Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
5. There Are No Limits
Hypnotizing your kids is one of the most powerful tools you have in your parental arsenal. For example; think about all the stupid ass friends you have whose kids do the same thing. That’s because children are the fruit of the seed that you plant. Simple & plain. There’s literally no other way to put it. Whatever you feed them (mental is no different than physical) is going to affect the nature of their growth. & I didn’t have to go to any type of school or training seminar to know that. A child’s ambition is fueled & driven but what they think & understand & whoever’s in control of those two elements has the ability to shape their perception.
As guardians, protectors, & teachers, our job is to build them up as high as we possibly can. That way, when the world starts tearing them down, which it eventually will, it’ll have a hard(er) time finishing the job. Tell the kids they can fly & sit back & watch as they build a pair of wings right before your very eyes, so to speak.
4. Childhood Is Fun But Adulthood Is More Fun
Parents, & society as a whole, put quite a bit of emphasis on enjoying childhood. This, I too, am a proponent of. However, within the grand scheme of life, childhood is a swift, brief, carpet bomb-laying moment in time where there is very little to “enjoy.” For the most part, kids spend the majority of their time taking orders & avoiding predators, no matter what colorful psychobabble you dress it up with. & puberty isn’t the groovy, sexually enjoyable hormone-fest that John Hughes’ movies made it appear to be, either.
In hindsight, all that extra time “playing” & “being a kid” would’ve been better spent dedicating myself to the future. & by no means am I suggesting that children shouldn’t be children, but the joys of childhood fail in comparison to the possibility of virtual success in adulthood. That success takes concentration, focus, & a formidable work ethic. Those are things you won’t usually find on a bike ride or a jaunt through the gully to find animals to
murder play with.
3. You Are Not Alone
Shoutout to Michael Jackson. When I was in the hospital recovering, I experienced loneliness for the first time in my life. Up until then, I’ve always had people around me. Luckily, my loneliness was brief & I was preoccupied with fighting a monkey, but the days when no one could visit, when it was just me, the nurse, & the rigid smell of sterile air, I felt like the world had no idea I was even in there. Be it the medicine or the sheer desolation of onsetting sobriety, but not only did I feel helpless, but I also felt like there was no help.
Enough about me, though…
I spend enough time around kids to see how many don’t have anyone there. One of the saddest sights I’ve seen is a kid walking to & from school, alone, everyday. Not a big brother, sister, aunt, nobody to be there. That empty-handed feeling can easily snowball into neediness, a one-size-fits-all void that will more than likely be filled by the wrong energy. I can remember back to preschool, any function or parental activity, I had a small posse of family members rooting for me. Even though I grew up to dislike a vast majority of my blood-related family members, as a kid – when it really counted – I never felt alone. Without trying to analyze myself, I’m sure there’s a correlation between that & the man I’ve grown to become.
2. Time Is Limited
Life is temporary. Nobody knows this better than the old man whose life is weighed down by the regrets of his youth & the memories of what he can not change. I believe part of the reason people’s early stages are filled with so many mistakes is because this reality is not ingrained deeply in us in the very beginning of our respective lives.
Of course such an incessant reality check may be frightening to a young person, so it’s important to point out the difference(s) between living your life & waiting to die.
I’d say a good opportunity to discuss this topic – unless one presents itself sooner – is at the first funeral a child attends, which is usually around age six or seven. By then, there’s enough feasible comprehension to establish a proverbial “start” & “finish” line in the child’s particular journey. That sense of urgency may prove to be just the right incentive to accomplish something &/or be “somebody” before it’s too late.
Kids see the age of eighteen as the imaginary fence which they can finally hop to pursue the life of “freedom” they’ve been yearning for X amount of years. It’s our job to remind them that “real life”started the day they began breathing.
1. You Love Them
It’s the simplest, yet most underrated sentence in existence. It’s singly responsible for at least half of us even being conceived. More important than your dad boning your mom, though, is the fact that “I love you” is the foundational building block that the parent/child relatiionship is stacked upon. Everything your kids learn is learned through you, in some form or fashion. Be it positive or negative, you set the example, becoming a sort of “DNA” that predetermines how the child coexists with humanity. The least you can do is fill their little pink hearts with love before inevitably releasing them into a world full of so much hate. Depending on your level of urbanization, that “love” may be what helps them survive their teenage years. It’s the same “planted seed” theory that most aspects of linear parenthood orbit.
These rules can be applied to other kids, too. Nephews, nieces, siblings, you name it. You don’t have to be a parent to affect the effects of tribal child rearage, if you smell my cologne.
Words by Tony Grands