Recently we have had a new addition to our family. Her name is Naila. This is my 3rd grandchild and I am enjoying every minute of it. Congratulations to my son and his wife, Wendell Jr. and Myasia. Last year they lost a daughter at childbirth and this has been a difficult year for all of us. As parents we expect our kids and grandkids to outlive us.  When they don’t make it out of the starting gate or if they die for some other reason, one can’t help to be reminded that being alive is a blessing. Welcome to the world, Naila. Your sister, Kamaria, and you brother, Amir, have been waiting to show you all the things they have learned.

It’s a blessing to have a family and I look forward to watching my kids and grandkids grow up in this ever changing world.

There is nothing more disturbing than to watch a kid who is in total melt down. That kid is screaming at the top of his/her lungs. They are usually rolling around on the floor and no matter what the parent can’t calm this kid down. I have seen this play out many times and what makes this situation even more uncomfortable is watching the parents either do nothing or try to rationalize with a kid the reasons they need to behave.

Every time I see this it reminds me when I was a kid. My parents were the no nonsense kind of parents. This means that although they exposed us to many creative things, such as the arts or music, there was no creativity about who was in charge. It was very clear to my sister, brother and I that we were the privates in the Jordan family. Before we went out my mother would read the list of things we could and could not do.  This ritual went on regardless if we were going shopping, going to visit a family member or going to the park.  In each case she expected us to be on our best behavior.

Can you imagine? It was like performing in a B movie with the three of us standing at attention and my mom slowly pacing in front of us. She was looking at us through her monocle as she read the list of the rules. My dad was in the background, with his arms folded also looking at us, waiting to see who was going break.

Of course you know that I am exaggerating. My mother never wore a monocle.

What they were teaching us at such a young age is that we were a team. I selectively left out that while she was reading that list she would stop and explain to us how important we were to this team. She would go on to point out to us that everything we did reflect on this team. For a person who did not follow sports, she knew how championships are made. Every member of the team has his/her role to play. Since I am the oldest, it was my job to help out with my sister and brother. I only was allowed to participate in the minor decision making. The major decisions were made by the commander in chiefs, my mom and dad.

There were times due to me being I the oldest when I felt that I could toss those rules to the wind. I was going to be my own child, yea. I knew what to do. I know how to think. It was not long after my outburst that I was looking up at the sky. It was almost always followed by an indescribable pain coming from my bottom area.

This happened while I was on the F train the other day. There was a kid totally out of control. All the riders were looking at him with amazement. Suddenly an arm came from one of the seats. It was a man’s arm. Maybe this was his dad. The next we know the kid was looking up at the ceiling holding on to the bottom area of his body. That brought back a lot of memories. After that he quietly sat down. As I looked around the subway car, I could see that everyone was nodding their heads in approval. The next thing I knew everyone was holding their smartphones up. The number 10 was flashing on each one. This is a true story. Really.

These lessons on team work, I learned from my parents, is what I have shown my kids. I’ve even used the same techniques my mom used except that I could not stand them next to each other (they were born 10 years apart). I had a monocle but I lost it. I still have my accent though. Just like my parents did, I let them make minor decisions. This is important because by empowering them they feel like they are an active part of the team.

There are times when the melt down is inevitable. By keeping a close eye on them, I’m able to see when and why their emotional state changes.

The most important thing that I have learned from my parents is that I can never be friends with my kids. I feel that this is where most problems begin. By treating your child as an equal, you do him/her a great disservice. You are telling them that their thinking is as clear as yours. There is no way that a 2 year old can think the same as an adult. What has to be established is that the parent is in control and it has to be that person that teaches the child what the rules are and that everything will not go his/her way. The melt down or temper tantrum is a result of the parent not performing this important act and is grooming that child to have behavior problems as they get older. If you don’t control the 2 year old, there is no way you will be able to control that child when he/she turns 12.

Our job as positive parents is to raise kids that will be useful members of society. The earlier in a kid’s life we begin this process guarantees that we can turn these positive kids into positive adults.


I have added a new page to this blog. It contains a store where you can buy” I Love Being A Dad” merchandise. Today’s offering is a 100% preshrunk cotton tee shirt. With the words “I Love Being A Dad” printed on the front. This could the perfect gift for that important dad in your life.




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