Family Boundaries

Does your family have a clear set of rules and consequences? Do you implement them consistently? Parenting can be exhausting but staying on top of your child’s whereabouts is essential to make sure your kids don’t cross the boundaries you’ve set. If they do you can jump in quickly and implement consequences and reminders towards the families goals.

Zora from Greenleaf and the Issues Teens Hide

I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to catch up with the show Greenleaf on OWN but it’s a really amazing show that chronicles the Greenleaf family. The Greenleafs run a mega church in Memphis and like any family as the season progresses all their scandal, secrets, and lies come to light. 

One of those is the story of Zora. She’s the daughter of Jacob and Kerissa who are pastors and now the leaders of their own ministry. So while her parents are preoccupied with heir own marital affairs and now found responsibilities, Zora is discovering teenage love.

Zora has a very level headed cousin named Sophia and they both seemed to start out as pretty good valued Christian girls but Zora is starting to become more risky and step away from the “boredom” that is Sophia who tends to play by the rules. Here’s the thing: Their family knows the girls to be good so they aren’t questioning a lot of their whereabouts and activities.

As parents be mindful that just because you raised your children right doesn’t mean that they won’t find themselves in temptation. Even the strongest of teens can find their match who just pushes, Pressures, and perseveres until they get what they want. For Zora this was her boyfriend Isaiah. 

Here’s A Quick Way to Create Meaningful Afterschool Hours

Youth Engagement After School

In communities across the United States, 11.3 million children are without supervision between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.  That means 1 in 5 children still do not have someone to care for them after school.

If you are a working parent and need after school care my first suggestions is to always put children in an after school program that is engaging. With the increase in quality programming you can find some very specific enrichment activities for your children including snack and physical activity keeping their brains active.

If you’re lucky enough to be at home when your kids arrive there around 2:30 then you know creating meaningful after school hours is equally as essential. There’s well over about six hours that you have to create a daily experience for your children. Educators strive for six hours of instructional time during the school day. Now here is the ball in your court as a parent. What are you going to do with it?

Why Fake It Until You Make It Is a Terrible Idea to Share

Tips for establishing a positive work ethic in youth

“Oooh girl I love your new ride.”

“It’s a rental. You know fake it until you make it.”

“Mmmhmmm I know that’s right.”

I’ve heard this and so many other scenarios of people who are just dabbling close to success but aren’t actually there and feel confidently justified in the “fake til you make it” syndrome. I think this is a terrible idea to share with anyone, especially our young people.

Why? It’s creates a false work ethic. You have some people who can understand how close they are to achieving a goal and are continuing to work hard in the midst. Then you have others who are okay faking their success period and aren’t working towards anything at all. They can make it look a certain way for their friends, social media and talk a really good talk but aren’t doing a darn thing.

If we want to help our young people become excellent in their work habits we have to kill this myth and kill it quick! Our

Maximizing Out of School Time for Learning

The kids are out for the summer! For some people this brings excitement and for others it brings fear. Some parents really fear facing their own children because they simply don’t know what to do with them. I don’t want that to be you so listen up!

Today’s post is going to help you keep your kids engaged in learning even if you do it do not have them in an enrichment camp. Parents are the first teachers so let me help you look like a master teacher mmmmk?

The first tip is to identify where your child struggled all year. Was it behavior? Math? Writing? This needs to be your area of focus in helping them learn to master what they missed. Some parents keep pushing in prepping for the next grade but we have to address first where the struggle was because the beginning of the school always starts with a review and assessment of learning. This still gives your child an opportunity to display mastery before moving on academically.

 To help address the weaker areas help your child simply review. I’m an advocate for songs and YouTube is the bomb. Find a song for the standard. Water cycle? There’s a song for that. Division strategy? Song for that! Grammar? Songs those too! Find it, sing, dance. Your child will remember you whipping to the strategy with them all summer long. 

The second tip is to teach up. Once you’ve done your review it’s time to teach up. This means make the work rigorous. Yes it’s summer but familiarize them with work they will see in the upcoming school year. The teacher showing it shouldn’t be the first time your child sees it. Even if you have them read a two page article about Ceaser Chavez because you saw him on the Social Studies standards for the next year. Your summer work doesn’t need to be elaborate but should be introductory. 

If the teacher asks “Class does anyone know who or what XYZ is?” Your child should be able to raise their hand and say yes. Then let the teacher expand the learning. You’re giving your baby what we call prior knowledge and your child’s teacher will love you for it. It’s the first step on the ladder to success and mastery. This produces high levels of confidence and competence for your child because they have some sort of foundation to begin with. 

The third tip is to make it fun. Remember it is still summer. It doesn’t have to be structured, make learning fun! Plan museum trips, download fun computer games, order learning board games on Amazon, create games. I’m personally using lapbooks and interactive notebooks with my kids this summer. We’re also going to be using those tablets and phones they love so much! 

Let your kid make a video commercial explaining a new strategy or who a historical figure was. Let them write a poem or rap. We are project based learners in our house and my kids love it and retain information better with them. I’m sure yours will appreciate incorporating the fun as well. Google “ways to assess learning” and pick what works for your family. 

My fourth tip is to track growth. Even over the summer, track how your baby is doing. Most kids have 9-12 weeks out for the summer, that’s a semester in school. Your child comes home with a progress report and report card during that time. How are you tracking growth at home? Something as simple as the first week of summer I gave you this multiplication sheet and you got 10/30 right now on week five you’re getting 25/30 correct. Our goal is 30/30 correct by the last week! Tracking growth builds your child’s confidence that yes they are still growing and meeting their goals. 

Lastly give rewards. Reward the progress, the efforts, the challenges, and the change. Reward it all because your child will continue to do what they know you love, no matter how old. Even if it’s ice cream, a trip to the movies, ordering something on Amazon (yes we order a lot of Amazon 😂), or spending time together playing as a family, bring it all back to affirming your child. They need it from you because you’re the parent. The teacher may not be doing it at school and I firmly believe all children need to be affirmed and looked it the eye and told ” I knew you could do it! I’m so proud of you! I can’t wait to see what you can do next!” DAILY.

Don’t overthink this. Review the state learning standards for your child’s upcoming grade level here: http://www.corestandards.org

Make a quick checklist of what you can realistically cover over the summer, aim for five areas under each subject. Then see what your state or any city you’re traveling to offers. Can they do math at the park? Visit a museum in NY? Use math to bake cookies with grandma? 

Keep them focused, keep it fresh, keep it fun! Happy Summer 😀😀. 


Question: How are you keeping your kids engaged in learning this summer? 

Three Ways to Achieve Success IMMEDIATELY

1. Define your own success.
When it comes to success I find it interesting that people are always Googling how to make it big or how to makes loads of money. The only way to be successful under your own terms is to define success for yourself. What does it means to be successful? Does it mean a new position? A new salary? A nice car or a house is a fancy neighborhood? You cannot allow others to define success for you.

We Need A Revolution-

And What You Can Do About It

revolution_small

There’s a big problem in America-in every state and quite possibly right in your own neighborhood. We’re living in 2015 and blatant racism still exists.

If you are African American and haven’t dealt with it yet, you’ve managed to beat the odds. However far too many families have had to say goodbye to loved ones before their prime. Not just the ones who’ve made the nightly news, but the ones who go without media coverage everyday.

As an Educator and Youth Advocate, I work in a sector that works primarily with urban youth; the population mostly affected by these events. As a mother that frightens me for my children’s future but as a member of society it should frighten all of us for all of our futures.

As leaders we have to be aware of what we’ve done wrong and what we’re going to do to fix it. Without our foresight, insight, and vision of the future we won’t be able to lead the change.

Society has glorified an urban culture that depicts instant gratification and the faster and easier way. We don’t teach process anymore we appease the product and what’s in your hand.

When I compare our cultures past to our current culture, I see a loss in several areas that have brought us to this place.

I see a loss in church attendance. I mean real church not just the motivational feel good church but the service that used to teach you principles, values, and struck fear in the hearts of the consequences from God if we didn’t live right. For many African American families church was our foundation and therapy when we had problems. Now we allow coaches and people to solve our problems.

I see a loss in raising children. Notice I said raising and not rearing. There are many parents who support their children, but not all of them are raising our children. When you raise children you are the voice in their head, you are the eyes through which they see the world, and you are responsible for elevating them. Parenting is not just about feeding, clothing, and getting them to school because your power as a parent is then given to the school system. It’s about nourishing, edifying, and cultivating your child until you see them bloom into independent, self sufficent adults.

I see a loss in community. There are so many nuts walking around the world that we have become fearful of each other. We don’t trust other people with our children, we don’t trust businesses, books, programs and ideas. We don’t accept others influences and words because there have been so many phonies that have taken your money in exchange for crappy products and services. Which leads to me to the loss of integrity.

I see a loss in integrity. We don’t teach character in schools anymore. We aren’t teaching honesty, responsibility, accountability, respect for authority but we still expect it. How can one expect what hasn’t been taught?

Every great leaders know that we have to inspect what we expect. That means that it must be taught and monitored. What programs and systems are in place in our society for this “inspection”? This is why we need a revolution!

Revolution’s have occurred all throughout history. They’ve stemmed from major changes in culture to global events. With recent events in our society we desperately need a revolution.

We need to rise up and revolt because the opposite is complacency and stagnation. For slavery there was the abolitionist movement, for civil rights there was the civil right movement.

Why would these times require anything less of us? Peaceful protest are a great ways to start but what are we saying to the rest of the world and how are we saying it? Who are our leaders that we hope to account for this change? Who is our cultural representative?

It’s not enough to just be upset about what’s going on and chat about it with our friends and co-workers, we have to get organized and we have to continue to have a much needed conversation within our homes, within our schools, and within our communities. This should spark new ideas, new community programs, and inspire others voices to be used as a vehicle for change.

We must recognize what we want our young people to recognize and that’s where we’ve been and where we are going.

They have lost their identity and their way because they don’t fully understand who and what they come from and it’s diminishing the path of where they should be going. When youth path is diminished, the future’s path is diminished.

We need a revolution that will remind our young people of not only what they can do but who they are. Then I believe the #BlackLivesMatter movement will make more sense to us all and it won’t just be something that’s nice to say and looks good on a t-shirt, but will take root in their hearts and birth something magnificent enough to truly change our society and the mentality that so greatly needs to be changed.

Question: What do you think youth need to know to spark a new revolution?