Who is the Real Bully?

today is a great day | I’m sure everyone heard the story of Nadin Khoury, the 13- year old bully victim, who garnered attention from the Eagles because he was attacked by a group of teenagers and hung on a fence by his coat.  As a parent of two children, I was highly appalled by the incident.  Every parent, at some point, faces the realization that it could happen to their child.  But what if you were the parent of the bully?

For the first time ever, my daughter was accused of being a bully.  Shocked, stunned, and disbelief were my immediate reactions.  If my children are accused of something, I want to hear all sides so that if my kids are at fault, I can correct it immediately.  “Bully” is a strong word, so before you use it, make sure you can back it up because I’m gonna check… and check good.  After all, you’re saying my child physically or mentally hurt someone weaker, which is a no-no in my book and constitutes disciplinary action.

The woman who accused my daughter of being a bully is, in fact, the same woman who complimented me on both my kids and their behavior and said she was so happy her daughter, “Susie” has someone to play with.  Huh? That statement should have projected a red flag in my mind immediately.  But instead, it went over my head.

Susie is 8.  She met my children a month ago.  You mean to tell me she had no one to play with until my children came along?  Hhmmm… “I wonder why?”, is what I should’ve asked myself.

Susie’s mom seemed to be a nice lady.  We exchanged phone numbers.  Why not?  I’m always open to new friendships, especially other moms.  So one day, she calls me up and asks me if I can watch Susie for an hour or two.  “Sure, no problem at all.”  They all play together anyway.  So her mom drops her off and oh boy… let’s just say she was a handful and her mother couldn’t have come a minute sooner!

Here’s one of my parent rules:  Do not get involved in minor kid drama. Kids play and get mad at each other all the time and say they aren’t friends anymore.  The next day, they’ve made up and are playing again.  It would be silly for me to react everytime time my child comes and tells me, her friend did something she didn’t like.  Our conversations regarding kid drama normally go like this:

My child: “Mommy, we were playing jump rope and ‘Taylor’ didn’t let me go first.”
Me: “Did you get a turn to jump?”
My child: “Yeah, but…”
Me: “Go wash your hands for dinner.”

My child: “Mommy, ‘Sarah’ said she wasn’t going to play with me anymore.”
Me: “Okay, well find someone else to play with.  Now go wash your hands for dinner.”

My child: “Mommy, ‘Patty’ told ‘Carlos’ I liked him.  I can’t believe she said that!”
Me: “You can’t control other people’s actions or what they say, but always be conscious of your actions and what you say.  Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want anybody to say to you.  Now go wash your hands for dinner.”

My child: “Mommy, ‘Kevin’ said my shoes were ugly!”
Me: “You know your shoes aren’t ugly.  When people say negative things, don’t engage in conversation with them. Ignore them or tell the teacher.  Now go wash your hands for dinner.”

I’m not a mom who thinks my children are perfect.  Angels… yes.  Perfect angels… no.  But, just because you’re (or suppose to be) an adult, doesn’t mean I’m only taking your word either.  Especially if, based on past actions, you aren’t credible or a bit absent-minded to begin with (but that’s a different story).  It’s sad how some adults always blame kids for their mishaps and premature senility.

Anyway, if something constitutes immediate correction, then I’ll go to the child’s parent or a teacher, whichever is applicable.

So let’s fast forward about a week.  My girls and Susie are all playing together.  According to my daughter, Susie is being loud, pulling on her arm and is scratching her because of her nails.  My daughter yells at her to stop it and says she’s not playing with her anymore.  Susie starts crying.  Susie’s mom walks in the room and asks Susie why is she crying.  Susie tells her my daughter is being mean to her.  Susie’s mom turns to my daughter and viciously calls her a bully.  Hence the pic on the left is how her expression was described to me.  My daughter tells Susie’s mom, “No I’m not, she was scratching me and I told her I wasn’t playing with her anymore.”  Susie’s mom says, with pen in hand pointed at my daughter’s face, “Yes you are and I don’t want you playing with Susie again.”  Now mind you, Susie’s mom saw me after this incident took place and said absolutely nothing to me about it.

In my opinion, anytime a parent feels another child is being mean, go directly to the parent… immediately.  My first reaction would have been to tell the child, “Stop being mean.  If you can’t play nice, then don’t play at all. There should be no scratching and no yelling.  Period.  Now where is your mother so I can talk to her?”

In our case, Susie’s mom did us a huge favor.  Based on some other occurrences, my parent radar peaked “trouble” with Susie and “screws loose” with her mother.  So her mom saying she didn’t want her daughter playing with mine, suited me just fine.

However, the simple fact that you approached and intimidated my child (and saying nothing to me) leads me to wonder… who was the real bully?

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5 Proven Ways to Teach Your Child Entrepreneurship

today is a great day | Have you ever noticed how children are so free-spirited, uninhibited, fearless and creative?  Not only that, they’re like little sponges and the best part is, while they’re young, they do what we tell them.  It’s not until they’ve been polluted with our ways of thinking and our own fears that they begin to lose those priceless qualities.

I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit since before I could walk.  No joke.  Ask anyone that knows me.  They’ll tell you I’m always starting a business or organizing something! LOL.  I don’t mind tooting my own horn because I’m good at what I do, so – Toot! Toot!

I’ve started countless businesses, some great big flops, some successful and many sitting on my mental shelf waiting to be cultivated.  I’m thankful most for all the flops because in those, I learned valuable lessons and shortcuts that led me to many successful endeavors.  I pass what I learn to my children and revel in delight as I watch them grow into successful entrepreneurs.  So here are 5 tips from the countless tips and experiences I’ve had in teaching my children about entrepreneurship.

Tip #1 – Condition your mind first, then condition your child’s mind.  If you don’t already have your own business, get one.  Pronto.  If entrepreneurship isn’t already your way of life, and you can’t really afford to quit your day job, start a side gig.  Talk about it all the time to your child.  Entrepreneurship must be something you believe in and practice before you can teach it to someone else.  Even if you’re not that great at it, your children will see you making that effort and practicing until you get it right, which is a skill you want them to have.  Remember, if you’re not practicing it, trying to teach it to your child would be a “do as I say, not as I do,” and we all know how that turns out.

Tip #2 – Turn their hobby into a business.  Cut out “couch potato” time and turn the television off.  Take away the video games too, unless they’re programming them.  Without these distractions, children are forced to create their own entertainment and tinker with projects.  During this time, observe your children to see what they like to do.  Notice what their hobbies are.  A hobby is the best business because it never feels like work, just fun.

For example, my daughters, Kayla and Mina, loved creating their own jewelry to wear with their outfits, especially Mina. What started out as a hobby, soon became a small profitable business, LaBellaMina.  I’m such a proud Mama!

I admit, they only decided to monetize their hobby after I said NO to buying them a PSP (some silly video game player).  But none-the-less, they have a business that is profitable and has been from day one.  I even took pics that first day (two years ago).  You can see how happy they were, having made so much money their first day of business ($55 in 2 hours).  Kayla even enlisted 1 employee that day! LOL

They have created beautiful pieces that are colorful and vibrant.  I’m amazed at their sense of style and so are others judging from their success at craft shows, neighborhood events and requests from their friends. Here’s a sampling…

I’m going to have them back online soon so be sure to check their jewelry website, http://www.LaBellaMina.com, soon :-).

Tip #3 – Let your child handle their own money. Some of you may be freaking out because I said that, for fear that they’ll somehow lose it. But it’s just that…YOUR fear.  Your fear that they’ll be broke and poor.  Let me break it down.  Being broke and being poor are two totally different circumstances.  Broke is a temporary or momentary lack of funds, in the financial sense.  But being poor is a state of mind on a poverty level.  As long as you are conditioning your child’s mind of abundance and prosperity, it’s okay for them to be broke at times.  They’ll naturally be resilient and pop up with even more money than they had before.

Furthermore, when children handle their own money, they become directly aware of profit, how to make it and how to keep it.  Now, as a child, is the best time for them to make mistakes and learn from them.  Also, let them see you handling your own finances (ie, billing clients, making deposits, paying household expenses, making investments, saving, etc.). Remember, monkey see, monkey do, your child will copy, off of you!

Tip #4 – Have your child repeat and write daily affirmations of success. This is so important because it helps them become mentally strong against other “would be negative teachers”.  I’m sure people mean well, but you have to be careful of school teachers, family members, and just others in general who believe in studying hard in school, to get a good job equates to success.

Don’t let these people “raise” your children with their pre-historic thinking. Jobs are for suckers.  (No pun intended if you have a job, slaving for someone else, making them rich off your hard work.  I’ll give you multiple reasons why no one in their right mind should aspire to get a job in another post. *smiles*)

Remember that movie Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts?  Loved it!  That scene where Roberts says, “I say WHO, I say WHEN, I say HOW MUCH!” is a perfect example of calling your own shots… well maybe it’s not an appropriate example but you get the point.  Here are some of the affirmations I have my children say everyday:

  • I attract prosperity with all of my ideas.
  • I AM success and I AM victorious.
  • I have the power within me.
  • It takes anywhere between 30-90 days to impress upon the unconscious or “reacting” mind all that you desire and dream. Then it becomes automatic behavior in the conscious or “acting” mind.  Affirmations are the same as doing any type of repetitive exercise to change or learn a new behavior. After you do it so many times, it becomes automatic.  After you say it so many times, you believe it.

    Tip #5 – Travel and explore different cultures with your children. The more your child is exposed to, the more cultural he/she becomes, and the bigger advantage he/she will have.  Plain and simple.

    Giving and passing that entrepreneurial spirit is the best financial gift you can give your child.  I think we forget that children have faith, not wavering faith like adults, for they have the ability to see the invisible and they believe in the incredible.  To them, anything is possible, unless you tell them it isn’t.

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    End of 2010…A Toast to 2011

    today is a great day | What a year 2010 has been for me.  A toast *raises glass* to:

    • My beloved grandfather.  Who’s still holding strong at 94 years of age.  For years, he has said, “I’m going to live till I’m 100!”  (The power of the mind is awesome!)
    • My beloved children.  Who have kept me on my toes.  For without them, I would have given up, but because of them, my light burns bright.
    • My dad.  Even though he passed away shortly after I met him, he left me with a brother and sisters.  To my newfound siblings, Bill, LouKisha, Billie and Vikki, I love yall!
    • To my siblings Brandon, Mickey, and Telisa, whom I’ve known all my life, I can’t tell you how much you’ve gotten on my nerves…Just kidding! LOL.  Seriously, I love yall for always having my back.  You’re not only siblings but friends I can trust.
    • To my mom, the only person I can call on who won’t charge me a dime to babysit. (well most times)
    • To my BFF, Tiff, who’s sees my first tear, catches the second and stops the third.

    To everyone else, I didn’t mention.  You probably pissed me off…you know who you are.  If you know you didn’t piss me off, I’m just sleepy and want to wrap this toast up, drink my drinky drink and go to sleep!  But I love yall!

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