parenting, women

Colorism?!

colorism blog postIn last week’s episode of Black-ish (Season 5, Episode 10) The Johnson family was faced with what many families of color are faced with, the topic of colorism. What is colorism you might asked, well it is defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals with darker skin tone, typically among people of the same ethic or racial group (dictionary.com). Now you may wonder how can people of the same race be prejudice against each other, but trust it happens especially in African-American families where there can be a variety of shades, light, brown, honey, caramel, dark, black people come in all colors. While we are told to be proud of our brown skin we are the very same people who will tease, bully, harass each other about being too dark, too light. It’s a sad but true fact we can hate each other all because of the color of our skin, the thing that we fight against in so many other arenas we fight with each other with as well. Go on over to ABC.com and check out Black-ish which airs Tuesdays at 9pm, especially this most recent episode if you’d like to delve into the topic on colorism.

Recently in our home we had the topic of colorism come up, which makes the timing of this episode extra special. As with every night before bed I apply my facial cream to remove the residue of the day. As I was standing in the mirror Anissa asked if she could apply some. I explained to her that this was for mommy to remove her makeup and that her skin was gorgeous and she didn’t need the extra, I saw the disappointed look on her face and inquired as to why she looked sad. She explained to me that my cream was making my skin lighter and prettier and that her darker skin didn’t look like mine. GASP! Anissa is 6 years old and I never thought that one she didn’t think her skin was pretty (we always talk about how beautifully black girl magic she is) and I never thought that she thought I was trying to lighten my skin. Just to give you some background I am the lightest skinned member of the household, I just dyed my hair black and I get extremely pale in the winter, which attributes to my lighter tone. I get teased about this all the time, how can I go from tanned to light bright. It never really bothered me because I’m comfortable in my skin no matter what color it turns. But in this moment I felt uncomfortable, I would have given anything to have a tan and stand with Anissa in her honey glow. I explained to my sweet face girl that I was washing my face not getting lighter and that she was gorgeous that her tanned skin was something other people would pay for, then I showed her pictures of me in the summer (optimal tan) and then we looked at me in the mirror now. We both agree that I need a tan and then we pointed out the beautiful things we notice about each other.

In that moment I thought about other little girls and boys and the questions they might have about their skin color, about them being teased, and about them feeling uncomfortable in their own skin. How do we as a community address this issue? Why do we discriminate against each other? How can everyone begin to love the skin they’re in?

Well here are some tips (simple but it’s a start)

  1. As a family stop bullying, teasing, joking about skin tone. Although it may seem like it’s all fun and games we don’t know the real seed that’s being planted for someone to learn to not love themselves. As long as we allow this to go on we nurture the seed that allows some one to think one shade of skin is better than the other.
  2. When children have questions about skin tone and why they look different don’t brush it off, ADDRESS IT. We have got to start having conversations that teach our children to love themselves, this is a lesson that we should all want them to learn at home and not out in the world. If we start the conversations in our homes, then we at least give them the tools and preparation to handle these conversations out side of out homes.
  3. This is a big one for me so agree or disagree, but children should have toys in all shades, this more so falls in the category of baby dolls. Anissa has dolls of all shades and they are all beautiful to her. We as families have to set our own beauty standards and teach our children to do the same.

The tips I gave are something you can do right now to help your children learn to appreciate who they are. Whether you are black, white, yellow, brown, or purple, you are beautiful. Embrace that beauty, appreciate the beauty, then get to the business of letting the world see you walk in that beauty.

How will you handle the topic of colorism if it comes up in your home? Don’t wait start the conversation today.

To hear more about this topic tune into Episode 3 of The Parental Guidance Counselor Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe.

parenting

I’m Hungry!

Have you ever tried to figure out what you are in life? Most recently I met with my business coach who asked this question. I wrote out this big plan I planned to go over with him, only for him to destroy it and have me start over, to get to the root of what I am.

I am a lot of things! I’m a mom, daughter, sister, blogger, host, significant other, motivational speaker, mommy coach, I mean I carry a lot of titles. Apparently this wasn’t the answer he was looking for because he kept pressing the issue. I remember sitting there and being extremely frustrated that he kept asking me what I was. So what did I do when I was backed into a corner with this questions I yelled, “I’M HUNGRY!” Now I wasn’t hungry in the physical sense that I wanted to eat, but I was hungry to see my vision come to life, to grow my brand, and to be successful. I’m hungry and I’m sure you are too.

So what does it mean to be hungry? Well according to dictionary.com if we break down and apply it outside of needing food, being hungry is to have a desire or craving. I have a desire, a craving to help maternal figures take care of themselves and their families, I have a yearning to see parents providing happy homes for their children, where they can have open and honest communication. The hunger I have to see these things come to pass, would be causing me to starve if I wasn’t working on feeding that hunger. So why don’t we feed that craving, that sound coming from our belly? I think it’s because we are scared. 1. We are scared to voice that we have a desire to do something greater with our lives 2. We are not sure what we are hungry for.

Let’s talk about it. When you step outside your comfort zone it can be really scary. I mean heart stopping, sweating palms, wanting to hide scary. If you are going to live your God-given purpose you must conquer this fear. There is something in this world that only you can do, that select people need to see you do. I am a firm believer that we all can be doing the same thing, but there will be that one unique thing that makes us different and that is what that person needs to see. Fear will destroy any chance you have of exploring your greater good. Now I know saying that and actually being able to achieve it are two very different things. But has what you’ve been doing as of late working toward your purpose, has fear been helping you to feed that hunger? I doubt it, so why not get uncomfortably, comfortable and take a chance on yourself.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum. You have a desire but you can’t pinpoint exactly what it is you want to do. You are all over the place doing things, without doing anything at all. You are starving because the menu is too big, you have too many options. If this is your case my advice, GET REAL WITH YOU! Sit down look yourself in the mirror and say “I’m out of control, I need help, I need focus!” Then get to the business of getting all of that. For me, I decided to meet with two business coaches and get perspective on what I actually wanted to achieve. I know what I have a passion for, but I’m easily distracted by trying to please everyone. I was doing more harm than good to my brand trying to go into a market not meant for me. Once I was able to sit down, write a very detailed mission statement and objective, I was able to focus. Find what help you to get focused.

We all have talent! We all have purpose! What is your talent? What is your purpose? Don’t be afraid to admit you are hungry to learn the answer to those questions. Your challenges 1. Be fearless 2. Focus. Let me know how you plan to feed the beast within you.

To hear more tune into Episode 2 of the Just One Hot Mom, Maternal Self-care podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe!

parenting

Getting Kids To Set Goals!

helping kids set goalsLet’s face it, it’s hard to get our children to clean their rooms, eat their vegetables, and sometimes brush their teeth or shower (ewwww). With trying to get them to do the basic things, how on the Earth are you going to talk to them about setting goals. We live in a microwave society where everything is supposed to happen instantly and if it doesn’t it’s not worth it. Kids are supposed to achieve things right away or why even do it. Parental figures we are going to have to unplug the microwave and go back to the basics of waiting for things to heat up in the oven…

We have done the work to implant in our children that they can do whatever they put their minds to. Dream the impossible dream and then make it possible. What a wonderful thought of just being able to dream something and it happens for you. That’s cool if you have a magic wand but if you don’t, like most of us you will need to set goals and make a plan to achieve them. In my previous post and podcast episode I gave you some tools as to what adults can do to help position themselves to win. Now it’s time to help our children take on that same winning attitude. How do we do that? See below:

  1. Why is it important for children to set goals? If we plant the seed within our children that they can accomplish what they set out to do, how do they know how to get there? We have to take the time and have discussions with them about what they want to do and how they plan to do it. Now some goals will be huge and take time and others will be small, but no matter the end game we have to help them create the steps to help them achieve their goal. This starts by determining what the goal is and then setting up a process for them to achieve said goal.
  2. Every child has something they dream of doing. Some are realistic others not so much. Conversation is vital to the next step. Talk with your children about what they really want to accomplish and why they want to accomplish this. The may say I want to save $500, why do you want to save $500, how will you save $500??? Getting to the root of why they want to do something can help you gain clarity on the person you are raising and help you set them on the path to winning.
  3. Get Real! Now if your child wants to be a stylist to unicorns, that’s great, but is it a realistic goal?! Allow your child to be creative while setting a realistic goal that they can actually accomplish.
  4. Take time out! Ultimately it’s their goal to accomplish so allow them to be the lead on accomplishing it. Check in with them, ask how it’s going, offer your opinion IF ASKED! The whole purpose of them setting a goal for themselves is for them to navigate this process and figure things out. You can observe, be a listening ear but allow them to drive this ship.
  5. Hold them accountable! No matter how big or small once the goal is set then it needs to be accomplished. While you may not be in the driver’s seat of accomplishing the goal, back seat drive at some point and don’t allow your child to give up. Even if the goal has to be modified, instill in your children that once something is started they need to see it through.
  6. Celebrate! No matter how many times they have to start over or make changes to the goal, CELEBRATE the accomplishment. This will set the tone for a lifetime of getting things done and feeling good about the results.

I can’t tell you if my children will be doctors , lawyers, hair stylist, or karate instructors someday, but what I can tell you is that they will have the tools they need to accomplish the goals they set for themselves. What are you doing to help your children excel?


If you’d like to learn more about helping children set goals, tune into Episode 2 of The Parental Guidance Counselor podcast! Don’t forget to subscribe!

parenting

Why not just ask?!

How many times have you found yourself wanting something, but in order to get it you have to ask someone for it? Has that ever stopped you? I have needed help on multiple occasions and because of my fear of rejection I haven’t asked for it or my fear of something being out of my control I just do it myself. It’s exhausting trying to play this role when deep down inside all I want is for someone to reach out to me and offer help. When they do you know what I do? I reject it! I know weird, I also know that I am not alone in this. We as women have a tendency to think that multi-tasking is an Olympic sport and if we can’t do it, we are failures. I have task list on top of task list and frankly I AM SICK OF IT! I want to be able to ask for help and actually take it. So how am I going to do this? Check out my list (LOL) below.

  1. Determine what you really need help with. When you are vague with your request people don’t want to be bothered. If you haven’t figured out what you need help with, then why do you need help?! This task can seem a bit overwhelming because let’s face it you may need help with everything. I would break this down into what is urgent and requires attention that doesn’t necessarily have to come from you directly.
  2. Ask the right person for help! We often assume that because we help others that we should be able to ask the same in return. This is not always the case. Utilize people who are actually going to help you, no matter if you have helped them before or not. Just like reviewing resumes, you want to pick the best person for the job and sometimes that’s not your sister, just because you babysit for her every Saturday and you would hope she would want to help you. If you know what you want to ask and you know of a person who has experience or is willing to help, they are your resource.
  3. Let go! Control can play a major role in you not getting the help you need. If you ask for help and the person is willing and you give them direction, THAT’S IT! Let them do it. They may not do it like you, but at the end of the day is the task accomplished, is it what you desired? If you can’t let go you may never get help. Is that what you really want?
  4. Accept the help! You asked, they said yes, but now you are second guessing yourself. Think about this…can you use the help, do you need the help? The first few times you accept help it will feel strange, you are going to what to check-in a million times, you’re going to think about what they are doing constantly. Guess what? It’s going to be okay! Even if something doesn’t completely work out, it’s still going to be okay. Trust the process and trust that you’ll find those in your tribe that are going to successfully be able to help.


To hear more tune into Episode 1 of the Just One Hot Mom, Maternal Self-Care podcast! Don’t forget to subscribe.