What is your biggest fear for your child?

From Julia Olatunji, PSFM 5

My biggest fear is Trinity growing up in general. She will bump into major obstacles.

First thing is the opposite sex. I don’t want her to fill a space in her heart that her father left there in the opposite sex. I want her to be fully confident in the woman I’m raising her to be.

Second is her gender. I feel as though females are preyed upon. We are seen as sexual objects. The way this generation is going it seems as though it’s getting worse. I want her to feel empowered by who she is as a person, not by the way people see her physically.

Third is her race. As we all know the African American race is preyed upon and belittled. Even our own race is turning our backs on each other.

Lastly is education. The school system is not set up to prepare one for the real world. Yes we get our general education but they leave out what is most important to learn to live and sustain in this life. Learning financial responsibilities can be an elective; sex-ed can be an elective. Do they still teach home economics and shop class?

I know that in general I can lead her down the correct path in all of those points. The truth is, as a parent, eventually a child will stray. It is my responsibility to make sure she lives well in this life, but I would love for her to learn productivity with and from her peers.

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Madre Hill Rule

PEEP WHAT HE SAYS IN HIS INTERVIEW! SHOUT OUT TO HIS PARENTS/GUARDIANS. 

TAKE YOUR TIME AND RAISE THEM RIGHT.

Disclamer: Ignore the “racism” tag in the title of the video. This is far from racist.

Nouns: The Man Behind The Moms

Noun3

I was announced as a boy, I was born a son. In those first moments of life, every new breath I took confirmed my role as a baby brother, a grandson, a nephew, and a cousin.

Two years later I became a big brother. I would repeat that role three more times. They began to Noun 11introduce me to the world, where I became a friend, a classmate, and to few, a regular playmate.

I was being raised as a Black boy by strong Black women. They sent me off to become a student. I excelled. Before 1st grade I was someone’s best friend. 2nd grade I became a poet. I’ve never looked back. All the way till 6th grade I was a scholar.

In church I became a tenor, an usher, a Master of Ceremony, a soloist, a Sunday School teacher, a leader, and an object of affection (boyfriend?). Clearly not all at once.

After Winter Recess of 7th grade I was a certified flirt. Before the end of my Jr. High career I was a 3x Champ. I found out I was someone’s crush. I became some what of a dancer (modern, jazz, ballet) and almost considered myself an artist. I was definitely a growing socialite and a victim of some SERIOUS puppy love.

High school came and I became even more. I was a growing, young Black man. I became a stepper; a performer. I was somebody’s boyfriend. I mean FOR REAL boyfriend. I became somebody’s first…on more than one occasion and in more than one sense.

I became a graduate. I became a son/brother/nephew/cousin/Grandson they could be proud of.

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Brockport

JCC

Then I became I college man.

Through the years I was a repeated lover…even while being a boyfriend. I became a spoken word artist. I love the stage. I honed my skills as a confidant, a comforter, and a companion. I became a frat; a brother in a different sense.

 

 

So much has changed since then. I am a born again New Yorker. I’m Youth Development Professional. I’ve been a supervisor to people who were once my peers. I’m a resource to those looking for work. I am a coach to the young and know-it-alls, trying to whip them into shape.  I am an above and beyond uncle, and an appointed Godfather. I am an optimist and a humanitarian. I’ve been a part of a Millennial movement and I’ve had the honor of being a best man.  Nouns

Notice that nowhere in there did I claim to be a thug. I am no one’s nigger/nigga. I’m not a baby daddy ducking and dodging my responsibilities. I am not a criminal, a felon, nor have I ever been a suspect. But that can change with my hands up and the pull of a trigger….

I am a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew, a Grandson, a lover and a friend they can be proud of. I am a strong Black man raised by strong Black women.

 

 

 

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DAD

This man of color, this DAD, is talking to me about his teenage son and what he needs. He goes, “WE’RE not doing too well in math. WE’RE at a 60 right now. WE actually went down a little bit.”

I had to stop him and have the son recognize what his father was doing. That simple use of a pronoun makes a major difference. I shook that man’s hand heartily.

I then told him I’m always taking noted from the parents around me for the day I have my own. He tells me, “Take your time!”

Noted Sir.
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I Know Better…

I am not a parent.

I came close to being one twice. My first close call was around 16 years old. The young lady I was involved with lived ways away from me and we weren’t in a relationship. I was at her house one evening (when mom was away; you know how it was back in the day) and she gave me the news before things got hot and heavy.

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Needless to say I went limp.

But then I started thinking with the head on my shoulders. Fear kicked in immediately. I’m not going to be dramatic and say my life flashed before my eyes, but I was definitely at a lost for words. So I asked what any sympathetic, sensitive, and selfless male teen would ask…,

“What do YOU want to do about it?”

Her answer…well, as I said, I am NOT a parent.

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So I will not pretend I have an authoritative voice on parenting. I will not pass judgement on those who did become young parents. I don’t want to tell anyone how to do their parental duties.

But I HAVE been working around and with children since I was a child (age 14). I have extensively  worked with kids from ages 1 to 18. I’ve mentored youth from all socioeconomic bankgrounds (not a typo). I’ve tended to needy and the special needs kids. I’ve seen fatherless offsprings and nanny-full, privileged ungratefuls.  I have countless hours of training from Ages and Stages to Child Abuse Prevention. The only differences between a parent and myself; I get to give the kids back at the end of the day and a few more hours of sleep. Other than that, WE ARE ALL still learning.

And with that said, these stories are meant to be lessons. Lessons on life, lessons on love, lessons about perseverance, and most importantly, PROGRESS. Anyone can become a parent overnight; but it takes a lifetime and commitment to become a Mom/Dad.

“Without struggle, there is no progress.”  download (2)

– Frederick Douglass

These are raw accounts from real people. How that first thought of flight turned into a fight to bring a new life in this world and be the best thing this baby has ever seen. I hope you enjoy and take something of value from the development of these primary caregivers.

Spread the word.