Hello and good morning.
My family is not your typical family and we do not celebrate holidays like everyone else. We do not do Christmas commercially and our Thanksgivings are now big breakfasts and family time; OUR family time. Birthdays are celebrated with family dinners to the birthday person’s place-of-choice. Easter and New Years is celebrated at church.
A lot of people believe we deprive our children of enjoying being a child by doing holidays the way we do but I strongly disagree.
We do not allow our children to play with any type of armory device and the action figures with guns and the like attached to them is not allowed in our home. We do not allow them to watch cable television and we still pray together. Every day.
Some say our children will grow to be resentful for being so strict.
Let me tell you about my babies.
They make good grades in school. They are never in trouble for being in fights and have not been suspended from school. They keep their chores done and are very content with what they have. If they want something they have to earn it. My son wanted a smart phone upgrade. I told him if he brought in straight A’s he could have one. He goofed around in school and brought in all A’s and a B. He did not get his upgrade.
When they argue with one another we put them in ‘couple’s therapy’ so that they can talk out their issues as opposed to just being angry.
My philosophy is this, I am raising black boys who will become black men; Strong black men. They will learn to express themselves without anger or aggression. They will be respectful to those who respect them. Those who do not respect them, they will know they are not worth their time. They will open doors for their wives. They will be great fathers to their children. And they will know that every goal they set for themselves will be achieved.
My girls are raised with pride and humility, self love and empowerment, gentleness and kindness. They have a father who treats them like they are the princesses of the house because they are. Therefore a man who steps to them will have very large shoes to fill. The first guy who says you are pretty they will not fall infatuated with them, because they are told often and they already are aware of how beautiful they are. Money and jewelry will not buy their love because they will know that they are independent enough to acquire their own riches. They are instilled with the values of family and grace, confidence and respect.
Too many African American homes are filled with one parent struggling to make ends meet, no time dedicated to family, anger and resentment for what they thought they would be by now, and heartache. Too many of us are allowing our children to fall in the fallacy of becoming rich like the man or woman on television. We let our children listen to the garbage that is put out in the music world allowing them to believe that they can live that life, but what is that life? A grown man rapping (lying) about the things he has while half naked women crowd around him being degraded for their 15 minutes of fame not one time saying something genuinely positive or saving any money for when he has been washed up.
We have to do better as a generation because it will only get worse. Instill in them the greatness that you see in them that they cannot see yet. Teach them that struggle is a word and not a destination. Show them that family means love; honesty and integrity are still alive and pride is to be handled with care. Most importantly let them know that they are somebody just the way they are.