Posts filed under ‘caring’

Dads Are Important Too

family Christmas and other dad traditions

family Christmas and other dad traditions

When I think of the holidays, Christmas especially, I think of my dad and my granddad. As I write this post, a myriad of memories crowd into my heart about the men in my family. Today is ‘Dad’s Turn’. My dad would drive our family through different neighborhoods to look at the Christmas decorations. A day or two before Christmas, we would pick out a Christmas tree and decorate it. ..Lots of fun

My dad was usually the parent that my siblings and I could count on to ‘play’ with us and have fun. He would jump out of the closets and scare us, and tell us stories about him and his brothers growing up. He was the male balance of our household – the last word. When he would play with us, we’d forget he wasn’t a kid like us and be disappointed when he became ‘Dad’ again. No fair… We would drive every week to our grandparents to spend Sundays with them and the Ed Sullivan Show. I hated that show, but loved the family time together. I loved watching my dad interact with his dad. They looked just alike, except for the age difference. While Dad was disciplined, Granddad was even more disciplined, yet he let me do things I couldn’t do with my own dad like comb his hair, and push in the buttons on his very cool Dodge dashboard. Granddad also smoked a pipe and had the most delicious smelling tobacco.

As a young girl growing up, Dad was always there. He may have been preoccupied, or asleep on the couch, but I remember the time he spent with us. I knew what he expected of me. I also knew I could trust him. His way was different from Mom’s. They both meant business; however when Mom told us she was going to ‘tell Dad’, we knew it would not be good. As much fun as we had with him, he was a former ‘military’ man and didn’t tolerate nonsense!

Like most families in the sixties, he was a family man. I never understood why he didn’t do housework. Okay yes he cut the grass, painted things when necessary, and barbecued the meat during holidays, but it never made sense that we (the Gist kids) had to wash walls and clean up the kitchen! When I had the nerve to ask why we had to wash walls, he would say “You dirtied them up didn’t you?” Let me just say that after washing the walls, we kept our hands off the walls! While Dad didn’t cook much except BBQ, occasionally he made lunches for us – fried Spam sandwiches and tomato soup. Yummy! He’d cut the sandwiches into shapes and while no one today would dare eat a Spam sandwich, it was another fun time with Dad.

A lot of those traditions changed as our family went through the transition of divorce and separation, I remember the times when I didn’t see my dad much. He would promise to come by for a visit, and never show up. My mom was careful not to talk bad about him to us, so all we had then was disappointment. I didn’t reestablish my relationship with him until the summer before I left for college. I had sassed my mother and wasn’t on speaking terms with her, so I cherished the times I got to spend with dad. We talked about a lot of topics, and I got a chance to know him as a person. I asked him about the times he didn’t show up and how disappointed we were. I remember him saying that he was barely getting by (financially) and didn’t want to show that side of himself (to us).

Perfect, he was not. Necessary to me growing into the woman I am now, very definitely! Today, there are a lot of girls growing into woman without the benefit of their dad. Woman decide what men they will become involved with based on the relationship they have with their father (dad), stepdad, grandpa or other positive male role model. Merry Christmas Dad!

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach
Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

December 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Surviving Loss

One of my former students lost her mother yesterday. Her daughter, (also a former student) told me about it today and it took me back five years ago when I lost my own mother. My initial feels of numbness and grief, turned into days of feeling lost and disconnected. Then I could hardly put two thoughts together without being reduced to tears. Weird huh?

What was funny about my reaction after losing my mother was that my sister was closest to my mom; they talked regularly throughout the day, and were cooking and drinking buddies.  My mom and I talked daily but relied on each other in different ways. Being more private in my thoughts I didn’t feel the need to share everything with my mom. She taught me how to be resourceful, so I shared problems that I couldn’t figure out alone. Yet when I did share my secrets with her, I could count on her to keep them secret forever. Yes, we were mother & daughter, but we were also good friends, quite different from our relationship during my years as a teenager! Mom was my chief strategist in many ways. Her suggestions and ideas guided me through relationships, both work & personal, childrearing, and through all of my entrepreneurial pursuits. Mothers are a part of our lives in so many ways, is it possible to exist when that relationship comes to an end?

To read more about my thoughts (personal & parenting) about mother & daughter relationships, preorder a copy of my soon to be released book, “Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES!”…

C. Lynn Williams
Author & Speaker

http://www.clynnwilliams.com

cgwwbooks@yahoo.com

September 11, 2013 at 10:35 am 1 comment

Waiting for Real Love

want_real_love_by_life_voice

Do people fall in love anymore? With dating services like E Harmony, Match.com and Christian Mingles, do people marry for convenience, or do people actually wait for Mr. (or Mrs.) Right to come along? I remember a conversation that I had years ago with my aunt. She wasn’t happy with the man that I planned to marry, and in so many words, told me so! She preferred that I marry a doctor or lawyer to have “the finer things in life”. That would have been okay, except that I had to be in love with the man I planned to marry.
My girlfriend feels the same way too. Her very complicated life has recently gotten a lot simpler and she says if she ever marries again, it will be the kind of “hard to breathe”, “can’t sleep at night without thinking about him” kind of love. I mean face it, if you marry someone for money or looks, both could vanish overnight right? A couple in New York felt the same way and married each other 35 years after falling in love at first sight! Okay maybe I wouldn’t wait that long. Oh the power of true love!

Click here to read the article: http://tiny.cc/tsx41w                     i love you love
C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach

My Books:
Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! Available August, 2013 – preorder starts Aug 23rd http://raisingyourdaughterpresale-esli.eventbrite.com/#!

August 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm 21 comments

We Choose People Like Our Parents

Do you believe we choose mates like our parents? My daughter certainly thinks so, and I am really wondering if parents are the reasons young women in our communities to go awry, south, crazy, whatever phrase you want to attach here.

Here’s the story: I am related or mentoring at least five women over the age of 20, who are pregnant and unmarried. Two of the young women I have known all of their lives. Their parents are hard-working people. Well their mother is hard-working; dad is retired now, but was always what my grandmother would say – ‘nickel slick’. Nickel slick is someone who knows the rules, but doesn’t always abide by the rules. These girls were raised properly, taught to respect themselves and yet seemed to follow the path of their girlfriends (getting pregnant) and not their mother. Why?

Daily I hear that social norms are changing, and marriage is passé. It’s no longer necessary to be married to have children. One of the young ladies felt that way long before she got pregnant. While I completely disagree with that line of thinking, let’s dig deeper to get at the root of the issue. Why are our daughters feeling that they have to raise children by themselves, with no husband and many times, no boyfriend? In African American communities, “Non-Hispanic black men and women aged 25-44 have lower percentages who have ever been married than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic persons of the same age.” – See more at: http://marriage.laws.com/marriage-statistics#sthash.ydfVSfgd.dpuf. According to Dr. Boyce Watkins, “black women aren’t getting married because many of the available black men are incarcerated.” http://tiny.cc/mtyjzw.

I believe the issue has to do with how we are raising our daughters. I talk about it in my new book: Raising Your Daughter: the Joys, Tears & Hormones! It’s one thing to expect your daughter to conduct herself as a lady, wait until marriage to have sex, and allow men to respect her as the beautiful woman that she is. Is that the example that she sees growing up? Is that how you conducted yourself? Was her father (your husband) faithful to you? Did he treat you kindly and respectfully? Today, many women are starved for love & attention. Maybe you don’t have a relationship with your father. Maybe you didn’t know your father. Maybe he didn’t tell you he loved you. So, the first ‘nice’ comment you receive from a guy, you have sex with him and you believe you’re in love. Major mistake! And not a mistake you want your daughter to have to learn from. Teach your daughter to have dates where nothing is required of her but her company. Matter of fact, teach her to be selective, have many dates, and decide if you like what your date is talking about. Get to know him, his family and his background before you become intimate.

Having a child should not be a ‘Rights of Passage’ for your young daughter. I guess that means you have to do a better job of picking your mate too.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parenting Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter: the Joys, Tears & Hormones! Available in late summer, 2013

July 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm 1 comment

Want Your Son to Talk to You?

Not CommunicatingEver felt like if you yelled a little louder, he (your son) would get it? Well he doesn’t get it, he actually retreats from you into a place where you can’t reach him.

Trust me, I know about these things, I’m a mother of two male adult children. Make it easy to talk to you – pass no judgments, no I told you so, no condescending remarks like “You’re just like your no-good father!” Just listen and let him talk. You will be surprised at what your son will say, once he starts talking.

Here is a link to my video on YouTube about communicating with your son: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m21r1QzYkY

C. Lynn Williams
#MsParentguru
Author & Parenting Coach

www.clynnwilliams.com

June 5, 2013 at 2:23 am Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day – Mothers Care!!!

silhouette of mother kissing her daughter

Happy Mother’s Day to all! As my pastor explained yesterday in church, a mother is more than a biological designation. Any woman with the right ‘plumbing’ can have a child. However it takes someone who has nurtured, loved, and encouraged a child that is engaged in the act of mothering. That would explain the close bond that many athletes have with their coaches; how a foster or step parent can join a family and be the very glue that helps that family become close-knit; and how teachers who have never had children of their own, end up parenting hundreds of kids because of their love and concern for those students (my aunt – Priscilla).

I finally get it! As a mother, a coach (for three seasons – OMG) and a step parent, I care. The basic component of mothering is the caring. People thrive when you actively care for them. Caring can be shown in many ways. Maybe you are there to listen. Many teachers do that daily. There are lots of children who are growing up without someone at home to listen to them. A caring teacher who listens is a mother… Maybe you are a step parent or a foster parent or a guardian parent, and the only tie you have to your “child” is because of court appointment or through the legalities of marriage. Show compassion, be kind, care. Your kindness may not be appreciated right away, but in time, your child(ren) will talk about what they liked/loved about you..

Right now you may feel  that your children may not appreciate all that you do to help them grow into magnificent men and women. Don’t worry; just keep loving, nurturing, giving, caring and starting all over again tomorrow doing the same thing. During those times when you feel too exhausted or discouraged to continue, pray for guidance and replenishment to continue caring and loving your child(ren). It will pay off in tremendous ways! You will see!

Take the rest of May and celebrate Mother’s Day with me! If you want to compare your parenting styles to the crazy parenting styles of different celebs, click on this link: http://www.crushable.com/2013/05/12/other-stuff/mothers-day-celebrity-parenting-advice/

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentGuru
Author & Parenting Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
How to Turn Your Princess Into a Queen – The Art of Raising an Awesome Daughter available in late spring, 2013

May 14, 2013 at 2:53 am 12 comments

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