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The Art of Compromise

talk  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word compromise means:

                  a way of reaching agreement in which each person or group

                  gives up something that was wanted in order to end an

                 argument or dispute.

So in other words, you’re arguing about what you could possibly do instead of what you won’t do. Two partners mutually agree to something in order to keep the peace. Sounds easy, right? Not a chance, but it’s a part of being a mature adult.

The art of compromise means that there’s some sort of give and take. Not every argument should be same person “knuckling under” every time. As a matter of fact, each party does in a way. For instance, “Last time I agreed to do the dishes and you do the cooking, so this time I will cook and you do the dishes.” Create the most fair approach possible. You don’t want to end up in a relationship where you are the only giver. Those are annoying. I am a firm believer in a relationship (friendships too) being equal. It’s just hard to trust a ‘taker.’

Compromising means that you learn how to pick your battles. If you find yourself arguing all the time, maybe you need to rethink your relationship. No couple is going to be rosy all the time and you’re going to have disagreements from time to time, but it should be more of a happy medium. Should you start an argument every time your partner comes home and ignores you because they are working on a project? No. Instead, state your feelings and discuss them with your mate. Try to take the “You always” language out and replace it with, “I feel ___ because ___” and “I want ____ .”

EXAMPLE: It makes me angry when you come in the house and ignore me. I want you to come in and speak to me for five or ten minutes, work for an hour or two, then I would like to spend some time with you.

Am I an expert in the art of compromising? Nope. Just making my way through the best way I know how. What’s your take?

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The Guest List

cake  Weddings are (mostly) beautiful and intimate. But most of all, they are expensive. The last thing an engaged couple needs to worry about is inviting everybody and their mama- literally. Having been through the process recently, I’d like to give a little advice for those who are going through the process themselves. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out who stays on the list and who goes, but the following people should definitely not get a second thought. Here are the top five people to never invite to your wedding.

1. Your jealous friend or “frenemy”… if this is a fake friend or someone who is not truly happy for you taking this major step in your life, they don’t need to be a part of it. You need to reconsider the nature of your friendship and if this person deserves to be in your life.

2. Your ex… your past has no business being invited into your future. Period.

3. Someone you hardly know… this could be a long lost relative, a coworker, or someone you’ve only known for a month. You are paying for their plate of food. And for what?

4. A friend of a friend… you don’t even know them for real! You know them through someone else. How intimate is that?

5. Estranged parents… I understand that this may be harsh, but if your parent hasn’t been a parent and a part of your life, why would you include them in your special day? I’m not talking about you having a fight and you haven’t talked to your mom or dad in a week or two. I’m talking three plus years. They won’t be able to spot you on the street type of deal. You have to be selective in who’s involved in your special day, so save your uninvolved parent invite for a family reunion.

Are You Serious?

confused2Every now and then you come across something that’ll make you say….huh? Check this out. I go on vacation and come back to hear some of the weirdest, nastiest thing ever. Who the hell came up with the brilliant idea to sell their pregnancy tests? WTF?? And it’s got the nerve to be a trend? So there’s more than one gross heffa out there?

Umm… ladies. Did you forget that you peed on that damn stick? How sanitary can it possibly be to touch someone else’s pee stick? I wouldn’t want to touch my own, let alone someone else’s! And to sweeten the pot, sell your fresh urine to seal the deal. What is wrong with these people??

The only conclusion that I can come up with is that it’s used for trickery. “Ha ha. I told you I was pregnant!” Or, “Now you have to marry me!” And if you have to do all that to trick a man into staying with you, then what kind of dysfunctional relationship do you have going on? IF you can call it a relationship. I tell you, if crazy people used their minds for something more productive… . SMH

Hip Hop Is Dead

  Nas said it best a few years ago and he was absolutely right. Hip hop is dead. I never thought it would come to this, but it’s to the point where I can’t stand new rap artists, or should I say, where rap has gone (there are some older artists who I can’t stand now that I could tolerate years ago). I can’t even listen to the radio now without being totally disgusted. For example, who the hell made a song called “Booty Meat”? And why do they have a record deal? Sit down, shut up, and take out a book!

I’ve always been told that I’m an old soul, but I think many people will agree with me that rap has reached a new level of ridiculous-ness. All you need is one line to repeat over and over with a decent beat, plus a lot of bass and you’ve got a hit record. But my question is this… what happened to having talent?

Now before anybody gets uptight, I’m airing out my frustrations about rap because I listen to primarily rap and R&B. Currently, it’s moreso artists who have been in the rap game for years. I’m disappointed where rap is today and what it’s doing to Black youth. After working in the school system for years, I saw it firsthand. I cringe every time I hear someone under fourteen singing a song like “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne word for word or see a child pop, locking, and dropping it (I’ll address the parents who ALLOW their children to do this or think this is cute in a future blog). Children, whether they understand the lyrics or not, sing along to these highly provocative songs because they are the hottest songs at the moment. But they don’t know that these songs are garbage.

Can we just go back to where any and everybody can’t get a bubble gum record deal? Where you had to have real talent in order to step foot into a studio? Where the women in videos had on clothes? Where rappers rapped about substance? Where there was a certified message?  Is this too much to ask for?

Shacking Up

  I heard an interesting topic on the radio earlier that I felt needed to be blogged about. Shacking up…plus children…plus unwed. Whatever happened to our old school values? Remember the lil nursery rhyme- “(So-and-so) and (so-and-so) sitting in a tree; k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, second comes marriage, and then comes a baby in a baby carriage.” Nowadays, everything’s all ass-backward and our old school values are almost nonexistent. The topic was not covering just your basic unwed couple who are living together with children, but moreso, a single parent having their mate move in without marriage.

I have two main issues with this particular scenario:

a. No marriage.

b. The values you are setting for your child or children (especially if you are a single mother with a daughter).

Let me break it down. Part A- I learned in a class that I took in undergrad years ago that the majority of couples who decide to cohabitate before marriage usually do not end up walking down the aisle. Sure, it’s great to see how you will live as a couple before marriage as a sneak preview, but what happens if you get a little too comfortable? What if one person thinks that the relationship is leading to marriage and the other party doesn’t have that goal in mind? Now, if you aren’t planning to get married at all (both parties agree to this), then this situation would not be a problem for them. However, you still have to deal with Part B.

Part B- Let’s focus on the children for a minute. Parents are the best teachers a child can and will have (once again, I refuse to talk about sperm and egg donors when I speak about “parents”). Kids soak up everything, especially when they are young. Mothers, if you have young daughters and you think that it’s okay to have men parading through your house, or you meet a guy and five seconds later he moves in, you have been sadly mistaken. What if your daughter sees this behavior and thinks that this is what should happen in a relationship or when they have their own children? When you are a parent, you have to put your children first and think about what they might be seeing, because what they see shapes who and what they become. How are you going to explain to your children that it’s okay for daddy to lay up on a woman, but your daughter should never allow that? Let’s just be conscious of our decision making skills, especially in regards to our children.

What do you think? Do you think it’s okay for a single parent to have their girl/boyfriend move in? Please leave a comment.

Indescribable

   You hear the phrase “Life is too short” all the time, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. What I do agree with is that “Time flies by”. Meaning, time moves very quickly, but definitely not to the extent that you can’t tell, or more importantly, show a person that you care about them. Like I stated in a previous blog around the Christmas holidays, you should not wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to tell a person how thankful you are to have them in your life.

These two poems that I’m posting today are about two of the most important people in my life because I want them to know how much I truly love them.

                                                              

              Superman                                                                                             

You are strong and dedicated.

You love what you do and who you have become.

You are a firm believer that hard work pays off,

and rest is barely ever welcomed.

You do what it takes to get the job done; not right,

but perfect.

You love being needed and wanted, and especially

being around those who love you.

And what do I love the most about my Superman?

You are like no other.

I love you Dad.

               

             The Rock

Your amount of strength speaks volumes.

Devoted and dependable are only some of the

words that best describe you.

You are always there to listen, talk to, laugh,

and to simply be there.

Your pain is my pain and vice versa.

You underestimate your worth at times.

No other mother could compare to you.

You are the best mother and friend anybody

could ever wish for.

I love you Mom.

 

If you have some parents (not sperm or egg donors, TRUE parents) who mean the world to you like mine do, please make sure that you tell them how much you appreciate and love them more often than not. They of all people should never wonder.

Children First

If you are not a parent, never worked with children, or have never stepped foot into someone’s classroom other than your own, you may not fully understand where I’m coming from with this. I want you to picture these four children.

Child One: An eighth grade girl who got beat with a metal baseball bat minutes before being taken to school. She wore bruises on her right arm and leg.

Child Two: A third grader who had been infected with lice several times each year but has now upgraded to fleas flying around her.

Child Three: A fifth grade student who ran away from school down a two-lane street, and then ran away from home the next morning.

Child Four: Another eighth grade student who wanted to bleach her skin in order to look pretty.

What do these girls all have in common? Lack of love and attention from home (some do have much more serious problems). You can’t really understand a child until you meet their family. These kids today are totally different from when I was growing up. Back then, a phone call home was a certified whoopin when you got home and you straightened right up. There were consequences and the teachers weren’t expected to raise their children for them.

News Flash: We’re dealing with a different breed, ladies and gentlemen. Not only are the children different, but so are the parents. We’ve past the “Babies having babies” stage. We’ve now reached the “Infants having babies” stage. Any time where twelve year olds are having children, there’s a problem. These parents are either too young or too old to be handling these children. These children have no fear. They have no trust. They have no support where they need it most; their parents. The children that I mentioned earlier are a part of true scenarios. I’ve been a School Social Worker for over seven years and I have seen many things. Things that make me jump for joy, shake my head, or even drink. If you don’t get anything out of this blog, then I want you to get this- children are meant to be loved, supported, and protected, and if you can’t provide that, then don’t have them.

Many of the issues that school professionals have to deal with are behavior problems, and many times, on top of academic problems. And what’s the underlying issue for about ninety percent of those problems- lack of attention, or shall I say appropriate or positive attention. Some examples of this type of behavior are: making noises, running away, cutting, tantrums, being overly dependent, etc. Somewhere there is a disconnect- children aren’t learning the appropriate ways to behave or to problem-solve, and often they are neglected when it comes to support, guidance, and discipline. Whether they admit or not, children need rules and structure, and if that’s missing, there’s gonna be a problem.

I feel sorry for these children who feel the need to go through drastic channels in order to spark someone’s, anyone’s, attention. And usually by the time the parents try to get a handle on the acting out behaviors, it’s too late. The children move on to getting whatever attention (positive or negative) they can get from anyone who will give it. It’s time to step up and protect our children. Hug them. Talk to them. Show them that you love them and care before it’s too late and they end up on a show like Criminal Minds. I had a student almost in tears and begging for me to talk to her earlier; “Just five minutes”. There are so many others like her who are crying out for help, verbally and nonverbally. Let’s please nourish our babies with food, love, support, and attention.