for her to get it for him.

As we (the members of the IN DISBELIEF CLUB OF WALMART that day), looked on, she walks over, grabs what he is pointing to and says, “Now, let’s go.”  I was just outdone in that moment.  Really?  She’s giving in to the demands of a 7-8 year old child? My husband, who had been searching for me for a while around the store (but remember, I was following the Carnival crowd), sees this and says, “Honey, hold your tongue, please, please.”  I’ve turned a few shades of red and he could feel the fury emanating from my body at the situation.

As the little girl is still screaming while being pushed in the cart, the little boy is running behind the guardian and smiling as he sticks out his tongue at all who is staring at him. (Although he was using his tongue to disrespect us, this is what I felt him doing…)

Tantrum boy shooting the finger

The lady heads directly to the register.  Finally, a WalMart manager comes over and asks the lady to leave the store.  Now, I don’t know if that manager broke any laws, but maybe she was trying to contain all the fury she felt building up in the customers who had witnessed this for far too long, and she was trying to get the woman to safety (out of my reach…because at that point, I wanted to personally whip her myself!)

The woman places the “thing” the little boy wanted on the counter, starts to push the basket with the screaming little girl out of the store as she is literally dragging him behind her, because he has sat down on the floor and refused to move.

Would you all like to know what I said to my husband?  I said, “He, at that age, is prison-bound if they don’t put a stop to his behavior right now!” YES, I SAID IT! and I didn’t bite my tongue doing it.  I firmly believe that no matter your race (because someone is going to throw race in this), if you don’t discipline your children and teach them properly, then the streets and law enforcement will do it for you. I had never witnessed such horror before in my life and I hope that I won’t have to witness anything like it ever again.

To all the parents who think that it’s cute that your little girl walks around disrespecting you at the age of 6, it’s not.  To all of you who feel that you want your kids to be FREE in what they do and say, think again and grow a parenting backbone.  My daughters are free to think on their own, and express themselves, but, always in a respectful manner and tone.  You can’t beat respect on any level, I don’t care what anyone says.  My daughters were always the ones who were used as examples in school for the other kids, and guess on what basis?  The teachers always, always pointed out just how respectful and mannerable they were.  My oldest is well into her twenties and you will still hear her saying on any given Sunday to her elders or any adult older than she:  “Yes, Ma’am, No, Ma’am, Yes, Sir, Thank you, Excuse Me, Please,” etc. and any other respectful phrase that you can think of, both my daughters use them.

Tip #18 in my parenting guide is about discipline.  I’m going to share that tip with you and then share with you the importance of it:

*DON’T BE AFRAID TO DISCIPLINE WHEN IT’S NEEDED.  Again, in full disclosure I must say that I have never physically disciplined my daughters, BUT, that was only because I didn’t have to.  I had 4 siblings and although the girls didn’t get spankings, only the boys did, I come from the school where whippings were just a part of life, and I also tend to think, we all turned out pretty well.  I believe that some children only need to be admonished from time to time, but others…well, that’s when we need to invoke the teachings of the Bible.  (Proverbs 22:15) says “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.”  Does this let you know that I believe in spankings? I hope it does, because I most certainly do!

I know that people differ on this subject;  some believe in physical discipline, others believe in only verbal, and some don’t believe in it at all…and that’s OK (as long as they keep those kids at their house).  I personally believe that parents should be allowed to discipline their children in the way they see fit for their family. (That’s not to say that kids should be allowed to get away with murder). That being said, a child should NEVER be bruised, injured or cut by a physical correction.

Physical discipline should always be done in love and never as a vent to the parent’s frustration.  It is also just one part of discipline and should ONLY be used when the child shows defiance to a clear limit, not in the heat of the moment.  No matter how it’s done, don’t be afraid to do it.  I must end this by re-iterating that discipline is something that you need to begin at an early age, and when I say early age, I mean DAY ONE!  You cannot wait until your child is 13, 14, or even 16 years old, standing taller than you, and decide that they’re a little too mouthy for you.  If you start disciplining from day one, I can assure you, “mouthing off” will never be a problem.

It’s no wonder that people still ask me, “How did you get them to turn out that way?” and I always respond, “It wasn’t that hard.”  Before I became a mother, what I saw in the world around me, made me want to be a much better parent and made me want to raise a different breed of child.  A better child.  The kind the world would appreciate on so many levels.  Examples for all the rest.  If you want children who will cause you to shed only happy tears in your old age, decide early that you will raise them in the proper manner.  The woman in WalMart that day, would never have had to deal with that humiliation, had she or whoever the parents of these children are, used some form of discipline.  And again, discipline is not just physical.  You teach your kids with your words, your actions and your consistency.  These were my forms of discipline

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…” has tips that are not just for girls.  If you haven’t already, pick up a copy and share your thoughts with us.  See the trailer:

I hope that someone who has lived thru this woman’s humiliation before, is helped by this post. If you’re a new parent, just starting out, there is still time to walk down the right road, if you feel you’re headed down a bad one in your parenting.  I’d love to hear your thoughts, whatever they may be, on this topic.  How do you feel about discipline?  And honestly, how did your kids turn out?  I don’t mean just in your eyes, how do you think they’re viewed in the eyes of the world?  Will they/are they contributing and productive assets to today’s society and their community?

Community, let’s talk about this!

Growing Up Isn’t Easy for Us Moms…

This post today IS NOT for all the normal, care-free, happy-go-lucky moms who allow their kids all the freedoms they should be allowed.

1Happy Daughter

(She is definitely the cool, “more-loved” mom).

Oh, no.  This is a special blog for moms like me.  The not-so-normal ones, who love their kids “way too much” (if there is such a thing).  You know the ones who never want their kids to move away;  instead, we’d prefer they grow up, get married, and move back home, because we want to see them all the time…hug-and-kiss-them-as-if-they-were-still-little-tiny tots, all the time.  Yes, I’m that mom, and don’t judge me.  It’s not a good day for that.

1Mom yelling at daughter

(Like she really wants to move back home with this mom.  Wait, I’m not that mom…wrong photo!)

I’m this mom…

1Unhappy daughter

(…where the kid’s get tired of being hugged and loved all the time. OK, this one’s no better than the one up top. Oh, heck!).

I often wonder if my daughters really appreciate all that I do for them and all the love that I bestow upon them.  Sometimes, I think that “they feel” it’s too much.  But, I always tell them how some kids have many struggles and hardships to deal with daily, and how those same kids get no love and attention at all.  I go on to stress just how blessed they are.

My baby is now a teenager and she doesn’t need me as much as she used to.  Often, I just want to lie around in her room, hugging her, but she says…“Mommy, that is #TeamTooMuch.”  (I think that’s kid-speak for “Nobody lays around with their mom hugging them at my age.”)

My oldest, who is a young adult, but still lives at home as she chases after her 2nd Master’s Degree, needs me even less than that (but she will allow me to hug and kiss her more than the baby, although she does frown during the entire episode).  I am definitely one of those moms who will be facing an empty nest very soon, and I admit, I don’t think I’m going to handle it very well.

So, back to all the love and attention I give…If they feel I’m giving too much, and I feel it’s exactly what they need…what do we do at this impasse?  Although I don’t like to think about it, I still have a few suggestions that I, as “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ MOMMY” must share with you if you’re mom to teenage daughters, and if you’re of the not-so-normal breed, as I am.   C’mon, I’ll hold your hand as we cry thru these 5 favorites of mine, together:

*First, it’s time to recognize and realize that our babies are no longer of the “toddling” kind.  They are growing up into these little people with their own minds, their own dreams and desires, and their own friends… and although they still need us, when they are tall enough to see over the tops of our heads, they don’t need us as much;

*Realize that they don’t want to share everything with you anymore.  Remember when they couldn’t hold water and every little detail of every little thing, spilled out of their mouths at the drop of a hat?  Well, those days are long gone.  Now, they will share with you only what they want you to know, so stop prying.  It only annoys them and makes them share even less with you;

*Although I don’t condone dropping young girls off at the mall, we must realize that they, too, have social lives, and those young lives typically don’t coincide with our daily trips to WalMart, the pharmacy or the fabric store.  Let them make arrangements to meet with their friends for lunch or the movies, and while keeping their safety at the forefront of your brain, allow them that time to be away from you.  (Hey, although you may not want to go see “The Fault In Our Stars,”  I’m sure “Moms Night Out” is playing just down the hall.  Time your movies so that you walk into your separate theaters together, and so that you’re almost walking out together, as well. It makes them feel as if they are independent of you hovering over them, and it gives you peace of mind that you’re close by should your mommy-fear kick in to high gear);

*Let them know that they can talk to you about anything, anywhere at anytime.  When they come into your office and you’re all engrossed in the final chapter of your latest novel, put down pen and paper, or take your eyes off the computer and look at them.  Letting them know that they have your full attention when they need you, makes for you guys having a much better Mommy/Daughter relationship down the road;

*Even though you know that you’re already going to say “No” when she asks to camp out in front of an arena so that she’s first in line to get tickets, allow her to have her complete say.  Don’t shut her down just  because you’re already armed with that “No.”  After she has stated her case, ask her to give you a little time to think about it.  When you get together with her again, calmly explain why you have to use that “NO” (that you keep on hand for everything, but, she doesn’t need to know that).  In the end, she will respect you for having heard listened fully, and for “pretending” to think it thru before you came up with your answer).

No matter what kind of mom you are, as long as you love your kids and do the best that you can for them, that’s all that matters.  We’re all different and whether we agree on our parenting styles or not, all of our differences should be respected.  I joke about it, but I know how much my daughters love and appreciate me, but it’s always nice to have something humorous and helpful to blog about, right?  This growing up stuff isn’t easy for Moms.  Just know, that if you think you have areas you really need to work on, it’s never too late to become a better parent.  I try to get it right every day, and although I fail at times, my daughters always make me believe that it’s OK while they’re picking me up, face first, off the ground.  They even help me dust myself off from time to time, so I know I’m loved.

Before I go, I’d like to leave you with a prayer that I pray:

“Father, help me to be the best mom that I can be.  Help me to stop comparing myself with others.  Amen.”

Take care, moms, clingy and non, alike!

WHY DO WE GET SO MUCH PLEASURE OFF THE PAIN OF OTHERS?

Before I get started, I need to share a glossary of names, just so that you can follow along with me:

Teresa Guidice = Bravo TV Reality star from the Real Housewives of New Jersey

Danielle Staub = ex-Bravo TV Reality star from the Real Housewives of New Jersey

Now, let’s get started…

I’m a reality TV junkie and there are just some shows I will not miss:  “Real Housewives” of (anything), “Mob Wives” (when I can remember they’re on), and a few others.  I even travel both ends of the spectrum, by “Keeping up with the Kardashians” (not because of their poor behavior, but because of their closeness as a family), and also “The Braxton Family Values” (because of the way they love each other and I so love their mother’s influence in their lives, even now that they’re adults).

Anyone who watches any amount of television, knows that today, January 5, 2015, was the scheduled day for Teresa Guidice, to turn herself in to federal prison to serve a 15 month sentence for wire and bank fraud, per the reports.  (Heck, I don’t know for sure what the crime was, I wasn’t there).

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And although some are rejoicing at this day, I am extremely saddened by it.  Not for the reasons you might think, though, so let me explain.

I am no fan of Teresa Guidice.  I knew from day one when she came on the show, throwing around $50,000 on a child’s birthday party, making comments about how she couldn’t live in other people’s “used” homes because people were dirty, and traipsing around town digging up all the dirt she could on Danielle Staub, that it would all one day come back to haunt her.  Ever heard the saying:  “When you go to dig a ditch for somebody, you may as well dig two?”  That means, when you set out to cause someone harm, that harm WILL come back to you…maybe not in the same form, but believe me, a boomerang, is a boomerang, is a boomerang, and sometimes, that’s a big bite right out of your ass.

So, here’s the reason for my sadness…I am sad because I am a mother, and because I am the kind of mother I am, my heart bleeds for her daughters.  Even though I have watched and been turned off many times by her questionable antics, her poor adult behavior, and especially the way that I have witnessed her allowing that same poor behavior in her daughters, the one thing that’s crystal clear to me about this woman that I’ve never met, is she loves her children with all her heart.

Yes, I can hear some of you saying right now:  “Well, she should have thought of that before she committed a crime.”  And she should have but you know what, that still doesn’t lessen my pain for her children.  My heart cries out for any child I feel might hurt, even from just a knew scrape from a bike fall, but that’s just me.

So, guests, my question today is this:  “Why do some of us derive such pleasure and satisfaction off the pain of others?  Are our hearts so cold that we cannot feel another’s anguish and pain and allow that empathy for another to melt the ice?  Are we so jealous of what others have, that we lie in wait for their downfall?  What is it that drives us to laugh and spew such hateful words, even while knowing that there are children involved who WILL suffer from it all?”  WHY?

I remember when Danielle Staub asked Teresa,”Why did you go digging up my past?” A past which she had tried to put behind her, a past she never wanted her daughters to know about.  It was clear that Teresa didn’t care about the pain she was causing Danielle’s daughters at that time,  and so now, others are remembering that very episode and they will not allow their hearts to have any compassion for Teresa’s daughters. Yes, the boomerang has come back for Teresa, and now, her daughters will suffer a similar pain, a similar embarrassment, but a pain far worse than what was caused to Danielle’s daughters.  You see, Danielle had served her jail time before her daughter’s were born but Teresa’s daughters are here and fully aware of what’s going on and where their mom is today.  Their harsh reality and pain, will be to live life for a year plus without their mom.

Again, some of you are shrugging your shoulders and saying “So what?  There are other kids who have life a lot worse than Teresa’s kids who live in a $3.9 million home.”  I’m sure that’s true, but let us dig deep in our hearts to feel some compassion for these children.  They didn’t ask for any of this, so let’s not punish them for what their parents did.  What I really want to ask of you is this:  In the new year, let us resolve to not take pleasure of any kind in the suffering of others.  Let us be bigger than that.  When you turn on the news and you hear a story of someone who “made a mistake” (we all make them), let’s speak words of prayer for them instead of words of joyful jealousy.  Because, whether you’re willing to admit to it or not, that’s all it is.  They paraded their wonderful life on television, in front of you, and all the world to see and you just didn’t like it.  Heck, most often I don’t like it, but I’m so much bigger than the green-eyed monster (jealousy), and when I know there are kids who might be hurt in certain situations, I fall down on my knees and I pray for that family, that they make it thru whatever the situation is and I believe that my prayers are heard.

Remember, if you can’t help someone, don’t hurt them.  Always, always think about the children.  Are you one who gets pleasure off the pain of others?  C’mon, be truthful and let’s talk about it.

Stop Talking ABOUT Them and Start Talking TO Them

I didn’t know how I would word this blog but the topic has been weighing heavily on my heart for quite some time now.  Recently I encountered a woman who has a teenage great-niece, a mere 13 yrs old.  Well, this child rubs this 65 yr old woman the wrong way.

The woman and I have enjoyed many pleasant conversations over the phone since our first meeting, but I noticed that every time the topic of girls came up, she would quickly mention this great-niece of hers.  She would start on this rant about how the child was “too grown” for her liking and how she didn’t even care to be in the child’s presence.  It really started to concern me that she was so fiercely “against” this 13 yr old child.

She told me the story about how each time she visits her moms house, the 13 yr old great- niece is quite often there, along with her 15 yr old brother.  She also shared that she doesn’t speak to the child, never looks in the child’s direction, and even brings the older brother gifts without ever bringing anything for this 13 yr old girl.  The straw that finally broke the camel’s back that I was riding, was when she told me that the 13 yr old great-niece had the audacity to tell someone else that she felt great-aunt didn’t like her, and her response when she finished relaying this sentence to me was, “And I don’t like her!”  Yep, that must have been a really heavy straw because this camel fell flat to the ground.

In my obviously very annoyed tone, I said to this 65 yr old woman, “I can’t believe that you feel so much hatred towards a child.” She then said to me, “I didn’t say I hated her, I just don’t fool with her!”  In my mind I was thinking, “Well lady, I’m smart enough to know from your language, your tone and your stance in regards to this child, that “hate” would be a most appropriate word”, but instead I said, “You really didn’t have to…it shows.”

In the midst of her trying to defend herself against my assertion that she didn’t like the child, I interrupted her and simply asked if she would allow me to share a little story with her.  As if I could see through the phone her waving her hand as if she was giving me the floor, I heard her huffily say, “You go right ahead.”

This was the little story I shared:  “You know, quite often we see kids that are different from our own.  We see them do things that in our minds, our own children would never do.  We hear them speak in such adult-like manners that it’s hard for us to believe that they are even children and because of this, we look down on them, we turn away from them, and every chance we get, even to perfect strangers, we speak ill of them.

Since becoming a mom, I have experienced many young girls such as the kind I’ve mentioned above.  Most were from troubled, broken, single-parent homes, and the others were from homes where proper parenting was not a priority at all.  Before I became a mom (in my younger years), it was very easy for me to feel the same as this 65-yr old woman in regards to these “kinds” of girls.  Then, I became a nurturing, loving, caring and extremely understanding MOTHER to all.

I used to be the one who shared in the whispers about the girls who were like this woman’s great-niece.  I own that.  But since becoming a mom, and mostly making the decision to grow up, not just in years but in the mind, I came to realize that these girls didn’t need my behind-their-backs whispers, they needed me to sit them down and have a conversation with them.

I then came to realize, that most often when you see girls behaving in the manner described above, they’re missing some things, and the main thing being, a mom to steer them in the right and proper direction.  They don’t need our whispers and our looks of disdain, they need our love and our guidance.  And since I am one who truly believes that it does still take a village to raise a child, the world’s children all belong to me.”

I don’t think my story moved this woman in any way because it was obvious she had a heart made of steel.  But it did my heart some good sharing with her the story that I had.  It’s hard for me to be in the company of anyone who feels such a strong hatred and loathing for a child, so I have chosen to discontinue my new friendship with this woman.

And now I’m  pleading with you…should you ever be blessed with the opportunity to help a child (especially a young girl) who in her poor behavior is showing you that she needs some guidance and love, please stop and take the time to give it.  I have said so many times before that children don’t need to be borne of our womb to be our children.  We just need to have a heart big enough to allow the additional one or two, or even the masses, in.

Love a child today, including one who’s not really your own.

Have you ever encountered anyone who felt this way about a child?  Let me hear from you in the comments below.

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