DivaMomsNYC

For ages their have been all types of slang and code words that children have used for generations. With the age and explosion of the internet, social networking, and Instant Messaging if you have a teenager you may barely be able to understand the words that come from their mouths.  So I am going to inform you of a new term that is going around and I encourage you to talk to your teens about it. The term “VCard” is being used by boys and girls. No it’s not something for their netbook or Xbox. What a VCard actually is, is your child’s virginity. So if you hear kids/teens talking about collecting VCards, or possibly giving up their VCards this is what they are referring to. With the rates of Teenage Pregnancies and transmissions of STD’, self-esteem issues etc. It is so important that we talk to our kids about sex. They are exposed to it everyday via TV, the Newspaper, in School and it’s not something that is going to go away. I ask you to share this information with other parents so we can all start to be a little more informed about the life of our Teens.

Peace,

DivaMomNYC

Advertisements

Today I have been captivated by the Goldman Sachs hearings. As I type this the echo of the hearings are streaming via CNN and  echo in the background. As a parent of a child in Public School, an employee in Education and a Taxpayer I must admit I am mortified and disgusted. Not for the reasons you may think. The fact that some of these stockbrokers and CEO’s can admit they have no regret about their actions, the fact they collected $9 million dollar bonuses as people lost their homes and jobs are a given. These are not the things that trouble me, what troubles me are the similarities between the structure, bureaucracy, and downfall of the financial system and the Education System. Replace CEO’s with Principals, Replace Brokers with Teachers/Parents, Replace Profits and Losses with Students. See why I’m worried? The thing that worries me the most is the lack of accountability. I have always likened raising a child to having stock depending on how much you invest in it and nurture it the better the return will be. Who is to blame when our kids don’t learn? How is it acceptable that Principals profit and earn big bonuses when their schools are failing? You have schools that are boasting about sending kids to community college.. Really? Is that all we can offer our kids? What does that say about why they are not competitive, why they have no interest in school.? Why their SAT scores are in the toilet? How can we expect our kids to succeed when we put people in charge of their education to ensure they fail? Where is the moral and ethical responsibility? Where and how do we begin to bring reform to our children’s schools and take responsibility for their Education? Do you really know your child’s teacher or principal? As the chairman repeatedly accused the Goldman Sachs CEO’s of doing was selling “junk”. To a certain degree that’s how I feel about the quality of education in some schools. You have teachers that are just working to earn Tenure and they know they are doing a crappy job. You have principals that allow this, they need to protect themselves so they can also get tenure and bonuses. It’s not fair.  If you are a taxpayer in NYC you have a right to know what teachers, principals and administrators earn at your child’s expense. Here is a site where you can check http://www.seethroughny.net/Payrolls/EmployeeSearch/tabid/69/Default.aspx

Here is another site to get an inside look in NYC schools http://gothamschools.org/ and speak with other parents a great source of information is http://www.edwize.org/

Also remember you have a right to know who is teaching your child, stop by their schools unannounced, check on them in classes, observe what goes on in the halls, talk to your children. Don’t always take the teachers word. We are all accountable and we all have a responsibility to the future of America. There will be more to come on this topic. I encourage people to comment especially from other states, I can only attest to some of the goings on in NYC.

DivaMomNYC

This weekend has been quite interesting to say the least. I made a new friend but I have also been looking for a new place to live. If you have ever had to look for an apartment in New York I’m sure you understand where I am coming from. I am literally at my wits end. Why is it so expensive?I am not sure where I will end up given what I can afford but I’m still looking. Wish me luck!

DivaMomNYC

bitching about Door Man strikes in their building http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/nyregion/19strike.html The title of the article says “New Yorkers Brace for Doorman Strike”. I am a New Yorker and to be frank I am not bracing for shit. This part of the New York Lifestyle affects me in no way whatsoever. I have lived in New York my entire life and like most I think it’s a great city, I think it’s a great place to vacation. To live here is another story. You have average rents for studio apartments starting at $1,000 a month in a semi decent neighborhood,crime is ridiculous, jobs are scarce and there are just too many people here. As a single mom its hard enough trying to pay rent my last apartment in the ass of the Bronx was $1,200 a month not including utilities, food etc. I now live in Brooklyn in a not so normal living situation which may be changing in the next few weeks. I work for the Dept of Education and my salary is about $37,000 a year. After deductions I take home about $1,500 a month. That is barely enough to support myself as a single person yet to also have a teenager. But I do it. Thats the one thing NY has taught me and that is how to survive and always have a backup plan. I am on the fence now about leaving the state because I can’t afford to live here. Depending on some information that should come in the next few weeks I will have to decide where to move to next in NY or leave the state completely. Here was my response to the NY article “As a Native New Yorker who works in Education and makes only $37,000 a year and sending a kid to Private School. I have been more than creative in trying to find a decent place to live in NY. $40,000 is nothing in NYC to live on. The opening paragraph states how much these people are needed. If you have the money to pay for convenience than Pay IT! Some of us don’t have the luxury, means or to be frank the desire. Only in NY could you make $40,000 a year and be poor!. I long for the days when I see my son through HS/College and I can take myself around the world and open up doors for those less fortunate!” I mean every word of this statement I would love nothing more to drop everything fit what I could in a backpack and travel the world helping children, and people who will never know such privileges of having a doorman, a place to sleep that is their own, or even a book or pair of shoes. So call me bitter, jealous, envious I could care less what I am is a human being who has spent my life sacrificing for others because that’s what makes me feel good and instilling those same values in my son. With all of the natural disasters going on in this world, and people having no respect for life, nature, the planet we need to pick our battles and choose wisely. So these doormen deserve a living wage and if that means they have to strike to get it I hope they do it! In New York it’s an everyday occurence of people struggling for basic necessities. The fact that people are actually shrieking at the thought of opening their own doors, maybe having to go to the post office to pick up their packages, or greeting their own children after school doesn’t stir up one bit of empathy from me. I pick up my own packages, I take my kid to school, I raise my own child and have done it for the last 15 years, I do my laundry, I grocery shop, I bathe myself, I open my own doors, I swipe my own Metrocard, I feed myself, I cook for myself, I dress myself, I think you get the point. I think the part that bothers me the most is people who have never been to NY will get the impression this is all our story and it’s not. NY is a hard place to live, love and earn a living. Don’t believe the hype!

DivaMomNYC

I wish I made up that headline just to attract attention to my post but I didn’t. It was a real conversation between my 14-year-old son and I. So how do you react when you have a kid that’s still into Video Games, Friends, Pizza and Cartoons but comes home to tell you that his classmate has given birth as if he was asking for a new pair of sneakers? My first reaction is a selfish one because I am glad it’s not my kid, my second reaction is why is a 14-year-old getting pregnant and where is her mother? Lastly why is this subject not as surprising to my child as it is to me? Females have been having babies since the beginning of time, but there is a rapid increase of Young Mothers and it is downright scary. I had my son at 18 not exactly an adult but not a child either and to be quite frank regardless of age 15 years later I have yet to revisit the experience. Raising children is not an easy task, there are days when I honestly feel like I could cry non stop because of all the worries and fears. There isn’t a book on how to raise every child because no 2 kids are alike. I learned a lot as I went along and I am still learning. One of the things that I appreciate most about being a mom is the teaching aspect. I try to teach my son something new everyday about life and being a good person. These are the lessons that will help make him a man. Now at 33 years of age, employed, educated, creative, resourceful and resilient I still don’t feel like I know it all when it comes to Parenting so it just makes me wonder what these children are doing when they decide to bring children in to the world. Sex Education and Health classes are non-existent in most schools and a lot of Parents have issues talking to their children about sex. So what do we do? How do we help these kids? There has to be a way to show them beyond episodes of Teens in Trouble on Maury that having sex at an early age can mean the end of their life. A baby is a gift. A disease not so much. I would love to go around to schools and communities and talk to girls and boys about this. They need to see that this is not an option for their childhood. I know several young/teen moms and speak to them on a regular basis and I am in the process of writing a Teen Parenting Guide. Not to encourage girls to have babies but for the ones that are parents on how to properly take care of them, how to budget, how to maintain a healthy mind and body for themselves as well as their baby. Most Parenting books are written from the perspective of Married, Older Women who want to have children not from the 13-year-old sitting next to your daughter in Math Class.

DivaMomNYC

I have a 14-year-old son and there are 3 things in his life he can not live without. Food, Video Games, Video Games and oh yea did I mention Video Games? Growing up I was addicted to my Atari2600 I played it for hours on end. Whether it was trying to get to the end of Pac Man, or racing through the crappy graphics of Pole Position I loved my Video Games. I am an only child so other than books, TV and school Video Games were my entertainment and escape. Now fast forward 20 years video games have exploded! The graphics are a thousand times better, the scenarios are realistic, you can even play with people and not be in the same room, or the same country for that matter. Way cooler than rescuing the princess from Bowser any day. There have been a lot of studies conducted on the effects that these games have on children. A lot of the best games are violent, and have strong language thus the warning labels. I have heard of cases of kids playing games for days straight without any sleep. This is a damaging occurence, kids need to sleep. I have asked my son and several of his friends why they play video games and the answers I got were quite interesting. Most said the games offered a release for them now as an adult let’s think of some of the things we do for a release from stress, work, etc I don’t know about you but Sex is the first thing that comes to mind along with drinking! I didn’t say every adult does these things I just said the first things that came to my mind. Next they said the games offered them entertainment well that’s a given. They like the fact that in these games they can do things that they can’t yet do in real life like drive, go to clubs etc. I asked about the violence and does it have an impact on how violent they are? They said no. The fact that they play these games and a lot of the games are violent it actually has the opposite affect on them in real life. They also said that the games give them confidence. I asked in what way? With some games you are allowed to get achievements which allows you to earn gamer points the more points you have in a particular game the better you must be so you get bragging rights and other gamers envy you. So in real life you could be Nerdy James Smith but in Borderlands you could be Slayer718 (gamer tag) basically an alter ego. I don’t think all games are bad a huge part of why me and my son can discuss certain genres of music is because of a playing RockBand and Guitar Hero together. After all how is the time they spend on games any different from the amount of time we spend on Twitter, Facebook or Blogging? I will agree that as with anything else they should be monitored and played in moderation. Also the content of the game should be at the discretion of the parents. So next time you get at your kids for being on the games think about what you are doing at that moment? Were you yelling from the computer or while you were tweeting on your blackberry? Think about what video games you were playing at their age. Lastly for a second think “What if what they do in video games were actually what they were doing in real life”? Maybe once in a while play with your kids and see if you share the same thoughts and feelings when you play these games regardless of the result at minimum you will open a new door and coversation.

Peace,

DivaMomNYC

Cursing at your children.. On a daily basis I’m either on the subway or just walking down the street and notice parents cursing at their children. The thing that bothers me is they are usually small children like under 5. I am wondering if there are any long-term effects as a result of this? Most times the parents are frustrated and just react in anger. I am not a psychologist nor am I a mother of the year but in my 15 years of being a parent I have never cursed at or hit my child.. Now as he is going into his teen years that may change. My question is when you see something like this do you say something? Also do you think it has any effect on the child?

DivaMomNYC

Follow the DIva

Categories