New Year, New Parent

(my top 5 goals for 2017)

There is a meme that’s been going around that says “My goal as a parent is to raise children that don’t have to recover from their childhood.” That statement is so real. There are so many broken adults STILL trying to recover from broken childhoods. I personally know a few. This is why my main New Year’s resolution is PATIENCE.
I know I am not the only parent who struggles with that. There are some days where I can outright ignore my kids’ bickering, other days it is like nails on a chalkboard and I have to scream out in pain. But I am happy to report that I am NOT one of those people still recovering from my childhood. I have so many fond memories from growing up, I can’t really complain. My mother was always the disciplinarian. Everybody knew she did NOT play. That famous black mother phrase “I ain’t one of ya lil’ friends” had to be invented by her. Because she honestly was not our friend. She was our mother and we had a real parent-child relationship. However, her discipline was never over the top. As I got older and ventured out, meeting new friends and people, I learned that not everyone was as lucky. I’ve heard of women who have been called bitches and everything else under the sun by their own mothers growing up. I’ve heard stories of women who had to actually fight their own mothers in the streets as some sort of twisted discipline. That is not discipline, that’s abuse. Men, too, have been suffering. Stop telling black boys they cannot cry. Stop telling black boys they cannot express themselves. I know I have even been guilty of this. When my son has cried, I know I am not the only one who has said “stop crying you’re a boy.” I have been working on changing the dynamics of that conversation. Instead, I try to point out why he shouldn’t be crying in the first place because the issue isn’t big enough to warrant tears.  Like when he can’t find his shoes or he can’t get his pants buttoned right. Those aren’t good reasons to cry, him being male has nothing to do with it. A lot of our parenting (or lack thereof) is from what we saw growing up. So as we approach the new year I am hoping to be a new and improved parent. I’m sure we all like to think of ourselves as great parents but there is always room for improvement in everything we do.

Cheers to a great new year of healthier and happier families!

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