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Contents MAGAZINE TEMPLATE LAYOUT 02

Y O U R

LO G O

www.yourdomain.com Issue 02 - Spring 2012

H E R E

PUBLISHER CALL FOR ACTION

THUMB HELP!

04 KIDS RAISE US UP

FATHERHOOD

06 04 06 10 12 14 16

NOTE FROM the Publisher: Let’s get real about racism.

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: It

takes a Child to Raise an Adult

FATHER’S WANTED:

There is nothing like a good father.

READ UP: McBride kicks off our

official campaign to inspire a focus on reading within our communities

NO JUSTICE, no peace: One

father shares how his art changed hearts of hate.

TOY TSUNAMI: When to clean

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out the toy chest and say “No!”, to more toys.

READ UP

10 18 20 24 26 28 30

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TOY EXAM: A breakdown of age appropriate play things

MONIYHAN REVISITED: The State of the Black Family

COOL CRAFTS: Superhero Art

Project for kids... And parents get a headstart for Halloween!

REAL PARENT: 4 Year Review

BRAND UP: Hear how UP

Magazine is helping businesses grow.

CONTACT US: What’s your

message? We strive to uplift families.

TOY TSUNAMI


MAGAZINE TEMPLATE LAYOUT 02 www.yourdomain.com Issue 02 - Spring 2012

“We have to speak out agaisnt racism, empower our families, and celebrate people of all colors.” - Wilson Manigat

Y O U R

LO G O

H E R E

Urban Parenting Magazine

NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE.

Published 11 times a year by Urban Parenting Magazine LLC., in West Palm Beach, FL. Editorial submissions and reader correspondence are welcome. We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment on any material submitted. We are not responsible for the return of unsolicited material. Urban Parenting Magazine is available online and at numerous locations within diverse communities free of charge. Publication and distribution of the magazine does not constitute an endorsement of information, products or services. The publisher reserves the right to reject any advertisement or listing which is not in keeping with the magazine’s standards. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission.

Publisher Wilson Manigat

14 STATE OF BLACK FAMILY

20 SUPERHERO CRAFTS

16

Editor-in-Chief Debbie Manigat Founded by Wilson and Debbie Manigat in 2013

How to Contact Us Website: UrbanParentingMagazine.com Email: info@urbanparentingmagazine. com Office: (954) 560-8326 Correspondence: Urban Parenting Magazine P.O. Box 222911 West Palm Beach FL 33422

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URBAN PARENTING MAGAZINE

Publisher

The

in his own humble words

undeniable reality

The of racism... We switched it up this month to take on an issue that most in the parenting realm have shyed away from or have been completely silent on... Racism. Racism is real and I’ve experienced it first hand. From peers because of my darker hue, to people of completely different races and ethnicities that boldy stated that becuase I am black- I was unworthy, less than, and irrelevant. Yet, the most memorable experience that makes me disgusted is when I was just 5 years old. My kindergarten teacher degraded me racially in front of my entire class. Needless to say, it was humiliating and at 5 years old, my view on teachers and authority changed. No longer were they an inspiration for learning; they became model bullies- adults that I did not trust, respect, or want to be around.That feeling alone in that moment is what I try each and every day to shield my children from and it disappoints me that I have to worry about them enduring pain simply because of the color of their skin. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best and I too look forward to the day when all people are fairly judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. I’ve also learned that if we don’t keep the conversation PAGE

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going it allows no accountability for those who breathe hate to confront their poison. Even worse, it paralyzes the victim under the pain of prejudice which can lead to a personal prison of depression, anxiety, and poor self-image. That’s why we must keep the conversation going. As parents, we won’t always physically be there to defend our kids from the raw realities of racism, yet we can teach them to proudly stand up for themselves peacefully and fight hatred with love. We can teach them all pieces of American history that way they will learn from our rich heritage and continue to pave a way for human rights and equality for all. Our generation can no longer ignore ignorance, instead we must prepare our families to fight smarter, support each other, and speak up. Respectfully, Wilson Manigat | Publisher | UP Magazine


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Thumb Sucking: A Common Problem for Children

T

humb sucking is a very common problem faced by many children. Many infants develop this habit even before they are born. It provides a level of comfort to the child and it helps the child to settle down as sucking denotes the idea of nutrition. However, thumb sucking can be a very serious problem, if not nipped in the butt at the right time. It can become a habit which continues in your child’s adolescent age and turns into an addiction.

Due to the continuous thumb sucking the front teeth level may become raised and it can only be treated by putting on braces. Still, there is a silver lining- this behavior can be easily changed by the initiative taken by the parents. Again, keeping the child active is a very important process of discarding this habit. Don’t give up and stay calm to keep from getting frustrated. Remember, using different methods and techniques to get rid of this habit is essential because this act is usually given up when they do something interesting and comfortable.

So why is thumb sucking so hard to break? It’s a safety net for the child. Sucking the thumb is very reassuring to the kids. It is being used most of times when the kids are bored, Natural Home Remedies scared, and sick as well as during bed time. Nagging them A.) Applying lemon juice on your childís finger may help to and scarring them won’t help. When the child reaches an discard this habit once and for all. understandable age, the parents should use all the tactics to avoid the escalation of this habit. B.) You can also apply bitter gourd on the thumb which is not likeable by many adults. A toy or a finger puppet can be used to keep the child engaged. By involving the child in various activities you can keep the child focused and busy. Watching TV cannot be termed as an activity.

C.) A Band-Aid wrapped in castor oil and baking soda may also help to get rid of this habit.

Physical indicators that thumb sucking needs a doctor to intervene immediately is when the finger or teeth become deformed.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these PAGE products if you are allergic to it.

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3. Make it a Family Affair. When the Thanksgiving holiday rolls around, round up the whole family to uplift your community. During Thanksgiving, spend a day making lunch bags together for the less fortunate people in your community. Pile into the minivan or SUV to drop them off to those in need. Some great, inexpensive things to include are an orange, a juice box, and bologna sandwiches. Essentially, you can feed 20 hungry people with less than $20.00 in groceries (bread, meat, oranges, and juice boxes). Make sure you always check your surroundings for safety on an outing such as this.


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There is Nothing Like a Good Father By Wilson Manigat Father. This word brings up a variety of thoughts and emotions when it is spoken or thought about. Thinking of your own father or other fathers you know probably brings out a lot of memories, both good and bad. A father is a person of great influence in a life. He has a strong affect on his children whether he never spends one day with them or whether he is present every day of their lives. A father forever affects his children’s picture of a man and of a provider. Many little boys grow up and want to be just like their father. Many girls grow up and want to marry someone just like their father.

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Having a good father is something that will forever impact the heart and life of a child. So, whether you grew up with an amazing father or a not

A father forever affects his children’s picture of a man and of a provider. so memorable father, it is important that you commit yourself to learning to be a good father for your own children. How can you be a good father? Fathering children well is simply a matter of loving your children like you would love anyone else.

What thoughts or memories does the word ‘father’ invoke for you? Are your first thoughts pleasant or hard? Do you have childhood memories that include hours of playtime with your father? Or maybe you remember how your father taught you to fish, climb trees, or build huge castles. Did your father teach you how to ride a bike, catch a baseball or throw a football? If only everyone could be so lucky and have nothing but great memories and feel fondness for their father.

What does loving someone require? Perhaps you think of time or perhaps you think of giving gifts as a way to love someone. Yet, one of the best ways to be a good father is to spend time with your children. Make time in your busy schedule for them. Spend time getting into their worlds, learning about what they do at school, learning about their friends, and learning about the things they care about. You will never have a strong relationship with your children if they have no memories of time with their father. So rather

than working those extra hours of overtime consider spending those hours playing with and learning your children. Another way to become a great father is to verbally affirm and praise your children. A child’s confidence and security can be built up greatly with kind words from a father or mother. Consider the power of your words and the affect that one negative or positive comment can have on your child. For most children it is the negative comments they will remember, so look for ways to cut out negative comments or criticism. Let your children grow up with nothing but praise and loving words from their father. Having a great father can be one of the biggest blessings in a child’s life. And being a great father can be one of the greatest blessings in your life. So, think of creative ways to get involved in the lives of children and be the kind of father they will try to emulate someday.

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Forget Fairytales!

READ UP: McBride Books Rock! Meet Heddrick McBride of McBride Collection of Stories. by Debbie Manigat UPmag: What’s your story? HM: I am 35 years old from Queens, New York. I currently live in Queens with my Fiancé, Danielle and our 5 year old daughter, Skylar. I graduated from Morgan State University in 2002, with a degree in political science. After graduating, I worked at a group home in Baltimore for 3 years. I moved back to New York in 2005, and supervised a group home for the developmentally disabled in Brooklyn for 7 years. Today I’m proud to say that I have published 16 books which includes co-authored books with NBA player Metta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dr. Melanye M. Maclin of the Steve Harvey Morning Show. UPmag: What was your AHA moment to create the McBride Collection of Stories? HM: As a first time parent, I read to Skylar every night for 20 minutes before bed.

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I became dissatisfied with books that were available for families like mine. The stories were outdated and the characters didn’t represent how people look today. Instead of complaining, I decided to start writing. UPmag: What makes the McBride Collection so special? HM: McBride Collection of Stories tell stories that are not normally told. We try to give a voice to those who are not normally represented in Children’s books. We teach a lesson in every story, while keeping readers entertained. We also have some of the best illustrations in the business. UPmag: When did you start and what was the process like to own your own business? HM: I started the business in February 2012, from my living room. Google has been my best friend, because I was able to obtain answers to most of my questions by looking them up. The toughest aspects of running your own business are providing finances and promotion. Everyday is a learning experience.


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Heddrick McBride Did You Know Heddrick McBride of McBride books created Ron Artest’s (Also Known As) Metta World Peace’s “Metta’s Bedtime Stories”. Pick up your copy today!

UPmag: People see your success, but they don’t know your struggle to accomplish all that you have... Here’s your chance- please share how you overcame obstacles and stayed committed to your goals? HM: People see the amount of books (16) that I have published in one calendar year, and think that it must be easy. It is very difficult to produce a quality book, and it is very costly. My commitment to educating, entertaining, and motivating my readers is what keeps me going.

UPmag: If you could change anything about your life at this moment, what would it be and why? HM: I feel blessed to have the opportunity to provide a book series for children. I always hoped to be a basketball player as a child, but this is more meaning to society. A great book lasts forever. To learn more or purchase a book, contact Heddrick: McBride Collection of Stories www.mcbridestories.com

UPmag: What are your stories about? Which one is the most popular? HM: We have a variety of stories. They all focus on teaching the basics and fundamentals to our children. I feel like during this age of technology, children are missing a lot of basic skills and values that my generation grew up with. My most popular books are Sky’s Stories, which are actual stories told by my daughter. The characters are cartoon depictions of our family. Another favorite is Parkville High, which is a story about 4 disabled teens who attend a public high school. They show the world that they are just like everyone else.

UPmag: What advice do you have for aspiring writers, designers, or creative business owners? HM: My best advice would be to think outside of the box, and try to fill a need in society. Most people try business ventures that seem successful because everyone else is doing them. If you start your own lane, you set the standard. UPmag: Any advice for today’s moms and dads? HM: My best advice to parents would be to read to your children or have them read to you as much as possible. It improves the communication between you and child. It also installs confidence in the children, because they will be more comfortable speaking in public, and they will feel smarter.

Interested in the McBride books? Well you’re in luck! McBride has a special giveaway prize just for your family. Subscribe to Urban Parenting Magazine at UrbanParentingMagazine. com with “McBride” in the subject line or tweet us @ UrbanParentMag with the hashtag (#McBrideBooks) to be entered into our drawing! PAGE

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URBAN PARENTING MAGAZINE

No Justice, No Peace! Racism. It’s an ugly word that hurts all people. Those who are the haters and those who are looked down upon simply because of the color of their skin. Moreover, it’s even more alarming when people question if racism still exists and they are not- nor have they ever been on the glaring side of pregudice in America when it concerns colorism. Reflecting on the 50 Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech, we strive to inform and unite families to empower their children and continue to petition for peace with love. Love on your family. Love on the haters. Love on all people trying to make a positive difference in this world. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. And never ignore injustice. The UP family saw the pain of millions of parents around America and the world when the Trayvon Martin verdict was

...Love on your family. Love on the haters. Love o n all people trying to make a positi ve difference in this world...

announced and sad to say, we also saw the silence of the parenting community at large. Many seemed to continue to post DIY articles, dinner ideas, and home advice; yet missed a very important moment in time to address gun violence and racism. At Urban Parenting Magazine, we pledge that will take on the tough issues, challenge the status quo, and shine on as an advocate for diverse families- always. So let’s go deeper into the issue of racism and follow up with a passionate dad who designed this month’s cover and is also responsible for the art work that went viral after the verdict of Trayvon Martin. You first met Jamaul Wells in an Urban Parenting Magazine online exclusive and today he shares advice on how you can uplift your children to stand tall and proud of the skin their in. 1.) UPmag: How would you describe yourself as an artist? What inspired you to create the Trayvon Tribute art work?

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JW: I am an out of the box type of artist. I like to try ideas people wouldn’t dream of. I see the world as one big canvas of color. When I meet a person, I’m looking at their skin, hair, and clothing style and colors. The same goes for anything I see. I just wanted to express my view of this tragedy that was absolutely racial. I designed it when Trayvon was first killed by George Zimmerman, then I just brought it back out when the trial started. So I just used this situation to artistically show my hate for this kind of racism.


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id t, d sm in c i d i ver n rac k to e h o l to t tlook to ta e u n D ou la ag: your you p ism? m t. c o UP ge asn’ w I 2.) chan How d out ra d t b then tha rica? ter a but alive an , d e h l e s l i sti rpr Am daug s su cism is r a u w a yo ot. I e the R race id n

s of It d dm nce ortant JW: showe well. e r e p iff r st ly It ju tunate lor d s the im hing he o c r e d c er unfo er th derstan I’m tea ets old h h ac on gle un eg to te ure she is point hen sh d its sin ipped n a th an I pl es equ e. W mak s. From l peopl f racism e well . t u l e b b o tie ther will for a nce ilari sim ve love ignora rall Jae cant be e e I a e to h rk in th ers. Ov nst it if hav u i w o o a o ng oy ill w ed foll self ag r e d ressi d e c n i h i m ct dv dd rote at a hen a h to p e g th g: W nts w n i a n i e m la UP par erica? , exp m 3.) ther s i Am o rac for sm in sing s e r i d rac ts ad n e r a To p JW:

..I plan to teach her the color differences of race but make sure she understands the important similarities...

history is a great start to understanding it. teaching your kids to have an overall positive look at life will steer them in the right direction. Remember that this is work also. 4.) UPmag: What are your future goals as an artist? Will you continue to do work that uplifts social justice issues? JW: I think people should stand up for social Injustice. Wake up and be aware of whats going on. Not just with racism, but also with Job security, Education, and everyday lifestyle. It affects you all, but more important it will affect your kids. Stop breeding racism, all Humans are stars. Express Yourself: How do you use your gifts to teach your children how to stand up against racism? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter or Facebook: @UrbanParentMag www.facebook.com/ UrbanParentingMagazine

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Urban Parenting Magazine asks the question, “How much is too much” when it comes to buying toys for your children?

Kids Toys: How Much is too Much? T

here is a chore in my home that brings out the procrastinator in me. This particular chore is so big and so difficult, that I create new tasks just to avoid starting the dreaded job. What could be so bad: My toddler’s bedroom a.k.a. fighting the battle of “too many toys!” The problem doesn’t arrive from a lack of organization or space to put things, but from just too many toys in the first place. His room, when tidy, looks like a little toy store gone mad. My husband built custom shelving just for the toys and books, with varying shelf sizes to accommodate different types of toys and sizes of books. However, when I take a close look at the contents, it’s obvious that thereís lots of ëstuffí, but little thought went into most of it. How should you select and organize your child’s toys? Choosing quality kids toys, selected by their developmental stage and abilities, is the first step. Make this a fun event with your entire family! Ask you child lots of questions so they can feel included in the decision making process and finalization of what toys go and stay.

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Most toys have a recommended age on the package to let you know the appropriate age group. Take cues from your own child to guide you in whether he is ready for a certain toy. Make sure that the toys you’re buying actually “do” what they are supposed to. If puzzle pieces aren’t cut correctly, your child will get angry and frustrated when they play with it. I’ve recently made the mistake of buying a puzzle that was supposed to be appropriate for ages 18 months to 3 years, only to find that the pieces were very difficult to place, and my son became upset every time he played with the puzzle. Some suggestions for Toddler and Preschool Toys: - Puppets - Activity tables/centers - Sorting boxes - Snap together Blocks & Leggos - Puzzles up to 5 wooden pieces - Figures for dollhouse, farm, etc. - Dress up clothes - Trucks and wagons to haul things - Housekeeping and shopping toys - Sewing cards - Buttoning, zipping, snapping dolls or boards - Preschool age games like Memory and Candy land etc. Most importantly, choose toys that stimulate your child’s mind and that create learning experiences. Provide an adequate amount of toys for your child. Don’t do as I have and overwhelm your child with too much “stuff” causing both of you to become frustrated. As we all know, most little kids have a more fun playing with the box the toy came in while the new toy sits idly on the floor. Now it’s time for me to stop procrastinating and fight the battle of “too many toys.” PAGE

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URBAN PARENTING MAGAZINE

Then, he proceeded to share the same for Native Americans, Hispanics, and Caucasians. At first I didn’t think too much into it because I’ve heard those negative stats regurgitated time and time again; right along with the overarching divorce rate in American being over 50% for all families in America. Then, I started to think of the other say 49%. The families, like mine that grew up with a biological mother and father in the home. While my family definitely had their share of ups and downs, my parents made it throughtogether. They raised me, my big sister, and little brother, and they have been married for over 27 years... Still, is this really some special feat or was my family an anomaly? Even more intriguing- are there more untold stories of families out there that have been overshadowed by the stats.

Its 5-year mission, similar to that of Urban Parentings, is This was one subject that I could not let go. to change the societal and As an adovcate for families, yes the data made cultural paradigm of families. me cringe; yet as an African American woman, “The biggest obstacle of wife, mother, and Editor-in-Chief of Urban Parenting Magazine, it made me want to learn working with fathers was the perception of men” says and do more to empower my community. Braswell, “People did not value the critical need of the fathers So I went on the hunt for the story behind the stats. What is the state of the black family in a child’s life.” today and when did we become so starkly Mr. Braswell tries to change analyzed under a microscope without our negative perceptions and imput or say. statistics about the black family daily. He as traveled the At first, I sought out leading parenting country talking about his own publications, journals, and books on the experiences as a fatherless matter, yet at the helm was always someone child and his own journey as a who seemed disconnected from my family. father. Someone who has never lived a day in my shoes, but has looked at the data and said, ”Fathers are so much deeper “if this..., then that...” and that was not good than their pay checks, but enough for me. Nonetheless, I continued their was such a lack of to search for answers and found Kenneth human services directed at Braswell of Father’s Incorporated. fathers to teach them things like parenting skills”, shares Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a not-for-profit Braswell. organization that prides itself on serving as a leader in the promotion of Responsible One of the projects in which Fatherhood and Mentoring. Braswell is addressing that PAGE dynamic is by serving as an integral contributor to the

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“The biggest obstacle of working with fathers was the perception of men”

Moniyhan Report Revisited. “My passion is black men, black children, and black families” says Braswell, “Yet, it’s hard to have this conversation because people want to assimilate us into the mainstream without dealing with our cultural differences so the report helps stimulate the conversation and the report predictions are true.” The Moniyhan Report Revisited takes a look at the writings of Assistant Secretary of Labor and later U.S. Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Moynihan penned, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Actions” which is more commonly known as the Moynihan Report.


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“ race remains a factor in determining economic opportunities and outcomes”

Fathe & Son Talk: Sometimes it takes a simple conversation to envoke true results.

The Moynihan Report was a ground breaking look at the state of the black family, but it was presented by a white man in the heat of the civil rights era. Needless to say, many did not welcome his findings and the report eventually seemed to disappear from the discussion of Poremqui sit families inutem. America. Sant,

ut endelli quaecepro The new report includes a coreriae demse. diverse panel ofnon contributors Giame and addresses everything eserae perae lamusan to shine a Moynihan attempted imagniet hitiusd light on such as poor educational anduntio evellab outcomes, unemployment, oruntot atiam, soluptaquis concentrated neighborhood et autasim poverty,eos dysfunctional poribusdam communities, and Est dis ium quicrime- issues that would create si volum qui asa selfdis utatecycle modi of poverty, perpetuating

hardship, and inequality for black families. Unlike the original, the Moynihan Report Revisited takes on the mass incarceration rates of blacks, especially black men. It also highlights how African American students have closed the high school graduation gap, but lag in achieving college completion. Additionally, the report also provides insight on race- stating that, “the level of overt discrimination in the United States has diminished markedly since the 1960s, yet race remains a factor in determining economic opportunities and outcomes”. The Moynihan Report Revisited concludes with the path forward or suggested solutions on how all Americans can play a role in the State of the Black Family:

(1) Reduce the structural barriers to black economic progress (2) Enhance the incentives for working in the mainstream economy (3) Improve family dynamics I completed the interview with Mr. Braswell and the Revisited Report with a refreshing smile on my face. Finally, a publication that provides proof behind the data from voices that understand our families struggle. Finally, something worth sharing with Urban Parenting readers that will empower you to do your part to uplift diverse families. Finally, a report, not afraid to share the brutal reality while still celebrating the great achievements of black families today.

Finally, some validation- like many families today who are torn or dealing with broken homes, we are all trying to figure out- simply, what it means to be family. To learn more you can download a copy of the Moynihan Report Revisited from our website: www.UrbanParentingMagazine.com. Let’s keep the conversation going-when it comes to Braswells stance on the State of the Black Family, his views will have you shaking your head: “We have a very high bar for getting marriedgotta have a job, credit right, car, etc., but we have very low expectations when it comes to having children.” PAGE

What are your views? Share with us @UrbanParentMag on Twitter

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URBAN PARENTING MAGAZINE

Urban Parenting: Cool Superhero Crafts!

“A cape is truly what separates the supermen from the boy wonders” PAGE

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his one requires just one easy seam -- we didn’t even hem the edges.If your kids can use scissors, they can help make costumes. When shopping for materials, explore your local hardware store: Most carry duct tape, painters’ tape, and foil tape in a range of colors. Resources: Assorted 3M Scotchlite reflective fabrics, 12 inches, and tape, 2 inches, in Orange and Yellow, by Iron Horse Safety; reflectivefabric.com. Wool felt, 18 inches square, in Flame, Leaf, and Peach; magiccabin.com. Blue Harlequin Masquerade mask and Black Sophisticate Domino mask, partycity. MATERIALS NEEDED:

Alphabet Templates Lightning Bolt Template Planet Template Star Template Felt or sparkly paper, holographic metallic-effect film, 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, in Silver-Shine Small sharp scissors


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Think the best Halloween costumes come from a store? They do -- but not the store you think!

36-by-36-inch piece of polyester satin (or T-shirt) 24 inches of 1/2-inch chromspun grosgrain ribbon, 5/8 inch, in Neon Orange and Gray Fabric glue, such as Magna-Tac Safety pin STEPS 1: Make letter or symbol: Print a template of your choice. Cut out. Trace onto felt or paper, and cut out. Step 2: Make cape: Fold over 1 side of the fabric by 1 inch, and press with a cool iron. Sew down flap, creating a 3/4-

Cool Superhero Costumes for Kids

You don’t need X-ray vision to see that when your kids create these speedy superhero costumes, they can mix and match their own amazingly awesome attributes

inch chansired nel. Idea found at outAttach MarthaStewart.com line, safety pin and cut to 1 end of out. (Snip from ribbon, and thread top and bottom, through. (No-sew opbut leave sides intact.) tion: Snip holes along 1 edge and Remove the mask’s elastic, and glue run ribbon through.) ribbon at sides. Step 3: Step 2: Print templates of headband and Lay cape or T-shirt flat. Squeeze glue crest. Cut out, and trace the headall over the back of the letter or symbol, and position on cape or shirt. Let band onto reflective tape and the crest onto glitter paper. Glue star to dry. Now if you want to add the MASK here are the steps to create that. Step 1: For mask, use a pen to draw your de-

crest, then glue crest to headband. Let dry. Center crest on forehead, and wrap band around head; trim ends to allow a 1-inch overlap. Glue ends. PAGE

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URBAN PARENTING MAGAZINE

The Boy Things I’ve Learned From My 4-Year-Old by Kenneth Braswell Executive Director, Fathers Incorporated

in a man and wanted as a boy. In him is also where I find myself. So in this reflective moment, I want to share a few things I’ve learned in four short years from a boy who’s only known the best of my fatherhood. So in this reflective moment, I want to share a few things I’ve learned in four short years from a boy who’s only known the best of my fatherhood.

T

oday, I had a moment where I was watching my son and realized he was enjoying something I never had; a dad. More often than not, I think about how different my days might feel if I knew my own father. I can’t help but wonder the content of the cards he received on Fathers Day and the sentiment of his gifts on Christmas. I ponder about how stark the imagery of me in his imagination must have been and the relevancy of my existence in his thoughts. I know, there are so many other more pleasant thoughts I could be having but in my work with fathers, these are thoughts I can’t escape. As he must have, I too settle my anxiety with the thoughts of my children; no matter what they might be. For years those thoughts have been through the lenses of my girls. But God blessed me with another lens four years ago in the form of my namesake, Kenneth Jr. (KJ). It is through him that I see what I needed PAGE

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1. Dedicated Time - He doesn’t care how much or when. He only cares that when he needs it, I’m there to give it. Be available based on their needs not yours. 2. Run, Jump and Play – He’s happiest when I give him unlimited space to do what he does best; be a boy. Don’t limit his exploration. 3. Validate - He is most assured when he emulates the right and appropriate behaviors. I then follow that up by confirmation that he did well. It’s amazing how much in a day he says, “watch this daddy.” 4. Love and affection - For as much as he hates me kissing and hugging him, he still places himself in position to make it happen. I’m proud of you and I Love you can be said in so many different ways. 5. Humor - Even at four, a corny joke can still hit its mark. Don’t take yourself too serious. Together laugh your way through what you don’t know how to express.

Consistency - There is nothing like receiving something good and not knowing when you’re going to receive it again. I’m sure the lessons of being a father will never end and the joy of seeing myself in my son will continue forever.

It’s because of my experience that I’m convinced that my fatherlessness will not be my son’s inheritance. Remember that adage, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? Not in this case! So make children happy everyday so you can fully enjoy a fatherfull experience and not a fatherless existence.


Always give give a unique title good in this space!

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Urban Parenting

Urban Parenting Magazine September 2013  

The latest issue of Urban Parenting Magazine tackles the toughest issues and takes an in depth look at the "State of the Black Family".

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