Why I Read to My Infant Son

BY: - 11 Jul '14 | Parenting

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Since becoming a first time mother in January, I knew that I had a miraculous opportunity to love and raise a gift from God. I also knew the extra special care and attention I would need to place on building my son’s self-esteem. Hardly a week goes by where a negative image in the media isn’t being played out, images that could create the narrative for my son’s outlook on life if I let it. But I am determined to make up for the areas where mainstream media lacks when it comes to building our boys up. My son is only four months old, but from the time he was two weeks old I’ve been reading to him. He’s loved it since day one. He coos as I turn the pages, and now has even learned to turn the pages himself. Yes, I’m a proud mom!

More than that, I’m a conscious mom. If I let media shape his impression of himself, I’d be in for a world of hurt. Gone are the days where The Cosby Show and other wholesome sitcoms starring black families ruled the airways. Music is not any better. I’ve always known that books were important, but since becoming a mother, I’ve realized books are a gateway for me to engage in entertainment directly with my son. When I read to him, I transform and really get engaged in the stories I share with him and it’s a great bonding experience.

I have a lot still to learn about motherhood, but one thing I know for sure is that the love and attention I put into building his library can directly pour into his self-esteem. From alphabet books to novels, I’ve begun collecting literature with positive, black protagonists. It is no easy feat, because as with elsewhere, black images are lacking–but with time and dedication, I know that by the time my son is an independent reader, he will have a library collection that gives him a worldview where people like him are at the center-consciously, positively, and lovingly.

BMWK Family, what are you reading to your little ones?

Najat Shamsid-Deen is a wife and first-time mother of one. She is passionate about black children’s literature and together with her mother has begun creating positive content centered around black characters. Their first project, The Prince and Timberance, now available on Amazon, is an epic tale and chapter book for young readers that features a handsome prince, a charming maiden, and a world of magic and adventure. View her website where she blogs about her passion at enchantedroots.wordpress.com.

About the author

BMWK Staff wrote 1231 articles on this blog.

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Parents Do You Take Better Care of Your Children Than Yourself?

BY: - 14 Jul '14 | Parenting

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Parenting is serious business. There are quite a few responsibilities that come along with such a significant role. We are solely responsible for the adults our children will become.

Many parents understand that truth and act accordingly. Yet, others take the title lightly and won’t always recognize the consequences of poor parenting. At the same time, some parents completely lose themselves as moms and dads by putting their own desires, dreams and goals on hold. Unfortunately, we don’t often realize whether or not we were good parents until it’s too late.

As we raise our children, there are a few things we must consider. Sacrifices will have to be made and we can’t neglect ourselves. It might be hard to balance the two, but allow me to guide you. If you’re thinking our needs as parents don’t matter, please think again. Here are just a few reasons we must also make ourselves a priority.

Our children need us healthy

If you aren’t alive and well, how can you love, provide and nurture your child. Carving out time to exercise, unwind and enjoy the quiet “me” time is essential to a parent’s overall health.

Our children will repeat the same bad habits

Self-neglect will become a never ending cycle if we don’t demonstrate to our children self-love. They’re learning and mimicking our behaviors, the good and the bad. They’ll take care of themselves the same we do. If we want better for them we must be better to ourselves.

We deserve a life of love, peace and joy

We are worthy, even if sometimes we forget. Think of all the encouraging words you’ve showered on your children. Keep in mind all the ways you consistently build them up and ensure their needs are met. Why wouldn’t you deserve the same?

I absolutely love being a parent. I would sacrifice everything for the lives of my children. One of the most important things I’m learning as a mom is that my children need me at my best. They need to see me pursuing my dreams, running my business and yes, taking excellent care of myself.

BMWK parents, do you take better care children than of yourself? What are you doing to change this?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 630 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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