How To Deal, Sibling Rivalry

noHere’s a few links to help parents resolve sibling rivalry issues:

6 Ways to Prevent Sibling Rivalry: http://proactiveparenting.net/articles/6-ways-to-prevent-sibling-rivalry

How to Stop Sibling Rivalry With Your Kids: http://www.metroparent.com/daily/parenting/parenting-issues-tips/stop-sibling-rivalry-kids/

How to End Sibling Rivalry: http://www.positiveparentingsolutions.com/sibling-rivalry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Only Son

mom and jamielMy son has been on me to be a part of the blog. Here’s his take on being my only son and how his sisters need him.

Q1. Being the only boy with two sisters how does it feel?

A1. It gets lonely. I want a little brother that looks up to me like Anissa looks up to Symone. All these girls I feel like I can’t get away from them.

Q2. You feel like you’re the oldest sometimes because you believe you are more mature than Symone (my oldest)?

A2. Because, sometimes Symone be wanting to play and I want to be serious about the situation. I’m trying to handle my business.

Q3. How do you feel about being a big brother to Anissa?

A3. I feel like a good person because I want her to look up to me. I want her to see her big brother as a good man and that I will protect her.

Q4. How do you feel about being Symone’s little brother?

A4. I feel like she is a bully, that she thinks she is the boss of me, but I know she loves me.

Q5. Do you feel like there is a competition between you and your sisters to get my attention?

A5. No, I think, I don’t really know. I feel like you love us all the same and you try to be fair, but Anissa is spoiled.

Q6. Do you feel like you have to compete for other family member’s attention when it comes to you and your sisters?

A6. I feel like people may be harder on me because I am a boy and that the girls don’t get hard treatment.

Q7. Since you are the only boy, 2 sisters, 3 females cousins, how do you feel being the only boy?

A7. It makes me sad and nervous. Sad because the granddaughters get more attention because they are girly and they always need more attention. Nervous because those girls are a tough crowd, I have to be the man that protects all of them

Q8. Do you think Anissa makes you and Symone compete to see who is better at being the bigger sibling?

A8. Yes. Because they always say they are best friends and they take all these selfies together. I want Anissa to see me as a leader. They are only best friends because they are sisters. She loves me just not girly.

Q9. If you had to give advice to another middle child, what would your advice be?

A9. It would be to tell them good luck. Don’t feel bad about being the middle child. You get to be two people, the older one that your little sister can look up to and the younger one that can bother your older sister. .

 

Sibling Rivalry

So, let’s just say I come from a really awesome talented family.  It’s not a secret, we all have an arsenal of blessings that have allowed us to showcase our talents on a level of platforms that most don’t have the opportunity to do.  I am very blessed to say my adventures in expressing my talents have been notably with my sister, Esha, on most occasions.  We are two very different people, with STRONG opinions about what we believe to be right and wrong.  If you know either of us then you know we are truly passionate about all the opportunities offered us, you also know that hell rains down when we get into it (that’s just the way it is).

NikkEsha2If you know one of us, then more than likely you know both of us.  Growing up, teenage years, this was beyond annoying.  Who always wants their little sister around or to always be affiliated with her?  She was really a jerk back then.  Growing up you expect that you and your siblings won’t always get along.  I was grown she was still a kid, I moved out, she tried to follow.  At that time as her big sister I could not fully appreciate her annoyance.  We had some knockdown drag out fights.  My poor parents bless their hearts, were always preaching, all you have is each other.  Growing up in the same house that did not sink in.  I think we could not fully appreciate the magnitude of being the only people for each other when we were both trying to identify who we were as individuals.  I truly don’t believe people saw us separately, NikkiEsha was one combined name, if you caught the attention of one the other was not far from her.  We are not twins but it felt like we were always the same person because people never seemed to be able to accept one without the other.  This caused major issues growing up for us because we had to fight, not with the outside world, but with each other to make sure our personalities shined through.  The only time this happened was in school, I will not give the details, but let’s just say one of us was really good at the school thing and the other not so much, lol.  It was a struggle for our relationship as kids to embrace each other and prove that we were not in competition but wanted to be recognized as individuals.

NikkiEshaAs we grew older and really started to come into our own as woman, we made the conscious decision to work together.  We had both gone off and done our own things, but what our parents always told us held true, we were connected always and forever.  My sister is my business partner.  We feed ideas off of each other, we argue, we cry, and we argue some more.  At this point in our lives it does not feel forced and we are recognized as individuals for our achievements.  The question we get now is do we feel like we are in competition.  If you’ve ever meant us both then you would understand why we get this question.  1.  Two very confident and stubborn women, 2.  INTELLIGENT, 3.  We still argue, 4.  We both are VERY good at anything we attempt, so people would expect some form of rivalry.  Let me put this to sleep, am I competing against my sister, NO!  I am my sister’s keeper!  One of my greatest joys is to watch her shine, whether I am standing behind her at the podium, sitting in the audience or simply serving on her team.  I’ve watched her grow into someone I can truly admire.  Is she still my annoying little sister yes, but I love her and appreciate her, more than she will ever know.

NikkEsha3Now people may think bull.  All siblings have some form of competition.  You are entitled to your opinion, but we know that the only competition that either of us truly has to face looks back us in the mirror daily.  Credit our parents, we are equally spoiled rotten, lol.  But seriously it took for us to build separately, to come into our own, to take other people’s opinions/feedback out of the equation before we could truly appreciate the talent of the other.

So what’s the point of this, it’s to say parents, family, friends,  step back, let your children develop the people they are going to become.  The world already lumps us into categories that we have to fight to get out of daily.  Don’t let this be the fight at home as well.  Encourage your children to be individuals and praise all their achievements.  Don’t let family or friends put your children in a situation that would make them feel as though they competing.  Competition does not breed excellence.

The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.~Seth Godin

 

You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that.~Michael Jordan

Being Nanekia….

Being NanekiaI am a huge fan of the show Being Mary Jane.  I’m ecstatic to watch someone who looks like me, discuss and go through some of the same issues I face.  Although Mary Jane can be a bit extreme sometimes, I enjoying seeing some of my same concerns played out on the big screen.  So this blog series, Being Nanekia, will be my take from the show and how it applies to my life and the lives of some moms I know.

 

So the episode where it’s all about Kara (MJ (Mary Jane’s) producer) caught my attention.  She’s a divorcee (like me) trying to have a relationship, while balancing career and family (ding, ding, ding, like me).  Basically during the episode Kara becomes overwhelmed and has a breakdown.  A breakdown about brownies (not really, but the brownies pushed her over the limit).  Let me say this, no woman should ever have a breakdown about chocolate, it is our friend.  I knew sh*t had hit the fan when brownies made her cry.  How many of us have had those moments, when something simple causes you to totally lose it and you can’t figure out how to pull it together?!  RAISES HAND!

Let me tell you about my moment.  It was a sunny, Saturday afternoonish.  We should’ve all been enjoying the day, but, instead I was in the damp, dark basement doing laundry, the kids were on their electronical devices, and Chef was working on his truck.  Finally I found FREEDOM, I was finally done sorting the laundry and had started a load.  Then I came upstairs to a sink overflowing with dishes, spills on the floor, a clogged toilet, and a screaming toddler.  DEEP BREATHS, DEEP BREATHS!  I picked up my child and headed to the kitchen for a snack and to start dish water.  Then Chef (who is always playful and keeps me laughing) sprays me in the face with the sprayer from the sink.  NOTE:  IF YOU DON’T ALREADY KNOW IT, IT’S AGAINST THE LAW TO SPRAY WATER, WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT, INTO A BLACK WOMAN’S HAIR!  I lost my ever loving mind.  I may have blacked out for a few seconds, but as I was regaining my consciousness I remember hearing them all laughing.  What was so damn funny?  The house was a mess, the baby was crying, someone would expect food soon, and now my nice neat little hairstyle was soon to be a full afro.  I screamed, I yelled, how ungrateful they are, how none of them ever help me, how I have to always be responsible for everything.  I went on for I am sure what seemed like hours, a never-ending rant about everything, I cleared the room.  Once I stopped I could hear them, the family I claim to love so much, in tears.  What had I done?  I tried to apologize but it fell on deaf ears, I’d hurt them.  I’d hurt them all because I did not know how to ask for help.  My heart sank.

I stood in my kitchen and cried.  Why were they mad at me?  They were the ones who started it.  Then I felt a tug and looked down at my baby girl.  I reached down and pulled her up, she gave me the tightest hug.  This made me cry even more.  It wasn’t my family at all, it was me.  I needed help but hadn’t asked and honestly I was afraid to.  If I can’t run a household and take care of all this stuff, how can I run anything else?  I knew what I had to do.  First my son, I apologized to him for my outrageous behavior, he smiled and gave me a hug.  Next was my hard shell oldest.  She was a bit more vocal about how my “incident” made her feel.  We cried, and then hugged.  Lastly was Chef.  He already thinks I’m a nut so my outburst probably didn’t help my case.  I tried to apologize, but he was not in the mood to talk.  He was trying to bring some laughs to our morning and I completely shut that down.  Then I did it, I stood there vulnerable and confessed…..I NEEDED HELP!  That little statement got his attention.  It’s easier for me to write sometimes then it is for me to be vocal, but in that moment I knew I needed to be vocal.  I let loose, not a rant, but more of a declaration that I couldn’t continue to wear the “S” on my chest, that I needed to be free to be Nanekia, more than being a superwoman.  He seemed to understand.  After all my assuming that no one would ever understand what it’s like to be superhuman daily, he nodded and said he would help.  WOW!

Now don’t get me wrong, the help from my family comes and goes, they are only human, but I appreciate the effort.  It’s hard trying to do everything, build a legacy, and live your dreams.  I know now that I can’t allow myself to get to a point where I become overwhelmed and overreact.  I love my family, I really do.  At times they are great and other times they can really work a nerve, but if we have open honest communication, a willingness to forgive, and fun, we will be alright.

Hot Tips: 10 Times Anissa Got Us Together!

  1. Power to the people Power to the People2.  It’s either this chocolate at Gigi’s house or at home Anissa & Chocolate

3.  Goals & Dreams write them downAnissa Working4.  Let me find out who broke this popsicle5.  I see through all the B.S.I see you

6.  My lip gloss is poppin

7.  Don’t Even Bother

8.  Bye Felicia

9.  Anything to shut her up!shut her up10.  We’ll bring to you after her party………

Hot Kid Crew: To My Sister, The Teenager

Dear Anissa,

praying childrenLook here best friend I need for you to take every sentence I’m writing down, listen to every word and really let this sink in. You are a young beautiful African-American female and I know you are very intelligent. You are smart with a smart mouth, ha. I need for you to have your own dreams no matter how high or low, accomplish each goal you set out to do.  Do not procrastinate about these dreams and goals because life has time but its not limitless amounts of time.  I need for you to focus on all parts of your life socially and mentally and make sure you are doing things in your favor.  Your happiness should be everything to you before anyone else’s.  Probably around the time you are reading this you are going to be at the age of exploring relationships.  Relationships are a want, not a need.  You never need anyone there unless you want them there, a lot of times you are going to get someone there who wants to manipulate your mind and influence you with things that sound fun, DON’T DO IT!  Please lil lady, because I’ve been that girl so many times I literally wrote the book for being gullible. So use your own mind before someone else uses it for you. There’s something I need for you to also remember, best friend, I am here forever no matter how far away I am or if you think I’m going be mad at you.  I am here, your personal diary, nothing can break our bond or stop me from loving you.  I can’t even tell you how much success I want in your future and happiness.  It’s all in your hands.

Love, your best friend forever, Symone

Hot Mom, Hot Topics: To My Daughter on Her Wedding Day

we first meetThree years ago Sunday my life changed forever. It was the day my family became complete and we welcomed my daughter Anissa into the world.  A whole month early from her expected due date I remember that morning like it was yesterday.  4:24am my water broke and we leaped into action.  Chef was already in the car and I was making phone calls.  It’s amazing the stuff you think of while in an emergency situation.  My hair, for one, looked like I had woke up at 4:24am.  I put on my earrings, changed clothes and finally made it to the car.  Chef was not happy about my slow roll (I was ticked I had left my lip gloss).  We got to the hospital and this little stubborn diva decided to play all day and make her appearance at 10:16pm.  From the moment we meant I knew this little girl was going to steal all of our hearts and that she was the final piece to complete our family.  She is quirky, smart, stubborn, happy, funny, crazy, beautiful, joyful, and full of love.  There is not a moment in the day I can’t reflect on her and not smile.  She truly is our little blessing.  I’m thankful God saw fit to bring our family together and to make Anissa the glue.  So today’s post will be my letter to Anissa on her wedding day.

Dear Anissa,

Time has flown by and I am extremely proud of the young woman you have become. You continue to amaze your father and I on a daily basis.  We love you with all of our hearts and as you enter this new chapter of your life our prayer is that you are blessed with a god-fearing, loving, loyal, and humorous man.  You are truly a treasure and I know that my future son-in-law has realized what a great gift he is receiving.  But more than that I am proud that you know you are a gift and that you continue to keep God as the head of your life and acknowledge Him in all that you do.  As I look back on memories of you growing up you have always shined bright like a diamond.  Your personality is electric and you are a natural born leader.  As you prepare to become a leader in your own home I know we have instilled in you the tools you need to bring love, joy, and peace into the lives around you.

For all those mornings in the car on our way to school that I made you pray, it was to make sure you knew that God should always start your day. No matter what goes on in your life, you have to be battle ready and that starts with God first.  I pray that you will continue this tradition with your own family.  As always in our prayers I ask God to cover you and your siblings, we thank Him for our blessings seen and unseen, we acknowledge that we are sinners and ask for forgiveness, and then don’t forget to pray for those that come up against you.  Remember it’s easy to pray for those that love you and make your life easy, it takes a true believer to pray for those that would come up against you.  You are a bright and shining star so spread those prayers around.

For every time Daddy embarrassed you with his dance routine or rap battle skills, know that no other man daddy daughterwill ever love you like he does. He has shown you and your siblings a great example of how a man should love his family.  Remember all the times he played with you all and how he always cooks with love.  That feeling you are getting in the pit of your stomach is Daddy.  It warms your heart and makes you smile.  Whenever you are feeling down and you can’t think of how to cheer yourself up, think of those moments, I promise you will smile every time.

praying children

For all the knock down drag out fights you have had with your siblings, remember that they are also the ones that will always come to your rescue. You will always be their “Baby Sister” and there is no place on this Earth that they won’t come if you call.  Remember to always let them know you love them and talk to them on a regular basis.  The bond you all have can never be broken and there’s nothing in the world that can separate you all.  Even if you all can’t talk everyday carry with you in your heart when you look into their eyes today that they truly love and want the best for you.  (Please let your husband know he’s gaining 5 crazy women and 2 muscle bound men, he don’t want them problems, lol)

For all the time you had to spend at family functions and you were thinking you could truly be somewhere else, remember Papa’s corny jokes help paved the way for you to be okay to be different and corny, that Gigi always made you feel special, like you are the only girl in the world, Grandma Theresa turned you into a fierce little diva with style and grace and that Grandfather Tony is always amazed by you. Your aunties love you like no other.  They are part of the reason you are the woman you are today, fearless, ambitious, happy, confident; they helped instill all those things in you.  And let’s not forget your uncle, he’s weird, but again that opens the door for you to embrace your own weirdness.  Remember Granny Boo and Pop-pop are always teaching you, it’s important that you continue to learn something new every day.  When in doubt you have a host of cousins that are always ready and available.

So, my dear, it’s getting close to the time where Daddy and I will give you away. I’m happy and a little sad.  You’ve been ours for so long and to think that someone from the outside (I like him, but he’s stealing my baby today) is going to get to enjoy you as we have makes my heart ache.  I know that the decision you have made to bring this man into your life is one you did not take lightly so I respect it and embrace him as well.  Thank you my darling daughter for changing our lives and completing our family all those years ago.  Loving you forever and always, Mom

(Groom your sons now because I will be locked and loaded when it comes time for her to start dating.)