Child Pornography

What is Your Diagnosis?

I recently read an article about Jared from Subway and his case about child pornography. It caused me to think a little. At first I was in denial and I just did not want to believe that the ‘Subway Guy’ could do such a thing. Immediately after though , I was disgusted and wanted him to be punished. After I finished reading the article and calming my emotions down I discovered that the real question is whether or not child pornography is a sickness or a choice. Even with the strides that have been taken, mental health is still pretty much a taboo subject. On the other hand though, people are quick to use the insanity plea and any other mental health cop out that they can and because of that people are weary to believe there is an issue when there really is one. But back to Jared….as I was reading the article it said that Jared was attracted to girls 16 and 17 from the time he was 15 and it just never progressed to older women. It can be any young girl, from what I understood from the article. He even had cameras in his own children’s rooms. What can be said about that? Is he an adult pervert or is there something mentally deeper that is causing him to be attracted to young girls? Jared took a plea deal and is headed to the federal prison for 15 years. The question in mind though is should he be in prison or should he be in some sort of therapy and rehab (he also has an alcohol addiction)?

Kids Don’t Come With An Instruction Manual

KidsDon'tComeWithAnInstructionManual

A friend and I were talking and she told me, “I hate when people say Kids don’t come with an instruction manual.”  She went on to explain that as a Christian we should never say this statement because we have the Bible.  I must humbly admit as a Christian that I have thought and said that exact statement to parents.  After speaking with my friend, I got to thinking about just exactly  what does the Bible say about parenting.  I did some intentional study of God’s Word, and what I discovered is that the Bible has a whole lot to say about parenting!  Although the Bible does not outline what to do in every situation a parent may face, God does  give parents a framework of guiding principles.

Teach Your Children Moral and Ethical Principles about Life — Be sure you are equipping your children with a moral and ethical code when you send them off into the world!

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Encourage Your Children — Don’t be the parent who is too hard to satisfied!

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Colossians 3:21

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

Psalm 103:13

Discipline Your Children — Don’t be afraid to set up rules and limits; it is in their best interest!

A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

Proverbs 29:15

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.

Proverbs 22:15

 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.

Proverbs 29:17

He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive…”

1 Timothy 3:4

Teach Your Children about the Bible and to Love God — Prioritize developing your child’s spiritual growth!

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

Psalm 78:4

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

…and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.   All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:15-17

Should Our Daughters Have A Best Friend?

Think Twice Before Encouraging BFFs

When I was a child I had a BF (best friend). In grade school this term of Best Friend went one step further and BFF (Best Friend Forever) was thrown around a lot. Talk about a lot of pressure! As adults, most people have a hard time staying married to one person for the rest of their life, but in GRADE school somehow girls think it’s reasonable to stay close to one person FOREVER!

Like most kids, I had a best friend in childhood. When I was in first grade I moved from one state to another and she was the first friend I made in my new school. I was the awkward new girl with a strong southern accent moving to a mid-west town full of kids with absolutely no southern accent. I’m sure I was desperate for a friend and since we were the same age, had many of the same interest, and she responded, we instantly became good friends. Our close friendship continued until high school when we began to grow apart. At the time I didn’t understand why this occurred, there was no argument or fight, we just slowly stopped calling and hanging out with each other. Near the end of high school, like most kids, I had a lot of things going on, most of which felt very emotionally overwhelming. When I lost that friendship I asked myself what I did wrong. It wasn’t until years past and I looked back on that friendship that I realized it wasn’t anything I did, she simply outgrew the need for a BFF and moved on, but unfortunately I wasn’t ready to.

Losing my BFF during my formative years, when I was trying to figure out who I was, had a very deep impact on me. I questioned my actions, motives and even my self-worth. Losing my BFF probably played a small part in me having an emotional break down and attempting suicide. I didn’t have anyone to talk to when I felt hopeless and worthless because I put all my deep friendship eggs in one basket, and when it came to an end it left me feeling very alone and vulnerable. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming her in the very least for my emotional break down and resulting suicide attempt, that was my fault! I bought into the myth of having a single “BEST FRIEND FOREVER.” I realize now it would have been healthier for me to have 3 or 4 solid, reliable friends that way we could help each other navigate the emotional horror that was high school.

I have not thought about the impact of that friendship for many years until I read a post entitled “Do Our Daughters Really Need A Best Friend?” by Emily Gaines Buchler.

The blog cites a new PBS show called “A Girl’s Life.” It vividly shows how best friends both empower and undermine a girl’s development.

BFF: a modern myth
In a number of ways, BFF-ism is a full-on myth, right up there with Prince Charming and life in the castle. And just as our girls are inundated with Disney princesses from toddlerhood on, they’re surrounded by messages that subtly (and not so subtly) tell them they need a best friend.
“When it comes to the BFF, girls are sold a bill of goods about friendship that looks a lot like the rubbish we’re told about romance,” writes Rachel Simmons, author of The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence, in an article for PBS. “There’s one person out there who is our match, and we’ll live happily ever after. The relationship with The One is supposed to be blissful, conflict-free, and permanent.”
But what really happens, Simmons explains, is that “girls wind up with wildly unrealistic expectations about themselves and their relationships, [and ultimately] blame themselves when reality bites, and the relationships shift or end.”

What if you grow up having to move from town to town every few years like many military kids? The girls that buy into the BFF myth often end up feeling that something is wrong with them because they can’t maintain that friendship over many years. Even if girls don’t move and this best friendship thing is possible, is it really healthy?

“Psychologists across the board agree that relying on one person to fulfill all of your emotional needs is unhealthy,” writes journalist Alice Robb in an article for New Republic. “Because these relationships are very intense, they are also very fragile,” says Robin Dunbar, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University, as quoted in that same article. “When they bust, they bust forever and acrimoniously.”
I fully believe God had a strong hand in me writing this blog post today. I was in the middle of writing and my girls were in the next room listening to songs they found via their tablet and I heard one, the lyrics went;
“You are my best friend, forever, and we won’t ever let that end, no never!”

I instantly stopped writing and went to my girls. I asked what they were listening to, listened to it again with them and then read them some of what I wrote here. I challenged the myth of having a single BFF and explained the importance of having a group of close friends to lean on. Talk about timing!
I get it, most of us have that “one special friend,” I know I do. However, when it gets to the point that they are the only support you have and your world would crumble if something were to happen to that friendship, that is when it crosses into the unhealthy. I don’t believe God intended for us to do that. Instead, I believe He intended for us, and even our children, to surround ourselves with like-minded Christians in order to support each other during this journey called life.

And so my challenge is this, not only for you but myself as well, to break the BFF myth and encourage our daughters (and sons too) to instead seek strong, meaningful relationships with a group of close friends.

Thankful for the Many Blessings!!!

black family thanksgiving

We get so busy in our everyday lives that we tend to forget the many Blessings God has bestowed upon us. With the holiday season upon us what better time to stop and think about the many Blessings we have.  Sure we recognize the “Big” Blessings; a job (even if it is less than ideal), a loving family (even the ones that have you feeling like you may need therapy after the holiday season), a house, cars, etc…. The everyday “Small” Blessings are just as significant. Waking up to see another day, your physical  health, your families health, your mental health as well as your families, the talent of baking, counseling- helping others etc…. My Blessings may not be the same as yours but we all have something to be thankful for. I would like to take a moment to let you know some of the things I am thankful for.  With all the devastation going on in the world, I am truly thankful for my family.  They are my foundation. As a family and as Christians we put God first in all we do. I have a wonderful, supportive husband, who loves me unconditionally and does whatever it takes to take care of his family……Yep, I hit the jackpot!!! I am thankful for my amazing kids. They keep me extremely busy but I would not trade it for anything. I am thankful that I get to be a part of so many people’s lives. I believe that we all meet for a purpose and in a specific time and season. I am  honored by the opportunities. I hope that you will take a moment and think about all the things you are thankful for.

What are you thankful for?

Wishing you and your family the Happiest of Thanksgivings!!!

Don’t eat to much….

Grandparents and Preschoolers

Grandparents

The past eight years I have worked at a preschool. Within those eight years, I’ve seen a high number of grandparents raising these youths today. On a caseload 54, I have a total of 26 grandparents raising these preschoolers. Even with the increase in grand-parents roles as caregiver appears to be continuing for the foreseeable future, and has implications for more research by family-science professionals, practitioners, and policy makers. Many studies have shown that many professionals have credited many of the social issues as the cause of this generation to become the main caregivers of these kids.   Many studies show things such as traumatic death of a parent to parent’s drug use have contributed to grandparents raising of many of these small kids. Even though many professionals feel that grand-parenting can come with advantages as well as disadvantages. These advantages/disadvantages have also been noted with helping the bonding of the generation gaps.

When looking at the many advantages that many of my families have in front of them, it’s one that I see and that’s the child keeping the grandparent young at heart.

I see that looking after a young child keeps grandparents energetic and vibrant even though their health may not be suitable for a continuous activity. This development alone helps create a security feeling that many grandchildren look after them when they become too dependent on others due to old age. When it comes to the advantage many of the kids, I see kids benefiting from the knowledge and upbringing of the experienced grandparents.  Over the last couple years, I’ve seen that grandparents spend a great deal of time playing and reading with the kids, this behavior alone has been said to promote healthy development for the preschooler.

While I have seen growth in many of my families, I also can see the down-side of this upbringing. Over the years I’ve seen many grandparents display their own medical and financial problems. One of the main issue; memory loss. Many of them have memory loss as well as physical disabilities, which makes it difficult to look after children. The poor financial status of the grandparents may affect the child’s health and education. Not to mention that caring for such younger kids can bring a great deal of stress onto the grandparents. But many grandparents are caring for these preschoolers in hope for a better generation.

Tamika Lockett

Money and Marriage!!!

 marriage prayer

After viewing several readings via the web it is clear that money, marriage and divorce are linked and not in a good way. Per certain articles, the earlier the financial arguments begin, the higher the chance of divorce. I did not read any articles that discussed if couples actually sit down prior to marriage to discuss finances and what impact this would have on the divorce rate. In my opinion, your upbringing plays a significant factor on how you spend and save money.  Naturally, this upbringing spills over into your adult life and marriage. I suggest that regardless of your upbringing, once in a committed relationship as far as finances and others topics are concerned compromise….compromise…..compromise is key. Sitting down and coming up with a plan with your significant other that you both can both live with is an excellent idea.  My husband and I do have different views when it comes to money. He wants to save for a rainy day…..me, I want it now. Again,  compromise has played a significant factor in our money situation. Compromise and the trust that the plan we came up with is what is best for our family. During our earlier years of marriage, it was necessary to save and I was not as laxed as I am today with my spending. Early in our marriage, we devised a savings plan and stuck to it. We are not rich by any means but we are okay. Over time our plan has changed to fit our needs and wants as the years have passed by.  My husband will always be saving for when the rainy day comes and oddly, I am fine with this.  Find what works for you and your significant other and stick to it. I have included a link that discuss 13 money tips for married couples. The most important thing to remember is that you are a part of a team and are working together to enhance your family.

 

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/mutual-funds/slideshows/13-money-tips-for-married-couples