Teaching Your Children About The 2016 Election

As media coverage has gotten more and more hostile and divisive, I find it incredibly difficult to expose my children to positive election news coverage that informs them of the choices before the American public. Here are a few kid-friendly sites I have found that make it easier to teach our children about the 2016 Presidential Election and the election process.

This week, the 4th and 5th grade classes in my sons’ elementary school held a mock presidential election.  In the weeks leading up to the election, the students were encouraged to educate themselves on the candidates running for office so they would make informed decisions when casting their votes. As media coverage has gotten more and more hostile and divisive, I find it incredibly difficult to expose my children to positive election news coverage that informs them of the choices before the American public.  However, when my son came home from school after he voted and asked me if Trump “hated babies,” I knew I needed to take affirmative steps to get him informed! Here are a few kid-friendly sites I have found that make it easier to teach our children about the 2016 Presidential Election and the election process.

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1. Kids.gov

Kids.gov is the “official kids’ portal for the U.S. government.” It is divided into four categories: Kids (Grades K-5)Teens (Grades 6-8)Teachers and Parents.  It also has a link to their YouTube Channel which currently features a video on how votes are counted in an election. The site features games, videos and interactive worksheets explaining the workings of the government.

Truth be told, the site is pretty no frills and not all that exciting. However, it is extremely informative. It was a great refresher for me and also gave me the tools to teach the basics of U.S. government to my children in a way that they understand.  The site does not discuss the candidates but it does include links to learn about your individual state.

2. Scholastic News 

Yes, this is the Scholastic of your childhood. Scholastic is a publisher of thousands of books and educational materials for school age children.

I like the Scholastic site. So did my kids. Visually, the site is appealing.  It includes an election countdown, results of a student Scholastic vote, and stories by kid reporters, including the latest election news.  The site also includes candidate profiles and lessons on the election process.  Scholastic is unique because it is the only site I came across that provided information on Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, the Green Party and Libertarian Party nominees, respectively.

3. TIME for Kids

TIME for Kids is a weekly classroom news magazine sponsored by Time, Inc.  It is very similar to the Scholastic site.  It also features an opportunity for kids to vote, stories by kids reporters and candidate profiles.  I like the profiles on Time better because they are more detailed.  For that reason, they may be more appropriate for older children.

Although they don’t address the more controversial issues of the election, there are a few articles on TIME for Kids that tackle difficult topics that your children may have questions about like, “How possible is a Rigged Election?”  The article is a fact-based discussion of voter fraud but it does mention Trump’s allegations of election tampering.  I appreciate that Time doesn’t “dumb down” the election coverage which makes it a great spring board for discussing the election with your child/children.

4. PBSKids.org You Choose 2016

We are big fans of PBS Kids website in our house.  The site has games and activities featuring your favorite characters from the television network.  Their 2016 Campaign Coverage does not disappoint.

While it isn’t as comprehensive as TIME for Kids or Scholastic, it is a great resource for younger children.  It’s simple interface and lively music made it attractive to my six year old almost immediately.  It includes a section called Meet the Candidates which features basic information about the Democratic and Republican nominees.  It also features a number of videos with a kid reporter named Presley who explains the basics of government and the election process.  Kids can also create campaign posters and trading cards with past U.S. Presidents and their spouses.

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About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

Teaching Our Boys About Sexual Assault

We live in a society permissive of the objectification of women and steeped heavily in the culture of rape. Especially in our communities. Not only do I want to raise men who never perpetuate these crimes, I want them to be the type of men who actively stand up against them.

When I was 18, I was sexually assaulted. It was early in my first year of college and I was attending a party off campus with a group of girls I barely knew. A man I didn’t know grabbed and groped me from behind, and when I broke free and tried to defend myself, he and his friends surrounded me.  I was able to run out of the party and get a cab. I cried the whole way back to my dorm.  I have to admit, even now, it feels foolish to call what happened to me sexual assault. It was 1999 and at 18, I just considered it a bad experience.  I assumed it was part of being a woman. By the next morning, I had even decided I was lucky.  It could have been worse. For so many women, it was so much worse.

The fact is, sexual assault is “any type of forced or coerced sexual contact or behavior that happens without consent.” It can include rape, attempted rape, molestation, unwelcome touching, sexual harassment or threats.  According to the Office of Women’s Health, “in the United States, nearly one in five women has been raped and almost half of women have experienced another type of sexual assault.”

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This fall, my husband and I are expecting our third boy. When I found out he was a boy, I have to admit, a small part of me, was relieved.  Though living as a Black man in American society has it’s own risks, I knew I’d never have to worry about them being ogled in the street as adolescents or insulted when they refused to reciprocate a stranger’s advances or be groped as college freshman at a party.  I allowed myself to believe that sexual assault was a “girl problem” and not something my boys would have to worry about.  Recent headlines have proved my comfort misguided again and again.

In many ways, there rests a greater onus on us, boy parents, to make sure the world is a safer place for our girls.  We are obligated to teach our boys accountability, even when no one is holding them accountable.  We are obligated to teach our boys about consent, about boundaries and about respect.  Perhaps just as importantly, we are obligated to teach our boys not to be bystanders.

When people hear I am a mother of three boys, they use adjectives like “crazy” and “wild” to describe what my sons must be like.  They depict my boys as “full of energy” and “hard to control.”  While the energy level of my young boys is undeniable, I am always hesitant to wholeheartedly subscribe.  There is this underlying idea that their gender somehow renders then irrational and unable to regulate their behavior.  I realize this kind of thinking is what contributes to our society’s failure to place accountability on our sons. As if their masculinity makes them incapable of thought or reason.  It’s the same line of thinking that calls a presidential candidates musings about sexual assault “locker room talk” or informs a system that calls a young college student’s vicious rape of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster “20 minutes of action.

I realize now that my misguided idea that I could be “less” worried about my boys when it comes to sexual assault was dangerous. In many ways, there rests a greater onus on us, boy parents, to make sure the world is a safer place for our girls.  We are obligated to teach our boys accountability, even when no one is holding them accountable.  We are obligated to teach our boys about consent, about boundaries and about respect.  We are obligated to teach our boys about self-control and responsibility. Perhaps just as importantly, we are obligated to teach our boys not to be bystanders. We live in a society permissive of the objectification of women and steeped heavily in the culture of rape.  Especially in our communities. Not only do I want to raise men who never perpetuate these crimes, I want them to be the type of men who actively stand up against them.

Now, as a mother, over a decade since I ran from that party in tears, I can’t help but wonder  what conversations the mother of the man who assaulted me had with him when he was a boy. What conversations the mothers of the men who stood idly by and witnessed my fear had with them.  What examples their fathers set and how they treated the women around them. I can’t help but wonder if it would have made a difference in the man they chose to be. If it would have spared me the stain of their memory.  I know our children ultimately become adults with free will.  They will inevitably make choices that are contrary to the lessons we have taught them.  However, their free will doesn’t negate our obligation to try.  We all bear the burden of changing the way women are viewed in this society.  That task necessarily begins with doing a better job raising our boys.

 

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About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

Dedan Bruner, President of the DC Chapter of Concerned Black Men, on the Importance of Mentorship

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, at-risk young adults are 55% more likely to enroll in college and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions if they have a mentor. A positive mentoring relationship can be life altering.

I had my first mentor when I was 13. My mother was working as a Court Clerk in Queens Supreme Court in New York, and my elementary school was closer to her job than our home. Rather than take the multiple city bus rides it would take to get home, I took a ten minute bus ride to her job each day and waited in the chambers of the Judge she was working with until she got off.  His name was Judge Kenneth Brown. While I’m sure his chambers were worthy of a man of his stature, all I remember was his small television and toaster.  While he was on the bench, I would do my homework, watch television and call my friends on three-way (which was a big deal in the nineties). When he was in between cases, he would pop in and make us raisin toast while we talked about his life and his cases. He told me about having to send a picture in with his law school application and being denied repeatedly based on his race.  He told me about the joy he felt when finally attaining his degree.  He told me about being a single father to his daughter and working nights in the Post Office to pay for law school.  He passed away years ago, and I doubt he would remember much about the skinny girl eating toast in his chambers.  However, the time we spent together made a significant impact on my decision to go to law school and my dream to one day sit on a bench.  The thing is, my mother had been working for the courts my whole life. I had been around lawyers and Judges but never close enough to hear their stories.  Never close enough to envision myself doing the same thing.  I remember thinking if he could achieve his dreams in the face of unimaginable setbacks, so can I. Mentorship can be a subtle influence in that way.  It makes the impossible seem possible just by humanizing your dreams.

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, at-risk young adults are 55% more likely to enroll in college and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions if they have a mentor.  A positive mentoring relationship can be life altering.  Recently, I had the chance to chat with Dedan Bruner, Attorney and President of the D.C. Chapter of Concerned Black Men, an organization founded to fill the void of positive black male role models in our communities by providing mentors and programs that affirm psychological, academic and career enrichment.  Mr. Bruner shared some of his experiences mentoring, his thoughts on the importance of mentorship, and how to make the difference in the life of a child.

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Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

I am from Pasadena, California. I live in Washington, D.C. and I came to the area to attend Howard University in 1994 and have been here ever since.

Q. What do you do for a living?

I’m an attorney. I work at the D.C. Office of Human Rights where I investigate employment based complaints alleging discrimination and/or harassment.

Q. How would you define mentorship?

The act of assisting others through potential challenges and pitfalls in a given arena.

Q. Why did you decide to become a mentor? 

It’s funny. I’ve always been an advocate of civic service, but I never felt comfortable becoming a mentor. My old excuse was that I didn’t feel like I’d be in D.C. long enough. After living in D.C. for about 15 years, a friend called me on my flawed logic and challenged me to get involved. I’m glad she did.  I started mentoring through a program sponsored by the D.C. Chapter of Concerned Black Men (CBMDC) named Just Say Yes (JSY). JSY is a group based mentoring program for D.C. area boys aged 9-15.  I started off as a visitor.  A few years later, I stepped into a leadership role as the program chair and ultimately, President of CBMDC. Most importantly, I’m still a mentor.

Q. Did you have mentors growing up? If so, how did those relationships impact you?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have had several mentors along the way, but the experience I recount most was the mentor I had back in middle school.  While I don’t remember the man’s name, I remember that he took me to my first Raiders game (I’m still a fan), and that he gave me a wallet for Christmas. I recall being disappointed when after inspecting it thoroughly, I learned that the wallet was empty. I have to remind myself of that story on the occasions that I may get frustrated that one of the young men I’m working with “doesn’t get it.” I’m proof that sometimes the lessons take a while to sink in.

Only perfect kids need perfect mentors.

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Q. I’ve mentored young women at different phases in my life. Both in college and in law school, I was involved with mentorship programs that had active initiatives to recruit our men and other men of color to mentor because they had difficulty recruiting men of color. I am so excited to hear about Concerned Black Men and other initiatives led by black men. What, if anything, do you think is the deterrent to many of our men becoming mentors?

Great question. We hear [from] a lot [of] guys [that they] need to “get themselves together” before they can expect to help someone else. My response is usually, “only perfect kids need perfect mentors.”  [Also], a lot of guys have said that they don’t have the time to mentor. Many D.C. programs only meet a few times a month (JSY meets twice). While the excuse is common, I try to refrain from refuting it because we make time for those things that we see value in. If someone tells us he doesn’t have the time to mentor, we thank him and keep it moving.

I have also heard “I don’t have anything to offer/teach,” to which I try to impart that a mentor’s job is not to be a teacher, or a coach or even a lead blocker in the game of life. A mentor’s job is just to be there, to assist in working on a problem, not to solve a mentee’s problem. A mentor is a friend who has been a little further down the road [and] is willing to share what they’ve learned.

In all, the greatest deterrent is the potential mentor himself. If he believes he has something of value to offer, he will. Sadly, the converse is true as well.

Mentoring sounds good in conversation with others, but if it’s not your thing, find other ways to give back.  Potential mentors need to keep in mind that often those who they’ll be mentoring have been disappointed by the men in their lives. If you cannot commit at least a year, it may not be the right vehicle in which to give back.

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Q. How do you become a mentor?

In our program, all mentors attend an interest meeting. At that meeting, we go over the program because we want to make sure that it’s a good fit for the mentor. For most it is, but some find that our program may not work for them. Taking the time to properly set expectations is critical to getting off on a good foot.  Next, mentors fill out an application and get fingerprinted. We do a comprehensive background check. We are not of the belief that those who may have made mistakes in their past are not suited to mentor. However, individuals with a history of domestic violence and/or pedophilia are not a liability I’m willing to take. It may sound harsh, but the safety of the youth we work with is [at] the foundation [of] everything we do.  After the background check comes back, the potential mentor is either approved to mentor or notified that his background check yielded results which make his participation in our program impossible.

Q. What are the qualities of a good mentor?

There is no perfect combination of qualities but some I look for are: 1) flexibility, 2) a good listener, 3) a person who doesn’t see his mentee as a victim or a charity case, 4) person not afraid to laugh at himself, 5) someone who is tolerant of other views and positions, and 5) most importantly, someone who is consistent and dependable.

Q. What would you say to someone hesitant about mentoring?

One of the great things about having a group mentoring program is that we allow visitors. That way, those who may have hesitation can visit a few sessions before deciding if the program is a good fit.  Generally, I’d tell the person to challenge himself. After all, that is what we’re asking the boys to do. On the same token, I ask potential mentors to be honest with themselves. Mentoring sounds good in conversation with others, but if it’s not your thing, find other ways to give back.  Potential mentors need to keep in mind that often those who they’ll be mentoring have been disappointed by the men in their lives. If you cannot commit at least a year, it may not be the right vehicle in which to give back.

Q. What do you do if you feel like your mentor/mentee relationship isn’t a good fit?

New mentoring relationships take time to cultivate. The first several times a mentee may respond with one word answers (their day was fine, their family is fine, and they had fine for dinner).  That’s to be expected. Mentors, especially new mentors, should not be disheartened if it takes a while for a mentee to let you in their circle of trust. Being authentic and consistent are critical during this timeframe.  If, it is ultimately determined that a fit doesn’t work, we may switch mentors.

New mentoring relationships take time to cultivate. The first several times a mentee may respond with one word answers (their day was fine, their family is fine, and they had fine for dinner).  That’s to be expected. Mentors, especially new mentors, should not be disheartened if it takes a while for a mentee to let you in their circle of trust. Being authentic and consistent are critical during this timeframe.

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Q. What has been your most memorable experience thus far?

It’s not a pleasant story. When I first took over as Program Chair, a mother told me not to tell her son to pull up his pants. We had a polite exchange of ideas.  Her take was that telling him to pull them up just put extra emphasis on it and made it more of an issue and that if unaddressed, he’d eventually get tired of the fad and would pull them up. My position was that her son was someone the younger mentees looked up to and emulated.  I did not want younger boys in our program picking up what we deemed bad habits. [In the end, she] remov[ed] her son from the program. Last year, she reached out to me because her son found himself in serious legal difficulty, and she needed people to write character references on his behalf. All I remember about the young man is the circumstances in which he left the program.

Q. What advice would you give to parents searching for mentors for their children?

I have a few tips:

Get involved. Statics show that youth programs are more successful when they have parent commitment and buy in.

Ask questions, give updates, and feedback. These are your kids, you should know what’s happening with them and you are [in the] best position to help us connect with your kids. If a boy got a part in a school play, hit the game winner, or if his favorite grandparent just passed away, these events can greatly impact a mentee’s mood. Giving us a head’s up helps mentors to better support the mentee.

Respect the mentor/mentee relationship. I tell parents and mentees alike that a mentor is not an extra set of parental ears. It’s not my job to report back. In fact, doing so can undermine the mentor/mentee relationship which should be built on trust and confidence. That said, I make it clear that if there was ever a threat of violence, I would not keep that confident. However, in a few cases where those situations have occurred, what I was able to do was facilitate the mentee sharing the information. That way the mentor/mentee bond is strengthened as well as the communication between parent and child.

I often get moms who say to me “I need a mentor for my son because a woman cannot raise a man.” I was raised by my mother, a grandmother and a gang of aunts so I don’t believe this.  At the same time, it’s not my place to tell parents that they are wrong. What I [ask] in these instances is, what are the top things you want your son to learn? [Does the list include] integrity? Respect? Consideration? Self-Confidence? Good manners?Discipline? None of those characteristics are masculine or feminine. In fact, they’re some of the same things I want for my daughter. These are things that are best modeled at home and supported by the activities your son is involved in. We will do our very best to help in those efforts through programs that explore those and many other values.

Q. Any long term goals or dreams?

In the words of Big Boi, “ I just wanna sit back and watch my little girl blow bubbles.” For each of the last 6 years I’ve said it was my last year so that I can spend more time with my daughter. So far, I haven’t taken that step back. To the contrary, my mentees have met my daughter, and she knows when I’m going to “spend time with the guys.” Most of my mentees are living in single-parent, mom-led households; I think it’s important that they see me taking care of my daughter. Not because I’m good at it, to the contrary, I tell them about my many mishaps. My hope is that it sends a message that being a father [is] the act of rolling up your sleeves and making good on the commitment to the best you can for your child.  Especially in those times [when] you’re scared and have no clue what you’re doing. I’ll step back one day, but as of right now, we’re having too much fun.

For more information about the D.C. Chapter of Concerned Black Men, visit:  www.cbmdc.org, Instagram @cbmdc and Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ConcernedBlackMenDCChapter/. You can also visit the national website at http://cbmnational.org to find a chapter near you.

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About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

20 Affirmations for Expectant Mothers

There are so many beautiful things about pregnancy. Your child will never be closer to you and that fact can bring you peace. However, it’s easy to get lost in worry and “what ifs” if you allow yourself to give in to all that can go wrong. Here are twenty affirmations to repeat if you find yourself overwhelmed with doubt.

There are so many beautiful things about pregnancy. Your child will never be closer to you and that fact can bring you peace. However, it’s easy to get lost in worry and “what ifs” if you allow yourself to give in to all that can go wrong. Here are twenty affirmations to repeat if you find yourself overwhelmed with doubt.

Dads, feel free to say them with your partners.

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  1. I am beautiful

  2. I am safe.

  3. I am protected.

  4. I am strong.

  5. I am worthy.

  6. I am intuitive.

  7. I am able.

  8. I am growing.

  9. I am confident.

  10. I am vulnerable.

  11. I am grateful.

  12. I am happy.

  13. I am healthy.

  14. I am powerful.

  15. I am peaceful.

  16. I am rested.

  17. I am responsible.

  18. I am hydrated.

  19. I am capable of love.

  20. I am loved.

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    About The Author

    Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

Meet Lynquay Sanford: Incredible Mom and Entrepreneur Who Returned to School to Pursue Her Dreams

My own mother’s choice to achieve her dreams not only changed the opportunities available to me and my brothers, it motivated me to pursue my own dreams. When I heard Lynquay Sanford’s story of similar fortitude and grit for her own children, I knew I had to talk to her to learn more.

When I was nine, my mother went back to school to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  Just a few year earlier, she and my father went through a tough divorce, and she was left as the primary guardian of me and my two older brothers. Even as a kid, I understood the magnitude of her decision to go back to school.  I knew she had to overcome naysayers, self-doubt and the financial uncertainty of pursuing a degree while working full-time and raising three kids. My own mother’s choice to achieve her dreams not only changed the opportunities available to me and my brothers, it motivated me to pursue my own dreams.  When I heard Lynquay Sanford’s story of similar fortitude and grit for her own children, I knew I had to talk to her to learn more.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live? How would people who know you describe you?

My name is Lynquay Sanford, and I was born and raised in Queens, NY. I currently reside in Wendell, NC. People would describe me as being very straight forward, funny, strong-willed, caring, loving, and a great friend and motivator. I am always open to new ideas. I am also a great mother to my children.

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2.What made you decide to go back to school?

I opened a Family Child Care Home because I wasn’t satisfied with the child care centers in my area that my son attended. I wanted to learn more about how I can help preschool children and bring quality education to my Family Child Care Home. I started off by taking one class that is required to operate a Family Child Care Home. I liked it so much that I decided to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education.

3. What were you doing before you decided to go back to school?

I was an EMT and I worked at a level one trauma center in Raleigh, NC dispatching helicopters and transport ambulances.

4. How did you prepare to get your degree? For example, internships, certifications, application process. How much time did it take?

I received my Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education in December 2015. I will continue on to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in Early Care and Education and or Human Development and Family Service. What prepared me for this was operating my Family Child Care Home. I stepped out on faith and started my childcare business. It may take me three years to receive my Bachelor’s degree as I will be taking classes online and at my own pace. The cost of pursing any degree is expensive; however, I’ve graduated debt free because I had a scholarship to attend school. I will also be on a scholarship when I return to school the fall of 2017.

5. What do you plan to do with/have you done with your degree?

My plan is to expand my Child Care home and open a Child Care Center and or ½ day preschool.

“I was going through a very difficult divorce and working 7 days a week the last two years of me being in school. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel many times, but I couldn’t help but look at my children, especially my daughter, to show them no matter how tough life gets never give up.”

6. Who was your biggest inspiration? Mentors? Family? Friends?

I have so many people that have inspired me into going back to school. I was introduced to a group of ladies, all African American, who owned child care centers and family child care homes. They inspired me to stay in school and obtain my degree. My child care consultant also stayed on me to stay in school. I also come from a long line of strong black females, including my mother, grandmother and aunt, that inspired me to follow my dreams.

7. What was your biggest motivation? In other words, what kept you going?

My children kept me going. I also had the support of my mother and close friends who stepped in to help me with my children while I attended school at night.

8. Did you experience any setbacks? How did you overcome them?

Yes, I had many setbacks. I was going through a very difficult divorce and working 7 days a week the last two years of me being in school. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel many times but I couldn’t help but look at my children, especially my daughter, to show them no matter how tough life gets never give up. Just take your time pray about what you are going through and keep on moving. I tell them all the time that God does not give you or put you through anything he thinks you cannot handle.

9. If you had a chance to go back in time and speak to your 15 year old self, a) would she be surprised to see where you are now? b) what would you say to her?

Surprised? Yes! I thought I wanted to be a Veterinarian. I did not know anything about owning anything at that age. I would tell my 15 year old self to stay head strong and that she can do anything she puts her mind to. I would tell her that she is stronger than she thinks she is.

“Don’t let people change your mind or put doubt in your mind. Surround yourself with people who will push you and not distract you from pursing your dreams.”

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10. What advice would you give to someone thinking about going back to school or going after any dream?

Do it. Don’t let people change your mind or put doubt in your mind. Surround yourself with people who will push you and not distract you from pursing your dreams. Surround yourself with people who will be honest with you when you have those weak moments from pursuing your dreams. Also, know that it will not be easy but if you want it bad enough, you can achieve it. Success does not happen overnight.

11. Any long term goals or dreams?

My long term goal is to stop working 7 days a week. My dream is to have several child care centers and half-day preschools that will service low income families and families with special needs children.

Check out Lynquay’s Family Child Care Home, Open Arms Daycare here.

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About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

25 Positive Affirmations For Parents

Though the ability to parent is a gift and a blessing, it can also be tough. It’s easy for self doubt to creep in which can leave you questioning your ability and worthiness. Say these 25 positive affirmations to get you on the right track.

Though the ability to parent is a gift and a blessing, it can also be tough.  It’s easy for self doubt to creep in which can leave you questioning your ability and worthiness.  Say these 25 positive affirmations to get you on the right track.

  1. I love my child.

  2. I am loved.

  3. I am strong.

  4. I am reliable.

  5. I am capable.

  6. I am motivated by love in caring for my child.

  7. I act in my child’s best interests.

  8. I can manage my child’s needs.

  9. I show my children I love them.

  10. I enjoy my children.

  11. I respect my children.

  12. I challenge myself.

  13. I am not afraid.

  14. I am present.

  15. I have good judgment.

  16. I am intuitive.

  17. I am consistent.

  18. I am fair.

  19. I am patient and calm.

  20. I am worthy of self-care.

  21. I am worthy of respect.

  22. I am doing my best.

  23. I am inspiring.

  24. I am valued.

  25. I am needed.

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    About The Author

    Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

20 Life-Changing Quotes on Parenting

I didn’t know my capacity to love until I had my children. I didn’t know how fiercely I would fight to protect them. I didn’t know how motivated I would be to leave the world a better place. Parenting has inspired great thinkers, artists and activists past and present. Here are 20 quotes on parenting by some of the greats to give you inspiration and solidarity as you navigate rearing the loves of your lives.

I didn’t know my capacity to love until I had my children.  I didn’t know how fiercely I would fight to protect them. I didn’t know how motivated I would be to leave the world a better place.  Parenting has inspired great thinkers, artists and activists, past and present.  Here are 20 quotes on parenting by some of the greats to give you inspiration and solidarity as you navigate rearing the loves of your lives.

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1. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass

2. “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you and though they are with you they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you for life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” – Kahlil Gibran

3. “My most important title is still mom-in-chief.  My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.” – Michelle Obama

4. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.” – Cheryl Lacey Donovan

5. “Your children need your presence more than your presents.” – Jesse Jackson

6. “The reality is that most of us communicate the same way that we grew up. That communication style becomes our normal way of dealing with issues, our blueprint for communication. It’s what we know and pass on to our own children. We either become our childhood or we make a conscious choice to change it.” – Kristen Crockett

7. “In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.” – N.K. Jemisin

8. “You don’t have favourites among your children, but you do have allies. ” – Zadie Smith

9. “When mother-cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth” – Chinua Achebe

10. “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” – Maya Angelou

11. “Black people love their children with a kind of obsession. You are all we have, and you come to us endangered.” – Ta-Nehisi Coates

12. “Loving someone as fiercely as my mom loves me must be like wearing your heart outside of your body with no skin, no bones, no nothing to protect it.” – Nicola Yoon

13. “The best thing she was, was her children.” – Toni Morrison

14. “Beautiful is the man who leaves a legacy that of shared love and life. It is he who transfers meaning, assigns significance and conveys in his loving touch the fine art and gentle shaping of a life. This man shall be called, Father.” – Stella Payton

15. “Behind every great man is a man greater, his father.” – Habeeb Akande

16. “The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving of ways.” – Unknown

17. “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” – W.E.B. DuBois

18. “Family doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be flawless. It doesn’t have to be what you had in mind. You can’t control it. But it is a gymnasium for love to work out in.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

19. “I tried to be the greatest boxer in the world and a good parent, too. I had instant feedback on my success as a boxer. Often, parents don’t really know if what they are doing is right or wrong until their child is grown and it is too late to change any of the decisions. Whatever my failings as a parent, I am very proud of all my children. It wasn’t easy for them to make their own way with such a controversial and public father.” – Muhammad Ali

20. “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” – James Baldwin

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About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.