parenting

Being Nanekia…Do Not Apply Pressure!

jesus-hilario-h-311382-unsplashHey Hotties! The school year has officially started for most (YAY!) This summer was amazing the kids and I had a great time on some great adventures. As most of you know Anissa has started kindergarten and Jamiel is a freshmen in high school. Yeah, yeah, I know the spacing, but you know I like it spicy and the way to keep it that way is to spread them far apart, just joking that’s life. Anyway that’s not what this post is about. My son is attending a great private school, that has a high moral and educational code, they are expecting students to excel in all areas of their lives and become productive members of society. What parent doesn’t what that for their child?! I knew this was the place for my son and we have been excited all year for his start, that was until the first week of school.

Jamiel is my calm child, he doesn’t stress too much, he goes with the flow. So imagine my surprise when I caught him up late one night in a panic. His eyes were red, he had a strained look on his face and he was grabbing his stomach. My immediate response, food poisoning! As I begin to feel his forehead and ask about his other symptoms I realized it wasn’t food poisoning, Jamiel was stressed. In my mind I was thinking we are just the first week in, how can you be stressed already. I didn’t want to make light of how he was feeling, so I got him some water and asked if we could talk. (I always ask my kids if they want to talk I don’t assume they are ready just because I am.)

I took a look at what was on the screen of his laptop and there was this overwhelming schedule, something completely new to him, new teachers, new concepts to learn, new school, new people. While this could be the possibility for each school year, something was very different for him this time around. In his words, “I’m a young adult now people expect me to be responsible all the time, to know things I don’t really know, to perform. I’m always hearing how as a young black man I have to do more, HOW DO I DO MORE?!” I felt bad cause honestly I didn’t have an answer for him, I’m still trying to figure out how I can do more and I’ve had almost 40 years to do so. In the first week of school he had 3 quizzes, 2 papers, football practice, a football game, his chores for home,  and time for a social life, for someone who hasn’t had to jungle this before this was a huge shock to his system. He went through several conversations before we narrowed down his real concern, would he be a disappointment.

Jamiel’s disappointment statement hurt my heart, why would he ever think he was a disappointment. then I remembered a conversation we had earlier this summer. School was never hard for me, I didn’t have to study, I could read something one time and just know it. Jamiel had the same ability in middle school but high school is a whole new ballgame. His confidence was low, how do I help him regain it?

  1. We made a schedule for him to stick to and added the events to the calendar on his phone with reminders. There is time for studying, homework, and time each night to ask me questions about what he may need help with.
  2.  He signed up for tutoring, it’s available free through the school so why not utilize the resource.
  3. We are reading for fun a book together, to expand his horizons. We’ll be able to discuss with each other, hopefully helping him to engage in this conversation will give him with the confidence to engage in class.
  4. I’ve put the tribe on notice and asked that they pray for him and send him encouraging words. I am a firm believer that the people in your child’s life should speak excellence over their life.
  5. Going to bed on time. As much as he wants to be up playing Fortnite, he realizes that he needs rest.
  6. I’ve realized that I want him to do well, to succeed, but not at the cost of his mental health. Open communication about the pressures he feels will always be a constant in our home.

It’s important that we listen to and not just talk at our children. Their feelings matter and we need to watch the pressures we apply. What do you do when you notice your child may be a little stressed? How are you helping to alleviate that stress?

 

parenting

Back to School Blues!!

back to school 2018Summer is wrapping up and school is right around the corner (YAY!). Parents your grocery bill is about to go back to normal, just wait on it. I think that’s the thing that excites me the most my bills will normalize and well the fact that I will have a high schooler and a kindergartener. But let’s face it along with those joyous moments as we prepare to send our kids back out into the education jungle, there are some struggles to be had.

For our entire summer break, we’ve stayed up late, slept in, basically our schedule was a free for all, but with school just a few weeks away it’s time to make some adjustments. I once read somewhere (if I could recall I would give credit) that it takes 12 consecutive days for something to become a routine. So since school is just about that amount of time away we have started the following;

  1. Preparing our clothes/lunches for the next day the night before so we can do our morning routine and have our outfit/food for the day ready.
  2. Going to bed at a decent time. This is mainly for my 5-year-old, if she doesn’t get enough sleep we all pay the price in the morning. I don’t want her to start off on a bad note at a new school so 8pm bedtime it is. Now for some this is late, but for our family schedule this is perfect. Helping her develop her nightly routine distracts her from the fact her brother isn’t going to bed.
  3. Test runs to both schools and to work. We’ve gotten up and driven to both schools during rush hour to see how much time it takes. OUR FAMILY IS ALWAYS LATE! I want to start fresh with the new schools so being on time is a priority.
  4. Update your calendar! Hopefully your child’s school has sent out the yearly calendar, you should update your family calendar now. That way you are well aware of school events that will take place and ca prepare accordingly.
  5. FOr older children like my high schooler we have started the conversation about the appropriate amount of study time. With social media we need to be intentional about the time we give toward studying and sticking to it. If you start the conversation now then those “But Mom” moments will hopefully lessen because you;ve already discussed your expectation for studying.

You can still enjoy those last few weeks before school starts, but don’t get left behind and wondering why you are struggling, implement routines now to help alleviate this problem. What are some things you do to help your child(ren) prepare for the return to school? Comment below.

These may help you as well!
LuminoLite Rechargeable 3000K Warm 6 LED Book Light

For those late night’s when your high schooler needs to study late!

Alarm Clock & Night-Light

Rise & Shine little one with this nifty night light and clock!
Learning Responsibility Star Chart

Teaching responsibility doesn’t have to stress you out. Using a chore chart and holding your child accountable will help the future leaders of tomorrow!

The Night Before Kindergarten

The night before the first BIG day of school can be hard, help your child ease into the situation with this cute story about how children are preparing for school.

parenting

I Need A Date!

date night footageNow that I’ve got your attention…I have someone to date but I was in need of some date night ideas. I mean we do the norm, dinner, drinks, movies, bowling, ect. I was looking for something to do outside of these things that would say be a little more cost-effective, if you know what I mean. So here are my top 5 date night to do at a great cost to you and your love. Enjoy and let me know how they work out!

  1. One of my favorites is a nice long drive. Now you may be thinking gas cost (and it does) but this is where a little homework and research does you some good. We never go for a long drive without having a purpose (even on date night). Once the kiddies are in bed, baby sitter obtained (we have live in) we head out for our adventure. Where do we go. Well usually we go and look at houses that one day will be our dream home, this may seem boring to some, but why not dream with the one you love of what your brighter and better future could be. If we get bored with that then we take in the night-time scenery. Things look a lot different at night than during the day. Open up your mind and imagination and take in something you may have overlooked during your normal daily drive. There’s magic in the night-time air and you two can enjoy it!
  2. Let’s take a long walk…I love when Jill Scott sings that part and I love a long walk with my guy. We have gone for long walks through the downtown part of our city, around the pond (I think this may be our favorite spot) and at the park. It’s something about that night breeze just before the park closes and you get pulled in close to give you just enough warmth that is magical! And guess what? It’s free to walk! Again, there’s something different about the city lights at night that we can’t capture during the day. You never really realize how spectacular your city is until you’ve had the opportunity to pick a secluded spot and stare out into it at night!
  3. Lights, camera, action! Get your mind out of the gutter! There are a few areas in our city that have magic during the day as well. Whether it be your favorite statue, the park, or just a busy city street, there is nothing like having the person who you love and loves you back take your picture. Now we are not talking about the multitude of selfies you take before you pick the right one. But think about it they see you sometimes when you can’t even see yourself. I love our impromptu photo shoots. Even better looking at the pics after where I normally critique myself but then he reminds me of how beautiful I am. Ladies…who doesn’t want to hear that they are beautiful?!
  4. Late night jam sessions! This is one for the couple who has to stay in the house. We LOVE music in our home. But all too often we don’t get to enjoy it because we are busy or the children are controlling the airwaves. But then there are moments where it’s just he and I and we battle back and forth about who has the most music knowledge or we challenge each other to find our favorite song in a particular genre. Maybe this one is my fave. I love to dance and this type a night always leads to dancing. Thanks to my friend Sabrina Lewis, Music Aficionado for this ‘For Lovers Only” playlist: Juicyfruit (Mtume), Me & Mrs. Jones (Billy Paul), For the Lover In You (Shalamar), Angel (Angela Winbush), Adore (Prince), Make It Last Forever (Keith Sweat), Forever My Lady (Jodeci) and you know I can’t leave out Anthony Hamilton (ANYTHING by him is gold)
  5. Finally, another one for those that have to stay in and chill. Y’all already know Netflix & Chill. Now I don’t know about y’all Netflix and Chill game but mine is pretty strong. We put the kids to bed or send everyone to their rooms. We get all our favorite snack, you know the food we don’t sneak into the movies when we go (wink, wink). We set-up our space, rock/paper/scissors for who will control the movie picking first. And then…we enjoy a good laugh, or drama, or mystery. I have to say the Mister is the better movie picker.

All of these ideas are about enjoying time with the one you love, no matter the cost, but if we can be cost efficient then SCORE. Take time out to invest time into your relationship, I promise you won’t regret it. What are you guys doing on your date nights? Do you have date nights? Comment below.

Also below find a few things to help your date night adventure! Click the pic to learn more!
Folding Picnic Basket Large Insulated Bag
On a long care ride or just going to the park this little picnic basket is guaranteed to keep your food nice and fresh!

Pyle Surround Portable Boombox Best
You can take your Jam Session with you if you have this portable bluetooth speaker

Battery Operated LED Flameless Candle Lanterns
Set the mood and light up the night with these battery operated lanterns.

Food Storage Containers with Lids
You got the picnic baskets, grab these containers as well. Fresh, fun, food!

Repel Sportsmen Max Insect Pump Spray
you’re enjoying your romantic stroll and here comes Mr. Mosquito! Not if you invest in some repellent!