Friday, December 2, 2011

Parents, are we too hard on ourselves?

Thoughts By: B. Brown of Bar-Red Entertainment Group (BREG)

As parents, we have egos that can be larger than any pro athlete or entertainer in the world when it comes to dealing with our children. The mantra is usually "Do what I say because I'm your father or mother!" Have you heard that before from someone you know very well?

The truth of the matter is that we as parents and adults make mistakes, and we have to learn how to cope with those mistakes so that we become better because we made the mistake. I do not believe it is healthy for us to dog ourselves out totally and then be no good to anybody.

My suggestion is that we acknowledge the mistake, analyze and determine what we could have done better and then move forward to a solution that helps all parties involved. This way, we are setting a great example for our children, and keeping everything moving forward.

Checkout the outstanding article below from Makayla Sadamori! I'm sure you will find it to be very interesting!

One Love!

Parent! Don’t Judge Thyself

Written by Makayla on July 7, 2011 · 1 Comment

If there was a parenting Bible the title above would be a part of its Holy Commandments! As parents we are all bound to make mistakes. After all we are human and as such we are not perfect. We are actually expected to make mistakes because that is what leads us to look at what we don’t like in ourselves as parents and what corrections we want to make. Unfortunately most of us are conditioned by our own parents and by society that mistakes are bad and the only way to pay for the sin of making them is to feel bad, incapable and guilty. In fact we often feel the more severely we judge ourselves the more we show how regretful we are of what we have done.

Unfortunately, falling into the trap of judgments leads to no good end. The only effect it has on us is that it throws us into negativity and brings our emotional tone down. On the other hand, allowing the impact of a mistake to lead us to a desire to correct it allows us to improve our situation. In the mode of correction, we tend to focus on the desire to improve, which helps us release our guilt and put our energy into the betterment of the situation at hand.

Allow yourself to compare how you feel when you judge yourself for the mistakes you have made and how you feel when you focus on the desire to be a better parent to your child. Which of the two feelings inspires you to change and improve? Which one of them comes from your heart and gives you hope and joy? Which one of them will you choose to align to and follow?

Parents, be kind and loving to yourselves, especially when you feel you need correction. The love and compassion you find for yourself when you err will help you be even more loving and compassionate to your children when they err too.

By Makayla Sadamori, Joy Parenting Coach

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Right Attitude For Our Youth!!!

By: B. Brown - Bar-Red Entertainment Group (BREG)

I waited to write this blog because I wanted to cool-off and write an objective piece instead of just blasting "ASTRO" of the live tv reality performance show "X-Factor." He was almost sent home last week simply because of his attitude. L.A. Reid (Legendary Music Business Executive) and Simon Cowell (One of the Top Talent Scouts In the World) both made comments in regards to his attitude after Astro ended up in the bottom two (2) of the voting.

You see, I have a problem with young people that are disrespectful and appear to be unthankful for the opportunities or help that they receive. It is truly a situation that has to be addressed with our young people.

Until last week, Astro had not really experienced any adversity on the show because he has really been performing well! But as in life, just because you are talented and your performances have been going well, and everyone is telling you how great you are; things can change in a hurry. When there is public opinion voting taking place, there is always a chance that the most talented person does not win because other contestants may have better voting support teams and that will make all the difference in the world at the end of the day. Astro and a lot of our young people most overstand that life isn't going to always go their way, even if they are the most gifted and talented person.

I have seen it 100 times. A young person doesn't receive the response or news that they want or expect, so they now believe the world is against them and they are mad! So now they want to act tough and say "F" the world because they don't care. This is the worse way for young people to conduct themselves because now no one wants to work with them or help them any more. Their mentors, coaches and teachers start looking at them differently and that's a major problem!

As you saw with Astro, most of these young people are going to eventually breakdown (start crying) because they are actually hurt. They are embarrased and they feel terrible about what has just happened to them, and all they know how to do is to act like they do not care. That's a dangerous reaction to a situation that is going to continue to happen to each of us for the rest of our lives. The reality is that we are never going to get 100% of what we want all the time. That's the truth! We as parents and adults must teach our children about adversity and teach them how to act when adversity comes, because it is definitely coming! We cannot afford to allow our young people to believe that everything is going to go their way everytime. If we do that, we are setting them up for tremendous collaspes that they may or may not recover from in the future.

I Pray that Astro bounces back this week with a humble, thankful and positive attitude!

One Love!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is Your Child Being Bullied? Or Is Your Child The Bully?

Thoughts By:  B. Brown - BREG

Bullying is a serious matter, no doubt about it! A lot of parents may not even realize that their children are being targeted every single day and that their child is living a real nightmare! Some kids go as far as suicide. It's really happening out here in the world and it's sad! Parents, let's always be in tune with are kids so that we will see the change in their attitudes and demeanor. If they don't want to go to school any more, we must find out why. It easily could be a bullying situation.

Now, what are some of the solutions? The story you read below discusses an outstanding program as a solution! When I do conflict resolution sessions, the first thing I do is let both parties speak and attempt to get to the root of the problem between the two parties. Verbal reconciliation is key! However, in some cases, the two parties refuse to settle their differences and in the future, a physical confrontation takes place. What will your child do? Are they going to fight, defend themselves, run, go get an adult, etc.?

The story below shares a true story with us about a young man that was being bullied at school, and his mother decided to put an end to the abuse and made a great decision!

If we as adults use the resources around us to help our kids learn how to deal with bullying and do it in the most non-violent way, it's a win-win situation for all of us; and parents that have children that are bullies, we have to help them as well! We cannot continue to afford to our children believe it is ok to destroy each other.

One Love!

As Real As It Gets: Bullying Victims Can Fight Back With Help From Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Royalty

UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro this weekend
will rightly include homage to the iconic Gracie family, creators of Brazilian jiu-jitsu nearly 100 years ago, creators of the Ultimate Fighting Championship nearly 20 years ago, creators of legendary family fighting figures and jiu-jitsu instructors that span the globe.
But the Gracies' most positive impact might be felt at a middle school in a Denver suburb where a seventh grader is unafraid of bullies for the first time since he can remember.

Martin Hendricks, 12, spent a week this summer at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, Calif., in an intensive program designed to make him "Bullyproof." He learned as many jiu-jitsu self-defense techniques as a kid can absorb in five days, he memorized a blueprint for dealing with a bully fairly and squarely, and he gained self-confidence. The first week of school he put the lessons into practice.

"I'm still a little nervous but it all went well," Hendricks said quietly in a phone call to Rener Gracie, his personal instructor at the academy. "He'll never bother me again. Let me tell you about it."
It's back-to-school time all over the country. For kids that get picked on, it's a return to a horror zone. Experts say that more than 150,000 children miss school every day because they are afraid of being bullied. More than half of all schoolchildren have witnessed a bullying incident and three of every four students say bullying is a problem at their school.

The bulk of bullying occurs from the fourth through the eighth grades, although it can continue through high school and even in the workplace. Bullying is intimidation or domination toward someone perceived as weaker, a way to establish superiority through coercion or force. The emotional scars are often worse than the physical beatings, and victims of bullying often become depressed and do poorly in school. Bullying can even lead to suicide.

Rener Gracie, 27-year-old son of UFC originator Rorion Gracie and grandson of legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu grandmaster Helio Gracie, knows all the statistics. He recognized that the martial art perfected by three generations of his uncles and cousins is ideal for combating bullies. So he and his brother Ryron developed a program specifically for youngsters who have been the target of taunts and shoves, kicks and punches.
Jiu-jitsu is a strategic, relatively nonviolent method of self-defense. It utilizes leverage, locks and holds that can neutralize a bigger, stronger opponent when both combatants are off their feet and grappling in close quarters. Combined with a clear understanding of the appropriate rules of engagement in a school setting, knowing the basics of jiu-jitsu can give a child the necessary tools to combat a bully.

"The program is engaging, it's fun and it will ensure that your son or daughter doesn't have to go through life at the mercy of tormenting bullies," Rener said.
Martin Hendricks was so timid when he arrived in Torrance last month with his mother and sister that he wouldn't speak to anyone at the Gracie Academy. Rener knew his background from speaking to his mother: Martin had been bullied for many years by many kids and had simply taken it.

"His grades suffered and he would never stick up for himself," said his mother, Wendy. "He's a nice, gentle soul kind of kid and now he didn't even want to go to school.

"Bullying is an epidemic. It's horrible and schools sweep it under the carpet. It breaks my heart."
Wendy learned about the Gracie Bullyproof program through the online video.

She called Rener and decided to take her son to California. "I finally felt like I found somebody who gets this," she said.

In addition to attending daily three-hour group classes, Martin was given private jiu-jitsu instruction by Rener each evening for a week. Then there was the mental training. Rener helped Martin understand that his fear of a bully hurting him was sensible. So was his fear of retaliating when he had no fighting skills.

Rener asked him: "If we can eliminate the fear of injury through technique and preparation, would it make sense to stand up to the bully?" "Yes," Martin replied. "Let's do it."

It took until Thursday for Martin to convincingly respond to a taunt by walking up to the instructor posing as a bully and saying with conviction, "Don't ever do that again."

Rener taught Martin the three T-steps: TALK to the bully and ask him to leave you alone. TELL the teacher and your parent that the bully won't stop even after you've talked to him. TACKLE the bully and use jiu-jitsu to gain control of him without resorting to punches or kicks.

"If you draw that line with your words and the bully respects it, the case is closed without a physical altercation," Rener told Martin. "But if you draw that line and they slap you, kick you, cross that line again, you don't think twice. You take both of your hands and push him as hard as you can in the chest. You blast him. Knock him off his feet.

"Then take control using jiu-jitsu and tell him you will let him go if he promises not to bother you any longer. If he won't say it, wait until a teacher or another adult shows up before letting him up."

Martin nodded. Rener had given him a plan and taught him enough jiu-jitsu techniques to take control of a bully. Still, Martin wondered, would he be able to execute the plan when he returned to Colorado and started school the following week?
Many schools across the U.S. have a "zero tolerance" policy regarding bullying and on-campus fights of every sort, suspending any student involved because often it is difficult to assign blame. The Gracies support zero tolerance but point out that the policy doesn't work well in deterring verbal abuse -- the most common form of bullying.

"That's why it is so important for a child being bullied to first ask the bully to stop the abuse, hopefully in a confident manner, then to inform a teacher or principal and their parent if the bullying persists," Rener said.
Sometimes, Rener said, the behavior will end there because a school administrator will contact the parent of the bully and the issue will be addressed at home. But bullies can be conniving, and after a short respite the abuse can start again when no adults are present.

That's when it's time for the victim to consider using jiu-jitsu, zero tolerance or no zero tolerance. And it's why teaching jiu-jitsu self-defense and submission techniques separates the Gracie program from others that also emphasize verbal negotiations with bullies.
"It's a lot easier to get a bully to promise he won't bother you any more if you are on top of him pinning him down against his will," Rener said.

The most injurious jiu-jitsu techniques aren't taught to kids. No chokes. Nothing that could render an opponent unconscious. It's a far different curriculum than the one that leads to advanced belts for adults, and it's far different from the Women Empowered program designed to help females fight off would-be rapists.
That isn't to say the Bullyproof techniques can't be devastating in submitting a foe. The 33 junior combative lessons required for a student to pass the course -- at the Gracie Academy or online -- include some of the same moves MMA stars Anderson Silva, Forrest Griffin and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will employ at UFC 134 on Saturday.
Four days into the school year and Martin was getting bullied again. He'd asked the bigger, stronger boy to stop calling him names and throwing a water bottle at him. But the abuse continued.

Rener called and delivered a pep talk. "Martin, would you rather fight one time and be protected for the rest of your life, or do you want to get bullied for the rest of your life? "Martin sighed. "I'd rather fight once."

"Do it, my friend," Rener said. "The bully still thinks he owns you. Tomorrow he will do the same thing. And when he does, you will engage. You don't ask permission, you don't stop, you just engage."

The next day the bully not only bothered Martin, but he pestered Martin's friend so much that the boy shook his head and said he might commit suicide. The bully then asked Martin if he could practice some new punching techniques on him, and hit him. Then he threw a water bottle at him.

Everything Martin had learned during his week at the Gracie Academy bubbled to the surface. He jumped off the lunch bench and while in midair pushed the bully in the chest with both hands as hard as he could. Both boys landed on the ground and Martin pinned the bully by placing his knee on his chest and holding his arms down with his own.

It was a classic jiu-jitsu combination -- decisive and effective without causing trauma or blood.
The bully was shocked and as he struggled in vain to get up he yelled that Martin was crazy. The bully's friends told Martin to get up, but as he told the principal later: "I chose not to."

The principal took both boys into his office and called Wendy.

"I was absolutely thrilled," she said. "The school, of course, thought I was nuts. But I explained that this was a long time coming for Martin. He's still that kind kid. He stuck up for himself and for his friend.

On Monday the principal called Martin into the office and let him know he wasn't in trouble. Fighting was not tolerated, he was told, but in this instance the response was appropriate. Neither Martin nor his mother told the school about his jiu-jitsu training.

The bully sought out Martin at lunch and apologized in front of other kids. Word got around the school. No longer is Martin the target of bullying -- from anybody.

Martin had one more piece of business. He called Rener to thank him.

"I couldn't have been more jazzed," Rener said. "He went through the entire cycle of standing up for himself verbally first, then physically, but not violently. He kept it humble, and allowed the bully to save face.

"No punches. No kicks. He just held him with Gracie jiu-jitsu. It's the gentle way."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Who is responsible for making our children better prepared for college?

Thoughts By: B. Brown - BREG

When people start talking about education, it's amazing to me that a lot of them do not mention the importance of the parents in the equation.

They usually mention how bad teachers have gotten and that the schools have to do a better job. I am always for schools improving, but I do not agree with parents blaming teachers, administrators and the school itself for their children not being prepared for college.

The schools, the parents, and ultimately the students have to all do their parts to ensure that the students are prepared to enter college and actually do college-level work.

Accountability is the key! What I have observed is that many students are not putting forth the effort to learn how to study and prepare for their daily lessons in class, their homework and their tests. If this is the case, then it doesn't really matter what the school system puts in place because the students have to do the work and take the test. If the students refuse to prepare for the work and the test, what are the teachers and adminstrators supposed to do?

Parents, let's make sure that we start teaching our children as early in life as possible the importance of life long learning, developing positive study skills and preparation.

Let's hold our children accountable for their actions and emphasize to them that they must get the job done because it is their future that is in jeopardy when they do not do well on tests.

Read the article below and let me know what you think. One Love!

Georgia’s high schools soon will begin a major push to make students better prepared for college.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (November 1, 2010)
State leaders also are determining what college-readiness skills high school students must learn and how to assess this knowledge. If students haven't mastered the material, the goal is to give them extra lessons before they graduate so they won't need remedial courses in college.
These efforts from the Alliance of Education Agency Heads, which includes the Georgia Department of Education and the University System of Georgia, are designed to boost college graduation rates while decreasing the number of students who take remedial classes.
Less than 60 percent of the students enrolled in Georgia’s colleges will graduate within six years, according to the university system. About one in four freshmen took at least one remedial class last fall.
"We do have rigorous high school diploma requirements now, but kids have been playing catch-up and they are graduating with some issues on some level," said Martha Reichrath, deputy state school superintendent. "We have bounced around a lot of ideas and we're doing a lot of work so our students are ready to enter college without any remediation."
Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, said the K-12 community must take responsibility for some of the struggles students face in college. More than half of the high school graduates who receive the merit-based HOPE scholarship lose it after freshman year because they can't maintain high grades, said Ehrhart, who heads the General Assembly committee that oversees college budgets.
"College-level work is significantly harder than high school, but they're graduating students who are not prepared," he said.
Educators across the country are working on this issue.

Florida allows high schools to test students using the state's college-placement exams to determine where students are deficient academically. North Carolina is considering using ACT scores to determine if high school juniors are on track for college-level work, and if they're not the schools will develop programs to get them ready. Starting with next fall's high school freshman class, Texas will roll out end-of-course tests using college-readiness learning goals. Students who fail the exams will get extra help.
Georgia is developing an index of skills students should have to make sure they are ready for the workplace or college after graduation, Reichrath said.
The education alliance discussed giving students a test while in high school to measure their college-readiness skills. If they passed, they wouldn't need to take remedial classes in college. If they failed, they would spend part of their senior year working on the lessons, said Alan Jackson, interim vice president for academic affairs at Georgia Perimeter College, who is serving on one of the alliance's committees.
Georgia is also among 38 states that adopted the Common Core State Standards -- expectations for what students should learn and be able to do in every grade level and subject. The standards, which Georgia schools will begin using in fall 2012, are designed to make sure students graduate college-ready.
The state moved toward college-readiness standards when it adopted the Georgia Performance Standards, which have been phased in over the past six years. The university system helped develop those standards.
Because of those standards, the state's colleges should notice a better prepared freshman class in the next couple of years, said Virginia Michelich, associate vice chancellor for student achievement for Georgia's university system.
"This is not all the high schools’ fault and it is not all the colleges’ fault and it is not all the students' fault," Michelich said. "But the only way we will fix it is if we all work together."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Learner's Permit and Driving License - Is your child ready?

Thoughts By: B. Brown of BREG

It is usually a scary proposition when it comes time to teach your 15 year old child how to drive and then prepare them for the written test and the driving test the next year. It can be a bit frightening to think that your baby will be driving by themselves very soon.

Are you ready? The bigger question is, are they ready to drive the byways and the highways? The story you will read below is a cautionary tell to all of us parents that we must truly prepare our kids to the best of our abilities to to make sure our children know what to do in the drivers seat.

Our children should get a copy of the book to study for their "Learner's License" and we should quiz them as often as possible on the rules and laws of driving. I recommend "Driver's Education Class". I believe some high schools still have these classes or there may be a county program. I also recommend taking our children to an empty parking lot and letting them get a feel for driving a car period, and then taking them through a series of driving drills and tests that they will see on the actual driving test. Repetition, repetition, repetition is the key.

Now, all of this preparation may not keep our children from having accidents in the future, but let's prepare them to be the most responsible drivers that we can.

One Love!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kensington Man Witnesses Car Crash Into Train Station

“I was just walking down Flatbush Avenue looking for a coffee shop,” said Brad Hames of Cortelyou Road in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, “When suddenly I heard a loud boom. I turned around and saw this big, black Mercedes smashed against the railing and the sign at the Nevins Street station.”

Brad Hames
Nevins Street Station After the Crash
(credit: CarollGardensPatch)
Brad Hames was one of several witnesses who saw the accident. The car was being driven by a young man who just received his learner’s permit and was being instructed by his father on the finer points of driving when the boy lost control of the car, jumped over the curb, and crashed into the station.

One of the car’s occupants was taken to Brooklyn Hospital, but it was not made immediately known whether it was the boy or his father. There were no other reports of injuries or damage, aside from that done to the train station.

As for Brad Hames and other residents of Kensington, they're just happy no pedestrians got hurt. This whole episode goes to show you that no matter the precautions you can never be sure what will happen.  Can I suggest a driving simulator for the young student before he gets on the road again?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Parents Do Right by turning in their children after seeing them on News Video.

Commentary From: B. Brown (BREG)

I would like to congratulate the parents in Milwaukee, WI that turned their children in to authorities after seeing them on tv looting a store with a lot of other young people on July 3, 2011.

Parents, you did the right thing because our young people have to learn how to think before they act and must understand that there are consequences to their actions! Point blank!

For the parents that decided not to turn in their children, don't worry, all the young people on the video are very visible and should be able to be identified by someone in the near future. Love, Teach and Discipline your children and they will be better off for it in the future.

Great job to the parents that did the right thing!!! Now that's what's up!

Click on the link below to watch the video:

One Love!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Parenting Superstar Kids!!!

Thoughts by:  B. Brown (BREG)

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are no doubt super-talented artists, actors, producers and directors, but how about being the parents of two rising superstar children! How do you balance that?

The article you are about to read below is an interview with Jada, and it discusses the interesting parts of what Jada and Will go through as parents, but also attempting to be objective and allowing their children to grow naturally and make some mistakes on their own.

I agree with Jada on definitely being there for our children, but at the same time allowing them to learn how to make their own decisions and even letting them fail at an early age so that they understand that there is work and development to be done to progress in life.

There are going to be up's and down's in life, but we have to instill fortitude in our children and have Faith that God will protect, guide and strengthen our children in their life journeys.

Article By:  Kelley L. Carter (Jet Mag. - Entertainment Spotlight; June 13, 2011; pg. 36 - 37)

Nurturing Hollywood royalty comes naturally for Jada Pinkett Smith. The 39 year old actress/producer/director stars in her own TV show (Hawthorne, which starts its third season June 14) and essentially reigns - with husband Will Smith - over one of the most powerful African-American families in show business.

But the couple - especially Jada - has been ripped by critics for stage managing their kids' careers in Hollywood. Some question whether Jaden (star of the hit film Karate Kid) and Willow (the voice behind last fall's breakout hit, "Whip My Hair") have been allowed to do too much too soon.

But Jada is confident that she and Will are more than capable of keeping the young royals in check.

"We're not new at this," Jada states. "I understand the in's and out's and all the complications that come with (this life)," she says. "I've lost people I deeply love in this game and I know how and why."


Q: How do you and Will parent?
A: We're courageous. We treat our children like little adults. [When] I came into the world, it was hard. I didn't really have much of a childhood. That might be why I don't know how to relate to my children as children. But people who live in the 'hood understand - that ain't nothing new. When you've got to send your kids out in the world every day, you hope and pray, but you don't have a choice.

Q: Have you ever tried to shield them?
A: You can't. What I do? I trust the Higher One. That's the one thing about motherhood: You learn that you are not in control. Your kids do not belong to you. At the end of the day, I just trust.

Q: Has seeing Jaden's and Willow's early success changed how you operate?
A: Their success makes me understand how close I need to be with them. I need to be by their side. Power attracts nonsense. With the type of success they have, there could be a lot of nonsense around them, but there is not because both are shielded by not just me but Jay-Z, Beyonce, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez - good friends, people who love them. I have a village.

Q: Did it trip you out to see how Willow was received when "Whip My Hair" came out?
A: Will went to the club with Jay-Z. - He came home and said, 'Whip My Hair came on, and do you know what it feels like to hear your 10 year old daughter in the club? Jokers straight getting busy to your 10 year old daughter?' He said it was surreal.

Q: Because she's a girl, do you parent Willow differently?
A: What I do is let it be. What Will does is let it be. What her Village does is let it be. We didn't go, 'no, no, don't do that, quiet that down.' Live! You know? She's gonna have her challenges, we all do. People think that a perfect child is a child that doesn't make mistakes. I look at the Britney Spearses, the Lindsay Lohans and all these poor young women out here who are going through it and, you know what, that's part of it. Some of us survive, some of us don't. If I had a magnifying glass on me when I was their age ... Those chicks ain't doing half the stuff I was doing. If it's meant to be, my kids are gonna be OK. At the end of the day, some of us make it and some of us don't, and that's life.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Parent Coordinator in Schools

Thoughts by: B. Brown

I have been a long-time supporter of the Parent Coordinator/Liaison position. It is a very important position that is taken lightly in most school systems from my perspective. Here in the Metro Atlanta, GA area, I've just gotten word that one school system is about to do away with their Parent Liaison position. It is a shame!

If utilized properly, this position could be the ultimate connection to getting parents back involved in schools and education which usually leads to outstanding student achievement!

In my eight (8) years of being in education, I always shared my opinion that if we really wanted to improve our schools, then the money and our efforts would have to go into helping the parents. If the parent receives help, the children usually automatically receive help. There is a positive chain reaction that starts and it is beautiful. Here's the chain --- Involved Parent - Child/Student with expectations (discipline/achievement) - Outstanding Schools (behavior wise/achievement wise).

When parents send their children to school to learn and to achieve, it is a different environment at school. I believe that loving, teaching and disciplining our children leads to expectations of greatness!!! Our parents and schools must get back to these basic fundamentals so that we do not continue to see the decay of our public schools in America.

Let's not be afraid to do what we need to do because of a dollar, political reasons or whatever! Let's help our young people achieve greatness!!!

The Parent Coordinator position can help us bridge the gap.

A Day in the Life of a Parent Coordinator...

Gladys Mendez is boosting student achievement—by reaching out to parents.

Communities and families play a critical role in raising student achievement—that's something research shows, but it's not easy, is it?
To get meaningful parent support, try taking a few lessons from Gladys Mendez, the parent coordinator at Thirteenth and Green Elementary School in Reading, Pennsylvania.

1. She started a "Coat" drive so that students would have a warm jacket to where to get to school in the first place.

2. She started a continuous "Food" drive so that students and families have something to eat at home. If a student is hungry, they are not concentrated on any school work. They want to eat!

3. Language Barrier - Mendez reaches out to her Latino and Hispanic population to help the understand what is actually going on with their children and the school.

4. Like back in the day, Mendez does "Home Visits" to see why students may have long absences from school. This shows that there is a least one person at the school that cares about the family and the student on a personal level. That's where we are as a society now. We cannot discount the social part of our lives being integrated into the school part of our lives.

*I tip my hat to you Gladys Mendez!!!!!!!

Checkout her video by clicking on this link Parent Coordinator

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is Technology helping our children be totally out of pocket?

By: B. Brown (BREG)

There was a story that was aired here in Atlanta, GA last week that highlighted some Douglasville, GA middle or high school aged children that went to their Facebook pages and put some very harmful information on there about one of their teachers. They said that he was a pedophile!

In this situation, the teacher was not a pedophile, but look at the tremendous damage that was done to this man.

When the students were interviewed, one young lady said that she did it because she was mad at the teacher. This behavior and action is totally unacceptable!

She and the other students are up for expulsion and I am absolutely for the expulsion.

We as adults must hold our children accountable for their actions at a very young age because they can easily grow up with a flawed sense of reality and actually believe that there are no consequences for their actions. I've met several young people that have no sense of responsibility and it is affecting their lives everyday.

Let's work with our school systems to put back in place Prayer and Discipline. Parents, let's stop letting TV's and Computers raise our children. Discipline starts at home with home training, and if we can get back to these principles, maybe we can help more young people develop into great adults because they come to school to actually learn and become better people!

One Love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Our Youth Need & Want Direction From Us --- The Adults!

Thoughts By: B. Brown (BREG)

When our young people "act out" and/or "act up," they are usually seeking attention and love! A simple "hello" or "how are you doing?" can change a young person's day around in a heartbeat. As adults, we must give direction to our own children and all the young people that we encounter. I kind word and a smile will go a long way! Try it for a day. Smile and offer a kind word to adults and young people alike and see the response that receive!

Let's lead our young people in the right direction!!!

Jay-Z's lyrics from his song "Regrets" (Reasonable Doubt Album, 1996) hits the point of young people needing and wanting guidance .......

"You used to hold me, told me that I was the best/Anything in this world I want I could possess/All that made me want is all that I could get/In order to survive, gotta learn to live with regrets ..."

Jay-Z's insight on the lyrics above (from his book DECODED).

"This is another example of how something seemingly innocent can take a turn. My mother's love and belief in me made me think that I could have anything I wanted in this world, but without direction that ambition led me into situations I wasn't ready for and decisions that I'd have to live with for the rest of my life. Here I tried to capture in a few words that turn from an innocent kid absorbing his mother's love to a young man old before his time burdened with unspeakable regrets."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

All Young People Are Creative!

*By B. Brown (BREG)

I would like to introduce you to my good friend Hotep and his business partner Mike Johnson. I've had the pleasure of having Hotep present to youth groups that I have been involved with in the past, and he has always delivered positive messages! I have even used his book THE HUSTLER'S 10 COMMANDMENTS in my lecture series to youth.

Checkout what Hotep and Mike are doing with their Creative Literacy Workshop Series!

All young people are creative. They express their creative genius in a variety of ways. Our youth are imaginative writers, talented artists, gifted speakers, lovely singers, hilarious comedians, amazing visionaries, great actors, exceptional dancers and brilliant poets.

Show them how to use their talents!

Hotep and Mike's hands-on workshops teach standards based on language arts skills and show youth how the lessons they are learning in the classroom are used in the real-world to write books, comics, music albums, movies, video games and more to create wealth!

Watch your children's grades, attitudes and imaginations soar!


One Love!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Meet The Parents - - - Jay-Z

*Thoughts by B. Brown (BREG)

I believe when someone is dealing with a young person in a situation that is good or bad, once you meet the parents, you will have a better understanding of why the kids conduct themselves the way that they do.

We as parents must be there for our children physically, so that they can literally feel us. We must be there for them emotionally, so that we may help them develop into outstanding adults. Our presence alone will help them achieve certain milestones in their lives.

Jay-Z's song "Meet The Parents" is a great story song from his album the Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse album. Checkout Jay-Z's breakdown of his song:

....... And the title to the song has dual meanings, too. The song is about a son meeting one of his parents, but it's also a more general introduction to the listner: It's impossible to understand this generation of kids, the hip-hop generation, till you meet the parents ... (*From Jay-Z's book DECODED; pg. 211)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Time to Take a Stand

*Thoughts from B. Brown:

As you have read me blog or speak about in person before, we must improve our supervision and communication with our children. As parents and adults, we cannot be the last one's to know about our children being bullied and harassed, and we also don't want to miss or ignore the fact that our child could be the bully! We must be involved in our children's daily activities and school life. Our presence must be felt in the school systems by attending PTA Meetings regularly and other school events. Building relationships with our children's teacher's and administration is key to catching issues at the very beginning and resolving the issue as soon as possible.

Dr. Steve Perry (Essence Magazine; Feb. 2011; pg. 58)

I believe that bullying has increased in the Black community because we've developed a perculiar comfort level with violence among our teens. We party to songs that have the most violent language directed at Black people this side of the antebellum Ku Klux Klan. So is there any surprise our children would take to bullying their classmates? Parents have brought me e-mails and Facebook messages authored by sixth graders that are the vilest and most horrible statements I have ever read or heard. These little e-mail gangsters are using words to rip through their classmates. This is a true sign that the baton of self-hate has been passed to the next generation.

To read more, visit:

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's Your School!

By: B. Brown

There is no doubt that there needs to be serious education reform in probably all of our public schools around the country, but I must admit that there are policies and rules in place that need to be enforced and in a lot of cases, just promoted to the students, teachers and parents!

One of the issues that is getting a lot of attention these days is "Bullying." Even BET's 106 & Park will be doing a special on bullying this upcoming Thursday (1/13/11). Please check it out.

Our young people have been marginalized, and many of them do not have a clue on what they are supposed to be doing with their lives because we as parents and adults have not taught them & showed them what to do and how to do it. That's our responsibility! We must send our children to school to get an education, point blank!

Young people, here's a way that you can step up and help keep your school be safe and help create and maintain an environment of learning. Talk and build relationships with school staff, parents/guardians and other adults so that information is given and received freely and continuously.

The State of Georgia even has a HELPLINE to report weapons/violence/gang activity at your school. You may call 1-877-SAYSTOP (1-877-729-7867)

*This call is anonymous and toll free.

A lot of people believe there is nothing they can do, but let me tell you something, there's something each one of us can do!

"O, let's do it!"

Thursday, January 6, 2011


By: B. Brown (BREG)

Happy New Year!!! It is always great to start a new year and give thanks to the Most High for Blessing us with another year of life!

I am very excited about the opportunities out there that will positively impact my business endeavors in 2011, and I am looking forward to helping as many people as I can gain affordable access to the legal system and help as many people as possible protect and grow their businesses, be it an artist, a plumber, etc.!

One of the things that makes me feel very good thus far in 2011 is the Ted Williams story. Here is a man that would be considered down and out, but he continued to share his talent and gift with everyone he came in contact with and now he is receiving a second chance at life. May God continue to Bless him and keep him as he moves forward in his soberiety, re-connecting with his family and career. God is good!

Remember, "Big journeys begin with a single step!"

Have a great 2011!

One Love!

Hip-Hop Youth, Education and Parenting!