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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parenting the Chris Rock way

One of mine and Toyin's favorite inside jokes is a line from Chris Rock's bit, "How to Maintain a Relationship." (Warning, this video is not for people who are easily offended. It's pretty typical Chris Rock stuff).

Our joke stems from the part where he is talking about how men don't actually need to talk back when women are talking.

"You gotta just act like you're talking. 'Get out of here. Go on! l don't believe it. You don't say! Really? Get out of here! Go on. l don't believe it. I told you that bitch crazy.

"You gotta throw in, I told you that bitch crazy, you know why? 'Cause every woman's got another woman at her job that she can't stand."

When Toyin and I watched that bit, we cracked up because we had a pretty typical couple issue in that when I was venting, he wanted to fix fix fix. Toyin is the master solution maker. But when I was upset, that's not what I wanted. I just wanted someone to listen. More importantly, I wanted someone to understand.

Shortly after we saw that Chris Rock bit, Toyin and I were walking into a Lowes one afternoon. Walking in front of us was a couple in their mid-forties. She was talking and talking, clearly irate about something, although not at him. She was venting. They walked closely, indicating an intimate relationship. He held his hand on her shoulder in a loving manner. As she talked and waved her arms about, he nodded and said in a nurturing way, "mmmm, hmmm."

Toyin and I laughed and looked at each other and he said, "I told you that bitch was crazy."

What we saw that day was a man who was simply listening to and understanding his woman. He wasn't trying to fix anything.

Well, kids need that too.

I recently wrote a post about how I started reading Tears and Tantrums by Aletha Solter.

I'm just about done and it is eye-opening!

Solter points that when children cry or tantrum, parents are in one of two camps. They either punish, or they soothe/attempt to find a fix.

I have been in the soothing/fixing camp.

But Solter says that neither one of these is a good idea and soothing away the tears is just as detrimental to the child as punishment.

Why? Because they don't feel understood.

Additionally, if you try to fix it, or you ignore, or punish, you are not letting your child release her/his stress.

And just like adults, they need to release stress.

Since reading T&T, I am actually encouraging Annika to cry when it seems like she needs it. Solter gives some recommendations to parents in the book, which I'm not going to write down because this is one of those books that you should read yourself as this is one of those ideas that really doesn't translate well through retelling.

But if you don't read it, a simple solution here is: next time your kid is having a tantrum, just remember, "I told you that bitch crazy."


  1. I *sparkly heart* Chris Rock.

    I do the 'pretending to talk' with the almost two-year-old, since I have no idea what she's saying sometimes. If only it would work with the four-year-old's non-stop questions. She doesn't want to talk - she wants to ask. "Mmmmhmmm" and "You don't say" just don't work. I'll have to throw in an "I told youthat bitch crazy" and see what kind of milage I get from that :)

  2. After reading your post on the AP list, I had to come find your blog. I heart Chris Rock too and I think we're going to make "I told you that bitch was crazy" into our lexicon.

    And I think LA is a choad too.


  3. sorry, that was "make 'I told you that bitch was crazy' part of our lexicon" - I'm typing too fast and totally sleepless b/c I stayed up playing on the computer instead of going to bed.

    --sunni (who can't let a typo go un-commented)

  4. Ha ha! Into, make, as long as it gets in there somehow! Enjoy!


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