Friday, March 13, 2009

Word to Ms. Houston

"I believe the children are the future. Teach them well & let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride, to make it easier. Let the children's laughter, remind us how we used to be." - Whitney Houston, "The Greatest Love"
This was pre-coke/Bobby Brown Whitney Houston. Far be it from me to find wisdom in the words of a crack head. Now a parking lot whine-o, that's a different story. Buy them a Thunderbird & a tall can of 8-ball, & they'll be able to see the future with remarkable accuracy. But, that's neither here nor there. Although I may not agree with her taste in recreational drugs &/or bed fellows (Ray J included), I do find the lyrics to that song to be phenomenal. They could be considered common sense, but we all know that there's no such thing.

To expand on the notion of putting the children on a pedestal for our future's sake, I have 3 easy steps to ensure your child a great head start in thriving in a world so cannibalized.

First, starting at the first moment you officially "meet" them, talk to them. Not the "goo goo gah gah" banter that sounds ridiculous to everyone listening, child included, but really converse with them as you would any cognizant grown person. No matter what you say, it's going to sound like babble to them regardless. Why not introduce them to vocabulary & word structure as soon as possible? Also, try & shy away from slang &/or ebonics. Few things are worse than a misplaced "they" & "is". Keep in mind that the core of what they learn will be from you. There will be more than enough time for society to infect their feeble minds with all things incorrect. So, why not take a small step toward "idiotproofing" your offspring? If, for some strange reason, you find it difficult to talk to a wrinkled, hairless clump of muscle & flesh that has no basic concept of who the hell you are, read a book out loud. The newspaper works also. Generally anything with words that won't plant traumatic images in their fertile minds. Trust me, you'll thank me for it in the future.

Secondly, hug & kiss them often. It builds a sense of self worth & importance. How many times have you heard someone jokingly say "that guy didn't get enough hugs as a kid."? Granted, that guy might have still went on a shooting rampage when he was fired from Home Depot, but for all intents & purposes let's assume that a little more affection early on in life may have softened the blow. "I love you" is synonymous with such intimacy, & contrary to popular belief, it can never be said too much. Especially to a small boy. Men seem to have the overwhelming need to discard emotion. That complex begins with the proverbial "be a man, suck it up!". Next thing you know, there are generations of guys lacking sensitivity & compassion. Definitely not the male figures needed to help raise the men & women of tomorrow.

Lastly, never use the sentence "because I said so". That spells certain doom to an inquisitive mind. It offers no logical reasoning for decisions being made by the person they most admire. Giving an explanation for your actions to a toddler teaches them, however inadvertently, that everything has a motive. Again, the core of what children learn is their immediate environment, i.e. their parents.

"Mommy, why do I have to go in my room?"

"For one, it's your personal space &............"

Now, I'm not advising a lengthy, convoluted speech, but a curt explanation of why you've made the decision you have. That shows that thinking is necessary to problem solving. Action is the best example.

I agree that the kids will one day be the rebirth of the nation, no matter what generation. It's imperative that we take advantage, & begin to plant the seeds necessary to harvest the proper fruit. In no way can we blame children for their actions in the future without taking the steps to show them the right way, in the present. This is overly apparent by looking at the past.

Maybe this will help some young parents who find themselves confused at times. It's not much information, but it's a start towards a healthier line of communication between child & parent.

You're welcome.