No My Child is Not Stupid. You're Just Not Listening. Child Development 101.


By Grace Runo Wanjiku

I was having dinner with some friends recently. The conversation soon turned to parenting, as it usually does when more than half of the people in a group are parents. One of our younger friends started telling us about how children learn to talk from their parents and that if a child has delayed speech it’s because the parents or the primary caregivers in the child’s life don’t talk much to the child. The rest of us tried to convince him that delayed speech is not always a result of lack of communication at home. He was however adamant and the rest of us just kept quiet and let him have his say. After all, you know how they say it hasn’t happened until it happens to you? We left him alone because we knew he would never understand the struggle of parenting until he became a parent too.

I don’t blame the young man though because I know it is sometimes hard to empathize with a situation you have never had an experience with. Take my case for instance.

How Coming Close to Death Changed These Moms


Stacie J. & her girls/ Sheryl Roberts and her son
By Erickka Sy Savané

Written a few years back, this article about two moms who were forced to pay more attention to their mental health is just what the doctor ordered for Mental Health Month! Please read and take a moment to reflect on whether you're taking care of yourself as you should.

Sheryl Roberts was driving home late one evening when she fell asleep at the wheel. No she wasn’t drunk. But she was tired. So tired, in fact, that she was supposed to be on vacation. The first one in years. But she postponed it because when you’re a commercial actress and you book a mega job, you take it. Especially, when you need the money. So despite the fact that she crashed into a parked car and had a huge laceration on her forehead, she refused to go to the hospital.

“All I could think about was my job, and I still went the next morning even though my head was the size of Shrek,” says Sheryl.

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Tell It Tuesday: Gabrielle Union's 'Breaking In' Will Have You Giving It Up to Mom.


By Ta-ning Connai 

Gabrielle Union was recently spotted wilin’out, throwing things and dropping bodies left and right! NO, not in real life (that'd be so weird) but in her new movie, Breaking In, which was released over Mother's Day Weekend. Instead of the same old “if you try to hurt me, my dad the ex-cop is gonna postpone his retirement, come after you and your crew, I'm gonna go free, and y’all gonna be dead and oh so sorry" flicks, we are finally presented with an exciting, refreshing storyline that's quite believable too.

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Jodie Patterson on Raising a Transgender Child

Photo via GeorgiaNY.com
By Erickka Sy Savané

For many of us just getting an idea of what it means to be transgender (identifying with the opposite sex of that which you are born), the thought of a transgender child is confusing because it poses questions like, is it just a phase and is a child old enough to make such an important decision about his or her identity? And while the majority of us will never have to deal with this issue, the truth is, some of us do, and probably more of us than we think. One of the reasons the topic stays under the radar is not because it’s not happening, but more often because opinions are so strong that parents choose not to talk about it. For Brooklyn-based beauty blogger and mother of 5, Jodie Patterson, staying quiet is not an option. For her, raising a transgender child, the right way, is a matter of life and death. Though I wrote this story a few years ago, it still rings true today, even more so with transgender rights and people being constantly under attack. Hopefully, reading this will give some insight into this under-discussed topic.

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Advice to a Mom Whose Daughter Gets Teased for Her Short 4c Hair



By Erickka Sy Savané

As the managing editor of CurlyNikki I read a lot of comments, especially on the Facebook page where folks nowadays seem more comfortable, or maybe it's just more convenient, to sound off. This particular comment and question from a reader was tough to read, and I think anyone would agree, whether a parent or not: My daughter has 4c hair and the shrinkage is real! She gets teased at head start by her peers. They call her bald head and ugly because her hair isn’t long and silky. I try my best to instill in her love for her natural self. She doesn’t feel pretty unless she has crochets in. I was teased a lot in school, and it still has an affect on my self esteem. I’m afraid she’s going to end up the same way. How do we teach our kids to love themselves when we have other kids out here telling them they’re not good enough?

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This Mom Shares the Key to Getting Kids to Eat Healthy & it Doesn't Involve Force

Jamie & her son left, delicious vege tacos right
By Erickka Sy Savané

For many moms, getting our kids to eat foods that are healthy and good for them is like pulling teeth.  If it ain't fried or dipped in sugar they don't want it. At the same time though, we bare the responsibility because they can't eat what we don't put in front of them. But it doesn't mean that we don't know that eating well is the key to a long, healthy life, and setting up good habits now, while our kids are still young, is essential. So what's a well-meaning mom who wants to do better to do? For the answer we turn to Jamie D. Rhoden, mom of two boys, ages 13 and 14 years old. Jamie has been working at popular, Marcus Samuelson-owned Red Rooster in Harlem for the past 6 years, going from server assistant to supervisor, to working in pastry, and having some of her own recipes featured on the menu. Coming from a background that is Puerto Rican, Jamaican, and Irish, Jamie grew up between Atlanta, DC, and Los Angeles, eating a wide range of delicious foods that she's been passing down to her boys, right along with background stories. Safe to say, her sons eat everything she places in front of them, always have, and she's going to share how we can get our kids to do the same.

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When It Comes To Punishing Your Kids, How Far Is Too Far?


The worst part of parenting is when you have to deal with your child's ill behavior. Every parent wants their kid to grow up into a responsible adult. However, the disciplining part can be difficult especially when dealing with teenagers. Recently, a mom streamed herself online, shaving off the hair of her 14-year old daughter as punishment for being disrespectful. Many criticized her actions citing that it may lead to low self-esteem and even psychological issues. A dad shaved his kid's head into an 'old man' cut because he was acting 'too grown.' This begs the question, how far is too far when it comes to punishing kids?

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Is LaVar Ball the GOAT Dad or Pimping His Kids for His Own Fame?

LiAngelo, LaVar, Lonzo & LaMelo
By Solomani 

“My son is better than Stephen Curry!"
“My son will only play for the Lakers!"

Wow, what a Dad! How I wish my Dad would have believed in me like that. How I wish my Dad would have trusted me enough to put himself out there like that!
“In my heyday I would have beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one!!!”
Wait a minute...this guy averaged two points (as in 1, 2) a game in college! Why would he speak such nonsense? This smells of shameless self-promotion and it makes me wonder if LaVar Ball, dad to ballers Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo, really loves his kids, or if he's just pimping them for his own fame?

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Instead of Over Praising Your Kids Try Adopting THIS Game Changing Mindset


By Erickka Sy Savané

My 6 year-old daughter put on an impromptu talent show with some of her dolls. Princess Tiana, Ariel, the redhead from the movie Brave and Mulan sang and danced together like any girl group who had gotten together for the first time with no rehearsal. After about 10 minutes, I thanked her, and told her that it needed some work. “Think about how you can make it better and try it again,” I said enthusiastically. Her mood shifted immediately, and I could see she was disappointed. When I asked what was wrong she wouldn’t say.

"Listen, it was a good show, especially for a first try, but I know you can make it even better. Just try.” I don’t’ know if she heard me.

Pay Up Kiddo! Should a 5-Year-Old Have To Pay Rent?



By Erickka Sy Savané

Making the rounds online like a California wildfire is definitely a topic that caught my eye about a mom, Essence Evans, who shared on her facebook page that she charges her 5-year-old daughter rent. As a mom of two who is constantly asking myself whether I'm doing the right things as a parent, it made me stop and think. Should little kids pay rent? Well, you can imagine that there has been A LOT of discussion, sometimes heated, for and against, from here all the way to the UK! Find out what this mom hopes to accomplish by teaching her daughter that ain't nothin' going on but the rent, and share your thoughts!

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Viral Sisters Dani + Dannah & Mom on God, Success, Natural Hair, and More!

Dani & Dannah
By Kanisha Parks

If you haven’t heard of sassy and sweet sisters Dani (7 years old) and Dannah Lockett (6 years old), where you been, Sis?! Since going viral with a video about Dannah’s breakup back in early 2017 (over 10 million views and shares!), these two have been dropping knowledge and sharing their love for Christ all over the web and have even been featured on the Today Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and the Real! This duo may just be getting started but it’s clear they’re here to stay!

You Love Your Friend, But Can’t Stand Her Kids


By Erickka Sy Savané

‘You guys wanna come over for a playdate?’ reads the text from my friend. It’s the third time she’s reached out to me this week and the third time I’ve brushed her off. I hate avoiding her, but the truth is, I don’t know what to do. Though I love her like a sister, I can’t stand her kids. They whine all day like nails scratching a chalkboard and the oldest child treats her little sister like a piece of shi*t. Plus they’re bossy. It’s the kind of behavior that I don’t like my 5-year-old around because she's so impressionable. The last time they had a play date it took two weeks to get her to stop whining. What's next? But really, short of telling her that her brats are ruining the party, I don't know what to do.

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5 Things Moms Are Teaching Their Sons About Rape


By Mwabi Kaira

When rape and sexual harassment claims were brought against Harvey Weinstein we knew it was a serious issue but were able to keep it “over there” until Lupita Nyong’o spoke out. It became an ‘us’ thing and we were on high alert. Then Terry Crews spoke out and it was hard to wrap our minds around a man of his stature being violated by another man in front of his wife. But since allegations have recently been brought against Russell Simmons the conversation has shifted to us. Nine women have accused the media mogul of sexual harassment and assault. Four of these women, Drew Dixon, Toni Sallie, Tina Baker and Sherri Hines have accused Simmons of rape and the NYPD has opened an investigation. In response, Russell has started his own hashtag #NotMe to state his innocence.

This is a teachable moment for our sons and we cannot ignore the important conversation that needs to be had. I have taught my sons about accountability since they were young in all areas of their lives including sex. I have many friends who are raising sons as well and I reached out to them to ask what they are teaching them about rape. Their sons range in age from 16 to 21 and are athletes, one plays in the league. We had a long discussion and this is what we are teaching our sons about what they should know about rape...

When Are Kids Too Old For Santa?


By Yolanda Darville

My fourth grader is a reading whiz, can tell you anything you’d ever want to know about ecosystems and biomes, and comprehends geometry and basic algebra. This smart kid is also a die-hard believer in Santa. It doesn’t matter to her that her classmates scoff at the fat guy from the North Pole. It doesn’t matter that every week an older child tells her “You know Santa’s not real, right?” It doesn’t matter to her that we don’t even have a chimney. My girl is all about Santa, his reindeer and Mrs. Claus! I am a strong believer in childhood magic and fantasy, but I’m beginning to wonder how long I should let her believe in Santa?

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Is Your Value As A Mom Based On What You Can Buy Your Kids?


By Erickka Sy Savané

“When am I going to start dance lessons?” my 6-year-old daughter asks me at the park, soon after discovering that her new friend just came from ballet class.
“We’ll see,” I tell her.
“That’s what you said the last time.”
“I know,” I reply.

“We’ll see.” I heard that so many times growing up and it always meant the same thing. “We can’t afford it.” Now I’m saying it, sounding just like my mom who didn’t want to make me a promise that she couldn’t keep. But it sucks because as parents we strive to give our kids the things we didn’t have, and when we can’t it can feel like a failure.

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Are Your Best Years Yet To Come? Maybe. Maybe Not.


By Erickka Sy Savané

“Why do I have to go to school everyday?” complains my six-year-old daughter, on our walk to school. Before I know it, I find myself repeating the same thing my mom told me countless times, “You’d better enjoy these years because these are the best years of your life. You don’t have to work or pay bills. Your only job is to play and learn.”

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To The People Telling Me To Have More Kids




By Winnie Gaturu

Since my son started walking, I've received a lot of unsolicited advice from acquaintances to complete strangers: "You should have another kid to keep your son company," "You should have a girl," (as if I can determine the child's gender), or the one that bothers me the most..."You should have more kids in case one dies." That's downright disturbing!

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Never Give Up. What This Mom Did When Her Son Was Wrongly Imprisoned.

LaVerne Knighten & Son Willie Knighten
By Erickka Sy Savané

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but make up the majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated, according to a study conducted by the National Registry of Exonerations on race and wrongful convictions. Blacks constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the Registry (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.” This racial disparity exist for all major crime categories, but the report focused on the three types of crimes producing the largest numbers of exonerations in the Registry: murder, sexual assault, and drug crimes.

This, however, was not on Laverne Knighten's mind in 1996, when her oldest son, Willie Knighten, was issed a life sentence in connection with a drive-by murder in Toledo, Ohio. For any mom this would be devastating news, but what made it even worse was the she knew deep in her heart that her son was innocent.
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Why Michelle Obama's Comments About How We Raise Our Sons Gave Me Pause.

Michelle Obama
By Mwabi Kaira

Michelle Obama was recently interviewed by poet Elizabeth Alexander at the first annual Obama Foundation Summit.  What she said about parenting is not a new sentiment.  Michelle said, "It's like the problem in the world today is we love our boys, and we raise our girls. We raise them to be strong, and sometimes we take care not to hurt men and I think we pay for that a little bit and that's a 'we' thing because we raise them.  It's powerful to have strong men but what does that strength mean?" she asked. "You know, does it mean respect? Does it mean responsibility? Does it mean compassion? Or are we protecting our men too much so they feel a little entitled and a little, you know, a little self-righteous sometimes? But, that’s kind of on us too as women and mothers, you know, as we nurture men and push girls to be perfect."

Here's why Michelle's words gave me pause.

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How To Deal When The Baby You Got Is Not The Baby You Signed Up For

By Erickka Sy Savané

It’s a few months into motherhood and I’m looking into the eyes of a baby that is nothing like I envisioned. I mean, she’s beautiful, healthy and a human being, like I wanted, but aside from that, I’m wondering if aliens dropped her down from another planet because this bundle of joy ain’t got time for me. I mean, I try to amuse her by making goo-goo faces that would send most babies into a giggling frenzy and this child just stares at me like I'm crazy. My husband and I have gotten so used to this icy gaze that we now call it ‘The Stare Down’ because she tries to use it as a form of intimidation. Seriously, little girl, if I wanted this type of independence and attitude I would have gotten a cat. At least they let you pet them once in a while. At my wit’s end, I call my mom for advice because I seem to recall her telling me that I wasn’t exactly the baby she signed up for either. 

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