Nothing builds anxiety for your child more during the first day of school than the fear of the unknown. Whether it’s getting used to their surroundings, fitting in, making friends, all while having the pressure to make and maintain good grades, this guide will help your child relieve some of the pressure and anxiety of starting a new school year and making it a great one.


Make a habit of asking how their day was and what was the highlight of their day– striking up a conversation of how their day was will help your child open up to you. The more accustomed they become to sharing what happened, the more comfortable they’ll be sharing with you how they’ll feel.

Establish study time– As a parent myself, It’s important for my children to know that the first thing they do when they get home is to crack open their books, do their homework, and spend the last hour as study time. There will be no television, no video games, and no tablet.

Eat breakfast– Eating breakfast before class will help ease the annoyances that come with an empty stomach. When we don’t eat, we can’t function. Breakfast is like spinach to Popeye. Our minds and bodies function better when we eat breakfast. That’s why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides the nutrients and energies needed that leads to better concentration.

Getting readjusted to appropriate bed time– Training your child to go to bed at an appropriate hour is beneficial and I’d suggest starting this at least a week before the first day of school. By the time school starts, your child’s body will get used to winding down at a particular time, making it easier for your child to get enough sleep.


Encouragement– As parents, our kids value our opinions. When we tell them that they are going to be great students and they can do it, they will believe you. Their attitude about school will be uplifted. When your child feels good about school, it will show in their performance.


It leaves you wondering what’s missing about you
It makes you believe it’s your fault
It’ll have you doubting your own capabilities and your fierceness
It makes you weak
Lose optimism
It makes you feel less beautiful & desirable
It makes you compare
It makes you give up and not ever want it again.
What is “it”, you ask?
Love and respect
…but not from others
from yourself.

We’ve done all of the aforementioned. Why? We feel the need to be loved, respected, desired, and beautiful.

But what happens when we get an epiphany that changes our whole way of thinking?
We begin to tell ourselves that we’re beautiful.
We begin to tell ourselves that we’re desirable
We begin to respect ourselves as the women we are.
…and because we’ve made the choice to tell ourselves all those things, it proved that we could love and/or respect ourselves way more than he could ever do.
You see….being rejected hurts like hell
But it doesn’t have to.
Once we realize that a man’s rejection is nothing but his best compliment of us, we will understand that maybe…just maybe he thinks YOU deserve better.
Maybe he doesn’t see the beauty in you…and that’s okay.
What he doesn’t see in you, someone else will.
So, when you become rejected by someone, don’t doubt yourself or lose your ability to stay confident.

A rejection could be a blessing in disguise.

It’s common to see an entertainer transform along with their music. That’s how they keep their ever-changing image up with the times. However, we can’t help but wonder what goes on in the mind of a public figure who gets permanent facial alterations to the point where they become unrecognizable.

As a fan, I used to think that Lil Kim was one of those celebrities who likes to artistically express themselves through their appearance. When her 2nd album dropped, I was surprised by the new look.



The blonde hair, blue eyes, and lighter skin totally threw me off. But then I thought, ‘Well, she is an artist who likes to change her looks. Prince did it, Michael Jackson did it, so why not Kim?’

Then over the next few years, Kim’s appearance became ever-changing, to the point that fans and critics, alike became concerned.

Kim went from here


to here…


I think it’s safe to say that this transformation is more than just a unique makeup & lighting technique


Lil Kim is the perfect example of an artist who has drastically changed her appearance. While she’s known for “clap-backin'” at folks on social media for expressing that, it’s obvious that it’s more than just Kim keeping up with the times as an artist. She’s Kimberly Jones, a black woman who has allowed self-hatred to manifest inside her spirit.

I don’t know Ms. Jones personally and I’m sure a lot of her fans can say the same thing, but we don’t have to know her personally to know that her ever-changing extreme appearance over the years are signs of lack of self-acceptance.

In a 2000 interview withNewsweek’, Jones was quoted as having low self-esteem caused by experiences with the men in her life. Check out a part of that interview below.

“All my life men have told me I wasn’t pretty enough–even the men I was dating. And I’d be like, ‘Well, why are you with me, then?’ ” She winces. “It’s always been men putting me down just like my dad. To this day when someone says I’m cute, I can’t see it. I don’t see it no matter what anybody says.”

The interview continues…

After Biggie made his deal with Bad Boy Records, she began recording with his Junior M.A.F.I.A. posse, and transforming herself from girl in the ‘hood into blue-eyed blonde.

So what was up with that? According to Kim, just what you’d think. “I have low self-esteem and I always have,” she says. “Guys always cheated on me with women who were European-looking. You know, the long-hair type. Really beautiful women that left me thinking, ‘How I can I compete with that?’ Being a regular black girl wasn’t good enough.” And the implants? “That surgery was the most pain I’ve ever been in my life,” says Kim. “But people made such a big deal about it. White women get them every day. It was to make me look the way I wanted to look. It’s my body.” Read the entire interview here.


Struggling with self-acceptance is problematic for ANY woman, but for black women, it’s like fighting a double-edged sword.

In the black communities, we also deal with light skin vs. dark skin and body image, which is unfortunate. I’m convinced that it’s a lot of pressure for black women in the entertainment industry to look a certain way, so Lil Kim is fighting a few double-edged swords, for sure! That includes maintaining her spot in such a male-dominated field!


This is an excerpt from one of my earlier blogs that breaks down what I’m trying to convey in this piece


As young girls of color growing up in the black communities, the influence of the so-called beauty industry has brainwashed them into thinking they’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or light enough, or dark enough, or skinny enough, or even thick enough. It’s no wonder there are so many horror stories of women becoming disfigured or worse…dying from illegal butt injections, breast implants, etc. Black women are bleaching their skin to make their ebony dark skin lighter, so they can be “prettier”.

That’s why it’s so important to tell our little girls how beautiful they are the moment they come out of the womb. They are a part of a world that is constantly telling then that they aren’t. From the beauty industry to mainstream media, even music and television, they are constantly bombarded with images that will blatantly downplay and disregard Black Beauty. Read entire piece here


As a black woman and a fan of Lil Kim, I won’t disrespect her by calling her names, or mocking her looks. I will, in fact, pray for her in hopes that one day, she can fully accept Kimberly Jones for who she was as opposed to how she felt…a beautiful woman. Kimberly,unfortunately, let the men in her lives change her perception about the way she looked. Now, we have rap artist Lil Kim, who has permanently changed herself into the woman who the men in her life desired.

That’s why it’s so important to love how God created us, especially black women.

Society does a good job of trying to undervalue us, so why undervalue ourselves? It’s important that we educate ourselves and our daughters about self-love and self-acceptance regardless of skin color, facial appearance, size, hair type, etc. because one day, they can meet the very person who has enough power to convince them that they aren’t good enough.

We have so many “Kimberlys” in this world and what they face everyday fester when they are constantly exposed to negative imagery and surrounded by people who undermines women who look like them.




On October 20th, A&E will air a live two-hour concert from Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, Shining A Light: A Concert For Progress On Race In America. The program will also air on four other  networks. The event

will air 8/7 c.



aliciaamaAlicia Keys ( who will not perform) made a recent trip to my hometown of Baltimore, Md. She was there to film a segment for the two-hour special and met with former prisoners, mothers of the incarcerated, and a recreational center where most of the kids have relatives in prison. In the clip below, Alicia is seen with a well-known Baltimore Mom, Toya Graham, who is known for cameras capturing her disciplining her son during the riots. The beacon of light leading the conversation with prayer is a good friend of mine and one of LN’s picks for Follow Friday, Ama Chandra.


Watch the clip below



Source: The Baltimore Sun

People who say “yes” to a lot of things or agree with most things, even if they really don’t agree, are people who’d rather see others around them happy. It’s a noble, yet a strange habit that will not only make that person a potential pushover, but they’ll get accustomed to putting others before themselves.

We all want to be liked and adored. We also want to be seen as caring, kind, and joyful. However, people-pleasers go above and beyond to please others, but are oblivious to their depleted energy from over committing themselves and pressuring themselves to “fit in”. People-pleasers can carry this habit into their intimate relationships, as well. They want to be loved, so they’ll do anything outside of their comfort zone to make their significant other happy. If you see any of you in this post, then it’s time for you to start saying NO.

Say no with assertion– When folks are not used to hearing you say no, it’ll be kind of hard to convince them that you mean it when you finally say it. Say NO like you mean it and if you must give them a reason, let it be known without hesitation.

Prioritize– You owe it to yourself to look out for YOU because no one else will. If you are used to going out of your way for others while putting what you need to do to the side, then consider the consequences. More than likely, you’ll become frustrated and overwhelmed, all while the person you went out for is feeling easy breezy. Know that your priorities are just as important, if not, more. Folks will show their true colors when you prioritize. Only then will you find out who’s genuine in your life and who’s not.

You have a choice– People-pleasers always feel like they have to help a person who asks for their help. If you don’t want to, can’t, or simply feel like it’s not your problem, then you have a right to feel that way. Just say no. It’s that simple.

Acceptance– Everyone is not going to like you and that’s okay. Accept that and move on. You definitely won’t cry tears of sadness over them. Remember that your purpose in life is not to please them.

Learn the difference between manipulation and flattery– An example: I’m an independent publisher and an author. If I tell someone that I write and publish books, either they will congratulate me and keep it movin’ or they will congratulate me then suggest I read their manuscript they did not care to complete a year ago. It could be easy for me to say yes if I’m looking for an author to sign but if not, I’m certainly not going to feel pressured to say yes when I know I have other projects to complete. You have to know your limitations and don’t let others manipulate you with flattery. When you say NO, either they’ll understand or they won’t. Either way, just stay cute and keep it movin’.

Know that your time is valuable– You have no time to waste, especially when you have things to do. People-pleasers often get sucked into doing pointless stuff for others which don’t benefit them in any way, shape, or form. Hence, the frustration they build when they don’t get to do the things they really need to do for themselves. People ( and you) need to understand that your time should be utilized with projects that will benefit both parties involved. If what you’re asked to do or be a part of doesn’t add value to your life, then don’t bother getting involved. Again…just say NO. Unless you feel they’re worthy of your time, you don’t owe anyone any amount of it. Do more for yourself without any regrets. You can start with saying yes less and no more.

Sistergirl, who are you trying to convince that you’re worth love and commitment? him or yourself?

Let’s get one thing straight first and foremost…if you have to spend energy trying to convince him that you are worth a committed relationship, then I’m sorry to tell ya but he’s not ready to commit. No matter how loving, caring, beautiful, kind, attentive, generous, sexy, funny, and downright spicy you are, none of that will matter to a dude who isn’t ready to be tied down. Unfortunately for some of us, we see what we want to see to feel what we want to feel. So we manipulate him with things to convince them that we are worth it. Sex is most often the carrot that some of us use to guide the horse into our barn. Why? Because NO man will turn down willing p#$$y, especially considering he knows she is accepting his behavior. He’s taking full advantage of your need to be in a relationship and you fall for it every time, thinking your vagina will make him change his mind. Your vagina is the stamp on the contract! Unfortunately, the contract becomes null and void the moment he decides he’s had enough…of you.

When a man says he doesn’t want a relationship, respect his decision..but respect yourself more and move on. There’s nothing more pathetic than an intelligent woman playin’ herself like lotto because she fears being single forever. Fact is…there’s nothing wrong with being single if that free time helps you grow emotionally and mentally.

There’s also the problem with women who crave attention and mistakes it for wanting love. Do you want a relationship because you crave the attention you get while you’re in it or do you really want love? There’s a thin line between wanting a committed relationship and wanting a companion. Either way, giving your soul away for the sake of a man who only wants you for sex is not only cause for devaluing who you are, but you are giving up a piece of your soul every time you open your legs for him.

Thinking with our hearts gets us into a lot of trouble.  If we want a committed relationship, it’s easier to just let it be known by expressing that and letting love find you naturally. No man is worth your integrity.

Being in love feels wonderful.

It’s even better when it’s been proven that he/she loves you back!

However, sometimes, there are those of us who has been bitten by the love bug so hard, that it distorts our capability to make ourselves a priority.

In such a cruel world, I know some of us may say that there’s never anything wrong with “loving too much” and you’re right. BUT, when it gets to the point where we lose ourselves in the process, then it could become detrimental. We have to give ourselves the love we need, first and foremost, before we give it all to someone else. Sometimes, we don’t see that we’re pouring gallons of love into his/her cup that we don’t realize how much we’re giving away, leaving none for ourselves…our cups are empty.

How will we feel when the love isn’t reciprocated?

How will we feel when we’re not getting the response or reaction we need?

We begin to feel hopeless, unloved, unsure, and extremely disappointed.

This is where we have to draw the line between persistence and desperation. At some point, we’ll have to realize that we’re giving too much of ourselves and doing so much for a person who has most likely asked for none of it.

How do we fix this?

Leave him/her alone. Leaving them alone is not about giving up, but more about making yourself a priority in your life. Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. You can never go wrong with loving yourself TOO MUCH.

If it’s meant to be, it will be.

If he/she is truly yours, the universe will make a way for the both of you to be together.

If God sees fit, he will bless you.

Until then, learn to stop expecting. Know that it’s okay if you’re rejected. Learn to celebrate, compliment, and honor yourself. The TRUE love of your life will see the beauty in you and see how valuable you are.

Don’t force love. Love will come naturally at the right time and under the right circumstances.

It has taken me a long time to properly love myself.

Most of my adult life, I expected others to take half the responsibility in helping me love myself when in fact, it is 100% my responsibility.

I used the opinions of others as a crutch as long as it was positive.

I needed others approval to be great

I wasn’t completely happy unless I was in a relationship

Comparing myself to other women was a habit

My journey to self-love began when decided that I will no longer accept less than I deserve in all aspects of my life. It came to me when I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. Although, I’m still a work in progress, I can tell you that these eight ways helped improved my love for self, as well as helped me gain more clarity as to who I am and what I really want out of life.

Stop comparing– I’ve realized that ppl receive their blessings during different chapters of their lives. Just because what I desire didn’t happen for me doesn’t mean it never will. I’ve also accepted the fact that if I want better results, I have to work just as hard to see them.

Accept the skin and body that you’re in-The % of my body fat and the color of my skin has no bearing on what kind of person I am. Someone who is worth the love I give myself will see that.

Embrace your uniqueness– I accept that I’m extra sensitive…I embrace it. I accept that I have a lisp…I embrace it. I accept that I’m an introvert…I embrace it. All of the aforementioned makes me who I am. I embrace my uniqueness.

Tell yourself you’re beautiful every morning- When you get out of bed, remember to take a look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful. The more you tell yourself, the more you’ll believe it. I will do it too 😉

Focus on YOU– Focus on your dreams, your talent, your hard work, and your mission. It’s worked for me thus far. I’ve been so busy with trying to be great, not being “boo’d up” is not as much on my mind as it used to be.

Knowing your love and the love of God is enough– You don’t need the love of a man to validate how important and special you are. When I realized that, I stopped pining for love from a man and started pouring uber amounts of love within myself.

Letting go of the past– Part of my growth and journey to self-love was accepting what I can not change in the past. I use my past to learn instead. Your lessons (past and present) can be your greatest teachers.

Letting go of toxic ppl– When you stop holding on to toxic ppl, you leave room for genuine friendships and even healthier, loving relationships.




This person is everything you’ve wanted!

He is handsome, has a great career, loving, great sense of humor, talented, open-minded, and down-to-earth.
There’s only one thing….you can’t have him.
This is when distinguishing the difference between who we want & who we need is necessary, but some of us inhibit that kind of process by relying on that built-in “hope factor” that we’ve internalized.
It doesn’t matter if that married man says he loves you. He isn’t yours, but you still hope things change.
You think he’s scared of commitment. Did you think sleeping with him was going to make him change his mind?
He seems to always be too busy to spend quality time with you, but wait! You guys are not in a relationship, so he’s not obligated!
As women, we try to manipulate these guys to give us what we want with sex, money, gifts, and our overall energy, but it never works. It never works because we’re not being honest with ourselves. It’s one thing to try and force love & commitment with a guy, but it’s doubly wrong when we try to force them with a guy we can’t have. By the way…let’s not blame the guys for sleeping with us. There’s nothing like NOT having to work too hard for vagina. MEN LOVE THAT! After the sex, they go on about their business unlike us who lose hairs wondering why they haven’t called.
Some of us have known from the beginning what kind of situation these men are in, but our “hope factor” allows that inevitable confidence to invade us and we keep pursuing them. We have to utilize our intelligence in a way that will help us understand that sometimes who we want may not be who we need. We need a mirror image of our soul, and someone who loves like we do. Someone like that is never married, not afraid to commit, and he wants exactly what we want. Once we realize that, a guy who we cannot have will not have the power to emotionally manipulate us. Most importantly, we have to see ourselves worthy of having more than what we settle for.


There’s nothing worse than trying to fight for attention from…..

The married one: It’s really obvious why you shouldn’t waste your time on this one. He’s already said his vows to his woman in front of God & both of their families. So, y’all have had an affair. In the end, something like this will never go in your favor, because in most cases the side chick is only there as a temporary fix. With a ring & official papers, he is obligated to wifey by putting her first in everything and rightfully so. Therefore, you can’t have him. You may want him, but you don’t need him.

The punk: This one tells you & shows you all the right things, but when feelings between you both fester, he shows signs of fear by avoiding your calls and making excuses about his “broken heart”. Don’t be fooled by the fuckery. If he really wanted to be with you, he’d prove it with consistency and genuine interest. You wanted magic in your relationship, but he misunderstood that when he disappeared. You feel like you need him, but I’m sure you don’t need the 3 dollar bill attitude & the misleading torture. Move on!

The non-ambitious one: Simply put..if he has no goals in life & doesn’t care to achieve any like you do, don’t waste your time. You may want the good dick he gives you, but you don’t need his undesired outlook on life to rub off on you.

The user: The user can be any dude I’ve mentioned above.

The manipulator: Just like you sexually & emotionally manipulate him, he can with you. This type of relationship will never go anywhere, because you both want what you want & with selfish intentions. In this type of relationship, there could possibly be the ability of you both feeding off each other’s power trip. You both lie & charm the pants off each other, but there will come a time when you as the woman will need a man who will genuinely give what you need without expectations.

We do ourselves a great disservice when we fall & chase over men who don’t belong to us or cannot have. It’s a form of settling that we’ve adopted because we’ve allowed these men to invade our hearts. I guess the golden question is…do we have enough power in us to put them in a place emotionally, and make room for those we’ll need and who’ll need us just the same?

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