We need both mothers and fathers.

young girl swings from her parents' arms, but the father character has been painted over in white so that only the mother and daughter are visible while the father figure is vacant in the photo

(photo compliments of dailymail.co.uk)

Of the people I know, I can tell you who has been raised without a father, or a mother, or in a home victim to divorce, without having ever asked the person.

The people in the above categories exhibit similar behaviors and conduct their lives similarly.

We frequently hear about women with “daddy problems” who grow up without father figures. These women seek male attention in all of the wrong ways and participate in risky behavior. People say, Oh haha! Her daddy didn’t hug her enough as a child! But any person missing either a mother figure or father figure is starved of essential information in life, and have problems maintaining healthy relationships forever.

I recently read, “Like Father, Like Son, and, Yes, Like Daughter” by Molly B. Koch in Baltimore’s Child. It’s a good read about the importance of father figures.

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Racism is over now that America elected a Black president. Right? Mark Sullivan discusses the effects of Obama’s election.

This is the third part of a five-part series. Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University who teaches a class called Mass Media and Society, delves into the issue of the negative black stereotypes that are reinforced, and the impact of their media portrayals.

This segment comments on whether President Obama’s election has allowed more racism in America, how much “Black blood” a person has to have to be “Black enough,” how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go in the fight against racism, and that the current depictions of Black people in media are reinforced by their success.

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The best quotes:

Is there a lack of black role models? Mark Sullivan discusses Oprah, athletes and role models in media.

This is the second part of a five-part interview analyzing the negative portrayal of African Americans in the media with Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University.

My second question while interviewing Sullivan, a professor of Mass Media and Society, was regarding positive black role models in the media. Is there a shortage? Why? And what about Oprah’s fame versus criticism for helping other countries and neglecting the inner cities of America?

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The best quotes:

Child obesity could be prevented easily by encouraging an hour of exercise a day.

(Courtesy of http://www.topnews.in)

What happened to the old days when kids went and played for their entertainment? When did watching television, sitting at a computer or playing video games trump riding bikes, going hiking, building forts, swimming, playing sports or simply spending time with friends outside?

Serious exercise activities shouldn’t even be necessary to stop this trend of obesity in children. Kids naturally enjoy playing and being active, they’re just allowed to vegetate in front of a screen. Where are the parents when kids spend their after school time (straight through to bedtime) inside on their butts?

Who’s doing something about it?

Larry Winget, author of Your Kids Are Your Own Fault, writes a “You might be a bad parent” list

“Some of you are now spewing and sputtering and shouting “yeah buts” at me because your kids are great yet they have a TV in their room or are overweight or blah, blah, blah-de-blah-de-blah!  Okay, you can tell yourself that, and since I don’t know you or your kid I’ll step back and give you the benefit of the doubt.  But I still don’t believe you.” Larry Winget responds to parents regarding his list.

And his “Top Signs You Are A Bad Parent” list is hilarious and right on point.

My question is, why aren’t these things clear to most people? Do all parents think that they are allowed an exception?

My theory: you probably shouldn’t reproduce. Few people left have the solid values and personality traits to properly raise children. So I wish they’d stop pretending and use a method of birth control.

Better yet, vasectomies should be free.

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Word on the Street: Kids’ favorite shows and what their parents don’t let them watch on TV

Does America’s youth watch shows meant for their age group? Do parents ever censor or restrict certain shows anymore?

One weekday evening, I went to the Towson branch of the Baltimore County Public Library to ask various kids about what television they watch and aren’t allowed to watch. I think it’s interesting that children are rarely protected from mature content and that parents who do restrict their children’s television freedom are seen as crazies.

What shows were/are you not allowed to watch?

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“I want you to be a father” says Lupe Fiasco in his track “He Say She Say”

(Image courtesy of http://rap.about.com/)

I’ve focused on bad parenting already, but there are many ways parents fail their children.

So far, I’ve mentioned parental failures in the yuppy/too busy/nonchalant category. These types of failures are the result of parents not understanding or dedicating the time and work it takes to discipline and teach children to be good people.

On another hand, some people are simply unprepared and ill equipped to take on the role of “parent.” Lupe Fiasco‘s track “He Say She Say” highlights this aspect and expresses, from the perspective of mother and son, the hardships of a young man growing up without a father figure.

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