Welcome back to The Barrage my friends!
In this week’s edition, we look into Childhood Loneliness, Parents Tech Habits, and I’ve included an informative video that discusses How to Talk About Race to children.
Also, in this week’s What The…? Who Knew?? African American contributions to this nation, we find out who’s responsible for us having a nice warm home on these chilly autumn nights – and I’m not talking about the heating company!
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1. Childhood Loneliness
Being alone doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely, is the major theme my second published picture book, What About Me?, and last spring I went out to over 10 schools to share this empowering message to students.
During my visits, these adequately self-aware children came to the conclusion that being alone can be just as rewarding as being around people, and that solo time brings with it the power to become more independent.
Unfortunately there is still a stigma associated with being alone and I must admit that being alone spawns different reactions for different people. Many feelings still surround the sense of being alone, for example the fear of being judged as being unlikeable.
In an article published in the Atlantic, Great Britain, illustrates just how far they are willing to go to find a healthy resolution to loneliness – “in September of 2020, schoolchildren across the United Kingdom will learn from their teachers how to fend off loneliness.”
How far are we willing to go here in the U.S.? Because in our country, this issue remains woefully unaddressed; especially considering the health related risks that loneliness and isolation bring.
According to an article on Understand.org, children who struggle with ongoing loneliness may be:
- More likely to develop low self-esteem.
- Less likely to take positive risks.
- More likely to be sad, disconnected and worried.
- More likely to engage in risky behaviors.
I suffered from bouts of uncomfortable loneliness at different points in my childhood and adult life, so this topic is close to my heart. However I learned that there is a difference between loneliness and solitude. Solitude is choosing to be alone and learning to be comfortable with our aloneness. But, it’s a challenge to be comfortable in our aloneness when we are the kid who’s alone on the playground with no one to play with.
Let’s try to remember that just being by ourselves is not always the cause of loneliness. It’s not just that being alone is the problem, but not feeling connected to others and the world around us in meaningful ways seems to be the root of the issue. However, acceptance that loneliness is and will always be a part of the human condition is the first step toward finding creative solutions.
2. How to Talk About Race.
I celebrate myself and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. – Walt Whitman
For years, Rachael and I have dedicated ourselves to instilling in our children the confidence, self-love, personal, and cultural pride that they would need to be able to positively navigate in this country, once they become aware of just how far America will attempt to define them by their skin color.
Being on the receiving end of racial bias is a fact of life for African Americans, so it’s imperative as African American parents to discuss race, in an effort to instill in our children the strength to not only weather the storm of the intolerance they will surely face, but to thrive in spite of it!
This interesting article by Melissa Wenner Moyer, on slate.com, she says that as a white parent, “I’ve avoided talking about race with my kids mainly because I’ve thought that racial bias are learned by direct instruction and imitation—and that if I don’t talk about race or act in explicitly racist ways, my kids won’t pick up prejudices. There’s this idea that if you do call attention to race at a young age, you’re poisoning kids’ minds.”
Some parents think that by not talking about race, they are teaching their kids to be “color-blind,” but the problem is that society is going to place labels on our children no matter what or who they are (tall, short, heavy, thin, gay), so it would behoove us to intervene with our own loving brand of tolerance and acceptance.
“The worst conversation adults can have with kids about race is no conversation at all,” says author Jemar Tisby. “Talking to kids about race needs to happen early, often, and honestly.”
Please read the slate.com article and watch this video for helpful tips for embracing humanity.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Race
3. Taming Tech Habits Starts with Parents
Yup, we are all aware that spending too many hours in front of screens, can increase the cause of several health risks, including ADHD.
But what about YOU mom and dad? How much time are YOU spending on YOUR devices?
It’s easy to say it’s the young folks with the problem, but as it turns out, they are not alone. To be honest, we have as much of a tech issue as the kids.
But what is our addiction to technology costing us?
- Missed time with family
- Less hours of sleep
- Less time for constructive things like reading and walks
- Less conversations because texts and social media are how we talk now
Yeah, it’s easy to say it’s the kids who have the problem, but as adults, we are supposed to know the consequences of using too much of anything…aren’t we?
Check out this interesting article on the Atlantic.com called, How Do We Understand the Tech Habits of Parents.
And after you’re done reading the article, power off! 🙂
4. What The..?? Who Knew?? Black Contributions to this Nation – Alice H. Parker
Can you believe it’s November already? Time is flying, yet autumn has come with regal ease because just a couple of weeks ago it was 90 degrees outside. Finally, Mother Nature has righted herself and the leaves are beginning to change to vibrant garlands of red, orange, and gold.
That festive fall chill is in the air, we are glad to have a warm blanket and central heating – and who should we be grateful to for the modern convenience of having multiple evenly heated rooms in our homes? Why none other than Alice H. Parker!
In this new edition of What The…?? Who Knew? Black Contributions, we feature African American inventor, Alice H. Parker, who’s patented design for the gas heating furnace, provides central heating for millions of people around the world!
Tune in for more, What The…?? Who Knew?? Black Contributions in the weeks and months to come.
5. This week’s wellness quote – “You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.” – Swami Vivekananda
In addition, in this edition
For the first time ever, Delaney and Journey went trick-or-treating with a friend and her mom this year. This left Marley (who claims to be too old for this tradition now), Rachael and I, at home to fend off the ghouls who paraded our home for sweets. In this article in the Atlantic, apparently going door-to-door for candy is on the decline.
Today is National Saxophone Day. The Saxophone is a classical woodwind instrument and is one of the key instruments of jazz music. It’s only fitting that this great instrument has a day of recognition all its own especially since I played the saxophone in my youth.
In honor of the day, here is a piece from my main man John Coltrane.
Thank you again for reading! Make sure you click the links for more details on the topic. Remember, that life is what you make of it!
Peace & Blessings
Don’t Forget to Vote Tomorrow!
This Week’s Pics