A Few Major Keys From DJ Khaled on Parenting

brilliant ideas, MOMMY THOUGHTS, parenting

While he may have welcomed some criticism for snapchatting the birth of his child…in the days since Asahd Tuck Khaled has entered the world, DJ Khaled has totally embraced fatherhood in surprising and entertaining ways.

The snapchat king, of course, floods his story and timeline with endless photos and videos of the infant but I believe, Khaled is teaching us, new and veteran parents something about parenthood.

Image result for dj khaled son

1.You Can Never Say “I Love You” Enough

Khaled is a man in love with the world. From shouting at the sky and holding roses in his and whispering “I love you” we know that Khaled is all about spreading positive vibes. This is no different when it comes to little Asahd. Khaled showers his son in I love you’s to which Asahd just smiles.

Being open to our children is important as it provides them with an example of how to be vulnerable and share their emotions. Saying I love you plays a very important role in their development. It makes them feel safe and strong. We need to do this more!

2. Surround Your Children With People Who Inspire & Influence

Image result for alicia keys and asahd

Who we bring our children around is very important. Since DAY ONE Khaled has made it a point to surround Asahd with only the best! Here you see Alicia Keys holding little Asahd. And, wait, there are others with Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, August Alsin and more. Khaled wants his son to soak up that greatness and be inspired by those who are at the top of their game. Soooooo…what’s your circle looking like


3. Encourage Your Children With Positive Affirmations

Saying I love you is one thing. But Khaled lays on the compliments and affirmations thick. “You are blessed Asahd”, “You are a don, an icon, a legend”, “you’re amazing.” If you’re wondering how you can encourage and speak positively to your child. Check out this list of 66 Positive Things To Say To A Child

4. Take Them With You

DJ Khaled is a busy man and is one of the few amongst us that did not seem to take any L’s in 2016. He’s all over social media and your tv screen with various endorsements and contracts. And nowadays, so is Asahd. Khaled is giving his son a front row seat to his hard work and showing him how its done. I can imagine with Asahd grows up, he will grind just as hard as his father; not because he has to but because he’s been taught to.

Often times we keep our work a secret from our children and then wonder why they grow up lazy and entitled. Train up your children. Show them the ropes, even at a young age so they understand that they have to work for what they want in life. No freebies. No shortcuts, No excuses. That’s a major key!

5. Make Them Your Business Partner

Image result for dj khaled names son executive producer

Khaled announced via social media that his son, Asahd, is the executive producer of his album. Wait….what?! Yes, Asahd Khaled will be listed as co-executive producer of Khaled’s next album. Silly some may say. But there’s a reason behind it. Listing Asahd as executive producer will not only put his name in the industry but gets him listed on royalty checks. yes, that means Asahd will have his own money! *John Amos voice from Coming to America* Other rappers like Khaled’s buddy Nas has done this to ensure their children will always have an income. Khaled has committed to not only making his son an heir to the throne, but is laying the foundation for him to create his own when the time should come.

In what ways can you do this in your family?

Now, I cannot say what kind of parent DJ Khaled will become or if Asahd will indeed be the golden child, I am saying that watching DJ Khaled love his son has inspired me to love mine even more. Hopefully this does the same for you.


Stay Gold!

brilliant ideas, MOMMY THOUGHTS, parenting

I caught a glimpse of my son today in usual form: aloof, mouth wide open, probably thinking about basketball. I immediately thought about how beautiful he was. You know, he looks like me, but lighter skinned. People have always said he’s my twin. But he’s different than me in so many ways.

We were driving home on our usual afternoon commute from West Oakland to South Richmond. Normally we’d be full of conversation, but today Apple Music serenaded us with hits from Janet Jackson radio. Among the jams were Michael’s “Beat It” and Mariah Carey’s “Don’t Forget About Us”

Traffic was heavy and I found myself yawning constantly. I looked at my son who seemed to be doing the same. If I asked him what he was thinking about he’s probably bring up a 3rd down during some college football game from two years ago and explain to me what he would’ve done differently. (He loves sports btw). I laughed in my head imagining what our conversations would be like in years to come. We talk about everything from sports to God to gummy bears and homework. Our minds often wander. That we DO share in common.

I wanted to, in that moment, preserve his innocence so he could stay this free forever. I know that there’s a point in a young boy’s life when that ends and I am aware, that for young Black boys that day comes even sooner.

He’s not like most 8 year old’s whose eyes tell a story of tough times and mannerisms that demonstrate their eagerness to fight an invisible war. He’s carefree. Naive. Empathetic. Friendly. Curious. He’s my baby.

I ache, already, for that day when some little heffa breaks his heart or shit gets real and someone close to him dies; the day he realizes we live in the ghetto and that top ramen isn’t as fancy as I make it out to be. I’m cringing for the day he understands that being Black is both a badge of honor, and a target.

He understands now, as a child would. But one day he’ll be a man.

I looked at my son again and loved him harder. Loved him more because this world won’t. Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” was playing. And as I glanced back on the highway he says to me, “Mommy you’re my greatest love of all” and he meant it. Every word. I said “You’re my greatest love of all too!” and he felt it. I knew he felt every single word.

I know it is said that nothing gold can stay, but I’m hoping you are the exception.

Little Black boys and basketball. 


The first toy my son held in his hand was a plastic guitar. It played “Achy breaks heart” and lit up when you touched it. My son loved that toy. He was probably around two years old when we purchased him a basketball hoop though. He would, I assume like most kids, try to fit all his toys into the circle just to see what they’d do. When he was five, we joined the ymca and thus, he became apart of the non-competitive summer league.

I watched my son change that summer. Despite the many activities I put him in such as dance, piano, soccer and art, basketball seemed to ignite a fire inside of him. His language changed. He wanted to talk about basketball all the time. Everything he held in his hand became a basketball. He wanted to watch it on tv, new and old games, professional, college and high school. Every time he blinked he was practicing his jump shot. And this passion and excitement has been consistent over the last two years.

I teach middle school. Last week, at our school-wide rally, staff and students faced off on the basketball court. Unlike many other rallies, there was Aton of interest with sign ups for students reaching over 50 people. When the teams were announced though, I noticed all of our student athletes were Black. Not only that, these boys were suited up Iike they were part of Duke’s starting five. It was clear that these came to play and win. 

It occurred to me many of these boys were the same students often sent out of class, suspended, failing their classes and cutting class. It also occurred to me that if they could get serious about basketball they could be that focused about anything If they wanted to. But the question still lingered, “why basketball?

For little Black boys, competition is a necessary part of growing up. The need to show and prove is critical for boys at any age. I think also, that physical,kinetic relationship is important for developing as a young man. It gives them a sense of accomplishment that few other things can. So as teacher, I’m thinking, include more movement, games and competition in the classroom and our Black boys might be a little more successful in school. I’m not an expert or claim to be on any of this. I’m just saying….

Here’s an interesting article I found from Bleacher Report http://bleacherreport.com/articles/585049-white-fans-black-players-one-mans-view-of-race-in-college-basketball

To answer the question, “why are you raising money to go to Ghana?”


Giving is a sacrifice. It requires that we think with our hearts first and not our minds. Many times I have given my last to someone in need. But more important I give my FIRST to the people and things I love. The Bible says “where you treasure is, your heart will be also.” It’s one thing to proclaim what matters it is another, more powerful thing to prove it.

When I tell people I am raising money for my son to go to Ghana, I get strange looks from some, smiles from others but always the question “why are you going to Ghana.” The most accurate answer is “because my son wants to go.” But that answer doesn’t seem to satisfy anyone but he and I. So I end up going on a rant about a variety of things and people, still seemingly confused just look and smile.

I am raising my son to be confident, curious and independent. When I was a child there were so many things I wanted both tangible and intangible that I could never get because not many adults took my requests seriously. I’d say “mommy, can I…” And before I could finish my statement she’d ask me if I knew how much it cost. “Do you know how many groceries I could buy with that?!” It seemed as a child everything was always more important than what I wanted. Perhaps you grew up this way as well. You can become jaded that way. As an adult you go around just grateful for whatever you get and never wanting more. Furthermore, you grow up thinking money is an enormous obstacle. I want different for my son.

It’s important for me to honor my son’svoice. Listening to the little things builds a foundation and stronger relationship for us to communicate about the bigger things. So when my son said he wanted to visit Africa I didn’t shut him down. As a young black boy he needs as many opportunities as possible to express himself and demonstrate confidence. Rather, I asked more questions and this led to our own research of different countries. He liked the name Ghana and so we explored more. He then after a few weeks asked again if he could go and so I said yes.

I explained to my son that the process of doing anything is as follows: get the idea, make a plan, get together a team and then implement the plan. This strategy for achieving goals I learned as an adult. But it’s important for me to prepare my son early with the knowledge I gained late. I explained to him that mommy didn’t have all the money, but if we were patient, consistent, hard working and called on our village of family and friends to help us, we could do it. I need him to know that mommy is not an ATM. If he wants something, he has to work to get it. For me, this lesson translates into adulthood. As a single mother raising a young man, Devin could easily see my hard work and think “when I need something, mommy takes care of it.” I want Devin to be empowered to say ” when I want something, I will find a way to make it happen.” My son shouldn’t grow up thinking it’s okay to depend on me or any other woman for physical protection or financial security. In this way, I feel I am preparing him for his role as a protector and provider.

Devin liked the idea of fundraising! So I began researching the costs, we created a gofundme page and started planning out some fundraisers. We are so excited by all the support we have received this far and are looking forward to reaching our goal sooner than later.

Growing up Black in America presents an even greater desire for me to expose my son to our African heritage. And because he shows such a great interest in doing so, I want to pursue it fully so he can have a greater sense of self. One that I am still discovering.

I am raising money for my son to go to Ghana because I don’t just want to say I support him, I want to show him that he has a place in this world, that what he thinks matters and that he can accomplish anything he sets out to do.

If you agree with me we ask that you make a donation to our cause at www. Gofundme.com/DevinGoesToGhana Furthermore, if you are a parent or a role model to a young person I’d encourage you to find out what you kid wants and go after it.
Thank you.

It Wasn’t Love At First Sight



It wasn’t love at first sight. On Sunday, July 13, 2008 when I rushed to the hospital to find that I was in labor, panic set in. This was really happening. And it was REALLY happening NOW! I wasn’t ready.

When I held my son for the first time I didn’t love, but rather, the weight of responsibility. Having come into the world six weeks sooner than expected, it is an understatement to say I was ill prepared. All I could think was “we didn’t even have the baby shower yet!”

I laid in that hospital bed literally trying to figure out how to make a dollar out of 15 cents, wondering if his dad and I would work things out and thinking of how we would get home. Love, was the furthest thing from my mind.photo

Like most new mommies, I went home and tried to figure it out. I stepped into my new role with caution. I wanted to be intentional about everything I did. I didn’t just want to be a mom, I needed to be the best mom. All my child needed was to be fed, clothed, changed and held. This I learned quickly.

I read somewhere that its easy for parents to love the children that are most like them. But for me, I think I love my son the most because he is unlike anyone I’ve ever met. He’s not my mini-me. He is courageous, confident, humorous, intelligent, friendly, caring, generous, and articulate. He’s not afraid to ask for what he needs and when he asks, he is certain that he will receive it. This is not something, within six years, I could have learned or taught him. He’s well liked among his peers, observant of their behaviors and concerned about their well-being. He takes joy in helping others  and does so often. Everyday he teaches me what REAL love is. Not because I deserve it, but because that’s who he is.

20140521-084421-31461764.jpgI value our relationship. We are not a traditional pairing. We talk about everything as we are both full of questions. Last night, we talked about heaven. He was curious as to what happens after you die. (I should mention here that we recently saw the movie Heaven is for Real. Great film!) He says, “So if you go to heaven when you die and heaven’s in the sky, why do they put the people in the ground?” Rather than fill his head with my beliefs, we talked about different theories of which he had several. He settled on “maybe they wait in the ground until its their turn to go to heaven.” He smiled after he said it as if he now had all the answers to life. I smiled too. We held hands until he fell asleep.

Nights like this make me appreciate the responsibility I dreaded in the delivery room. Going through all those embarrassing mommy moments helped me to be the type of mother I am today. I guess the take away here to appreciate life, don’t sweat the small stuff, love your kids or any other cliché’ you can think of when it comes to parenting. But, I guess I just wanted to take the time, outside of any special occasion to say I love my son and I’m glad I’m his mom.