Loading...
All Posts By

Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt

How to Talk To Your Child About Aftermath of George Floyd’s Death

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

As a parent (future, impending, new or veteran), we are challenged to cope with these unsettling times, and to help children who are experiencing and witnessing the mayhem related to the pandemic, and now social unrest.

It’s not just us.

The world is challenged by COVID-19 and more recently, the growing protests following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia . Now more than ever, we all need to become committed to personal introspection and to gather our thoughts so we can later help our kids make sense of it all.

Parents no longer have the luxury to just ignore it because the world, companies, influencers, brands, schools, political figures and seemingly everyone is saying something…finally!

A lot of parents, especially non-black parents, may struggle how to broach to topic because they themselves do not know how to process it,  know what to say, know how to say it and may experience anxiety, fear and uncertainty on how their message will be received.

I write to share my thoughts in hopes they may serve as a guide.

Ultimately, on the protests, fires and violence, you can try to shelter children but understand that if they are online, or have eyes or ears, they will hear and see what’s going on and may ask questions.

Using simple, age-appropriate wordsm explain that people are upset with a bad incident and are protesting to let the people in charge know they are not happy because this bad incident has happened before and they do not want it to happen again.

Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

Race may be a complicated topic but if you feel your child can understand, you can go ahead and let them know that while everyone should be treated equally without regards to what they look like on the outside and what skin they have, that is not always the case. And people are upset and demanding that things change so everyone can feel safe, especially our black friends, neighbors and family.

You can let them know that it is a complicated and complex problem that adults, and in particular those in charge of certain institutions, have to deal with and hopefully, we will make progress.

They should not be burdened that they bear any personal role, though you can tell them that they should always treat everyone with kindness but let them know that the problem is bigger than just one-on-one individual actions of kindness. Bigger systems need to work in order to make the type of changes people are looking for.

If you feel you need to address the fires, violence and looting, you can let them know that there are bad people who are not protestors who have sadly gone to where the protestors are and that they causing more ruckus and mayhem.

It is upsetting to you and the protestors because they think their voice may get drowned out by these other guys.

The government is stepping in to try to weed out the bad apples mixed in with peaceful protestors, but some people think it may be too much force and getting even more upset.

Again, let them know that these are adult matters and we adults are in charge of working all of this out.

You can give them a sense of understanding that what is happening is not anything they can control but that you have hope things will work out eventually and in the end, if not soon, in the future.

For older teens, if you are comfortable discussing, you can let them know that the uprisings in protests around the United States and solidarity marches and demonstrations around the world call our attention to the cause: the systematic and institutional abuse of power and authority that has resulted in repeated instances of police-involved killings of unarmed black men, women and children in America, many times when the victims are innocent of any wrongdoing.

There is a lot of scholarship and articles summarizing the problem you can find online. Here is one that I recommend:

They should know that a lot of people are taking to the streets also because they are tired of being stuck at home because of Stay-home orders and calls for social distancing.

They have decided to join those people who are frustrated with being restrained from critizing authories and once again calling for reform to ensure all citizens are treated with human dignity and respect during police encounters.

It’s a mixed bag of a lot of different people with different agendas and looks like a mess.

Nonetheless, let them know the focus must remain on the cause of the uprising and not the tragedy and property losses that are the effect.

Ideally, all lives should matter when it comes to the exercise of caution by police to limit civilian death outcomes. Sadly, history has shown that is not the case as one racial class of people is persistently killed at an alarming disporptionate rate compared to their population in America and with impunity.

There are several initiatives and ways to get involved, demand action of elected officials, or donate to the cause of those doing the hard work to improve this situation for the betterment of all, and in particular black citizens in this nation.

I hope this helps.

Stay healthy and Safe out there!

How to Throw A Drive By Party

.

The pandemic has completely changed the way we enjoy traditional celebrations because of the need to social distance and because party supplies are harder to come by these days.

Families are now hosting zoom birthday parties and drive by wedding receptions. People are leaving caks on doorsteps, packags are wiped down and kids are enjoying online magic shows.

And as this is graduation season, a bunch of Class of 2020 graduates have found themselves having to celebrate their commencement in virtual ceremonies and drive by parades. I just attended one that my town threw for all the seniors today.

If you have an event coming up that will  be curtailed by Stay Home Orders and Social Distancing laws that have not been lifted yet, here is a step by step guide on how to throw a  drive by party:

Step1: SPREAD THE WORD

What’s a parade without people watching from the sidewalk?! Ahead of the event, mail free printable invitations to friends, family and neighbors, or even leave DIY invitations along with a little party favor on their porches. Want to go the tech savvy route? Create a Facebook event or post the parade details on a neighborhood app or website.

Step 2: PLAN YOUR DECORATIONS

Before you start decorating your car, choose a theme. What’s the occasion? What colors would you like to use? What are the guest of honor’s favorite things and favorite colors? Spending a little time pre-planning your car decorations will go a long way toward having a successful car parade celebration.

SHOP IT

Birthdays come around just once a year, so make the day special! Use a car decorating kit to decorate your vehicle, or create your own unique look especially for the birthday person! Ask parade guests to hold balloons or even wear party hats as you drive by in your decorated car with the special birthday person. Custom photo cutouts, standups and yard signs are especially fun to see along the parade route! The guest of honor can also wear a special hat or fun shades and accessories as they wave to well-wishers.

From Pre-K and Kindergarten to high school and beyond, kids have worked hard to achieve this graduation milestone and should be celebrated. Honor them in a big way with a car parade! If you’re driving the graduate around, deck your car with all kinds of grad goodies including graduation year decorations, banners, signs and balloons. (A car decorating kit makes it super easy!)

People watching the parade can participate by holding signs (or displaying them in the yard), hanging banners, waving custom photo cutouts of the grad or cheering with pom-poms or clapper hands.

SHOP IT

 

Step 3: PLAN SPECTATOR FUN

Just because it’s a socially distanced celebration doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Make the most of the parade with party favors and fun extras like noisemakers and confetti poppersparty hatspinwheels and more.

The parade host can provide them ahead of time with a door drop or the parade guests can provide their own as a special surprise for the parade honoree.

Now get out there and celebrate!

Excerpted from OrientalTrading

This post contains affiliate links and if you purchase any item from a link in this article, this blog will earn a  small percentage commission on each item

13 Songs About Resistance, Protest and Revolution To Listen To Now

“I just want to live. God protect me,” sings gospel artist Keedron Bryant.

The 12-year old Season 4 of  “Little Big Shots” contestant sang the song and posted it on his Instagram page in tribute to the latest unarmed black person to be killed by police, George Lloyd.

I just want to live..:God protect me," sings 12-year old gospel artist and Season 4 "Little Big Shots" contestant…

Posted by Jay Jay Ghatt on Friday, May 29, 2020

Lloyd’s death came after a store clerk called the cops alleging he had used a counterfeit $20 and  protocol usually calls for a suspect to be given a ticket if more bills are not found on them given the fact that it is possible someone who uses one may not actually know the bill used was fake.

Somehow things escalated and he was arrested without resistace yet it ended getting violently and Floyd was killed mercilessly by an officer after being held down by a total of four. It also happened in front of the smartphone cameras of onlookers who plead for one officer, Derek Chauvin, with his knee in Lloyd’s neck to let the man breathe. He did not let up for 9 minutes and eventually killed him.

That officer has been charged with Third Degree murder and Manslaughter after a couple of days of unrest when the Minneapolis DA failed to arrest and charge the Chauvin.

Lloyd’s name and hashtag is added to Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery who was hunted down by a vigilante ex cop and his son and EMT and Nurse Breonna Taylor, a Louisana mom who was riddled with bullets when police while serving a warrant on a person they already had in custody barged into her home in the middle of night while she and her boyfriend slept.

There has been protests, which has spread to other cities across the country, from Georgia to DC to Louisiana, and some which have turned violent with looting and destruction of private property.

I do not condone any of that.

I have seen reports that say that anarchist groups with agendas to sully the peaceful protestors have been stirring the pot.

Nonetheless, I do know that the United States was founded on rebellion against the British.

The Boston Tea Party was a riot as was The Stamp Act Riots of 1765, the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 and the Stonewall Riots of 1969, each uprisings of oppressed people in America.

In the course of history, many movements in the world have had elements of violence to them: Apartheid in South Africa, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the Arab Spring, Eritrean and South Sudan secessesion from Ethiopia and Sudan, respectively, resulted in resolve after the unrest.

Peaceful protest results in wins but so do anarchist ones.

In any event, I am being moved and motivated by songs of Resistance in history. Here are a few of my faves which are very relevant lines:

1

What’s Going On?” By Marvin Gaye

Picket lines and picket signs

Don’t punish me with brutality

Talk to me, so you can see

Oh, what’s going on

What’s going on

Yeah, what’s going on

Ah, what’s going on

2

We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel

“We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire

No we didn’t light it

But we tried to fight it”

3

War” by Bob Marley

Until the philosophy

Which hold one race superior and another

Inferior

Is finally

And permanently

Discredited

And abandoned

Everywhere is war

Me say war

That until there no longer

First class and second class citizens of any nation

Until the color of a man’s skin

Is of no more significance than the color of his eyes

Me say war

That until the basic human rights

Are equally guaranteed to all

Without regard to race

4

Revolution” by Nina Simone

And now we got a revolution

Cause I see the face of things to come

Yeah, your Constitution

Well, my friend, its gonna have to bend

I’m here to tell you about destruction

Of all the evil that will have to end.

Some folks are gonna get the notion

I know they’ll say I’m preachin’ hate

But if I have to swim the ocean

Well I would just to communicate

Its not as simple as talkin’ jive

The daily struggle just to stay alive

5

Revolution” by The Beatles

But if you want money for people with minds that hate

All I can tell is brother you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be

All right, all right, all right

You say you’ll change the constitution

Well, you know

We all want to change your head

You tell me it’s…

6

We Gone Be Alright” by Kendrick Lamar

We gon’ be alright

Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

7

Ohio” by Crosby Stills and Nash

Gotta get down to it

Soldiers are cutting us down

Should have been done long ago

8

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – Gil Scott Heron

You will not be able to stay home, brother

You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out

You will not be able to lose yourself on skag

And skip out for beer during commercials, because

The revolution will not be televised

9

“Soweto Blues” by  Miriam Makeba with Hugh Masekela

The children got a letter from the master

It said: no more Xhosa, Sotho, no more Zulu.

Refusing to comply they sent an answer

That’s when the policemen came to the rescue

Children were flying bullets dying

The mothers screaming and crying

The fathers were working in the cities

The evening news brought out all the publicity

10

A Change Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke

It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die

‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky

It’s been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

11

Get Up Stand Up” by Bob Marley

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!

Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight!

 

12

I Want to Break Free” by Queen

I want to break free

I want to break free

I want to break free from your lies

You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you

I’ve got to break free

13

Southern trees bearing strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the roots

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south

Them big bulging eyes and the twisted mouth

Scent of magnolia, clean and fresh

Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

“Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday

 

7 Ways Parents Can Reduce Stress During Covid Pandemic

COVID has taken an emotional toll on many of us, and parents have really felt the brunt of it. From having to work from home, help the kids with schoolwork and entertain them, and not really getting much of a break or social time of their own, the stress can quickly add up.

How can mom and dad reduce their stress, fatigue, and overwhelm and get back to feeling good again?

Dr. Alok Trivedi is a health and human behavior expert, founder of the Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book ‘Chasing Success.’

He offers this advice:

1 Take a break: Just like when you worked in an office you would take breaks throughout the day, you must do the same when you are constantly with your kids and family. That’s not being mean or selfish. That’s taking care of your mental health and well-being. If you don’t take breaks you can’t be at your best the times when you are with your family.

2 Get out of the house: One of the biggest challenges for parents and everyone these days is being stuck inside. You may not want to go to the mall or supermarket, but you can still get out of the house. Go for rides in the car. Go for walks around the neighborhood. Sit outback and let the kids play in the yard. Go fishing. Whatever you do, just make sure each day includes time outdoors and out of the house.

3 Date time/adult time: Even though times are tough and your kids are always around, it’s important for parents to still get their adult time in. Make time to spend alone with your spouse. Give each other a massage. Hold hands. Have more sex. Physical contact is a great stress reliever. Have friends over and sit six feet apart on the driveway. Hold a virtual happy hour. Facetime your friends just to talk. You love your kids, but spending 24/7 with them is going to stress you out.

4 Focus on self-care: Everyone must put a focus on self-care, especially in times of craziness. Make sure and take at least 20 to 30 minutes each day to do something that you truly enjoy and relieve your stress, whether that’s taking a warm bath, spending time in nature, reading, listening to music, or whatever.

5 Delegate: Many parents are feeling overwhelmed these days. Having to work from home, help with homeschooling, entertaining their kids and more, there is a lot of responsibility on mom and dad’s plate. Get your kids involved and break up the daily and weekly tasks that must be completed. This not only teaches children responsibility; it will remove some of the stress that the parents are feeling.

6 Make it fun: One of the best ways to reduce stress is to add fun to your daily tasks. Maybe it’s rocking out to Aerosmith while you clean the house. Maybe it’s playing peek-a-boo with your baby. Take a random break from schoolwork for a quick game of hide and seek or bake a cake with the kids. Whatever is fun for you, do more of it.

7 Plan the future: A lot of parents are caught in the hustle and bustle of the here and now. The reality is that COVID is not going to last forever, and eventually, things will go back to some type of normal. Plan a trip. Plan a big party for when you can have people back in the house again. Look for restaurants your want to try when it is safe to eat out again.

Whatever you do, the idea is to get your mind thinking to a time when you can do more of the things you want to do again.

Now If Your Mom (Or Pops) Didn’t Teach You How To Clean House…

Last week, I blogged about a dad who started a YouTube channel to guide kids and young adults who are growing up without a father figure so today, I’m blogging about those of us whose mama didn’t teach us certain things about keeping house.

Just in time for Sprie I get accused of being anti-feminist. Here is some back story:

My roomate in college grew up in a military parent household. Her dad learned how to properly make a bed and crease the corners perfectly . She was great at folding laundry. Her shirts were exquisitely creased. Her socks drawers were meticulous as well. Her mom, I assumed, was all about organization and order and structure.

I envied my friend Richiey, who I had also went to high school with before we both matriculatated to the Unviersity of Maryland at College Park.

While I always have considered myself a neat and orderly person, I could not match the pristine way she was able to keep her things and phsyical space in tip top shape all the time.

She was the best roomate.

Now as for me, my mom worked as a housekeeper when I was a child  so you’d think I would have learned a thing or two about cleaning from her. Nope! After a day of cleaning hotel rooms, she had no energy left to teach me the proper way to clean house.

That is why I was so excited to receive this book called “Home Comforts: the Art and Science of Keeping House” from my law school class mate years later as a wedding present back in 1999.

It was a hardback book, not too fancy but amazingly went through everything in painstaken detail. They do not sell it any longer though you can still probably get a softcover version HERE!

I have a full review on the blog you can read HERE. I recently did a quick video review that you can watch here:

Beat Pandemic-Related Stall of Your Postpartum Weightloss Goals

The corona virus pandemic has ensured that people are staying in their homes. They do not have the option of going out or socializing. Staying at home and working from home means people are getting lazy and not exercising as much as they need to do. Along with the sedentary lifestyle, people are snacking more too.

Women who are trying to lose weight post pregnancy are finding it difficult because of the lockdown. And their cravings are also more, and if they do not control their intake, you are going to find them gaining a lot of weight.

But there is a solution to this problem. You can lose weight amidst lockdown and given below are a few tips to ensure that it happens:

Portion control

Overeating or binge eating is the main cause of weight gain along with a sedentary lifestyle. When you are at home in lockdown, you can be tempted to eat more than you usually do. This can lead to weight gain and considerable weight gain at that.

All your attempts at losing the weight you gained after child birth would have gone to waste. If you do not want this then make sure that you do not over eat.

Be disciplined.

Adhere to your meal prep. Make sure that you are eating the right portions. If you feel like snacking, eat fruits or raw vegetables in between meals, a cheat snack once in a while is fine, do not make it a habit.

This one step will ensure your fight against weight gain.

Exercise

Many of my friends who are regular at gyms are not exercising at all.

I spoke to a number of them and the reason they are not exercising seems to be lack of motivation.

I do not agree to this at all. Are we trying to lose weight to impress others? I surely am not doing it for that. My reason for losing weight is me. I am trying to impress myself. I want to look and feel good. I want to be in the best shape of my life. I want to shed the additional pounds and I will motivate myself.

My motivation is not looking at my friends and acquaintances in the gym, my motivation is me.

If you have the same drive and determination you will self-motivated to lose weight on your own without anyone’s prodding or without looking at others weight loss achievements.

There are many ways to exercise at home, you do not need any new equipment, you can use the things at your home to exercise or you can just use your own body weight.

YouTube has innumerable videos which can help a person lose weight. You just need to search for weight loss post pregnancy and you will find a number of videos that show the exercises that can be done. You just need to follow them and you will lose weight if you do it on a consistent basis.

If you do not want to do exercises, you can search for dance videos to lose weight post pregnancy and you will get a list of videos.

You can just dance your weight away by following the dance steps. Again consistency is the key.

You can also try zumba, aerobics, pilates and much more too.

If motivation is the problem, you can follow the blogs of celebrities who have reduced weight post pregnancy.

They detail the steps they took and you can also learn from them. You can also visit other blogs like Prorganiq Blog and learn about losing weight in a healthy manner, learn about the foods that help in reducing weight, learn about the many weight loss supplements that can assist you in your endeavour to lose weight.

Water

Drinking the right amount of water per day is essential for weight loss. Many of us do not intake the necessary amount of water and this means we do not lose weight even after exercising and cutting calories.

A study found that people with higher body mass index tend to be dehydrated because they consume less water.

If you weigh 200 pounds, you should divide it by half, i.e., 100 pounds, each pound would be one ounce, which means you should drink 100 ounces of water every day. The right amount of water will ensure you lose weight in a healthy way.

Sleep:

Everyone knows about the advantages of sleep. Sleeping 7-8 hours every day is essential for losing weight post pregnancy.

You may feel like sleeping more, you can do that once in a while but do not sleep less than 7 hours.

Take short power naps in the day if you are feeling tired but do not sleep because you are in lockdown and you can sleep to while the time. After strenuous exercise your body needs sleep, so give what your body wants.

The Under Armour Backpack All the Cool Kids Have is On Sale!

A lot of people are home shopping and a lot of retailers are aware of this fact, and as such, are offering deep discounts on beloved products.

This weekend, an email popped up on my screen from my affiliate partners Under armour alerting me that its very popular Under Armour UA Hustle 3.0 which normally retails for about $55 is almost half off for a limited time down to $27.99.

All the boys at my sons’ school sport this trendy bag from a beloved brand that was actually founded in our state, Maryland.

It’s the official athletic apparel company for their school’s team sports and Spring uniforms.

The bag is not just stylish and sleek and great for any gender, it is also durable with a sturdy reinforced shoulder strap, a rugged bottom panel to withstand the stress of being dropped on the ground, a top grab handle so it can be picked up and taken on the go and more.

It’s good for a student who carries a laptop as it has a sleeve for a laptop  but beware, it can only hold one that is 15″. If you or your child has a larger 17 or 18″ size laptop, it would be a tight squeeze or won’t fit at all! I’d recommend upgrading to the larger Storm Recruit backpack which isn’t on sale but runs just $64 regular price. Not bad for a durable bag that will last the test of time.

The bag is also good to use a sports bag. It has a gusseted front laundry bag inside at the bottom, meant for shoes to separate them from books or other items. It’s not too large so sons with huge feet may not be able to use this function.

Two side pockets can hold water bottles so hikers can use it to hold enough thirst quencher for a long trek.

There is also font water-repeellant part for valuables like mobile phones and wallets.

Overall, I think this bag is perfect to use as either a light weight back pack or a sports bag but not both.

Also, there is not enough room for heavy books and all the other stuff kids carry around. It’s only good for schools where the kids use lockers during the day to hold books, and for kids that go in and out of their lockers.

If you’re shopping now for Back to School or Summer sports training, consider getting one too!e 3.0 one for too!

I’m also gonna invest in a new runner’s cap. It’s sleek, pre-curved run cap is also on sale down to $15.99 from its original $19.99. I like that it’s super light and made of breathable mesh venitlation on the side and back panels…just in time for outdoor exercising and running this Summer.  Get it now before the sale expires.

Trend: Family Porch Portraits Are Sweeping Across America

What started as a way to capture and commemorate these uncertain times with home-bound families for the sake of creating memories, “Porch Project” photoshoots are trending all across the country and abroad in the Uk.

Photographers and community groups work with residents to arrange family photoshoots that take place on the front porches of homes.

The picture-taker uses his or her professional quality lens and stays a substantial social distance away, wears gloves and conducts the entire shoot in a safe manner. They usually capture people in front of their homes so you don’t have to have a porch either.

Many of the photographers donate all or a portion of the proceeds from booked appointments to charities that help COVID-19 victims or front line workers.

Not everyone is crazy about what seems to be a sensible and fun way to celebrate families and give back. One anoymous writer penned a warning on a popular professional photographer’s website, calling the practice an irresponsible trend and work around.

The Photography Association of Canada went as far as request that photographers stop conducting doorstep photo sessions based on fear they caused spread of COVID.

GEORGIA

(source)

IILINOIS

(source)

MARYLAND

(source)

MASSACHUSETTS

(source)

NEW JERSEY

(source)

NEW YORK

(source)

NORTH CAROLINA

(source)

OHIO

 

(source)

TENNESSEE

(Source)

TEXAS

(source)

VIRGINIA

(source)

CANADA

(source)

Study: Covid-19 May Attack Placenta in Pregnant Women

A small study of 16 pregnant women who tested positive for Covid-19 found evidence of injury to the placenta, the organ that acts as the gut, kidneys, liver and lungs for a fetus during pregnancy.

Pathological exams completed directly following birth found evidence of insufficient blood flow from the mother to the fetus and blood clots in the placenta.

That might interfere with the placenta’s role in delivering oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood stream to the growing baby and removing waste products from the baby’s blood.

“Not to paint a scary picture, but these findings worry me,” said Northwestern Medicine obstetrician Dr. Emily Miller, coauthor of the study published Friday in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, in a statement.

Despite following only 16 women, the authors said the study is the largest examination of the health of placentas in women who tested positive for Covid-19 done to date.

“I don’t want to draw sweeping conclusions from a small study, but this preliminary glimpse into how Covid-19 might cause changes in the placenta carries some pretty significant implications for the health of a pregnancy,” said Miller, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“We must discuss whether we should change how we monitor pregnant women right now,” Miller said, which she said might be done by testing the oxygen delivery of the placenta during the pregnancy and following the growth of babies via ultrasounds.

continue reading