Saturday, March 29, 2008

How To Raise Your Child Like A Jamaican

I got a chance to catch up with Dahlia Welsh (, the author of How To Raise Your Child Like A Jamaican (Life Lessons My Parents Taught Me). Coming from a Jamaican household, I can definitely relate to the book. If your looking for some candid, personal tips on parenting, Dahlia's book is a must read.

Why did you decide to write How To Raise Your Child Like a Jamaican?

It's funny because the book came to me after a conversation I had with my father regarding the lack of etiquette that a young woman was displaying on a reality TV show. However, after getting feedback from many people, I'm seeing that unbeknowest even to myself there was another reason. How To Raise Your Child Like A Jamaican (Life Lessons My Parents Taught Me) is a homage to my parents. It has turned into my way of saying thank you to them for raising me the way they did.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while writing this book?

Just actually sitting down and doing it. I have a background in scriptwriting and I've even optioned a screenplay; so, that definitely helped. However, I never thought I'd write a book because those are two very different genres but hey, get yourself an editor to check the grammar and anything is possible!

What do you hope parents can gain from reading your book?

That parenting is mostly proactive, meaning teach the lesson and let the consequences be known before problems arise. They should also know that being your child's friend, as cool as that sounds, is doing them a disservice because technically we only have one set of parents and their job is to lay down the law and guide us; so, that when it's time to stand on our own two feet we can. If our parents are not stepping up to the plate, who will?

During the colonial period of Jamaica, Jamaicans tended to imitate the British society. Now, Jamaica is considered a miniature America. In fact there's a common phrase that says, "If America sneezes, Jamaica catches a cold." What impact does American culture have on Jamaican communities and the dynamics of parenting?

Slackness, I travel to Jamaica quite often and from the perspective of a Jamerican on the outside looking in my biggest fear is that Jamaicans are beginning to forget how to raise their children like Jamaicans.

Discipline is a common thread in an old-fashioned Jamaican home, how do you think it has affected you in your adult life?

Discipline structures my daily life that is for sure and unfortunately, especially in the workplace, you see people both young and old who are not disciplined. For example, people who don't seem to know the difference between speaking one way when you're hanging with your friends and another when you're at work. It's so embarrassing, sometimes it makes me cringe.

You start each chapter with a popular Jamaican saying, such as "We rule tings, tings nuh rule we!" (Translation: We rule things, things don't rule us.)Without giving away the book, how can this saying be manifested in a parenting philosophy?

Well, like I mentioned earlier don't be your child's friend. Parents should rule the household plain and simple. Parents have the knowledge, parents have the experience and hopefully, parents have the desire to rear children who they can be proud of. It's not an easy task that's why you see so many instances where everyone from children up to adults are running around acting as if they have no home training.

Now that you've written How To Raise Your Child Like A Jamaican, what's next?

The second edition, I've lined up some really great Jamericans, General Colin Powell and Michelle Bernard who is the president and CEO of the Independent Women's Forum ( to write about how growing up in a Jamaican household contributed to their success and who knows maybe the movie or TV series!... (smile)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Global Connection

This may sound very superficial, but i'm really looking forward to dressing up my kids, especially with unique pieces of clothing you might not find at your typical retailer. Tea Collection ( finds inspiration from around the world. The above articles of clothing is taken from their Mali Motifs and the company's Batiks collection.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Family Heirlooms

Only a parent can truly decide on what keepsakes is necessary to save from their child's childhood. Some save each and every item in a big box, down to the dried up stump from the umbilical cord; whereas, others are a bit more selective. I'm all for family heirlooms and am already making room for the baby's Christening outfit, coming home from the hospital outfit, first pair of shoes, and so forth. So, naturally I'm loving the petwer cup and rattle set at and the layette set carefully wrapped in keepsake box from What I like about the keepsake box is that you can write the baby's key statistics inside. Cute! Don't you think?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Babes and I have been toying with the idea of using cloth diapers for the past couple of months, but have never gotten a chance to fully settle down on which brand we will eventually use. By the way, for any moms out there considering cloth diapers, there are so many positive reasons to bypass the conventional route. Cloth diapers wind up being a great deal cheaper, especially over time, considering you can reuse it for other children; some people even resale them. Also, it's a great deal more environmentally friendly. Babies who use cloth diapers are less likely to develop diaper rashes because they can't stay in the diapers as long as those super abosorbing Pampers and Huggies. Furthermore, children potty train a great deal more quickly with cloth diapers than with disposable ones. The downside of course is what everyone will tell you over and over again, "You're going to wash the diapers? You're going to deal with the poop? That's a LOT OF WORK!" I'm innately stubborn, so no amount of discouraging remarks will ever sway my opinion of something.

I'm happy to say that after two and a half hours in a suburban "Starbucks for Moms" boutique consisting of us analyzing dozens of cloth diapers, Babes and I finally agreed on the Green Earth prefolds with Bummi Super Brite covers. We figured this was the most cost effective way, considering the prefolds are $2 each and the covers are about $12 each. Plus, we fell in love with the softness of the prefolds. After you soak them in hot water for 20 minutes they miraculously quilt up into a plush softness for your babies bottom.

Swaddlebees ran a very close second. They are soooo soft!

Monday, March 3, 2008

No Fun Being Sick and Nine Months Pregnant

For seven whole days, I struggled with the worst imaginable cold on this side of creation. For no apparent reason, I couldn't shake it. I barely breathed and just lay underneath a blanket watching the time go by. I think I probably watched one too many episodes of Bringing Home Baby, Run's House, A Baby Story, CNN, and any remotely mindless television program. It seemed that my mind was affected by this cold, as it took all of my energy to take in oxygen. By Thursday, after I tried Claritin, Tylenol, Sudafed, bowls of chicken soup, Vitamin C, and glasses of Orange Juice; I listened to my Dr. Babes. I rubbed Vicks inside of my nostrils and put a dollop on the mold of my head and went to bed. Mind you, it was extremely uncomfortable, because it felt like a burning sensation in my nose, but what did I have to lose? It worked wonders. My only regret was not doing that from the first day.