Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How To Raise A Bilingual Baby

I love it when people reach out to me via my blog! It’s the weirdest thing when you write a lot because you never know who reads your heartfelt articles. Recently, I was approached by someone from about an article that they thought I might be interested in publishing on

Now, as you all know by now…I like to keep my blog VERY real and authentic. That is what makes me…well…ME! So I would n-e-v-e-r put anything on here with which I disagreed. This article caught my attention because it talks about something that I'm am quite familiar with ..bilingual children. I was a bilingual baby:) My Haitian parents spoke no English when they came to this country, and as a result French is my first language. In fact, I learned English by watching Sesame Street and attending Pre-K.

Here’s the article. Apply it to your life if interested!

How to Raise a Brilliant, Bilingual Baby: 100 Tips, Tools and Tricks

Happy Parenting,

An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hello Miss G, My sister and her family are coming to visit at the end of the month. I love her, but her kids are really bratty and loud. They always manage to destroy something. Is it wrong for me to suggest that she stay at a hotel instead of with me?

Hello Writer! You have posed a million dollar question. Dealing with touchy issues with family can be difficult because of heightened emotions. I completely understand your feelings about your sister's children. My question to you is...have you ever mentioned your feelings to her before? As odd as it may sound, she may not know that her kids are out of control. Start by doing that, but (again) I stress that you should choose your words wisely. Everyone is going to be defensive when it comes to their child, so be delicate. I wouldn't ask her to stay in a hotel just yet. Next, take charge of your household during their visit. Step in when her kids begin to act out, and lay down the rules and the consequences. This should cue her about your expectations. If, that doesn't work...print out mapquest directions to the closest Marriot.:)


Have a Parenting Question? Ask G!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Always Listen To Your Kids

Here is my latest contribution to

Published Wednesday April 21, 2010

Many of us watched the recent Oprah Winfrey interview with Mo'Nique's older brother, Gerald Imes. He was not there to talk about the joys of having an Oscar Award winning sister. Instead, he admitted publically for the first time that he had molested Mo'Nique for several years beginning when she was 7 or 8. He also shared that he, too, was a victim of sexual abuse and used drugs at a very young age. Later, he was arrested and sent to prison after being convicted of abusing another child. Imes apologized to his sister stating "I'm sorry that it happened to you, and that I was the perpetrator, the one that did it to you. However, I understand your pain. I, too, was there. Now let's share this together and move on. Let's help someone else."

But who decides when it's time to "move on?" Surely, the only person that is capable of making this decision is the person that was abused. This sentiment, however, that people need to "let it go" is very prevalent and emotionally harmful to those that suffered the abuse. It is particularly detrimental when the people expecting you to "let it go" are your parents or loved ones.

Mo'Nique's personal story has garnered a lot of press because of her celebrity. However, her story is a very common one. In fact, one in four girls report being sexually molested before the age of eighteen, and one in six boys report the same. Therefore, the reality is that at least 25% of you who are reading this article have been sexually abused. Another reality is that only a small percentage of you disclosed this to your parents.

So, why don't children tell? One would think that they would run, yell and scream to their parents if someone had touched them inappropriately. However, this is generally not the case. Here's why...

Victimized children often won't tell because they are afraid that they will not be believed, or feel guilty that they may have, in some way, been responsible for the abuse. In addition, most pedophiles are known to their victims, and are very slick and manipulative in their approach. They "groom" the child into thinking that they are trustworthy, and gradually involve children in inappropriate acts. 

So, what can you do as a parent? Be attuned to any changes in your child's behavior because this will tell you a lot! Young children will often regress by wetting the bed, sucking their fingers, or not eating. Elementary school age kids often demonstrate excessive fear of certain people, masturbate excessively, have nightmares, or will withdraw from people. In the teen years, kids may become promiscuous, experiment with drugs, be depressed, and may also have suicidal thoughts. You should be concerned if you see any of these behaviors, and begin asking questions.

More than anything...if your son or daughter tells you that they have been abused, believe them! It is extremely rare for a child to lie about this. Keep in mind that the way that you react to this will help determine how your child will heal. Tell them that you are proud that they had the courage to tell you, and that it was not their fault. They really do need to hear this! In addition, make sure that they receive counseling to address their trauma because it will have lifelong ramifications if not treated. 

If you were abused, and are finding it difficult to find inner peace... just remember that you do not have to let your trauma define who you are. Despite what happened to you, it is possible to live and love without pain. Your healing process may be difficult, but happiness is attainable.
An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I have been reading your articles over the months and wanted to ask you a question. I was abused as a child. I didn't tell my mother until recently and she got angry. We haven't talked about it since, and I feel so sad. How do I bring it up again?

Hello Writer,

First of all, I want to tell you that I am proud of you for gathering the strength to tell your mother about what happened to you when you were younger! I can only imagine how much courage it took to do this. I am sad, however, to hear about your mother's reaction. Rest assured that her response is not unique, as many parents disbelieve their children when they tell of the sexual abuse they endured. Although you cannot control or dictate her reaction/ response, you can take control of how you embark on your journey of emotional healing. Research has shown that a parent’s negative reaction to the disclosure of sexual abuse can derail the healing process. That is why I want to encourage you to focus solely on YOU at this at this time. Find support groups in your area comprised of others who understand what you are going through. Moreover, find a therapist who specializes in issues related to sexual abuse to help you along the way. It’s really important that you surround yourself with a circle of people you are sensitive and supportive of your range of emotions. To answer your question…broach the discussion again with your mother when you feel strong enough to do so knowing that she may or may not be supportive, and when you begin to find it healing to speak openly about your abuse.


Have a Parenting Question? Ask G!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Borders Family Affordable Spring Break (day 4)

Spring Break is now almost over, and I am a little worn out!  Running around with kids is a full time (and then some) kinda' job!  But....we have managed to have a fun AND affordable staycation!  Here's the update:

Day 3: Yesterday was a miserable day weatherwise.  It stormed like cats and dogs for most of the day.  That coupled with the fact that the pollen had my allergies working overtime, it was more feasible to do activities at home.  Rental movies, popcorn, several games of UNO, and hide-n-seek made for a playful day.  To round it off...we had a slumber party in an indoor tent that night.  But...not before I made S'mores:)  The Day's total was $13.00 (I rounded up :))

Day 4:  Today was another gorgeous day in the "A!"  I can now breathe through my nostrils since some of the pollen was washed away by yesterday's rain (lol).  After sleeping in until 9:30, the kiddos and I took off for brunch at IHOP.  Just over $11.00 is what I spent on their smiley face pancakes.   So...with their little bellies full, we took off on our adventure!

They must have asked a million times what their "surprise adventure" was going to be on the car ride there.  Then, as we approached our destination...Justin finally put two and two together!  It is a place that we drive past several times a week, but don't often go....Stone Mountain Park!!!

Although we've gone to many of the attractions in the past, I realized that the kids had never been on the Sky Ride.  It's a high-speed Swiss cable car ride more than 825 feet in the air.  You ride it to the top of the mountain, and are able to see the most amazing views of the Atlanta skyline, and the Appalachian Mountains. I had ridden it years ago...long before the kiddos were a glimmer in my eye (lol).  So today I wanted to share the joy with them.  It seems that many other parents had the same idea because the line was a bit lengthy.  But WOW was it worth the wait!

The kids cheered as they watched the ride glide into the station, and ran to get their seat as I followed behind. Surprisingly, Jess was not nervous or scared about the height though we climbed higher, and higher...and higher!!!


The ride up the mountain is fairly quick, but once there we were able to get out and explore what the world looks like 825 ft. above ground:)  One problem though...for whatever reason, I decided to wear 5 in wedge heels to climb a mountain...made of stone (sigh).  Despite the warnings...and the pain in my ankles, I decided to trek my 5 in. heels...on a mountain made of stone.
What Was I Thinking?????

The kids ran around and took in the sight from the summit.  Jess even said she could see our house! (lol).  Justin skipped rocks in the puddles that had formed in the mountain's craters.

So...the total cost of their Stone Mountain adventure was $14.00.  This brings our total to $85.00 so far for the week!  Not bad if you ask me:)  But the true judges are my minnie me's, and their contented smiles tells me they are enjoying their Mommy's "Spring Break Experiment."

Happy Parenting,

An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Borders Family Affordable Spring Break Fun (Day2)

The Borders family is in full Spring Break mode! Today is Day 2 of our Staycation adventure.

As usual, the weatherman was wrong and it did not rain as predicted. Instead, it was a picture perfect, bluest-sky kinda’ day! But as any parent knows…if you make a promise to your Minnie-me’s, it is really difficult to back track. So, since I promised a movie…a movie it was!

The ChipmunksHowever, in true Borders family style…a debate ensued. A debate between the will of the Minnie-me’s. Little lady did not want to see How to Train Your Dragon! Instead, she tried to persuade her big brother to see Alvin and the Chipmunks…The Squeakquel. For a while I thought that there would be a stalemate, and that I would have to “make it right.” But guess what?! Baby girl somehow jedi mind tricked her big brother into believing that it was his idea to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. I honestly laughed-out-loud because that little woman is waaaaayyy too much like me!

She must have subconsciously known that Mommy is doing an experiment. You know…the “How much can we do for $100 during Spring Break” experiment. Because the movie was playing at the $1.99 movie theatre!!!! Total ticket cost was just under $6.00, and nachos and Twizzlers cost just over $5.00. So let’s round it up to $12.00 total dollars at the movies:)!

So here’s my critique of the movie: Cute voices…..cute faces…cute little storyline. However (sigh…I’m trying to be positive….), there are too many gratuitous jokes that are adult oriented…like when Alvin said that his aunt was “Pole dancing” and couldn’t come to the phone. Thankfully it went over my kiddos’ heads, and they simply enjoyed the music. I had to admit that the chipmunk version of Beyonce’s Put A Ring On It did have me head nodding in my movie seat:)

I could tell that they were both a bit tired after the movie, but we did go shopping for our art activity. We stopped off at the Dollar Tree (where most everything is $1.00). We got appliqués and clothing paint and headed home. Grand total...$4.50!

After a quick nap, the artwork began!

Jess Working Hard

Justin Working on His Masterpeice

Tahdah!!!!!!  The finished designer duds:

Jess' "Flower Garden"

Justin's "Underwater World"

Today's grand total is $16.50. So far this week we spent $46.50! A few more days of fun left, and just over $50.00 to spend. Who said fun has to be costly!!!!!!!

Check back to see all that we can do on a self-imposed budget:)

Happy Parenting,

An honest and open blog about what matters most...children and families!!!!!!!!!!


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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Borders Family Affordable Spring Break Adventures (Day 1)

It’s Spring Break for both me and the kiddos. They’ve worked really hard at school, and learned a lot so far this year. They even taught me a thing or two because I humbly admit that I’m not smarter than a 3rd grader:). But going on a trip this year as a reward was just not in the plan. Instead, I decided to figure out how much trouble we could get into fun we could have here in town.

Day One —The "Janky" carnival. For those of you who are not familiar with this adjective…it means bootleg, low budget, back woods, and tacky. But guess what?! We had fun! Eh hem…I mean the kids had fun:)

It was a really hot day in the suburbs of Atlanta. Under the heat of the sun, I watched and snapped pics of my Minnie me’s as they ran from ride to ride. Tons of laughter, a couple of squabbles about how many tickets they each had left, and a bucket of cotton candy equaled a fun Borders family outing.  $30 dollars went a long way today, and helped to create many fun Mommy squealing like a punk on the ride called the Zinger. (lol)

Day Two — It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so it seems like it will be a movie day. How to Train Your Dragon is supposed to be good one. So we’ll check it out in the early afternoon. Then…I think we’ll paint some T-shirts…..Lawd help me!!!!!!!  Check back for pics and my candid movie review!

For more suggestions for indoor family fun activities for young kids check out Parenting.comOr....just feel free to let your creativity run free. You never might have a ton of fun at your local janky event (lol)!!!!

Happy Parenting,


An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Maybe Sippy Cups Are For Chardonnay

Guess who is now all grown up? Hello Kitty!  She's well over 21, and is therefore legally able to buy a drink at the bar. Mojitos...Cosmos...Gin and Tonic?  Not for this gal!  Only a glass of vino will do.  But better than buying by the glass (so déclassé)...Miss Feline has designed her own line of wines. I swear to you that I'm not kidding!

Hello Kitty now offers a line of afforable wines ranging from $19.99 to $29.99. Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a glass of fine wine. It's just that having a kiddie character as the spokesmodel is odd, disturbing, off putting.  The concern that many have is whether using the Hello Kitty symbol targets children and entices underage drinking. 

This concern is a valid one, as research has identified a correlation between cartoon use as marketing and the affects on children.  You guys remember Joe the Camel from back in the day.  He was the cartoon character that was used from 1987 to 1997. Research studies showed that children were much more likely than adults to recognize the Joe character.  In addition, children were better than adults (97.5 % versus 67%) at identifying the product advertised by Joe. Also, high school kids found the Camel cartoon advertisements more appealing than did adults.  It was clear, that whether the intent was there or were particularly affected by the marketing campaign.  Joe the Camel eventually disappeared, but guess what!  He is being replaced by a newer brainwashing ad campaign by the cigarette company. (sigh)

It seems that a recent marketing campaign for Camel cigarettes appears to have attracted the interest of teen girls, a study shows.

The ads for Camel No. 9 cigarettes — which ran in magazines such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Glamour — were a hit with girls ages 12 to 16, says a study of 1,036 adolescents.  Promotional giveaways for the new brand, which was launched in 2007, included berry-flavored lip balm, cellphone jewelry, purses and wristbands.

So what gives pundits? Is G overreacting about the Hello Kitty wine line?  The CEO of the marketing company seems to think so.  "I don't think that the $15,000 dollar Hello Kitty handbags are aimed at children either," he said in defense of the wine line.  Hmmm....  Tell me whatcha' think!

Happy Parenting,

A open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families