11 October 2011
I experience a fire when I was in high school. To say the least, it was frightening. I remember that we were awakened by pounding on the front door of the apartment building. Allegedly, the first floor apartment unit had been set on fire. My family occupied the second floor unit and the smoke and fire was undetected until we were awakened by the pounding that prompted me to open our door. It was a friend of the family who was on her way home and came running when she noticed smoke coming from our house. I still call her an angel today.
How did the smell of smoke and the crackling of the fire able to burn without notice? Unfortunately, we did not have smoke and fire alarms in our apartment building. Sadly, a fire evacuation plan was unheard of, but fortunately, we all got out safely.
This week, October 9th to15th is Fire Prevention Week nationwide. It is imperative that families who have working smoke and fire detectors to implement a fire evacuation plan for your living situation. If you already do have on in place, practice it. This can save the life of a scared child. In the fire that my family experienced, my Grandmother was delayed from escaping the fire because my cousin who was very young and frightened, ran up to the third floor and hid under a bed. However, one of the most joyous moments in my life came when my Grandmother and cousin walked through the smoke and flames and into our waiting arms.
I would recommend that parents and guardians discuss evacuation plans and procedures and post them. Be sure to cover all the bases to get your family out safely and to call the fire department as soon as possible. As important as it is to designate a meeting place, it is as equally important to designate someone to be the Family's Fire Captain. This person can be in charge of tasks such as, testing the alarms monthly, organizing practice drills, etc.
Since 2009, there have been an average of seven people who died daily in home fires in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Let's do our best to make sure that our families are protected to the best of our knowledge from dangerous house fires. Flames take only a few minutes to engulf a home while fire evacuation plans can ensure that your family reach safety within a couple of minutes. Be safe!
30 September 2011
The children of today face an issue of bullying that is far more harmful and maniacal than the past generations. Bullying seems to be a senseless fad. However, children need to be made aware that bullying can and probably will be, an issue in a number of life settings aside from school such as work, internet (cyber bullies), etc.
If children are equipped by their parents to deal with mean half-raised kids’ mental and social deficiencies; then, they will have a better chance to ward off these types of social ingrates. Also, parents can get their children into various classes of martial arts to develop mental discipline, learn self-defensive techniques and training to handle any physical issues that they may encounter from peers.
It is extremely important for parents to build a strong foundation at home. This provides a level of comfort and evokes open communication. When bullying is discussed, as a parent, give assurance to your child that they are mentally and physically sound and to report the “problem child” at school. Children feel more relieved after talking about the issue with parents and coming up with a resolution.
As a parent, it is very important to be attentive, to be able to recognize any subtle changes in your child’s behavior or mood. Stay tuned into them emotionally to be able to pick up on any clues that they may exhibit at home. It is absolutely normal and within a parent’s right to contact the school and speak with a teacher, counselor or principal about any subtle or erratic changes in your child’s routine.If your child become a victim of bullying, and the school that your child attends fail to help, go see a juvenile detective immediately. In some cases, you may have to turn to higher authority for the proper help to resolve the incident(s).
It is extremely important to teach your children how to love. This is one lesson that literally starts within the confines of your home. I used “teach” and not “show” because if taught effectively, your children will be at an advantage that may include true bliss, as it has done for me.
In preparation for my wedding (years ago), I wrote a special, heartfelt note to my mother. It read:
Mom, if you hadn’t provided for me and taught me
The beauty, warmth, security and the honor that love brings…
I would not be the bride that I am today.
When I wrote that note to my mother, my heart was filled with all the memorable events that were all based on love. I thought about how she was my personal teleprompter as I gave my graduation speech. I thought about how she laid on my pillow with me and prayed at night. I thought about how she encouraged me, even when I did not have the courage, to sail and chart my own course in life.
My immediate family consisted of my mother, father, and grandmother; through all came lessons on the true meaning of love. I felt it every morning when my mother greeted me with a hug and kiss. I felt it every night when my dad walked through the house to make sure that it was secure before he retreated to bed and closed his eyes. I felt it every day when my grandmother had lunch waiting for me at the table when I arrived from a long day at school.
The lesson of love comes with an understanding that will not fall prey to limitations. Love will comfort you in your darkest hour or your lowest place. It will give you a radiant glow of confidence as you stand proud in your achievements.
It is the accumulation of love and honor that will direct you on your path to greatness. Love has only four letters but what makes it profound are these six letters, family. It is the love that was bestowed upon you that will lead you to make wise decisions in life. I can honestly say that I am in a place, a space in my life’s journey that is filled with love.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. -Corinthians
19 September 2011
As my seven year old daughter diligently trains to replace Jaden Smith as the next “Karate Kid”, I am able to attend her practice sessions. I don’t have to worry about requesting a couple hours of personal time from work to do so…that’s yesterday’s news. Today, I successfully own and operate a web-based business that inspires women to take ownership of motherhood, while transforming their “hobbies” into businesses they are passionate about.
Operating a business from home has its advantages and disadvantages. There are times when I am physically gathering ingredients for dinner with one hand and typing with the other. There are other times when I am pulling a pan out of the oven and recording notes on my Blackberry so I won’t lose my thoughts on pertinent information to give to a client.
A minor downside is that my day never ends and this sometimes leaves me in a quandary. The sneaky, little, tedious tasks called chores are the absolute culprit. However, I have found some ways to help the busiest of mothers to resolve this issue (and some involve the children).
Here are some suggestions for taking care of the chores:
· Make use of the alphabet by having the kids put away an item that begins with each letter.
· Remember Simon Says? Have them clean up their mess in no time and with a smile on their faces. Simon Says…take out the trash!
· While on important phone calls, make use of that time. Group items to put away or tackle the laundry.
I’ve managed to successfully juggle the obligations of my home life and the demands of my business life. Although challenging at times, it is definitely a blessing. I am able to work on my time and to be in control of my own dime!
16 September 2011
Do you know what your name means? Do you know what your children’s names mean? Names are powerful, and can have positive or negative impact on our lives. Just think of Jabez in the Bible. The meaning of Jabez is "he who causes pain". Despite the fact that Jabez was one of her best children, his mother gave him that name because of all the pain she suffered during labor. His life was very painful because of this. So painful that he cried out to God, asking for Him to relieve him from pain, not to be delivered into temptation, to be delivered from evil and to enlarge his territory. God, being merciful, answered his prayer.
I know that it's not the intention of many mothers to cause this multitude of grief on their child, but Jabez's mother was out of line on this one. No child asks to be brought into this world, nor does any child understand the pain of childbearing unless and until they become a parent.
In an act of defiance, better known as a tantrum, I asked my mother over and over why she couldn't name me something common, like Theresa or Yolanda. After she allowed me to vent, she finally responded with, "Because you are a unique leader.” Okay, that made me smile. I left her alone after that response because I felt it was deep!
Later in life, I found out that my name, Alena, means "torchlight". The meaning became more profound when I reflected on my life and began to think of my days running track in high school and college. I am the oldest of my siblings. I was the first to move away from home and the first to move out of my hometown. I think it is safe to say that I absolutely love my name because it matches the life that I live.
My message for future parents is select an appropriate name for your child. The name will have an impact on their life. Cute names are just that, cute. Don't try to keep up with the Jones'. Think of your child and do some research before deciding a name for your bundle of joy. Pick a name that they can potentially live up to. One that you will be proud to share the meaning of.