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EMPOWERING SINGLE MOTHERS 
RAISING MALE CHILDREN




Step Up Your Game as a Parent: Boys and School 
by David Miller

In most major metropolitan cities African American males drop out of school at a rate of 50%. These alarming numbers can be turned around! Do you want son to succeed in school? If the answer is yes, then it is time for you to "Step Up Your Game as a Parent!"

Here are just a few other tips to Step Up Your Game as a Parent:

» Make reading an essential part of your home life. Read aloud to your son and/or set aside quiet time each day in which your family can sit together and read silently. TURN the TV OFF.

» Use your daily time with your son wisely. When you are in the car or walking to the school bus, talk to your son (s) about what they are learning in school, 
or prompt a conversation about a topic that they find interesting and intriguing.

» Know what interests your son. Be involved in all aspects of your son's school career.

» Encourage your son to register for educational extra-curricular programs. Parental encouragement makes a huge difference in whether children go to [educational] out-of-school-time programs.

» Monitor your son's technology. Always be prepared to check his Facebook, MySpace, and Cell phone. Youth have become more interested in social networking than doing homework.

» Stay connected with his teachers. Get the email address and contact phone numbers for your son's teachers. Boys who have a parent involved in their school life tend to do better academically and socially.

» Develop a village of people who can visit your son's school. Many times due to work schedules, parents can't attend important school meetings. Identify others who can advocate for your son. This should include Dad. Often, dad never get announcements about events and meetings at school.

Failure is not an OPTION!   This should become the mantra in your house. Our boys need a great deal of encouragement when it comes to school.

Copyright 2009 © Raising Him Alone.


Book Suggestion for Parents: Raising Him Alone 
Things Black Women Can do to Raise Black Boys to be Men

By David Miller and Matthew P. Stevens

"Raising Him Alone” by David Miller and Matthew P. Stevens is a must read book for single mothers!" -- recommended by Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations Media Group 

Raising Him Alone (RHA) is dedicated to researching, designing, and implementing a campaign to support the social well being of single mothers raising boys. Through a series of intense community forums, workshops and support group initiatives, RHA seeks to increase access to resources in the areas of Health & Well Being (Mental Health), Educational Support & Advocacy, as well as Financial Literacy.  For more information on Raising Him Alone, the campaign schedule of events and resources visit, www.raisinghimalone.com.  For more information on David Miller, visit www.urbanleadershipinstitute.com 




Planting the Seed to Talk to Your Sons About Sex
David Miller, Excerpt from the Raising Him Alone (RHA) Website
Direct Link:   http://www.raisinghimalone.com/strategies_sextalk.htm


When discussing the topic of sex with your son, it is essential to begin with letting him know that you want to be able to have an open and honest conversation. The discussion should be developmental in nature, based on your son's age and level of maturity. While many moms would love to have a man around to talk to your son, the reality is that this is a conversation that can't wait. 

Mother's should also stress to their sons that although it may be difficult for a boy to discuss sex with his mother, it's important for his own health and safety. Mother's should begin with suggested topics like good touch and bad touch, masturbation (touching yourself), being attracted to another person, kissing, oral sex and STDs. The following are four quick tips for parents: 

1.  Admit to your son that sex is a great thing - however, explain the risks associated with sexual content. Also discuss the importance of learning about your body and being able to discuss your body parts with your parents before considering sex.

2.  Spend time making sure you and your son read about his body parts - It seems that many parents find it easier to talk to girls about sex than boys. Often, girls are given far more information about sex than boys. Things like having an erection or a wet dream are things that mothers must be willing to discuss. These items can't be left up to your son's peer group to discuss. 

3.  What are your son's friends saying about sex? - Perhaps one of the most important aspects of talking to you son about sex is discussing what his peers have to say about sex. This would include myths, slang terms and gossip. This vital information provides you with a better understanding of the information that your son is exposed to.

4.  You can't wait for your son's father or a male friend to talk to your son about sex - Many mothers opt to wait for the father or another significant male figure to talk about sex with your son. While having another responsible man discuss sex with your son is important, you can't wait. With the internet and exposure to MTV, VH1 and BET, boys are bombarded with images of sex. Thus, mothers can't afford to wait for the male perspective.

Additionally, we hope that you will purchase a copy of Raising Him Alone: Things Black Women Can Do to Raise Boys to be Men by David Miller & Matt Stevens. 

Copyright 2009 © Raising Him Alone.

Raising Him Alone (RHA) is dedicated to researching, designing, and implementing a campaign to support the social well being of single mothers raising boys. Through a series of intense community forums, workshops and support group initiatives, RHA seeks to increase access to resources in the areas of Health & Well Being (Mental Health), Educational Support & Advocacy, as well as Financial Literacy.

For more information on Raising Him Alone, the campaign schedule of events and resources visit, www.raisinghimalone.com.  For more information on David Miller, visit www.urbanleadershipinstitute.com 

 


The New Jim Crow 
by Professor Michelle Alexander 

Video Introduction:  The New Jim Crow by Professor Michelle Alexander.  Professor Michelle Alexander courageously tells America, "I'm a criminal and so are you!" She has brilliantly unraveled the plan to criminalize young Black and Brown men in America. She tells us when the plan was created, when it was implemented, how it works, who benefits from it and how it has produced a new pseudo-slavery for Black men in America.



 

Praise for The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 

“For every century there is a crisis in our democracy, the response to which defines how future generations view those who were alive at the time. In the 18th century it was the transatlantic slave trade, in the 19th century it was slavery, in the 20th century it was Jim Crow. Today it is mass incarceration. Alexander's book offers a timely and original framework for understanding mass incarceration, its roots to Jim Crow, our modern caste system, and what must be done to eliminate it. This book is a call to action.” 
—Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP 

“After reading The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander's stunning work of scholarship, one gains the terrible realization that, for people of color, the American criminal justice system resembles the Soviet Union's gulag---the latter punished ideas, the former punishes a condition.” 
—David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer-prize winning historian at NYU and author of W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963 

“A powerful analysis of why and how mass incarceration is happening in America, The New Jim Crow should be required reading for anyone working for real change in the criminal justice system.” 
—Ronald E. Hampton, Executive Director, National Black Police Association 

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 
ISBN-10: 1595581030 | ISBN-13: 978-1595581037 
#1 in Amazon Books > Nonfiction > Law > Criminal Law 
#1 in Amazon Books > History > United States > African Americans 

Purchase your copy today at Amazon 


 

BEING THE ONLY CHILD

The only child is automatically stigmatized by society as being spoiled brats. When asked to describe the personality of a only child, many people will respond negatively.  Statistics show only children often grow up to be outstanding, but there is a long-standing prejudice against the only childWhat do you think about when you see the words only child

 Someone who:

·  Is all alone

·  Is really spoiled by parents and grandparents

·   Has no one to talk to or play with when he/she is at home

·  Has everything he/ she wants because there are no other kids to share with

When you are the only child, you can get really lonely if you don’t have a strong relationship with your parents.  Some children may be lonely, while others may enjoy having the full attention of their parents.  So, on the one hand, it’s just you; on the other hand, it’s just you.  Many only children live near others and have lots of friends.  I would wish that I had someone that’s on my level.  I wanted to be a big sister or a little sister.  If I had a sister or brother, I would have had someone that I could spend time with and share some of my responsibilities like doing different chores.  I would have to wash the dishes, take out the trash, wash clothes, and cook. We could share these responsibilities.  But, only children can learn to be very good at doing things on their own as well.  Well, I may not have brothers and sisters but I had to learn to share with the others in the family. Children tend to learn from each other:  social skills, behavior patterns, and even share silly things like the “birds and the bees.”  Children need companionship from individuals their own age.     

Being an only child does not mean that you must be a lonely child.  Everyone needs to spend time alone, time with family, and time with friends. Only children have different benefits.  For instance, at lease they don’t have to share the last piece of cake.

As an only child Christmases are amazing.  You would get all the presents and not have to share with anybody.  Your mom would make sure that you got just about everything that you asked for and then some.  One big plus to being an only child is no hand-me-downs. The only child got all of the attention and it seemed like the spotlight was all on you and no one else.  Also, let’s not forget about the birthdays.  The only child will get all of the attention and affection.  Often, the child will receive more at each birthday party.  They too were very special.  It does not get any better than that.  Most times, the only child was quiet, shy, and reserved.  I kept to myself most of the time. If you are an only child, you don’t have to share the spotlight with anyone else.   

It seemed like I had to grow up so fast and learn things quickly like doing different chores that I listed.   It’s very easy to spoil an only child, but the parents just have to make sure they appreciate what they have.  Getting lots of love and attention from your grandparents is spoiling kids, seems to be saying love is bad.  Love and attention is good for individuals as long as they will treat each other with respect. Moms of only children are over protective, like making sure their children are supervised at all times. A lot of individuals have placed only children as being better because economically they are better off.  They receive more attention and feel more secure.          

 My mom was a teacher, and I had a lot of family members in the school system; they all looked after me all the time.  If I was to stray away from the right path, someone would be right there to bring me back and straighten me out.

I was forced to be out going because this was the only way I would make friends.  I had to entertain myself a lot because I didn’t have a built in playmate.  I had to be independent.  Only children achieve more than others.  The parents have more time and other resources to devote toward their child’s development.  These children tend to do better in school and complete more years of education than others.  In my case, I did do better than some of my classmates.  I also furthered my education when I attended college.  Many of my classmates couldn’t go to college back in my day. I chose to play sports and learn to play the saxophone because I was missing companionship.  It seemed like it released me from some of my responsibilities.  When practice was over, I was back in the same situation that I was in.  

Being an only child, you couldn’t blame any one for things being broken.  All eyes were on you at all times.  I know being the only child has its ups and downs, but at the end of the day it all balances out. Only children today, are completely different people from those of just a few decades ago;  they're  far more numerous, they are happier individuals who are well-balanced and more social. 

About the Writer Charlean Hopes
Charlean Hopes is a English Teacher
at Fort Bend ISD, TX.   Charlean has been a teacher for more than 30 plus years. She had some adversity trying to get the degree in teaching.  She has always wanted to be a teacher.  Her mom was a teacher and she had several Aunts and Uncles that were teachers and Principals.  Growing up in a small town with less than 3, ooo people;  it is not a lot of promise.  She knew that she did not want to live there forever.  She was the only child and was very sheltered. 

In order to escape from the home life she needed to pursue her goal and her dream.  She played sports and the one sport she really excelled in was track.  She had broken a couple of records in high school while she was running track.  She went to state and ran in the state track meet and broke some records there also.  She has won several trophies, metals, ribbons, and certificates in her honor.  Since graduating from Groesbeck High School;  she had gotten a full scholarship in track to Prairie View A & M University.  Once she made it to college she could finally pursue her degree in Music and also be able to run track as well.  While in track at Prairie View A & M University, she went to the Olympic trials. 

She also went to Texas Southern University to get certified in Special Education.  She volunteers her services as a timekeeper for track and field for the Texas Southern University relays and worked Prairie View relays.  This is a once a year relay and she has been doing this for about 
25 plus years.  She also does tutoring for special need kids.  She has 2 (two) kids by the name of Lee Andrew Hopes Jr.  (37)  and Latoya Michelle Hopes  (26).  She has been married to Darrell Walker for a year.  She is a member of Windsor Village Methodist Church.




In the Name of Love by Shelia E. Lipsey

Love is a many splendored thing - isn’t it? 


Love is kind, gracious, not jealous or puffed up.  Love isn’t selfish or envious.  If love is so wonderful, so grand, so beautiful and appealing why do marriages suffer, divorces happen, abuse infiltrates, hurt erupts, deceit desecrates and hearts are broken - all in the name of love?  J. Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri says,  “50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.”

It’s mind boggling that love can so easily turn to disdain and pain. What once started in the beginning of time when Adam and Eve came together, has now turned to something that resembles the latest fad of fashion or technology gear. We change partners like we change clothes.  If something doesn’t suit our fancies after the marriage, we are quick to run to our lawyers and before the ink is dried on the marriage certificate, the divorce papers are served. 

There are some real serious reasons such as adultery and fornication that a marriage is dissolved, but there are less problematic reasons too, such as ‘he doesn’t put the toilet seat down or she doesn’t close the toothpaste cap’.  To live with another human being takes hard work. It takes commitment. It takes honesty and loyalty. It takes prayer! But most of all if takes LOVE. 

Next, what part does forgiveness play in a wounded marriage? Is there a time when to expect forgiveness just doesn’t cut the bread it’s made on? Much like the couple in My Son’s Wife, Reverend Stiles Graham finds it impossible to continue his marriage to his lovely, Christian wife Rena. He discovers that not only has the woman he adored lied to him, but she has carried deceit a step farther.  Stiles discovers his wife’s infidelity was with his sister, Francesca Graham. In the sequel, My Son’s Ex-Wife: The Aftermath, the story delves deeper into what happens after the dirt has been uncovered, the clothes have been taken to the wash to erase the stench of cheating, the ex has been thrown aside and the preacher returns to the pulpit. 

Many readers of My Son’s Wife found it difficult to understand why a man who preaches the Word of God could not forgive his wife for her actions. In the name of love, shouldn’t he have tried to rekindle the brokenness of his relationship, even though divorce occurred?

The ex-wife, Rena Graham, is caught between a rock and a hard place. In the name of love she allowed a friendship to turn ugly. In the name of love, she hid secrets from her husband. In the name of love, Rena Graham continually tortured herself because of her mistakes.

My Son’s Ex-Wife: The Aftermath reminds me of how people make decisions based on a number of things, but most often it’s because of what other people think. For instance, Stiles Graham listened to his mother, First Lady Audrey Graham.  First Lady Audrey said to some of her church friends after her preacher son’s divorce, “Yes, he’ll be fine.  Of course, the pain of divorce is something that takes time to heal; even more so, for a man of God like my Stiles. He tried, but it was no way to mend their marriage.”

But what Audrey’s son, Stiles Graham really feels is remorse over the decision he made to divorce his wife. He says in My Son’s Ex-Wife: The Aftermath , “But I don’t have the strength, or the kind of heart that can allow her back in my life. I love her, but it’s time for me to make a fresh start. It wouldn’t be fair to Rena to have a man who couldn’t love and accept her for who she is.”

When it comes to relationships, we all make decisions, whether bad or good, and we do it all in the name of love. I believe that love, real love, true love, forever love is unconditional. However, as humans with fleshly desires, thoughts and actions it is sometimes difficult to see past hurt and pain when it seeps into a relationship. The decision is up to you the way you choose to live your life. But do remember - love is a many splendored thing. But how far do you want to go In the Name of Love?

--
My Son’s Ex-Wife: The Aftermath is the second book in Author Shelia E. Lipsey’s  My Son’s Wife trilogy.   Look for it at bookstores and online starting August 31, 2010.   Pre-order your copies today at BN.com;  Amazon.com and other online  e-tailers including the author’s website:
www.perfecstoriesaboutimperfectpeople.com   

 




Preparing our Christian Children for a Lifelong Marriage? 
by Angie Lewis 

As Christian parents what is our duty to our children? How can we prepare our children for a lifelong marriage? Did you know that 95% of children grow up and get married and have families but no one ever teaches them a thing about how to value and cherish marriage and family! They manage their marriage the same way everyone else does, without much regard to its Creator. Half of marriages end in divorce and many of those marriages are supposedly Christian based marriages. 

We are literally throwing our children out into the lion's den without any proper Christian values and morals! Don't you get it? Scripture clearly speaks to us and lets us know that Christ Ones are to be set apart from the world and be examples of Christ. I'm sorry but I just don't see that happening. What kind of Christians are we if we aren't teaching our children Godly wisdom for righteous living? 

Christian Women and Moms as Role Models
"Then they (older women and mothers) can train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, that no one will malign the word of God." (Titus 2:4-5)

The above verse speaks volumes to older Christian women. If you are of an age of position, where young people look up to you, or if you are a mother of teenage daughters make sure that your example is motivating rather than discouraging and wholesome rather than disrespectful. This is our duty and Christian service to God through Christ. 

It is up to Christian people and parents to instill right Christian values and morals in our children and neighbors. Why are we disregarding such an important aspect of parenting? Christian women and mothers are called to be role models to the younger generation in whatever capacity God has gifted them with. Some women are good encouragers, others are good at showing by example through how they dress and behave with their own husbands. Whatever God has gifted you with, use it and be a shining star for young girls and women of today. 


Christian Men and Dads as an Example
"Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us".  (Titus 2:6-7)

Shouldn't we be teaching our sons and young men today how to be good husbands and dads? Many young men today live in a home where dads have neglected their responsibilities to their wives and children. This poor example grows like a snowball that is rolling down a hill, and it will continue through the generations causing even more heartache and family breakups. 

Husbands and Fathers should be good role models for their sons and for other young men. Older Christian men should be teaching the younger men to be protective, loving and respectful of all women, even those who have not found their way to God yet. Help young women find their way to God through your respect of and brotherly love for her. 


This is how Christian values are passed down from generation to generation. It is the older Christian man's duty to teach integrity, self-control, seriousness and soundness of speech in the younger generation.  Remember:  Being preachy doesn't work, being an example does. 

Marriage and family values are becoming a thing of the past and that is unfortunate because healthy marriages and families are what keep society somewhat civilized! Have you taught your sons and daughters the importance of commitment in marriage? There are many things are sons and daughter need to know before getting married. How about cherishing abstinence and emotional purity before marriage.  Do we teach our children about saving themselves for their spouse? 


When Christians of today get so caught up in the worldly affairs of men, they stop relying on God's way and God is the Creator of marriage, so how does that work? Christians need to start relying on and depending on God, and not just when hardship falls their way. Depending on God is our realization of our own powerlessness without him. God is the Christians source of power and we receive His help for right Christian living when we rely on him every day, not just when we are suffering. This is how we prepare our children for a lifelong marriage. 

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom."  (Colossians 3:15)

To read more Christian based articles and books, check out Angie and Frank's Ministries and Marriage Preparation Ministry at  http://www.heavenministries.com.  Marriage Healing Ministry: http://www.heavenministries.org 



These Boots are Made for Stalking

by Electa Rome Parks

When best-selling author, Xavier Preston, meets his fanatic fan, Pilar, he gets more than he bargained for. What starts out as an erotic one-night stand quickly spirals out of control into a dangerous game of obsession and pain. . . with both parties playing to win.

Think you know what goes on behind the literary scene? Think again.

When most of us think of stalkers and stalking, we think of high profile celebrity cases that we hear of in the news. Reality is that most of us will be stalked at some point in our lives. One out of every 20 adults will be stalked in their lifetime. Below are examples of normal, everyday people who were victims:

•  a retail CEO and family stalked by a 21 year old male who was rejected for employment 
•  a 58 year old woman being stalked by her 35 year old male next door neighbor 
•  a 32 year old woman stalked by a 35 year old man she met through a personal ad 
•  a 40 year old lesbian stalked by two different previous girlfriends 
•  a female attorney stalked by a client in divorce case 
•  a 29 year old male dentist being stalked by 22 year old short-term girlfriend (law student) 
•  a social worker and her family stalked by female patient (with BPD) 


When it first entered my mind to write a stalker story, I wanted to fulfill three obligations with my new book, Diary of a Stalker:

1.  I wanted it to be a realistic and fact-based portrayal of a stalker 

2.  Secondly, I simply knew the stalker had to be female and her victim a male author 

3.  Lastly, I knew I wanted the storyline to encompass elements of the goings on in the literary arena 

Stalkers can be classified into five categories and in my novel, Diary of a Stalker, Pilar would be classified as the intimacy seeker:

The Intimacy Seeker
  is a stalker who pursues an intimate relationship with someone whom they have identified as their “true love.” However, the stalker’s attentions are not wanted by the object of their affection. Stalkers who fall into this category often have a delusional disorder (e.g., erotomania), and may suffer from other serious Axis 1 disorders such as schizophrenia or mania. 

After deciding on the three aspects that had to absolutely be a part of my book, Diary of a Stalker, I then proceeded to ask myself a few “what if” questions.  What would make a seemingly normal female start stalking a male author? And why this particular author? How far would she go with her stalking behavior? How would he handle it? 

Of course the reasons for the behavior were multi-layered and couldn’t be summed up in a neat, tidy book. However, I think female stalkers are looking for something that is missing from within themselves or for something that is absent from their own lives.  There is a void. In the case of Pilar, she was missing elements of being protected, genuinely loved, and feeling valued; she thought she had found those things in Xavier. However, she confused sex with love, as a lot of women do. 

Pilar envisioned what she thought her life would be like with Xavier, if only she could have him, totally possess him. Many stalkers live in a fantasy world within their own mind. They feel if they can possess this perfect person (male or female), then their life will be complete and any problems or troubles they may have will magically disappear.

In Pilar’s case, she believed Xavier was her soul mate, the one man that made her life complete. All the other men had merely been dress rehearsal in her search for him. She came to believe that what Xavier wrote in his books were to her, about her and for her only. In her mind, because he was kind to her, she felt they were connected at a much deeper, spiritual level. Unfortunately when fantasy meets reality, the two typically clash.


**Visit the The Anti-Stalking Web Site for more information**

Diary of a Stalker by Electa Rome Parks
When best-selling author, Xavier Preston, meets his fanatic fan, Pilar, he gets more than he bargained for. What starts out as an erotic one-night stand quickly spirals out of control into a dangerous game of obsession and pain. . . with both parties playing to win.

Think you know what goes on behind the literary scene? Think again.



Contact Electa Rome Parks
novelideal@aol.com
 
www.electaromeparks.com  
www.myspace.com/author_chick
www.electaromeparks.blogspot.com




But Tell Me This…How Many Scars Do You Really Have?
Author  A. Life…

Few people know or realize that the word scar is a derivative of a Greek term meaning; place of fire. (Hence, the burning sensation one gets when an injury occurs.) In life, we all go through our own ‘fires’ but it is how we come out that determines what type of scar, if any, we will incur. Aside from the fact that a scar’s appearance is the direct result of a previous wound, it doesn't seem so bad if it’s small or in an inconspicuous location that’s easy to conceal. And though we desire ways to treat the scar(s), we often find ourselves trying to hide them behind the walls of clothing. Truth be told, scars never completely go away, but there are some methods that can aide in the reduction of its size and appearance. 

Author   A. Life…  displays in her latest release, titled: Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain 
(ISBN: 978-1-61623-785-1), the lives of four different women; all wearing the same mask-like band-aid, with the intent of hiding the pain of life’s wounds. She uniquely demonstrates in each woman; how she received her wound(s) and how she will eventually receive her scar(s) of healing. While it is impossible for her to shield us from all injury, it is Life’s desire that we come to know that scars are a natural part of the healing process. And in order to speed up the process we must be willing to remove the secrecy of all masks and/or bandages, so the air of life can act as a healer. 

When we openly reveal ourselves to the world, what is seen is truth. Wounds are not always secret and real pain is certainly not something that can be hidden. As stated by the author, “We as a people must try not to falsely hide behind walls of wounds, but showcase our lives in such a way that everyone is able to see a life free of pain, displaying scar-like wounds of beauty. For He promised to give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” How many scars do you have? Show’em off!


Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain  by A. Life...
As I wrote this book, I pondered the title as a subject and was floored. Tears ran the length of my face because I never really acknowledged the mere thoughts or ideas behind my life's scars; visible as well as hidden. When my visibility was clearer and the tears were dried up, I was able to stand boldly and give what I had been babying; a name. That name as we have come to know is none other than the title of my latest novel; Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain. 

As I began to question the similitude of the terms; wounds and pain, along with secret and hidden; an answer quickly forced itself into my mental fibers. How can a wound be secret? How can you hide pain? The answer is simple; a cover-up. We all know what covers were created to do but do we understand fully what they weren't created for as well? COVERS ARE TEMPORARY SHIELDS FROM EXTERNAL ELEMENTS! When the outside threat is extinguished, the cover is to be removed. This is the part we forget about. That which is 'undercover' needs to be exposed. Remember, even the rough has to move, so the brilliancy of the diamond can be seen by the world. TAKE THE COVERS OFF AND YOU'LL BE AMAZED AT HOW GOOD THE 'YOU' YOU'VE BEEN HIDING REALLY LOOKS. 

As I close, it is still my endeavor to Help Heal the Hurt with Happiness, by purchasing gifts and/or much needed items for children suffering with cancer. My DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 14, 2009. I ask you to purchase my book for $19.95 so I can use the proceeds for this beautiful task. If you can not purchase the book, I would hope that you could donate to the cause. Thank You All in Advance.   --- written by author A. Life... in her monthly newsletter


Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain by author A. Life...

Charlene; a church-going woman who is married to an adulterous preacher, Denise; an exotic dancer who eventually finds out her ‘best customer’ holds the title of her rapist, Michelle; the wife of an abusive, jobless, porn addict, and Katrina; a successful businesswoman who secretly has abortions to maintain her status. All of them lead totally different lives while unknowingly wearing the same mask. Each woman believes no one else can see or feel what she is going through, but will individually find out that the painful wounds she is experiencing are deep enough to be seen and felt by the world.



STAY TUNED... Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain: The Stage Play will be coming soon.

For More Info. Visit My Website: www.eborya.com


Saving a Marriage is a Lifelong Process! 
By Emma Audley 

Saving a marriage is perhaps one of the prime concern areas of every married couple. With divorce rates hitting an all time high, it is no wonder that couples are permanently in a state of anxiety whether they are playing their roles right in the marriage. But is saving a marriage very difficult? The answer is both 'yes' and 'no'.

Saving a marriage can be a daunting task for people who are overtly egoistic. Selfishness really has no place if you want a marriage to remain on the right tracks. Unfortunately the term 'compromise' is more associated with submissiveness and subservience these days, but in reality compromise in a marriage can be one of the crucial pillars in saving a marriage.

Yet, saving a marriage is easy for couples who base their relationship on mutual trust, love and respect. It is as much important to trust your partner implicitly, as to respect that trust. Once you deviate from this path, the trust is lost forever. In any case, it can take years to rebuild the lost trust.

Some experts have equated marriage to a young sapling that refuses to grow. It remains tender, brittle and vulnerable to damage nearly forever, unless you nurture and provide nourishment by way of loving, understanding and most importantly with your forgiveness. For saving a marriage, you have to forgive each other for the follies and the inevitable idiosyncrasies, which incidentally differentiate us from being robots.

While there are no clear-cut formula for saving a marriage, as every marriage works on a set of parameters which are unique and individualized, there are still some golden rules for saving a marriage, which are given below:

Every marriage, after a few years would turn into something predictable and may be boring too. Learn to accept this reality, rather than rejecting it. For the sake of saving a marriage, it is your responsibility to allow fresh air into the relationship. There are countless ways you can do this.

For saving a marriage, learn to accept the way your spouse is. It is impossible to change a person intrinsically, and remodel him or her according to what you like. You can create a 'customized' individual but this would not help you saving a marriage.

Develop implicit faith in your spouse's abilities. Obviously he or she would perform in some areas and fail in some. Remember, you too are not perfect.

For saving a marriage, respect your spouse for what he or she is. Look at their good points while learning to ignore the aspects you do not quite like.

Always keep the channels of communication open, where neither of you should hesitate to share your confidences with each other. For saving a marriage, you are first best friends and then husband and wife.

Learn to laugh together. This can have immense therapeutic value in saving a marriage as well as help you tide over many crises in life.

Be prepared to walk that extra mile if you are really keen in saving a marriage. Whether you like it or not, a relationship only survives and thrives if you adjust to each others' whims and fancies.

Be an encouraging partner. Refrain from overt and negative criticism. Try and avoid being abusive both physically and verbally.

Whether you are still together and having problems or you are already separated and want to save your marriage the next step is absolutely crucial!  Don't make the mistake of saying or doing something that will kill your chances of getting back together with your spouse. Visit my site to find out what you need to do to save your marriage and emotionally reconnect with your spouse.

About the Author Emma Audley 
I am the author of "Loneliness to Happiness - the simple guide to getting your ex back" as well as numerous publications and articles about relationships and marriages in crises.

I have a degree in psychology and years of experience as a therapist in couples and marriage counseling. I gave up my career as a therapist when my older daughter became ill soon after she was born. Fortunately, she is perfectly healthy and a very happy child today. I have since moved to another country and I have no plans to resume my career as a therapist. However, I still enjoy helping rejected lovers put their derailed relationships back on track.     Article Source


Marriage Self Help - When You Feel Like You're in it Alone 
By R P Smith

Very few marriages exist without reaching a crucial fork in the road at some point and a marriage self help strategy can be very effective when this happens. Many marriages have reached the point where separation and possibly even divorce begin to seem like the only option. Often times, one spouse remains committed to the marriage despite his or her unhappiness and the other spouse seems ambivalent or even unaware that there is a problem.

The following marriage self help strategies can be extremely effective even if you feel like you are in this thing alone:

1. Heal your self - This is not a suggestion to enter marriage counseling. Often times these so-called "marriage counselors" are nothing more than licensed therapists with little or no actual training in how to save a marriage. I'm talking about individual counseling to help you sort through your own issues.

2. Worry about yourself -  Do not engage in personal attacks on your spouse. Do not be critical of them. Stay positive and worry about your own words and actions. Take ownership for what you do and say, regardless of what you may think or feel about the other person.

3. Make time for yourself - Do what you love! Engage in hobbies or activities that make you happy. Involve your spouse if it makes sense and he or she is interested but make time for yourself to pursue what you enjoy doing.

4. Take care of yourself -  Regardless of how lousy you may be feeling in this marriage, better diet and exercise are bound to help. You'll feel better and be in a much more resourceful state to handle the adversity.

Marriage self help, as I'm talking about here, is about working on yourself to improve your marriage. This will pay dividends regardless of what your spouse's role is in all this. You can still save your marriage even if your partner is not willing to try.

Improving yourself to save your marriage is just a beginning. I have so much more stuff I want to share with you at Marriage Self Help that will help you make your marriage even better than it ever has been. And yes, even if your spouse wants a divorce, you can save the marriage!   
Article Source
   

 


How to Overcome a Dysfunctional Family Legacy
By Dr. Daryl Green
 

 Are you dealing with negative vibes in your family? Do you feel like your being held hostage by your family dysfunctional behavior? Unfortunately, no one has a perfect family. In fact, there’s probably some dysfunctional behavior in everyone’s family tree; most people are too ashamed to admit it. Confusion can destroy a close-knit family. In this situation, the word “family” primarily refers to your extended relatives (brother, sister, aunt, cousin, etc.). Communication usually breaks down--feelings get hurt. Disharmony can happen to any family. In fact, this situation can be created either by individual choices or by the decisions of others. You can see it created through many ways: selfish sibling, drugs taking control, dependent relatives, money-stricken friends, or toxic relationships. Can you think of others?

Many issues can cause family confusion. Many people tend to react to their gut feeling without thinking through the consequences. Don’t believe these personal decisions only impact you. No, short-term choices can leave a legacy of total disasters. Do you need examples? Take someone else’s loved one? Threaten to kill someone? We live in a society where no one wants to wait and develop a real relationship. 

People prefer to generate quick “soap opera” relationships to shield their insecurities. There are unintended consequences. In 2000, former NFL star Derrick Thomas died from injuries suffered in an auto accident. Thomas had fame, fortune, and a bright future. He probably hoped to leave fans a legacy of outstanding memories. Unfortunately, this was not the case. It stands as another American tragedy. He left seven children from five different women and no will. While Thomas earned more than $30 million in his football career, his children will long remember the legacy of dysfunctional family memories. Therefore, individual actions can contribute to the level of dysfunctional behavior in families.

Some family members can also create family disharmony.   A small dose of confusion can spread like a wild fire in a family. You can always find at least one person looking to generate “mess” in a family. What will start it this time? Family property? Money? This person will not let the problem die down; he is not content until there is a big explosion. The results are generally not positive. In our own family, we have seen family members fight over property. There is generally lots of anger and hurt feelings. Often kids are caught in the middle, left to carry on this confusion (even when they don’t understand the cause). While many involved in these types of situations are left empty, some people thrive on this negative energy and seem to get enjoyment from it (the more trouble, the better). They celebrate disharmony. We call these folks “troublemakers” or “instigators.” Here are some suggestions for improving these situations:

· Recognize the potential problem.
· Deal with the problem immediately. Don’t wait.
· Determine the root cause. What is the situation really about?
· Determine who really needs to get involved. Do you need to broadcast the problem to everyone in the family?
· Find common ground and create a win-win situation, if possible.
· Keep your cool.

Building a strong family bond takes commitment.  It’s easy to get sidetracked by “he said, she said” ordeals. It takes courage to look beyond the surface problems to determine the real root cause. You have to be stern in your beliefs…and committed. You need to focus on what’s critical for your family. Make every attempt to live at peace with everyone. Determine to make yourself a peacemaker and don’t allow yourself to be conquered by negativism. Stand Tall. Embrace your relatives with positive vibes. Effective individuals want to build harmony in their families. Start today before it is too late!

© 2009 by Daryl D. Green


Dr. Daryl D. Green writes on contemporary issues impacting individuals, businesses, and society across the globe. With over 18 years of management experience, Dr. Green’s expertise has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to http://stores.lulu.com/darygre  or http://www.darylgreen.org  

Website:  www.darylgreen.org 
Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/decisionmaker 
"Helping People Make Good Decisions


Coping with Dementia by Niambi Davis 

My mother was a Golden Girl - not Bea Arthur and certainly not Estelle Getty, but one of a group of widowed friends, active anchors of the community, and world travelers. It was an affectionate title, given by a community who loved them.

In 1971 my mother retired after 40 years of teaching. "What will I do now," she asked. It didn't take long for her to find out. She bought a new car when she felt like it, founded a male choir at her church, flew to Africa for the United Methodist Church, sailed on the Queen Elizabeth II, cruised the Western Caribbean, visited me in Trinidad and found her way to more than a few of the 50 states. Add in her 1965 European tour and she had seen more of the world than many.

In the early '90s my mother suffered a stroke from which she made a full recovery. "One day a light bulb went off in my head," she told me. Soon she was at home, resuming the life she led before the bleed in her brain.

A few years later, a second stroke changed both our lives in ways that neither of us could have imagined. This time, I sold my furniture, packed up my family and moved back home.
I had it all figured out - both of us were only children and had always been close. Now I'd be her caregiver and we would exist in the mother/daughter nirvana I'd created in my mind. Talk about unprepared for reality! Soon I wondered who she had become. Had her illness brought out resentments that she'd harbored for years? It didn't help that, even at my age, her opinion of me mattered greatly. Intellectually, I understood what was happening. My mother had gone from a life of total independence to wearing Depends and requiring the use of a walker. And what about me? The evil twins of resentment and guilt became my newest, closest companions. And when they came, they helped themselves to my hair. It fell out, grew back and fell out again. Emotionally, I was hurting. But so was she.

One day I came across an article written by a woman who found herself in my same position. Caring for the woman who gave her life was this daughter's greatest honor. I was ashamed, called myself a witch and vowed to do better. It lasted two days.

In spite of our challenges, there were times when our old relationship surfaced. My mother would talk about her childhood and mine. She spoke often of her love for history. "I should have been a history teacher," she would often say. We spent time researching the ancestry of her maternal grandmother. We laughed together, remembering my father and his fishing obsession. We were happy. Those days were golden. Even now, when I'm in her old bedroom, I can still feel their rare sweetness. 

Sometimes in her dementia, she was just plain funny. At 2:00 am one morning, I found her dressed in a nightgown, clutching her purse and wearing a Baltimore Orioles ball cap perched on her head. "I'm ready to go to the game," she announced. When I recovered from shock, I laughed until I cried, listening to my genteel and proper mother let out a stream of cursing. Or tell me that her frail and wheelchair-bound nursing home roommate was a drug dealer.

Eventually she became too much for me to handle. I had to put up the adult version of a child-proof gate to prevent her from wandering, especially after she found her way into the living room and lay down in front of the open front door. 

At first, I placed her in a nursing home until I discovered an assisted living center. There were doilies resting on the arms of each big, comfortable chair, a kitchen that smelled like home, and a dining room table for the five or six women residents to share their meals. Some of her former students were aides. It was the best for both of us, although I still vacillated between relief and guilt. Some days she would be the woman I remembered. Other days she would refuse to get out of bed. I was afraid to bring her home for Christmas for fear that I'd have to force her to return. I was let off the hook - that day she stayed under the covers in her night gown even when we arrived to wish her Merry Christmas.

Our last visit was wonderful. It was a warm, sunny day in early spring. Instead of confused and combative, my mother was her sweet and gentle self. We sat out on the porch with her housemates and one of her former students. Everyone shared stories - of the days when she was a teacher, about old-fashioned homemade remedies and the school bus that ran charter excursions to the beach during the summers of the 1950s and 60s. A couple of days later, my mother suffered a third stroke. She passed away a week later at the age of 91. I consider that last visit as a gift. We were the mother and daughter we had hoped to be through the turmoil of her illness. When I left her on the porch with her friends, "I love you" were the last words we shared. 

© 2009 by author Niambi Davis

Meet the author Niambi Brown Davis
Niambi was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She and her family lived for many years in Washington, DC and for three and a half years, made the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago their home. 

She has written for Bronze Thrills, True Confessions and Black Romance Magazines. Niambi indulged her passion for sailing and travel by serving as publicist for the Black Boaters Summit and as a member of the National Association of Black Travel Writers. A script for her first digital novella has been accepted and published by Arrow Publications, LLC.  Presently, Niambi writes for Travel Lady Magazine. 

Aside from travel and writing, Niambi is an avid reader of historical fiction, and deeply involved in tracing the history of both branches of her family tree.  Her day job is running the business of Sand & Silk / Soleful Strut, her own line of handcrafted bath and body products. For more information visit her website at: http://niambibrowndavis.com

 


 

Countering the Age of the “Me” Generation

I try to pay attention to the game as the assistant coach. However, I am bombarded by begging from players on the bench: “Brother Green, can I get back into the game?” I try to ignore by pointing:  “Ask the coach.”  

Every weekend was like déjà vu for me.  A bunch of 8th graders were trying to tell us they were just as good as high school athletes.  These 8th graders were undersized and no match for more experienced ‘ballers.’ The basketball league was designed for high school students.  I felt they should be graceful to be allowed to play with our high schoolers.  Instead, it was a steady stream of complaints and ingratitude from some 8th graders.  I wondered how I got stuck with Gen Next.

Today’s organizations face unprecedented competition from all fronts. 
Many institutions desperately need to infuse their organizations with fresh leadership and new ideas. Yet, there is a hesitation for this transformation. Many baby boomers argue that the current generation is not ready. These young workers are called many names such as Generation Y (Gen Y), Echo Boomers, or Millennials (born 1977 to 2002). Most experts predict the generation will be a major factor in society. There are more than 70 million of them. 

However, they have been described in the workplace as lazy and self-absorbed with their own worth. Laura Clark, columnist, argues, “Today's young workers, it appears, believe they deserve jobs with big salaries, status and plenty of leisure time - without having to put in the hours.” According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters study, there is a new breed of graduate 'divas' who expect everything to fall into their laps. These people believe they are a hot commodity in the job market. Yet, their managers describe them as ‘unrealistic,’ ‘self-centered,’ and ‘greedy.’


For the first time in American history, organizations have four different generations in their workforce. Sadly, it’s not without problems. 
Companies don’t understand this young generation. They desire to share in organizational decisions on day one of employment and be promoted instantaneously. With managers who had to ‘pay their dues.’ The Gen Y mentality is a hard pill to swallow.

Dr. Jean Twenge and Dr. Keith Campbell track this trend of self-absorption in their book, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. “Narcissism- a very positive and inflated view of the self is everywhere….Understanding the narcissism is important because its long-term consequences are destructive to society.” In the 1960s, individuals led causes for the greater good. During the 1970s, there was a focus on self-admiration. 

By the 1980s, society had totally gone to ‘looking out for oneself.” 

Unfortunately, some managers distort the work value of this emerging generation by stereotyping them as selfish. Baby boomer managers complain about the difficulty of managing Gen Y employees. But, didn’t these baby boomers raise them to be narcissistic anyway? Therefore, it isn’t fair to label them totally as expecting entitlement. 

Twenge and Campbell note, “Parenting became more indulgent, celebrity worship grew, and reality TV became a showcase of narcissistic people.” One must wonder what Gen Y will pass along to their own children.

As more baby boomers retire, a new generation of leaders will replace them. These new leaders will cross age, gender, race, and geography. I certainly hope that Gen Y can overcome the negativism surrounding them and be prepared to accept future leadership roles. I pray it’s not too late. 


© 2010 by Daryl D. Green

Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to http://stores.lulu.com/darygre  or http://www.darylgreen.org  

 



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Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine