So around the time you’re kid turns about 12 most brown mamas begin to ask themselves (on a regular basis) am I doing a good job.  Is my daughter or son going to be a good adult?  Well it turns out there are some pretty sure fire ways (at least I think) to determine a positive or negative answer.  After all as they say the proof is in the pudding.  Here’s a little checklist to determine if you mama skills are up to par, or if you need to keep working at it.


1. He does chores without hesitation

If you’re kid is 13 and still huffs and puffs every time you ask he or she to do a chore, you’ve got to work that out. As they say, “A man who does not work, will not eat.” Early on our children must learn that hard work will directly affect their ability to provide for themselves, their reputation in the community and their personal set of ethics.

2. She’s having a bit of trouble at school

Yes, your child should be having at least occasional trouble in school by the time they hit tweenage years.  In my humble opinion, if your kids having small bouts of mischievous behavior at school you know he or she is thinking.  They are working this life thing out. Kids are not supposed to be perfect.  In fact, they are supposed to mess up a lot. That’s kind of what gets them ready for adulthood.  Now, I’m not saying she should be getting caught smoking weed or having sex in the school bathroom (those are intervention issues). But,  A kid who makes very few mistakes as a child has either (1) tapped into the golden child grapevine or (2) is headed toward lots of mistakes as an adult.

3. He can be trusted with little kids and is pretty goofy

Once you’re big kid hits about 15 he may start to phase out of playing with the little kids.  But she should still retain her goofiness.  He should still be naive about life in many ways. I believe that Black children, especially, need to know everything.  They should know every president whose run America, they should know the difference between Microsoft and Apple, but giving them an All-access pass to the raunchiness of Love N’ Hip-Hop might not be a good idea. It takes away their child-likeness which every kid deserves to keep until they are forced to give it up.  In addition, you’re tween should know how to conduct themselves around children younger than they are.  Junior should know it’s not appropriate to wrestle with a 6 year-old.

4. She visits, or at least ask to visit, with his grandparents regularly

One for sure sign you’re raising an exemplary kid is their respect for the elders.  When I was growing up, I had a neighbor who was elderly that I visited with regularly.  My grandparents lived far away.  So, she acted as my stand-in grandma.  I learned a lot about how to treat the women and men in our community who were more vulnerable from her, and I learned how to take direction old-school.  My oldest son loves visiting with his grandparents.  He’s learned a lot from them about respect, how to treat women and like me, how to take direction.  ‘Cause old folks don’t play.

5. He is able to use alone time productively

All brown mamas know when their kid is turning the age corner because they start spending more time in their room with the door closed.  One way to tell if you’ve prepared them for this alone time is whether or not they can spend it productively or not.  Can she find a good book to read or create an art project when alone time doesn’t include an XBOX or a stereo. The problem with many kids today is that they don’t know how to be bored.  That’s the reason for the lack of innovation in our society today.  Challenge your teens to find something to do with their alone time that can directly affect what they know, how they think and figuring out what the boundaries of their own imaginations are.  Alone time spent productively can lead to a new invention, or just self-examination.

So mamas, what do your kids do that let’s you know your doing a great job?

Cynthia Mendoza

Hello. Welcome to a blog for Black moms looking to thrive while raising kids in this hectic world and the headquarters for Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a Pittsburgh support group for Black moms. Here I write about raising my three boys, living in and loving Pittsburgh, dating my husband, gardening and all kinds of other stuff. Thanks for visiting. Stay long & come often!

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