Friday, August 27, 2010

A Mom Who Kills

Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral for two South Carolina toddlers who authorities say were killed by their mother. Investigators say 29-year-old Shaquan Duley suffocated her sons after a fight with her mother, then tried to make the deaths look an accident.  Apparently, Shaquan was unemployed and lived with her mother.  Her inability to provide for her children served as a constant source of friction for Shaquan and her mother.  The 29-year-old mother later told police that she was "distraught" after the dispute with her mother, so she killed 18-month-old Ja'Van Duley and 2-year-old Devean by putting her hand over their mouths.  Then she strapped them into their car seats and drove the car into a river.

What the heck?  How could a mother do the unimaginable...murder her own children.  Aren't we supposed to be wired to protect and nurture????  But....although it seems unnatural for a woman to kill her own children it is not uncommon. More than 200 women kill their children in the US every year, according to a study by the American Anthropological Association.  Depression coupled with mounting stress is typically the cause, experts say.

Interestingly enough, there are many who are sympathetic to this young mom.  Even the Sheriff who arrested her said that he did not view her as a monster but a young mother who didn’t know which way to turn. "This wasn’t a hardened criminal," he told reporters. "This was a young lady in trouble, in trouble in more ways than she realized."

Yes, she was stressed.  Yes she was broke.  Yes she was depressed.  Many of us have been all of these.  She may even be suffering from postpartum depression.  Guess what, even mental illness is no excuse for murder!  Your thoughts? 

But before you answer, watch this video clip to see how even animals are prewired to love and protect babies.

Happy Parenting

If you are someone you know is experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression (ie. feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed, crying a lot), please speak with your physician for guidance and proper treatment.  Killing anyone should not be viewed as an option, and thoughts of homicide and/or suicide serve as an indication that immediate intervention in needed.

PostPartum Education For Parents

Postpartum Support International

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Love is NOT Blind

Take a moment and close your eyes. Just picture what it's like to spend 9 months anticipating the arrival of your newborn. Picture yourself buying baby furniture, onesies, and reading all the new mommy books you could buy. Then, picture this last scene...that hours after giving birth, the state takes custody of your newborn...simply because you are blind. This is exactly what happened to Erika Johnson and Blake Sinnett in Missouri.

According to the newspaper, Johnson's first attempts at breast-feeding were clumsy. A nurse noticed that the baby's nostrils were covered by Johnson's breast.  Johnson felt that something was wrong so she switched the baby to her other side....but not before the baby turned blue.  Okay...Let me be the first to acknowledge just how serious this is.  However, let me also share that my first attempts at nursing my 1st born were extremely clumsy!  I was nervous and stressed...and it didn't help that my anti-breastfeeding mom stood over shouting "You're choking him!" (Insert strong Haitian accent)  But I digress...

Reportedly, a nurse wrote in Johnson's chart: "The child is without proper custody, support or care due to both of (the) parents being blind, and they do not have specialized training to assist them."  That's what it took to get the system involved.  It would ultimately take 57 days before the young couple were allowed to reunite with their baby.  The couple shared that they fielded questions from the social worker just as soon as the baby was born.  Questions like... How could they take the baby's temperature? How would they get her to a doctor?  Whatever solutions offered by the couple were not enough, and they were told that they would need 24-hour care by a sighted person at their apartment. However, the couple simply could not afford this type of assistance.

They weren't even allowed to hold their baby as official took her from the hospital. All they could do was touch her arm or leg.  Again, close your eyes and imagine that this is your reality.'s my vent!  We live in a world where kids are abused, murdered, emotionally harmed, and molested by SIGHTED parents.  Why such swift and reckless action simply because these parents have a disability.  Would my children be taken away from me if my husband and I suddenly lost our sight.  What if both parents have amputated legs...or arms.  You see where I'm going with this, right?  Instead of breaking up the family, the state should have supported this young couple.  Surely, they qualified for some kind of support!  But I think Erika said it best when she told newspapers "I needed help as a new parent, but not as a blind parent."

Erika also appears to want to put this nightmarish ordeal behind her, saying, “I’m a forgiving person,” and added, “Disability does not equal inability!” The couple plans to pursue a lawsuit, in the hopes of preventing other disabled people from having to endure similar bias.  I HOPE THEY ARE AWARDED HANDSOMELY!!!! 

Happy (Unbiased) Parenting,

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do You Have To Accept Everything Your Kids Choose To Do?

Today's post is dedicated to a recent news report that made waves this week. By now, you have probably heard about Montana Fishburne's foray into Hollywood the porn industry. Her last name is likely to be familiar because her father is movie star Lawrence Fishburne (a.k.a. Morpheus from the Matrix movies). Anyhoo...18-year-old Montana is hoping that her new porn video will help her become a huge star like her famous dad.

Interestingly, Montana uses Kim Kardashian's rise to fame as motivation. "I've watched how successful Kim Kardashian became and I think a lot of it was due to the release of her sex tape. I'm hoping the same magic will work for me. I'm impatient about getting well-known and having more opportunities, and this seemed like a great way to get started on it." Sigh....

Here's the motivation for my post....Montana has stated in interviews that she wants her family to be proud of her no matter what she chooses to do, or what path she takes. Doing porn, she says, is a dream come true and something she has wanted to do for a long time. (Sidebar...remember she's only 18). After losing her virginity at 16, she describes her own personal sexual awakening and how she felt exhilarated after seeing herself on tape. According to Montana, her mother is supportive of her decisions, while daddy Fishburne is not. Sooooo......can YOU blame him?

Montana feels that her family should accept all of her decisions without judgment. I think not! However, her naivety is expected of someone her young age. Most of us do not go down her same path. But most of us didn't think about the "bigger picture" either when we were younger. Consequently, many of us made stupid (REALLY STUPID) choices. However, part of being a parent means having the responsibility to appropriately guide our children. Sometimes that means taking a strong stance against what our children choose to do. Thus, although Montana feels that she is fully grown, she is only 18. Despite the fact that she is legally able to make her own decisions, it does not mean that her parents have to accept her decisions.

I'm not ready to go "there" in this post...but please believe that g thinks that there are serious dynamic and underlying issues that helped fuel Montana's behavior. But I'll keep relatively silent for now.... Nonetheless, I am interested in what you would do if your daughter or son decided to put out a sex tape! Would you be supportive of their sexual liberation, or would you be mortified? Sound off pundits!!!!!

Share your thoughts after watching Montana's recent interview about how she thinks her porn video will open up doors for her.

Happy Parenting,

Montana Fishburne interview

An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back To School Money Saving Tips For Parents

Who has a Money Tree...NOT ME!

Guess What!!! School is just around the corner, and our kids need TONS of supplies:) Want to know how to save?  Learn these saving tips... TRUST ME....THEY WORK!!!!  You'll get more for your money, and your kids will be satisfied:)

Happy Saving Parenting,

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