Monday, September 27, 2010

A Fall From Grace: Bishop Eddie Long

I forced myself to wait a few days before airing my thoughts regarding the recent allegations involving Bishop Eddie Long.  Radio stations, newspapers, and credible  news sources have looped the story incessantly...and rightfully so. 

In lawsuits filed this week, three men who were members of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church claimed that Long had sexual contact with them when they were enrolled in New Birth's ministry for teen boys.  These acts were said to have occurred during trips in the U.S. and abroad, as well as on church property.

What's most interesting to me is that so many people refuse to believe that a "man of God" could engage in inappropriate ways with children (Yes a 17-year-old IS STILL A CHILD), or with adults.  Newsflash...Pastors can be unfaithful, pedophiles, addicted to porn, and drug addicts.  Why...because they are human, and human beings are flawed.  To simply assume that Bishop Long is incapable of doing anything and everything that other mere mortals do is simply insanity.  (Please note that Bishop Long has not been convicted of any crime.  These are allegations....sigh)

Take a look at this CNN clip in which news anchor Don Lemon interviews three teens who attend New Birth.  In the clip, Don shares publicly for the first that he was the victim of a pedophile, and details how similar his experience was to what Long's accusers say happened to them.  It's powerful footage!


Again, Bishop Long has not yet had his day in court, and the full details have not yet been disclosed.  However, I think this can serve as a teachable moment to every parent.  When it comes to your children you should trust no one very few people... and still watch like a hawk to make sure that everything is on the up and up.  Whether someone stands in a pulpit or in a dark alley should make no difference to you.

Happy (Preventative) Parenting,

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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Tribute To Quiet Heroes

Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?   Were you aware that pediatric cancer is reportedly the leading disease killer of children?  CURE Childhood Cancer is an organization that is doing its part to change these staggering statistics.  Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.

Each day this month, CURE is highlighting a different Georgia child's fight with cancer on their website. Also this month, Chris Glavine (wife of Tom Glavine, former Braves’ baseball player) will be hosting "A Tribute to Quiet Heroes" on September 25 to honor the mothers of children with cancer--they deserve a day of pampering! Over the past five years, the event has raised $1 million for pediatric cancer research!  There will also be great auction items like an autographed Justin Bieber guitar and a coaching session for a Little League team in Tom Glavine's backyard infield--that are also open to the public for bidding.

There are many ways to support CURE's mission, either through donations or volunteering.  So visit their website to see what way is best for you...both in September and every other month of the year.

Happy Parenting,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Python Printable Games

Hi Everyone,

Every now and again I like to review a product to give my readers my honest opinion.  So today's post is dedicated to Python Printable Games I had not heard about this company before a few days ago, but what they offer can definitely  be a great help to planning Halloween/ fall themed parties:)

So this is how it works.... once you purchase the package you get to enjoy an extensive list of activities and games. Whether you are planning a child  or adult themed party this fall, Python Printable Games has an extensive variety of games that you can use to engage and entertain your guests.  My personal fav is the Stephen King Books Trivia Game!  However, there are so many other games and activities from which to choose...whatever the age group.  So if you have a party in the horizon, check out this company to help party plan. 

Happy Parenting,

An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!
This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Monday, September 20, 2010

Easy Safety Tips For Parents

Whether at the local park or at a packed venue...Here are 5 super easy parenting tips that EVERY parent can use.

Happy Parenting,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Highlighted Parent and Writer: Alysia Krasnow Butler

My highlighted parent of the day is Alysia Krasnow Butler. She is a seriously talented writer with an amazing ability to write unpretentiously...openly...and with utmost impact.   The name of her blog is Try Defying Gravity

Not the ordinary mom blog!  In addition to sharing what it's like to be a mom of three young boys, Alysia speaks candidly about her middle son's life with Autism.  Thus, becoming a voice for other parents with a similar story.

Alysia writes...

The lyrics to “Defying Gravity” from the broadway play “Wicked” make me cry every time I hear them. Raising three boys is challenging enough, but when our middle son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, life became that much more complicated. As his mom, I have to help him and our two other children understand who he is, and that his autism doesn’t have to limit him or us as a family. My goal is to have them all grow up to be amazing people – each in their own special way, to have them “kiss me goodbye and defy gravity”.

Please visit Try Defying Gravity, and make sure to follow her blog.  I promise you will be inspired to be a better mommy!!!

Happy Parenting,

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

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Denying Your Child Of A Relationship With Their Father

Most of what I write about on this blog comes from my experiences, both personal or professional. (That is, unless someone in Hollywood does something that irks me makes no sense.)  Today's post comes from a troublesome conversation I had with a student.

She, along with two other girls, came to me one morning because they were arguing about silly girl stuff (ie. she was looking at me; she made fun of my hair; she thinks she's cute....sigh).  After sorting through all the accusations, I gave them each a pass back to class.  When one of the girls started crying I asked her to stay for a one-on-one conversation.  That is when she began sharing with me how stressed she is all the time because of what she is going through at home.  See, money is tight and her mother has been very irritable.  This is something I have heard a lot in the past two years.  But what she shared next simply broke my heart...

I asked her what 3 things she would wish for if she could.  The tears flowed down her beautiful mocha skin, and she uttered (while hyperventilating) that she would do anything to have her parents back together.  She went on to say that she had not seen her father in months even though he lives just a few miles away.  The reason being....since he has not paid child support, her mother has banned him from seeing his kids.  Her almond shaped eyes were swollen with sadness as she told me that her mother puts her father down all the time, and won't even let her call him.

So, you already know that g is ticked off!  I strongly believe that the noncustodial parent should pay child support.  PUH-leeze don't misunderstand my point!  However, that is very much a legal issue.  Meaning, if a parent lapses on their payments...take them to court (DUH)!  Child support and visitation are separate issues.  Sometimes custodial parents feel as if this is an effective way of getting the other parent to pay. It can definitely feel unfair to watch the other parent get to be the fun parent in your child's eyes while he or she continues to avoid financial responsibilities. However, depriving them of a relationship with their child will only hurt the child. 

I wish that I could have videotaped my session with my student to show every mother (or father)who has used their child as a pawn against the other parent.  It's bad enough when fathers shun their children...but it's equally shameful when the other parent puts up road blocks due to child support.  Because the truth of the matter is, 15 years from now my student won't remember that her father didn't pay $498.  Instead, she will remember the horrible things her mother said about the father that she loves so very much.  AND she will remember how her mother laughed and said "That mutha #uck@ needs to pay!" when she asked if she could call her father on his birthday.  SMH....

Happy Parenting,

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

Monday, September 6, 2010

10 Reasons Your Child Needs A Tutor

My guest post of the day comes from It's filled with great educational information for parents as our kids embark on a new school year. Ensuring that your child has a successful school year means being involved in their education and realizing when they may need a little help.

A writer at Christan Colleges highlighted 10 reasons why a child may need extra tutoring. Be sure to take a look...and also note that you can speak with your friendly School Psychologist at any time if you have concerns about your child's academic achievement (I know it's a shameless plug!!!)  But seriously though...sometimes underperformance is the result of an underlying learning issue.  Therefore the sooner it is identified, the sooner a student can begin receiving specialized instruction.

Here is part of the article published on  Please visit their site to read the full article.

Happy Parenting,


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

10 Reasons Your Child Needs A Tutor by

1.They work hard, but results are minimal

If your child puts forth the effort each night but isn’t seeing results, a well-trained tutor would be a good investment. A tutor will teach them how to study independently, which is a basic skill they’ll need to have mastered by the time they enter college. They also offer tutelage pertaining to note-taking, organizational and time management skills that will improve your child’s chances of success in every subject.

2.They’re easily discouraged
Does your child’s motivation wane as the subject becomes more difficult? A couple of bad grades can lead to several more, and before you know it, they’ve fallen into an academic hole of which they’re unable to find their way out. The personal attention provided by a tutor can steer them around it, giving them the confidence needed to conquer a challenge.

3.Lessons don’t match their learning style
Not every student learns in the same manner. Perhaps your child is a social learner who needs consistent interaction in order to fully grasp a subject. If their teacher is more of a lecturer, a tutor can provide the social learning experience your child desires. Additionally, lesson plans tend to be rigid and teachers generally prefer not to stray away from them. The use of alternative methods can provide your child with easier and more efficient ways to solve a math problem, balance an equation or write an essay.

4.Their teacher is subpar
Like any other profession, the teaching profession has its good and bad apples. During secondary school, students typically lack the study skills to learn a subject on their own, so they’re unable to compensate for wasted class time. A qualified tutor can teach your child everything they need to know and more, breaking their dependence on their subpar teacher.

5.They consistently struggle in one subject
Perhaps a subject like math just isn’t your child’s strong-suit and they’ve never performed well in those classes. By hiring tutor who specializes in that particular area, you can turn your child’s weakness into a strength. A good tutor should be able to tap into your child’s potential, or at the very least, ensure the subject is no longer a drag on their transcript.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Tearful Plea

Granted it does not often happen, but sometimes I am at a loss for words. I was rendered speechless a few days ago when meeting with a student. He was a handsome 10-year-old youngster who appeared shy and slightly awkward. I met with him to complete an evaluation in order to determine if he has a learning disability. In his file I read that he has a history of behaving aggressively in school, and has been frequently suspended.

One task that I asked him to complete as part of my assessment was to finish a series of incomplete sentences. One of the sentences was “I wish my parents…” He completed the sentence with “were nicer.” This is what sparked our conversation. I asked him why he thought his parents were not nice, and he replied that his step-father calls him a “loser.” He rocked back and forth in his chair as he told me that his mother was aware of this, and frequently told him to “shut the f*#@k up.” He also whispered that both of them tell him that he will not pass the 5th grade because he is “stupid.” He avoided my eye contact, and instead stared at the ground as he shared his story. Luckily for me...because there was a pool of tears welling up in my eyes, and I was clearly unable to keep my composure. The thing that saddened me the most was that he recounted the instances of abuse nonchalantly…as if he felt that he deserved to be treated in that way. Since his abuse was not physical, it could have easily gone undetected. Fortunately, he felt comfortable enough with me to share what was happening to him. However, this is not the case for millions of children around the world because they suffer in silence.

Bruises and broken bones are easy to spot, but you may never know that a child is told on a daily basis that they were a mistake or that they are ugly and fat. While physical abuse might be the most visible, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse also leave devastating scars. It severely damages a child’s emotional health and social development, and has profound psychological consequences. The following are examples of emotional child abuse:

 • Constant belittling, shaming, and humiliating a child
• Calling names and making negative comparisons to others
• Telling a child he or she is “no good," "worthless," "bad," or "a mistake."
• Frequent yelling, threatening, or bullying.
• Ignoring or rejecting a child as punishment, giving him/ her the “silent treatment.”
• Limited physical contact with the child—no hugs, kisses, or other signs of affection.
• Exposing the child to violence or the abuse of others, whether it is the abuse of a parent, a sibling, or even a  pet.

Since abuse typically happens behind closed doors, you may not ever witness any of these acts. However, there are some warning signs that a child might be experiencing abuse. Knowing the possible signs will enable an early intervention. Here is a short list which demonstrates how some emotionally abused children may act:

Warning signs of emotional abuse in children
• Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong.
• Shows extremes in behavior (extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive).
• Doesn’t seem to be attached to the parent or caregiver.
• Acts either inappropriately adult (taking care of other children) or inappropriately infantile (rocking, thumb-sucking, tantruming).

Please keep in mind that emotional abuse happens in all types of families, regardless of race or economic background. Experts say that some parents may emotionally and psychologically harm their children because of stress, poor parenting skills, social isolation, or lack of available resources. In addition, reports indicate that parents may be abusive because they, too, were abused as a child.

After nearly 20 years of working as a School Psychologist, I continue to get emotional when I become aware of acts of abuse. How anyone could harm a child in any way baffles me because there is simply no justification! PLEASE, please…please learn the warning signs of emotional abuse. Moreover, intervene by reporting the abuse to the officials. Sometimes people are reluctant to do so because they are worried that the abusive parent will find out. However, most states allow you to make an anonymous report. Lastly, if a child tells you that they are being mistreated, reassure them that they did nothing to deserve the abuse…and believe them.

Happy (Non-abusive) Parenting,

To get help or report abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

This post was written for the Time's Up Blog ( which is a collection of bloggers who are champions for victims of crime. The purpose of the blog is to bring awareness to the injustices to victims and to search out solutions with an SOS to those in the capacity to make changes happen.

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