Tag Archives: Mis-Education

#SolidarityIsForBlackWomenToo

Ankh

*I write this in response to a creeping Kola Boofs Twitter timeline and seeing a back-and-forth between she and Rosanne*

The women reading this Blog are gainfully employed, running functioning households, controlling successful businesses, busy being beautiful, whatever; So, I’ll TRY to keep this short and sweet 😉

Tommy Sotomayor IS sending a message which although particularly controversial, is one that some people feel is a motivating force within the Black Community. Many people understand the use of his platform to simply be a self-reflective mirror showing that we ought to be holding ourselves to higher standards of morality and ethics; A necessary evil of sorts.
Others at the polar opposite of the spectrum instead believe that he is a contagion; A deadly strain of ideological virus compiled of hatred and contempt toward Black Women in general and that he is set on propagating the lie that we are on a path of self-destruction. That we are ugly, matriarchal failures. Genocidal maniacs.

I’ve watched my fair share of TS YouTube clips and am familiar with the jargon of “Beasties”, “Snow Queens”, “Mixed Nuts” and “Hair Hatted Hooligans”. I’ve also become fluent to the language of “Simps” and “Madden Kings” and so, I well understand the “message of his media” and where both sides have formed their opinions from. Tommy Sotomayor openly and scathingly critiques Black Women and Black Men however, like him or hate him; His types have become an important enigma in the world of North American internet savvy Black People. Tommy Sotomayor and the like are speaking about us and therefore they are speaking to us. But ultimately, it is our prerogative to acknowledge, discuss, ignore or silence their condescension. That us being Black People however; These messages are far reaching and unfortunately not only falling into our ears, so instead of hitting home only within the realm of our particular communities, it’s breaching cultural “boundaries”.
I believe that the judgment that some white people are allowing themselves to openly express toward Black Women is a side-effect after also being exposed to TS type messages; Collateral damage so to speak. (As if having the loaded finger of detriment pointed at us isn’t enough.) You want to judge us? Fine, it’s your right but, I suggest you sit quietly by and in blood curdling suffocating silence.
Stop assuming that the world needs you to speak for it because you can’t and yes, you assume the implication right; It is simply because you are white and inexperienced with what it means to be considered “other”. As much as it’s your right to direct your misinformed judgement toward us, we’ve every right to call you out on it and demand that you miss us with your foolishness. When we catch you in blatant acts of prejudice and discrimination, it’s not a reflection of our inherent “angry”ness to reject your violation, it’s simple self preservation of which we are also entitled to. It forces to mistrust you and therefore sometimes refrain from truly connecting with you. I digress…

Though, I don’t presume to speak for all Black Women, I think it’s safe to illuminate the sacred sorority that does exist between us.
We are all our mothers daughters but we are her first born and therefore delightfully special and beautifully unique. I choose not to pretend to understand a hierarchy where you feel you deserve to be placed above us, undermining our right to exist within the norms, mores, taboos and boundaries of our own cultures. Undermine our own agency to navigate the complexities of our relationships. Undermine the acceptance, indifference or the critiques of our own men. Men who may not love us but of who we are by nature innately designed and bound to love in spite of ourselves. (A WHOLE other essay entirely…)
Understand that we do not consider you to be beneath us; For our Mothers taught us to be especially respectful of other Women but, if you continue to chose to NOT be beside us within our framework of true and inclusive sorority which protects the integrity of Women as a whole and does not cheapen the right to exist of certain individuals, then inevitably, you will subjugate yourselves invariably.
Contrary to your popular opinion, we do not need you in order to be relevant. We are not in juxtaposition with you. We do not worship you. We can and do reject your assumption of dominion over us.
White supremacist Euro-Judeo-Anglo Saxon superiority is an utter fallacy and if you refuse to see us as equals, as fellow She-People; We will refuse to see you at all. We have each other, the majority of us do not take it for granted. Intersectionality is simply a theory, a theory that can be bitterly rejected.

P.S. Some of You will deconstruct this and claim that I am defending Ts; Resoundingly, NO I am not. I’m saying that we are mindful enough to deal with the fallout of his ideologies on our own and are also intelligent enough to see through a White persons “co-sign” on his perception of us. We see that your support of people like that is simply you giving your-less-than-perfect-self permission to stereotype and paint all Black Women with the broad stroke of ratchetness without a) Knowing more than maybe two Black Women and likely not that intimately and b) Understanding ANY thing about us. So, unless you’re defending the right of all Women to exist, be silent.
Black Women can support and hold each other up magnificently therefore, where there are changes and areas for growth within our circles, we can help to positively influence each other and we do. We have each other to help Mother and Sister each other to self-improvement, striving to becoming better individuals so that we can be better Daughters, Sisters, Mothers, Wives, Lovers and Friends. Solidarity is nothing short of love.
TS is welcome to his opinion, but as we all know by now, opinions are like assh*les; Everyone has one and some are shi*tty 😉

The moral of the story is; Always think twice before You openly climb aboard some bandwagon full of bull sh*t because we can see through misogynistic f*ckey just as well as the next Lass.

Light Reflected is enlightenment infinite.
~R

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Eurocentric Brainwash: WE simply don’t need YOUr sensitivity.

Eurocentric Brainwash: WE simply don't need YOUr sensitivity..

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Eurocentric Brainwash: The Bain Of Black Existence In North America

Keep Calm

As a Canadian following the US “Shutdown of non-essential Government” or the forced furlough of government employees, It’s been a rather interesting week to say the least. This article is not to get into a political discourse but, in writing about the aforementioned topic, I feel that it is of value to highlight that the resounding message to Black people living both inside and outside of the US is this: The “free world” is controlled by people who generally hate poor and middle class people and would rather see them stressed, sick, poor and dead than give them a fair and equal fighting chance for peace of mind through extending them the most basic of human essential needs, accessible and affordable healthcare.
This ought to speak volumes to Black people living in North America because although we make up an impressive spending group as a whole, we are non-essential in the realm of organized political and economic power and control.
We are marginalized because of our race, our generalized inferior social class and because of our lack of organization and solidarity as a people. Even with a Black man presiding over the “Land of The Free”, there is no symbolic resonating of a power gain or of a growing respect toward Black people. (I’m shocked that people thought that there even would be) In fact, it’s obvious that the GOP/Tea Party/Republicans or whatever they’re called this week hate their own president more than they care for average American citizens. Common sense tells me that they must generally hate all Black people and would rather see their demise at the detriment of an entire nation rather than see a Black man advance a progressive agenda for the betterment of ALL people living in the United States. Call me dramatic, it’s how I see it. Period.

When colonizing a particular group, in order to get them to secede to “new” beliefs and practices, control must first be exerted over three very important and influential branches of society: The education system, law enforcement and lastly, religious organization. Control is extended over the institutions which ultimately warp the human mind, body and spirit. Typically, I haven’t lent much “creative attention” to the ideology of white supremacy but in order to truly engage learners and reinforce that systematic racism is indeed a living and breathing thing, we know that we cannot ignore the reality of North American society and it must be consistently addressed and worked on to dispel and unfurl. For those who don’t know, white supremacy is the ideology that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. White supremacy is the idea that if you are not white, then you are not right and white people naturally deserve to be dominant over you. It’s that simple. Do all white people fit into this ideology? Of course not but we aren’t concerned with that handful of people. Although we’ve been “physically free” for almost 200 years, through using systematic colonization tactics in North America, Black people are largely still in bondage of the most dangerous form; Mental slavery.

Currently, it is the schools that are majorly responsible for socializing, instilling values, moralizing and instructing Black learners. I believe that in handing near total control over to the education system, we are allowing for the systematic annihilation of our intellectual and therefore future potential. We are inviting people whose best interests it is to keep us ignorant, docile and complacent to have control and dominance over our minds. We are permitting our children to be systematically and purposefully prepared to be “larger” society’s worker ants.
Why do we do this? Because during the civil rights movements we naively and ignorantly fought to assimilate our education along with those who did not want us on their school property let alone in their classrooms. Those who never intended “formal” education be extended to us and furthermore, we put the control of our “mind building” into the hands of people who did not know anything about us and had no interest in learning or sharing any knowledge with us in the first place. We know that this was a huge mistake and now it’s time to rebound from years of mis-education and mind control.

For centuries, we have been brainwashed into believing that the natural order of humanity is the Eurocentric perspective and it’s this illusion that white supremacy is real which maintains the status quo. Living in Ontario Canada, we’re surrounded by a multitude of diversity and various ethnic groups have rightfully and responsibly taken it upon themselves to guard against this lie. The East Indian community works together to ensure that their languages, culture, heritage and various faiths are supported and maintained. The Jewish community to works together to ensure the preservation of their cultural norms, mores and values as do the Muslim, Ukrainian, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Russian and many of the other various communities. We must work cohesively to ensure that our Black children are also exposed to an alternate reality within our own respective communities now more than ever.

What factions of the US government is boldly and openly demonstrating is that the poor and subjugated deserve no voice. They deserve no benefit of communalism nor the sharing and fair distribution of resources. How long do you think it will be before Canada experiences something relatively similar? There is absolutely no guarantee that our future generations will have the security of a social safety net and therefore, it is our onus to ensure that they are prepared to be self-sufficient, useful and enterprising people. The resourceful and proactive thing to do is assume culpability for our own valuable assets as they do theirs.
Becoming aware of this reality is the first step in building a systematic approach to counter this oppressive phenomena. It’s worked hard and long enough to keep us stationary, stagnant and silent. It’s time to liberate ourselves and each other and to count ourselves as equal and deserving even when others would have us believe and behave according to the contrary popular belief.

Always –

Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.

~Rachelle

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The Black Student And Writing

BlackApple

As a new school year fast approaches, I’ll be posting articles which may help students and parents get ready to put their best feet forward this September. Although anyone can learn from this particular post, I emphasize that this is for Black students simply because of the reality.  Expectations for Black students reading and writing abilities are much lower than the median for their non-Black counterparts. That’s it folks. In terms of literacy, our children are expected to naturally fare worse than their peers. I want to change this phenomenon.  

Even without formal instruction, young learners will gradually learn the correct structures and rules of the English language. When a child is learning to read, they may use a variety of strategies to decode and understand the text but, in accepting this rule, we are first assuming that the student already has a good “grasp” of the English language. In terms of writing, we typically tend to gauge our child’s functioning skills by connecting that it is a reflection of how well they speak. This is a common mistake that many of us parents make. Although verbal skills and written skill are correlated, good speakers do not automatically make good writers. We all know people who speak effortlessly but give them a pen and they can barely string two sentences together. How about those of us who would simply die of embarrassment if people saw our writing through the lens of the autocorrect or spellcheck tools.

Many factors influence what determines good writing. Here are a few tips to help us parents support our children’s literacy needs. Getting into the practice of incorporating the things below can help develop writing skills.

Writing 101:

  • Good writing is clear and has an easily identified point.
  • That point is supported with information.
  • The information is clear, connected and logical.
  • The words are appropriate and the spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure are correct.

That’s it, four little tips to help our learners excel. In writing, practice might never make perfect but, it does help us to become better
After the writing task has been assigned, it is helpful to begin with the basics; What are you writing and who are you writing for? Is it an essay? Short fiction? Book report? Research project? Thesis? Once the task is determined, identify the audience. Ensure that the target audience (teachers/peers/instructors/professors) can easily understand what they are reading. We may live in a ROFLMAO, SMH, WTF? Techno-social-media-short-form world but, in the realm of formal education; Spelling, grammar and punctuation all matter.

A learner who is in the habit of taking their time to write, then to proofread and edit will generally submit better written material.

Being able to identify and then connect the audience or reader to the content is very important. Writing which conveys emotion or feeling and even invokes sentiment within the reader demonstrates skill. Being able to hold the reader’s attention is an equally effective skill therefore, wording is paramount. In my experience, my students often try to impress me by using big words which isn’t a bad thing at all, in fact I encourage it. I am often affected and pleased by the effort however; Using relevant wording will often win over an audience easier than lofty wording or, by contrast using dull wording. These provocative tactics can sometimes backfire in either case by insulting the reader’s intelligence. I don’t know about you but for me, that’s usually an automatic turn-off. Students should be encouraged to explore language but, not craft sentences around words they feel will help them to show-off.  
Don’t forget the content! The subject or topic being covered is the star of the show. The content must reflect the criteria of the assignment. I can’t name how often I’ve peer edited and at the end of reading I had no idea what the point was. This is a dangerous ground. Sticking to the point can be hard but, it ought to be the central theme.

The difference between being a mediocre writer and a good writer is a matter of semantics. It has nothing to do with talent! Being an effective writer is in understanding your own voice, identifying your weaknesses and writing around them. It’s being daring and risking being open in what you chose to write about. It’s about taking the task of writing beyond the course outline and using the parameters of the paper to do everything the instructor requires of you to get that ‘A’ and also revealing who you are as an individual.
Most importantly and I share this with my ESL students, but the rule is as true for native English speakers; The best way to become proficient in writing is to read, read, READ! I can’t stress this point enough. Avid readers tend to develop broader vocabulary as well as learn to identify and use various writing mechanics.

Parents, please understand that a good writing tutor might save you money down the road. Learning the mechanics of writing in grade 6, 7 and 8 will prepare your child for his or her academic future. By the time your child reaches high school and written communication becomes a major component of learning, they will already have the skills needed to easily express their thoughts, world views and opinions through writing. To write effectively is to communicate effectively which often translates into better marks and higher grades resulting in greater opportunities for bursaries, scholarships and other free money to put toward post secondary education.

It’s not that good writing requires formal education, it’s that formal education requires good writing.

As always,

Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.

~Rachelle

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Some things that I have un-learned…

images
On my mission to re-educate myself and help to re-educate others, I think it’s time I share some of the theoretical myths which have been “debunked” and busted for me personally at least.
Throughout the generations, us Black people sure have been spoon-fed a lot of bullsh*t.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that the major reason we’ve been unsuccessful in collaborating as a People is due to the fact that our collective language, spiritual beliefs,cultural norms and mores were stripped from us in our initial committal into bondage. However, we know that people were kidnapped from various parts of the many countries in Africa therefore, the languages, spiritual beliefs, cultural norms and mores were never really a cohesive set of similarities among our people to begin with. We know for certain that the many ethnic groups within Africa have a multitude of differences which naturally set them apart.

Fast-forward to slavery. We were forced to cease communicating in our various native tongues and understand and communicate mostly in the English language. My point? Once English becomes the language standard, Black people living in North America now have a collective language bond. Furthermore, we also know that our ancestors were acute enough to create sub-languages or “jargon” to communicate amongst themselves to protect their vulnerabilities. Of course regional dialect was a natural bi-product of this evolution of words and depending on where you were from, colloquialism became another informal language bond for Black people and still is.
I’m from North Preston, Nova Scotia, unless I want you to know what I am saying, you won’t. We have our own unique expressions, terminology, slang and even definitions.
Although indigenous North American Black people have been brainwashed into believing that having no shared language is what separates us as a People, we do in fact share a language; and thanks to the Brits, it’s English. Myth, busted.

In terms of spiritual beliefs, I can’t even begin to explain the numerous taboos, deities, Gods, Spirits, rituals etc. More have likely been lost over time than there is my capacity for ever learning even a fraction of them. Understanding Africa from an anthropological point of view is amazingly vast. But, I do know one thing is certain; That Christianity was never the natural “religion” of the Africans brought captive to North America. If anything, as far as “organized” religions go, we know that Judaism and Islamism had spread throughout Africa prior to the 1500’s when the African “religious” systems were first introduced to the Americas because of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Once again, as the Bible and other relics of Christianity were imposed upon the Africans, they were eventually accepted and practiced, there is then created another tie that binds; Christianity.
Whether Protestant, Catholic or Lutheran, Christianity becomes a common denominator and the unity of Black people is solidified through Christian spirituality. Perhaps even more so than before because now, we have no choice. No matter the cultural background, Christianity becomes the standard practice and therefore we’re all united in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I’ve spent some time in Southern Africa and culturally speaking and of course, depending on where you are, be it South Africa, Zimbabwe or Zambia, there is a multitude of cultural differentials. Many Egyptians don’t even consider themselves Africans and especially not Black people! Tell most Somalians, Ethiopians and Eritreans that they are Black and your’re in for a very interesting conversation. Cultural diversity is a complex and beautiful thing and is not unique to Black people so again, the brainwash used to make this “issue” a cause for dissident is deceitful and detrimental to our race.

Think about what I’m saying here and examine all that you been lead to believe as a Black person. Think about the rhetoric you’ve heard countless times during Black history month. Think about the many times you’ve heard, “Well, the Africans sold their own people into slavery you know.” It’s contextual, it’s relative, it’s bullsh*t.
Every day in the news we see examples of how the West imposes their beliefs and attitudes internationally, deeming what is “wrong” and what is socially acceptable and what is within the scope of “human rights”. Really? After knowing what our own history has extended to Black people in North America, who’s zoomin’ who? We know that the “powers that be” value industry, corporate instinct over human dignity and ultimately the all-mighty dollar.

What is true is that we know Black people were forced to learn and communicate in a language that wasn’t our own. We know that at a point in the not so distant past, Black people were arbitrarily expected to assimilate as a labor force and collaborate, cooperate and work together. We know that we were given Christianity to save us from our savagery. We know that no matter which part of Africa our descendants were stolen from, they were in fact stolen and dehumanized for capitol gain. We know that collectively, us North American Black folk all have this in common.
So this platform of well orchestrated propaganda used to “explain”, justify and retain our social antagonism from each other is a fallacy.

We were taught these things to keep us from coming together in numbers. We were given this mis-information to keep us separated, dived and disjointed. We have been mis-educated on purpose.
Being realistic about our commonalities and celebrating them is a major step in realizing our full potential as a connected Black community.

I know I am simplifying things, but, I believe it’s what we share as a People that holds the key to uniting us as a People; We just have to learn to think right and that means un-learning a whole lot of bad information and re-educating ourselves and being fully in the know.

Light reflected is enlightenment infinite
~Rachelle

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Vocabulary 101

Success

Yesterday a fellow parent and I had an intriguing discussion on the issue of respect. It got me thinking about how important it is for our children to fully comprehend words and their value as necessary tools for efficient communication. Most adults understand the power that words hold but, are we truly transferring that knowledge onto our children? I often hear the teenagers, who manage to takeover our house on most days, talk about respect; who they do and don’t respect, and about being disrespected. It occurred to me that children often hear and use words most of which, they don’t understand the definition.

Consider this possibility; That we lack basic knowledge in terms of the language we use to describe ourselves and the ways in which we view world around us. Because of this, our perception and worldly views can be easily shifted askew which impacts our interactions and ultimately our experiences.
For instance, the word respect is defined as a feeling of deep admiration and also as expressing admiration therefore; the word respect is both a noun and a verb at the same time. Respect is both that which it is and it is that which we do. If our children do not understand the basic premise for the term respect, how can we then expect them to display it, practice and regulate their behaviors according to it?

Arming our children with an extensive vocabulary is one of the best things that we can do to proactively equip them with the knowledge they will need to be successful in life. Remember knowledge doesn’t only mean power, it also equals confidence. When a child possesses the vocabulary needed to accurately express their thoughts and feelings, it becomes natural to feel better about themselves and their place in the world. What are the words for that? To name a few: self-esteem, self-awareness, self-image and integrity. Integrity happens to be my very favorite among all of the words and I use it often with my students for literacy and self-awareness exercises.

There are many ways that we can help enhance our children’s expressive lexicon. Encouraging reading not only enhances a child’s literacy skills, it is nourishment for a learner’s vocabulary. “Can you even spell that and what does it mean?” is a running line in my house and the kids are often eager to show and prove that they can and do. In fact there are countless “teaching moments” to impart vocabulary lessons into your child’s routine and it’s really easy to make it silly and fun and educational all at the same time. You see, educate is a verb too and it’s inevitably what we do that helps to shape the future for our generations.

Thanks ever so much to my grade eleven Black literature teacher for instilling this powerful quality within me. Ms. Tynes, you really were a gem. I’m big on vocabulary, in fact, when I swear my mother is known to remind me of how much money was spent on my “first rate” vocabulary and that “cursing” only wastes it. I’m a scrabble-literati-words-with-friends-crossword playing word nerd. Needless to say, I can hold my own in the realms of oral and written communication and that dear reader is why sometimes, the pen really can be mightier than the sword.
What’s your favorite word?

Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.
~Rachelle

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Thoughts On Re-Educating Our Children.

re-education

For the last few weeks my articles have focused on the mis-education of our children so today, I’m going to postulate my antithesis.
I want to talk about my platform of re-education and the benefits that I believe will help re-define our social conditioning, strengthen our communities and broaden our cultural perception as Black Canadians.
When I talk about re-education, I’m speaking in terms of the following.

1) Academically:
Through exposure to Black literature and the teachings of Black professionals, scholars , authors, experts, social commentary etc., we can better guide our children along the pathways for learning with examples of scholarship from those who came blazing the trail before them. We can then introduce a multitude of career options that may not be offered or advertised within the traditional education model. For example, agricultural science; we elders ought to educate and encourage our children about land ownership, commercial farming, nutritional, environmental and dietary sciences. These are career paths which are not typically encouraged and but, why not when most of us came from agrarian and agricultural societies?

2) Economic & Financial Sciences:
“The definition of education for Black students is the; The art of teaching our children to acquire, protect and maintain power.” (Dr. U. Johnson) This is where we need to focus on the shift from working for to owning and operating their own successful business ventures. We must encourage entrepreneurship and calculated risk taking in terms of building viable Black owned business and not simply training them to be employees. We must encourage our children to support Black owned businesses, enterprises and social services so that we can begin to acquire financial and therefore political power within and over our communities. Remember, children grow up and being fully functioning, productive, pro-active and capable citizens is their right and the essence of truly being free.

3) Understanding Political Science and The Law:
There simply isn’t enough representation for Black people BY black people in Canadian politics. Other ethnic groups seemed to have realized the importance of political visibility but, even with the election of Barack Obama to the US presidency, this is slow to become a priority within Canadian society.
We must start seriously learning about the laws that govern this land if we are to ever slow the rate of our youth falling off the beaten track and landing in jail cells. Our children need to learn about the correlation between poverty, crime and punishment so they can practice critical and logical thinking about their choices and ultimately their futures.

4) Social Sciences:
Unifying, appreciating and protecting the family unit. Understanding acceptable social etiquette, manners, behavior and teaching our children to practice a standard of conduct which dispels negative stereotypes about our youth and Black people in general and also discourages racial discrimination. Learning to be good denizens of our communities, the environment and socially responsible people is the foundation for their personal integrity and cultural pride. We need to build and encourage solidarity.

I believe that a focus on re-education in these four areas but not limited to these four areas is a great way to forward a healthy and bright future for Black Canadians.
I believe that “Black History Month” and it’s inadequacies should be done away with and instead, principles and foundations for permanent Black Cultural Education instilled at every step of the education and learning process. The Blacklit101 workshops that I am designing for the fall 2013 will be a step in the right direction for our children.

It takes a village to raise a child so if you can contribute to this educational venture in any way, please reach out to me! Any input, assistance, time and insight is welcomed and truly appreciated.
One day, our children will likely be better parents than we are because of it.

Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.
~Rachelle

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A Mothers Journey

footsteps
The journey of a million miles begins with a single mother
Her weeping woes of wisdom seem to transgress like no other.
The open arms of honesty hold steadfast though they tangle
Her children cry obscenities as her love begins to strangle.

When toddling becomes crawling and walk turns into run
Every bump and bruised is kissed away still her grip becomes undone.
The nursling grows now a form independent of her plea
No matter of mere prayers or tears or pure tenacity.

Beyond the trials of motherhood she cannot bear to vision
But while she constantly constrains, her cubs become imprisoned.
Her love becomes ferocity and protection their division
The babes privately premeditate their eminent excision.

When soon her fledglings have enough and plan to leave the nest
She makes to mind a watchful eye in futility at best.
The world has opened up and swallowed all that she held dear
She cannot conceive a life without her babies near.

Space and time her allies yet she feels she is alone
Maturity and malevolence start to lead her offspring home.
They desire of the guidance and protection of their youth
Somehow she’s seen it all and they are honored by her truth.

A mother’s work is never done and seldom does she rest
She will worry when she sleeps, constantly in stress.
Her children will respect her when they learn that she knows best
For them she’d walk a million miles and for this she is blessed.

Rachelle M. Turple

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Spoiling is essentially RUINING your children.

spoiled brat

spoil

verb, spoiled or spoilt, spoil·ing, noun

verb (used with object)

1. to damage severely or harm (something), especially with reference to its excellence, value, usefulness, etc.: The water stain spoiled the painting. Drought spoiled the corn crop.

2. to diminish or impair the quality of; affect detrimentally: Bad weather spoiled their vacation.

3. to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of (someone) by unwise treatment, excessive indulgence, etc.: to spoil a child by pampering him.

The topic for this article came about during a recent discussion with a good friend of mine. We were conversing about the resolve to not spoil our children due to the disgusting effects spoiling has on the attitude of the child and worst, how dangerous it is to instill an undeserved sense of entitlement into a child.

According to the above definition of spoiling courtesy of dictionary.com, spoil essentially means ruin. Now, I’m not telling anyone how to raise their kids, that’s on you. This is strictly a matter of opinion based on experience and personal ideology. It is your right to raise your child as you see fit and if spoiling them rotten is your thing, power to You! HOWEVER, it then becomes your responsibility to ensure that decent morals, values, principles and work-ethic  are instilled into that child to combat the negative effects of over indulgence.

In other words, recognize that in spoiling your child, you may in fact ruin them so, as parents we must find a way to create a balance that is healthy to the development of the personal integrity of that child.

In re-educating our children, perhaps it’s time to take a new approach to how we reward our children. For example, many of us grew up knowing that come June, if we passed we would get a present for “grading”. In my house, I say “HELL NO! Your present IS grading.”  The attention you paid in class, the hard work you did and the homework and projects you handed in on time resulted in you passing on to the next grade and this is your reward. Everything that you learned that propelled you to the next level in your academic achievement is your reward. This is my personal philosophy.

Look at it like this; Every day us responsible parents come home from work and prepare meals, sit through countless hours of homework and test preparation, help with last minute projects, practice for spelling tests you name it. There is no reward for this other than knowing that we’ve done our duty in supporting our children and that through our engagement and support, they stand a better chance of becoming successful in their endeavors. We’ve simply done what we are responsible for doing.  You don’t get a prize for doing what you’re supposed to do. Not in the real world where the majority of us dwell. That’s just how life is. I believe that early in life, kids need to learn this and deal with it. 

In spoiling our children, we are creating sociopathic monsters; Ignorant, name-brand-clad-shallow-tech-junkie-no manner- having little fools running around believing that everyone owes them something and never learning that hard work, dedication and commitment are the only things that will get them anywhere in life.

We know that spoiling our children is detrimental in various ways and encourages negative behavior, immaturity and dependence. But, when we spoil our children with reward systems for doing things that they should already be doing for themselves, i.e. household chores, homework, good test results, grades and such, we undermine the natural course of developing positive self-esteem, confidence, independence and responsibility through following a task through to completion simply because that is what is required. This is how our children learn the coping skills necessary for success in society.

Begin teaching your children that through diligence and assiduity; they can dominate any industry in the global market and be as successful as the icons they idolize.

Spoil them with modelling positive behaviors, encouragement, inspiration, enthusiasm, and most importantly, leadership. Guide them along the pathway to achieving their dreams.

If after reading this you’re not on-board to quit ruining your child, that’s fine though, at least consider the “rewards, treats, presents and tokens of appreciation” you give. Instead of material things, instead invest in science, math and writing tutors so when it’s time for graduation they’ll have done well enough in school to access more scholarship money. You’ll save a fortune in the long run! Invest in music lessons and sports to help build their confidence and shape their attributes and strong points. Spoil them with listening to their plans and believing in their goals. Spoil them by enriching their exposure to the arts and to life in general so that they become well-rounded whole individuals.        This is ultimately what our children deserve, they are entitled to this.

Think about why you are spoiling your children. Is it to make up for something? To shut them up? To make yourself feel better? To keep up with the Jones’? Whatever your excuse is, fix it. Do something about it before it’s too late and your monster turns on you and everybody else in society and we fight back. Think of the consequences a negative and foul attitude brings.  Remember the lazy person you can’t stand at work and the other takers you know in your lives. Do you want someone to paint your offspring with that brush? You’re not doing your child any favors when you spoil them. Home disabilities can quickly turn into learning and life disabilities. You know better so do better.

Besides, we ought to love our children enough to not proactively ruin them.

Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.

~Rachelle 

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