DREAM TEEN Magazine - - Front Page - Rev. Tina Baker DREAM TEEN Magazine July 2016

There is a quote that says, “The way we talk to our chil­dren be­comes their in­ner voice.” I am a firm be­liever that if I gave birth to a baby, then it was my re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure I gave that baby the ab­so­lute best that I could. My hus­band and I de­cided that we wanted to wait to have chil­dren. We wanted to be ready for such a re­spon­si­bil­ity. Upon the en­trance of our first daugh­ter, Brea, we knew that we would speak life into the ex­is­tence of our chil­dren. Ev­ery­thing we said to them, around them, and near them had to be pro­duc­tive for their lives. From within my womb we would tell the un­born child how great he or she would be. Af­ter birth, we ut­tered words of af­fir­ma­tion to them daily. Even as they grew up, speak­ing words of life and suc­cess never ceased. Our words be­came the words within their hearts and minds. Call­ing them deroga­tory names was not per­mit­ted. That doesn’t mean we didn’t dis­ci­pline our chil­dren, but we didn’t call them out of their names.

The words that we spoke be­came nor­mal to hear. It’s like re­peat­ing to a child, “We’re go­ing to grandma’s house.” When the day ar­rives to go to grandma’s house the child is pre­pared men­tally, phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally to go to grandma’s house. What are you pre­par­ing your chil­dren for? We told our chil­dren they would go to col­lege, they would be suc­cess­ful, and any­thing they wanted, they could have if they worked hard for it. We told them they were born to be great, they are winners and that they were nat­u­ral born lead­ers. We said these words pri­vately and pub­licly. We did not want them to think their suc­cess was a se­cret. We also did not want them to hide from be­com­ing who they were born to be. Echo­ing the words “you are smart” gives them the confidence to be smart. It starts at birth. Ba­bies come out with a clean slate. We are the au­thors of their lives. What we speak be­comes the in­ner voice in­side of them that pushes them to­wards their suc­cess­ful fu­ture.

Iy­lana Van­zant said, “Par­ents are teach­ers, guides, lead­ers, pro­tec­tors and providers for their chil­dren.” We have al­ways tried to pre­pare our chil­dren for where they were go­ing. In el­e­men­tary school, we pre­pared them for the next school to which they would ad­vance. A higher level of el­e­va­tion be­comes in­tim­i­dat­ing when you’re not pre­pared for it. When they were in high school we pre­pared them for col­lege. It was our re­spon­si­bil­ity to not only, tell them who they were, but to also pre­pare them for who they were to be­come. Many lessons were taught and there were times when we were not sure if they re­ceived the les­son, un­der­stood the les­son or got the les­son, but we kept teach­ing. Life has a way of show­ing and re­veal­ing what is known or un­known. We never stopped teach­ing and guid­ing them. They are now at ages where what we have taught is within them and we have to let them live it. While we, as par­ents, are try­ing to fit and suc­ceed in so­ci­ety, we must stay fo­cused on the fact that we birthed our chil­dren and now must give them the best we can be­cause fam­ily mat­ters. It was im­por­tant that I put my pri­or­i­ties in the right or­der. I told my chil­dren that I wanted them to suc­ceed me, go higher and fur­ther than I did; that took in­vest­ing into my kids. I helped them reach their goals and sup­ported them fi­nan­cially. The mean­ing of “Fam­ily Mat­ters” is, it is im­por­tant that we make the next gen­er­a­tion bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous. We’re not com­pet­ing with them, but we are com­plet­ing them. The dif­fer­ence in those two words is one let­ter; the let­ter “L,” which stands for love. We must love them to their dreams, goals and fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity; and then when they leave, they are ready men­tally, phys­i­cally, spir­i­tu­ally and emo­tion­ally. All we can do, is do our best to give them our best. DT

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