WHAT DO WE OWE OUR CHILDREN?


Our children are our most important investment and their well-being is our primary responsibility. How we get them from helpless to confident and self-sufficient is our primary task. I am currently on that journey with my two beautiful daughters and hope I am doing the correct things to create wonderful members of society. These are my guide posts:

1. Create confidence
Give them confidence by allowing them to succeed and fail early. There is nothing like accomplishing physical tasks to give confidence. My girls have never been restricted by age guides. We have allowed them to challenge and master anything they would like to attempt. Many times they fail but it is only in failure that we learn how to succeed.

2. Make learning fun
We strive to make every experience a learning opportunity. I hate structured learning, that is not where most of our learning occurs. Most importantly, answer all their questions (much easier said then done).

3. No baby talk please
When my girls speak others are often amazed at the depth of their vocabulary and general language skills. Those skills are not coincidental. We talk to them in adult language and provide definitions as needed so that they have early exposure and reinforcement of appropriate language.

4. Early introduction to technology and science
My girls are 3 and 4 and both know their way around a computer. They both have been introduced to programming. The 4-year-old gets it and is an intuitive problem solver. The 3-year-old is not there yet but she is learning about computers and always want to program. They love seeing the effects of their work. They remind me daily that they need to program. We are on code.org most days and I am the one limiting their time.

5. Respect others and the planet
Letting them see us showing respect to others and nature gives them a sense of their place in the universe. We are here to take care of the planet which is not limited to our fellow primates.

Our child are willing and able to learn and accomplish so much more that we give them credit for. We need to unleash them. In the rapidly changing world we live in, the only skill that will guarantee success is adaptability. Exposing our children to as many learning opportunities as we can will prepare them well for the challenges ahead.

 

MY QUESTION FOR ALL MEN.


I grew up in a home where women were respected and I don’t know any other way to treat the women in my life. They are my equals and deserve all they have because they have worked equally as hard. I love my mother and aunts and want them treated with respect. To that end I treat every women just as if they were family. I live by the golden rule, treat others as you would have them treat you.

My question for all men, the average Joes, why are the women in your life treated so poorly? Don’t they deserve your respect? The widespread use of derogatory terms and the assumption that your female partner is your property is truly offensive. The oft used excuse in western/christian culture “women submit to your husbands” is a poor and abhorrent excuse. It is a part of the internal incongruity of the bible and Christianity in general. Men use it to convince women to take a subordinate role and women use it to put down other women. This I cannot understand, maybe it’s because the bible isn’t as esteemed in my eyes.

Since the birth of my daughters I have become more keenly aware of the general disrespect and poor treatment of women in our culture. It is worse for women of African heritage. My daughters will enter a world where they are afforded less respect. Less respect even than that given to other women, just because of their African heritage. They will be paid less and considered less intelligent. They will be considered less beautiful and less desirable life partners. This combination of offenses is a combination of gender and race prejudice that I cannot overcome for them. I obsess about how I can be a better example for them so they know how a woman should be treated. I will continue to provide them the opportunity to gain the life skills to overcome these cruelties. I know they will succeed because they have to. But I have one request of you.
I ask you, mothers train your sons to respect all women. Men respect the women in your life so your sons will and your daughters will have an example.
We can make a difference.