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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Should You Tell Your Kids You're Broke?


By Erickka Sy Savané
“Can we go see ‘The Lion King’?!” asked my five-year-old daughter, while getting dressed for school. It’s a question that comes up every morning when they start showing these Broadway theater advertisements. Yesterday it was ‘Cinderella.’ Usually I tell her that we’ll be going soon, but today I just wanna be honest. “We don’t have the money.”

Are Parents Who Let Their Adult Kids Live At Home Rent-Free Enabling Them?



By Erickka Sy Savané

I just hung up the phone with one of my girlfriends and I’m having one of those moments where you thought things were black and white, but then pops in the grey. We were talking about her son and I was asking her for the 1,000th time if he had moved out yet. He’s a 27-year-old musician who still lives at home, and has no responsibilities other than his music. They live in a one-bedroom apartment with her husband. I love this young man, but enough already. If only to let your mom have a life, get a job, and MOVE OUT.

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Does Cursing At Your Kids Toughen Them Up?



By Erickka Sy Savané

“Shut up before I bust you in the f*cking mouth!”
I turn around to see Peaches, cursing out her pre-K son. It’s crazy because, unlike the moms that I hear from two blocks away from the school, mouths running like Usain Bolt, Peaches is usually pretty quiet. The little boy holds his head down as she continues her tirade.
“Come on,” I say, grabbing my daughter’s five-year-old hand.
"Why’s that lady so mad?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes mommies get mad,” I tell her.
"Well, she was real mad!" she responds.

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A Guide For Dads Who Plan To Have "The Sex Talk" With Daughters


 By Erickka Sy Savané

The other day I was explaining to my 6-year-old daughter why a friend’s dog had been humping her leg, and the next thing you know it turned into a talk about where babies come from. Though I managed to keep it simple enough to satisfy her curiosity, I know that she’ll be back. As I start contemplating what I will say, it occurs to me that unlike my mom who was a single parent and had to have the sex talk with me and my brother, I have a husband. So what part will he play?

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Are We Raising A Generation Of Crybabies? Why We Need More 'Shake It Off' Parenting


By Erickka Sy Savane
So the other day I came across an article by a psychotherapist and author who discussed the hidden dangers of ‘shake it off’ parenting. She uses the term to describe parents who tell kids to shake it off when they get hurt, and describes an incident that happened when her six-year-old son got hit in the head with a soccer ball during a game. When the boy came over to her in tears, another mom screamed, “Shake it off! We need you back out there.”

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How A Simple Greeting Card Can Transform Mother-Daughter Relationships

Luciana Gilmore: Founder of 'Gilmore Girls Greeting' 
 
By Kanisha Parks
Some mother-daughter relationships form relatively easily and only grow more resilient over time into an unbreakable bond of understanding, love, and respect for one another. But the more common truth is that mother-daughter relationships can be difficult—and that’s an understatement. From infancy to adulthood, entire complicated histories are formed between a mother and her daughter and the truth is: navigating those waters can prove difficult. 

Is It Okay To Call Kids Sexy?


By Erickka Sy Savané
“You look sexy!” exclaims my neighbor to my 6-year-old daughter.
I laugh uncomfortably because though I know she’s showing some knee, I’d never call her sexy. She’s cute. Kids are cute. They’re not doing anything to warrant sexual attention. My daughter looks at me confused because we’ve had conversations about the word “sexy” in the past, and I tell her that it’s only for adults. Now she’s wondering if she is sexy because that’s what the neighbor just told her.
Once she leaves, I immediately begin lecturing my daughter on how people are different, but “sexy” is still a word that should never be used on kids.

'This Is Us' Gets It Right With The Reality Of Transracial Adoption

 

'This Is Us' stars Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, & Justin Harley

NBC's “This is Us” took America by storm when it hit the airwaves last year. The show follows twins Kevin and Kate, and their adopted African American brother Randall, who was incidentally born on the same day, as they navigate their adult lives and flashbacks of their parents. Randall (played magnificently by Sterling K. Brown as evidenced by his recent Emmy win), though successful with a beautiful family of his own, still wonders who his birth parents are. We see the pain he endured growing up with little-to-no African-Americans in his predominantly white community, and the questions. Was it worth it?

How I Responded When A Kid Called My Daughter's Hair 'Ugly'

Erickka Sy Savané

"Your hair is ugly," said my daughter's classmate. My first reaction was to go right up to the school and give that child a good whop upside the head. However, I had enough good sense to know that going ham on a five-year-old would only land me in jail. No, there had to be a better way to handle this. But how, Sway?

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Why We Need To Stop Telling Our Kids "What Goes On In This House Stays In This House"


Erickka Sy Savané

“What goes on in this house stays in this house.” We drill this lesson into our kids without even questioning it because we don’t want folks knowing our business — and we all know kids can talk. However, when we impart these words to our kids we could unknowingly be doing them more harm than good.
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Is It Ever Too Late To Heal The Relationship With Your Mom?


Erickka Sy Savané
A story my girlfriend shared with me the other day about a phone conversation with her mom…
“Tell me what you want from the house when I go.”
“Go where?” Bree said to her mom.
“You know, when I die.”
“Die? What’s wrong?? Are you sick???” Bree panicked.
“No. I just want to be prepared.”
This was weird.
“I can’t, ma, just write down whatever you think I’d like.”
“I don’t know what you’d like because I don’t know you like that.”

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What Would You Do If Doctors Said Your Baby Would Be Severely Deformed? Here's What Singer Vivian Green Did.

Singer Vivian Green and son Jordan
Pregnant with her first child, it was supposed to be one of the happiest times of R&B singer/songwriter Vivian Green’s life. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out that way. In her second trimester of pregnancy, doctors told her that the baby she was carrying had a severe undiagnosable illness that would leave it seriously disabled, and if she had the baby it was likely to die within one week.

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Is It Okay To Let Your Boyfriend Discipline Your Kids?

 
By Erickka Sy Savané

I’m heading out for drinks with my cousin when she turns to her man and says, “If he gets out of hand, go ahead and spank him.” She’s referring to her 4-year-old son. I’m a little surprised because she’s been dating this guy less than a year. When I ask her if she thinks it’s a good idea to let him spank her kid she doesn’t see the problem. “If I’m gone, my son needs to know that he’s got to listen or he’s going to get popped,” she says, a little defensively. I leave it alone. But later, I’m definitely thinking about it.

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Should Kids Call Mom's Boyfriend Dad?


 By Erickka Sy Savané

Should your boyfriend discipline your kids? “Hell, no!” says my aunt. Never one to hold her tongue, she tells me that it reminds her of women who let their kids call their boyfriends ‘daddy.’ “If that ain’t your daddy, don’t call him that,” she says, adding that she’s seen women with so many boyfriends/daddies that the kids don’t know who their real father is. She’s got a point.

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