Author Archives: Joyce Teal


Are You Raising One of the Next Generation of Hoodlums: Meaning What you Say      


“Just Say No” sounds good in theory.  But it implies that saying no is as easy as saying yes, and for most of us, it just isn’t. In practice, saying no usually requires an explanation and saying yes doesn’t. Just saying no makes for an awkward moment, which makes it an unhelpful suggestion to kids (and people pleasers) who often care about avoiding awkwardness even more than they care about their own well-being.

Admittedly, sometimes it’s hard to work out what is so grey about keeping our kids safe. If you were to go to work with some of us for a day and see where one joint or one drink can take a teenager with promise,  I believe you would be able to say no more easily. It only takes one bad decision made in the wrong place at the wrong time – one knockout punch, one unknown drug, one drink too many, one night of unprotected sex, one “Don’t worry about me I can look after myself Mom and Dad,” – and lights out. It’s all over. A life is forever altered!

Parents: learn to actually take pride in saying a big, fat, “NO” sometimes. You aren’t being mean or kill-joy. You aren’t depriving your kids! Think about it: Is there anything they don’t have that they really need?

The word no has become unacceptable in many teenagers’ vocabulary. We say it, they hear it and then they reject it, as though no is not a viable option.

I find that many adults actually feel guilty for introducing a limitation to their teenager’s world, especially if it isolates them from the rest of their peer group.

Make no mistake about it: normal isn’t necessarily okay! Just because everyone else is doing something isn’t a good enough reason to put your child’s life in danger. There are times when I’m horrified at what average families allow their teenagers to do. I’ve seen families allow their 14 year old teen and her friends to drink alcohol at home, despite the endless research about the negative effects on the developing brain. I’ve seen parents allow their teen daughter’s boyfriend to spend the night in her bedroom with her. Many parents turn a blind eye to the sexual activity their teenagers are bragging about online.

I’m sure parents know when they should  say no, but for some reason they are finding it difficult to get the word out. I’d like parents to muster up the courage to say NO, without the guilt. A loud and proud, I’m-your-parent kind of NO that oozes a sense of responsibility and embracing love.

Parents: Remind your teen that NO is a healthy word; that it is just as viable as yes, and that no is to be respected, no matter from whom it comes. NO means NO! ACCEPT AND RESPECT IT!

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Are You Raising One of the Next Generation of Hoodlums: The Importance of Family It is very important to assure that your son internalizes the significance of family. One of the reasons so many men are able to walk away from their families, seemingly without looking back, is because as boys they were not taught… Continue Reading

Addressing Recent Tragedy (7/11/16

Thursday night of this past week was one of the worst nights in the history of the city of Dallas.  This comes on the heels of two days where we witnessed the killing of two Black men at the hands of their local authorities.  I won’t even try to pretend to know or understand how… Continue Reading


Avoid teaching your son that boys don’t cry. Seeing your son cry isn’t always easy, but when we say things like, “Don’t cry,” we’re invalidating his feelings and telling him that his tears are unacceptable. This causes your son to learn to stuff his emotions, which can ultimately lead to more explosive emotional outbursts. Tell… Continue Reading


No parent wants to describe him or herself as a bad parent. ‘Bad parenting’ is used to describe people who are not parenting in a way that will help their child or children become fulfilled, successful adult(s). They aren’t keeping the necessary focus. Of course reasons vary: too busy with other responsibilities to take the… Continue Reading

The Importance of Integrity

Are You Raising One of the Next Generation of Hoodlums: The Importance of Integrity We are not born with integrity. Integrity is a value based on honesty and developed over a lifetime. It requires consistent demonstrations from parents as well as verbal instructions about integrity. In many situations, our society challenges our quest for it.… Continue Reading


Are You Raising One of the Next Generation of Hoodlums: RATE YOUR RAISING TACTICS by Dr. Joyce Willard Teal So often we hear of another black man going to prison and/or another black boy becoming entangled in the Juvenile Justice System. Each of these men and boys was once a precious, sweet, innocent and often… Continue Reading

More on Self-Discipline

Previous columns have discussed how important it is for your son to develop self-discipline. In fact, I have previously noted that the development of self-discipline is so important that we will continue to revisit the subject in this column from time to time. It is self-discipline that will prompt your son to shut up instead… Continue Reading

Are You Raising One of the Next Generation of Hoodlums: Making Good Choices

  Are You Raising One of the Next Generation of Hoodlums: Reinforcing Making Good Choices Most parents are aware that helping their sons learn to make good choices is an important part of parenting. Although higher level reasoning skills don’t begin to develop until children are between 7 and 8 years old, even preschool children… Continue Reading

Importance of Teaching Boundaries

Are You Raising One of the Next Generation of Hoodlums: Importance of Teaching Boundaries A previous column discussed the significance of assuring that your son clearly understands the importance of boundaries, the personal ones to which he is entitled as well as those boundaries to which others with whom he interacts are entitled. Boundaries are… Continue Reading