Google+ Authentic Parenting: February 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

5 Life Skills Your Child Needs Before Leaving for University

If your child is preparing to leave for university, this is a really exciting time for everyone involved. But before your son or daughter heads off to live independently for the first time, there are certain life skills that he or she should have.

 Good Driving Skills 

Provided that your child plans on traveling by car, he or she will need to pass the driving test and get plenty of practice on the road prior to leaving for university. This will give you the peace of mind that your child will be safe at all times behind the wheel.
 The good news is that your son or daughter can take advantage of Top Tests to fully prepare for the driving test and pass it with greater ease. But if your child won’t be driving on his or her own, learning how to use public transportation is imperative.

 How to Cook 

Cooking is yet another necessary life skill required of every university student who will be living on their own. This will ensure that your son or daughter eats healthy foods rather than junk foods, and that your child can save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on foods prepared by the university and by restaurants.
 Make sure your child knows not only how to shop for food, but also how to prepare a variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get all of the nutrients necessary to remain healthy, energised, and focused.

 Knowing How to Manage Money 

Prior to leaving home, your son or daughter should also know how to properly manage money. In this way, he or she won’t end up overspending on unnecessary things or activities, and will know how to save money for the future. These skills will be valuable not only while at university, but also throughout the rest of your child’s life, so it’s never too early to start teaching your kids how to be financially responsible with both cash and credit.

 How to Do the Laundry 

Another necessary life skill that your university bound child will need is a full understanding of how to do the laundry.

 Your son or daughter should know that light clothes should be separated from dark clothes, and that the clothing should be folded right after being taken out of the dryer in order to prevent wrinkles. He or she should also know how to iron clothes, and should know some basic sewing skills to repair hems, buttons, small holes, etc.

 How to Set Priorities 

Because your child will be living on his or her own at university, you won’t be there to constantly make sure that priorities are being met. Therefore, teach your child how to organise his or her to do list in a way that puts top priorities front and centre. This will ensure that work comes before play and that your child will be a successful, responsible student.

 By implementing the five tips above, your child will definitely be ready to live on his or her own.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Propaganda, Indoctrination and Pop Culture

Recently, Beyonce caused quite the stir with the release of her 'formation' video and subsequent performance on some large US event (superbowl?). Now I won't get into the racial themes this video and performance sparked, I am an nzungu (white person), and this is not my place. Plus, there's plenty of that conversation to go around, so if you're interested, read here and here.

What I do want to talk about in the light of the controverse around Beyonce's video and performance is modern culture's use of pop starts/pop culture to indoctrinate, brainwash and spread propaganda.

Sounds a bit heavy? Let me break ik down for you.


First of all, Beyonce is not a person, she is a product, a billboard, a puppet at best. The product that is Beyonce is owned by large corporations, who aside from Beyonce's records, have other things to sell. And those things are obviously not Black empowerment, but we'll get to that.

These corporations want to make money. So what do they do?

They find a trending hashtag on Twitter that says #blacklivesmatter and know this causes quite the commotion on social media.

So, they use black empowerment related imagery and thematics to brand and market their product, Beyonce. Very ingenious, as whichever the way the pendulum swings, it will be talked about, extensively (see, even I am doing it). Talked about products create viral content, generate sales and increase the bottom line. Kaching!

But this isn't where it ends. If only.

Earwurms, science and the brain

Science has made huge leaps in brain research, figuring out what makes tunes catchy, how exactly to repeat and alternate to make things 'work'. So now we have recipes for writing songs that stick in our brain, even if we'd rather not.

We also know that repeated messages in the brain will alter behaviour; eg mantras and affirmations. Psy studies confirm this over and again.

By entering a catchy tune into the brain, something the 'carrier' can't get rid of easily and ends up constantly repeating, we can alter a person's mindset. Influence them and make them veer towards certain modes of behaviour.


Enter the Beyonce song and performance:
First, you make a product that will surely be talked about, watched and rewatched on youtube, enough to stick into peoples heads. You scatter it with seemingly activist catch-phrases such as "I like my nose with Jackson Five nostrils",  just enough to grab people's attention. You bombard them with controversial, "activist" imagery.
But your main message isn't activist.

It's never activist if the bottom line is all that matters. Activism doesn't pay. Controversy does. Consumerism does.

some lines from "Formation"

"Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess" - don't question the Status quo
"I'm so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces" - consumerism
"Earned all this money but they never take the country out me" - throw in some patriotism so y'all Americans stay convinced of your Grand Nation (chuckles)
"I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it" - all is well if you work hard and keep your head down and keep buying them useless things. 
"Okay, okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, cause I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated
"- almost militaristic, isn't it. Military isn't about anarchy, it's about following rules of the hierarchy, exactly the opposite of activism... or you get eliminated!
"When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster," - let's throw in some more controversy. Y'al Americans get your panty in a knot when there's fucking involved. And meanwhile let's attach the age old woman = food = sex adagio, very little feminism in there
Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper" - as per above

So now you're stuck with THAT as a mantra.

You're all being played.

Rock on!