Posts Tagged ‘Teens

I was interviewed a few weeks ago by Fitsmi.com a website devoted to helping Teen girls overcome issues with Obesity. I am an advocate for healthy eating in areas that are on the low-end of the socioeconomic totem pole. Unfortunately the South Bronx is on the top of that list check out the interview here http://www.fitsmi.com/moms/our-blogs/mastermind-monday/2010/04/30/the-south-bronx-diet-stacked-against-you/ there is a lot of work to be done.  The culture of this area needs to change and one of the major ways we can do that is by educating people. The article was also selected as an Editor’s Pick on Open.Salon.com http://open.salon.com/blog/divamomnyc/2010/05/03/the_south_bronx_diet_stacked_against_you

Happy Living,



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.



Join me tomorrow as I will be a guest on Writer’s Life Chats with host Kisha Green. The show starts at 8pm if you would like to listen or call in with your comments. If you are not familiar with Street Lit you can check out my earlier post to gain some knowledge http://bit.ly/cjEFSF I am excited and curious to see what others have to say on this topic.Peace,


Bonding with your teen sometimes it is so hard to bond with our kids. When they are young it’s easier because you have a captive Audience. Every little thing you do is amazing to them and vice versa. Then they grow up And learn to walk and talk and make their own friends and have this life that may not include you anymore. I have a 14-year-old son and sometimes I wish I could transport myself into one of his video games to get his attention. I take advantage in the mornings though! I use our walk to the subwAy and in the subway as a way to connect. One of my favorite things to do is listening to music with him. I’ll share my headphones And just randomly play songs when music was music and take this time to teach him about the greats. Which shows he listens based in his on iTunes librAry which is loaded with the famines, and blink 182 and Greenday. Being a woman there Are some things that concern me with raising a son. All I can do is teach him respect for women and be a good person. It got me to thinking what are some of the best ways we can connect with our teens when we live in such a disconnected society? When I say disconnected I mean it in the sense thAt the human contact that grew up with and going to a friend’s house to play or talking on the phone for hours About absolutely nothing are gone. Now it’s a text, Twitter or Facebook with tons of people at once. Here are some ways that you can reconnect with your teen.

1- Keep all lines of communication open but make physical/verbal contact the main one.

2- Have a special night just for them. For me and my son this is usually Thursday nights we go out to eat and talk. It’s like a date with your kid.

3- If you have smaller children and you often leave the older ones in charge of them let them know how much you appreciate them doing you a favor and helping out ; don’t make it seem like it’s their responsibility when they are annoyed or bothered that they have to babysit.

4- Ask them what’s going on in their lives, find out who their friends are invite them over. Encourage them to be physically social with their peers.

5- Have a movie night with just them let then pick the movie and the snacks. If possible make a snack together that you can enjoy during the movie this will also be an opportunity for you to talk.

6- Always tell them how much you love them the older they get the cheesier it will sound but they need to hear it!

7-Let them make their own mistakes this is a hard one even for me but it has to be done. They need to make their own decisions and learn from them otherwise how will they ever make choices in life?

8-Allow them the freedom to express themselves this could include anything from their choices in Music to Clothes (within reason).

9-Set Limits,boundaries a great example is a curfew make it clear if curfew is broken for any reason without them calling or a non emergency there will be consequences etc.

10-Tell them how much you love them and are thankful for them!

Happy Parenting,


Follow the DIva