Chris Brown and my Son

Chris Brown could be my son. I mean, really. He’s a handsome guy. So is my son. He’s amazingly talented. So is my son. He can dance his butt off. So can my son. His singing can make even a grown Mama pay attention. My son has a beautiful voice. He is a Golden Boy. So is my son.

Except — right now Chris Brown’s looks and talent are overshadowed by the actions of this past weekend. And the question we’re asking is: How did this happen? How did this beautiful talented guy end up the center of rabid attention for beating his gorgeous girlfriend? I mean, he doesn’t look like a thug. He doesn’t appear to be the kind of guy I warn my daughter about. But there’s more to each of us than our appearance. There’s more to us than even we know. Right now I’m pretty sure even Chris Brown is asking himself, “What happened?”

I talked to my son, Simeon, about the situation as we drove to school today. (I was driving. He’s got his permit, but I’m more comfortable behind the wheel.) “Did you hear about Chris Brown and Rihanna?” I asked. “Yeah,” he responded, that’s messed up. She had bite marks and stuff.” “Wow,” I said, “that had to be a lot of rage for him to lose it like that.” We were quiet for a while as we crossed the bridge. “Son, ” I said, “If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel like you’re losing control, walk away. Really, man, unless you are struggling for your own life there is never any reason to hurt a woman.” Sim nodded, grunting. We talked some more about men who hit and the women who leave — or sometimes stay. He said, “I know some girls right here at school though, who keep getting beat up and they keep going back. That seems stupid.” Yeah, I guess it does. But I can’t begin to understand their stories or what deep inside them leads them to make the choices that they make. They probably aren’t sure themselves. I doubt even Chris Brown knows what rose up from some place inside him that led him to hurt someone he cared for. He could be my son. But he’s not. I can’t reach out to him. But I can reach my son and tell him to walk away. That every woman is somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister. I can tell my son that a man is responsible for his actions. He is someone who protects, not someone who we have to be protected from. Chris Brown and Rihanna are in my prayers. My son is in my prayers and in my house.

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13 thoughts on “Chris Brown and my Son

  1. AWESOME MESSAGE: Thank you for talking about this and talking to your son. I’veheard reports on the news and it’s presented simply as another star gone bad. I wish more people with media resources would get out there and give the messages to the kids today about how to act as young men/women. Those messages aren’t out there. We need some programs with real life story lines and parents that address these issues in positive ways before things get out of hand (like on lifetime movies)
    But your Blog is agreat start soTHANK YOU for sharing

  2. Natalie: I know exactly what you’re saying. Our sons are the same age. I was stunned when I heard about it. Sometimes I think a public life is a detriment. My children were both competitive dancers and at one point, my son approached me with the idea of getting into acting. I told him no. I said that when he’s 18, the decision is no longer mine, but until then, it is. He wasn’t happy with me, but he got over it.

    He has a girlfriend now and he adores her. I’m sure Chris Brown was no different. I’m not really sure where that kind of anger comes from (like I said, perhaps the public life, perhaps the past). But I have always done as you did. I explained to him that under NO circumstance is it okay to lay your hands on a woman. Further, I told him the only time you lay a hand on even another man is in self defense.

    I hope he remembers that.

    Sincerely,
    Robin

  3. You are soooooooooooo right !! Parents have to be more involved in everything their children do.They also need to listen and not dictate all the time .I am a mother of 3 and I want my children to be able to come to me with anything!! Having an open , honest , relationship helps build their character and helps them to make sensible decisions. You have done a wonderful job with your son.Also you were a great influence for the children on the show!! Good Job !!!

  4. Hello! How are You & Your Family? Right on! Way to Go! It’s Great to Teach Your Adorable Son Not to Hit or Hurt a Woman or To Bully Anyone. I Hope More Parents Teach there Children to Walk Away & Cool off then Talk about there Problems. Beating a Woman & Fighting is Not the Answer. Being Positive Roll Model & Teaching Our Kids & family from Right & Wrong is The Right thing to Do. & So is Walking away & Cooling off & then Talking about the Situation. Huray For You Natalie & Simeon, That’s Wonderful I hope More Great Moms Talk to there Sons Like You. God Bless You & Your Family!
    Thank You!
    Sincerely your Friend Angel!

  5. I didn’t really know much about Chris Brown, however, any young man with that rage needs help. The young lady was very lucky and blessed to survive all the anger.

    I have followed the story on the news but, you can never really depend on everything you hear on the news.

    Sometimes there are people who grow up with undetected rage and one day they just blow. I find it difficult to not notice what my sons are feeling or doing with their feelings. I heard that he grew up with domestic violence in his home, so maybe he should have dealt with that in his early teens. His mother, per one of his interviews, was beaten by her spouse and he saw all that in his own home.

    Every news reporter is saying that he was so sweet and gentle and they are totally shocked by this. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

    I have 2 adult sons and they are not perfect, but I would hope that I have instilled inside of them a way to deal with their emotions in a safer way that causing bodily harm to any woman. I have learned that some things are just in your genes and you need to get the help you need once you recognize it.

    I pray for this young man and young lady and hope that they both find peace.

  6. Hi, Natalie,
    Those are such heartfelt words. Glad you’ve got your new gullamama website up. It will help to fill a much needed niche. You still know how to tell those stories!
    Elle

  7. Great Message. I found this on Wikipedia: “From the ages seven to thirteen, Brown was scarred by the domestic violence his mother endured from her boyfriend. He claims to “hate him to this day.” Children learn what they live and from what we can tell, Chris Brown is still harboring a lot of anger. Simeon has that great foundation that Chris probably did not have. You and Ron are super parents. Keep up the good works!
    With love,
    Angel

  8. Thank you for contacting me. I remember emailing you about two years ago I think or more about the show Gullah Gullah Island. I agree that there needs to be some kind of website on how we can be better parents and raising our children right. Parents need to start young on teaching there kids right from wrong, showing respecting and obeying parents, and other adults as well. My son can be stubborn sometimes. He is 8 and we as well as my 6yr old daughter live with my parents right now. I got a divorce about 5yrs ago and I could not keep up the house payment by myself so my parents suggested I move in with them. I think it maybe more stressful for him than my daughter. I love my parents, but they can be frustrating at times, we have no privacy, and we really need a place of our own. When I try to make Ryan mind or if I spank him he either slaps me on the arm, or kicks me. This doesn’t happen to often. But it shouldn’t happen at all. I do love my kids with all my heart and would do anything for them. Sometimes I think,well maybe I shouldn’t have spanked him for that particular thing and should have just talked to him. When I really spank him he cries, and sometimes talks loud to me and calls me hateful for something and that is when my dad has to go outside because he can’t take all the loud noise. I have been wondering for awhile if things would be better if we were on our own and not so stressful?Our bedroom(my old bedroom when I was living there before I was married)is not very big. It has their bunkbed, a twin bed, two chester drawers, tv and a small bathroom. I know I have written alot, but I could use some advice from anybody. I want to have two beautiful kids who will mind and respect me. Sometimes I feel like calling Nanny 911(ha, ha).

    • Dear Nila,
      Thank so much for commenting on my blog. It sounds as though you and your family are in the midst of change and change is always hard. I do understand your concern about spanking. When I was little every kid I knew got spanked. My mother spanked us just about every day, though now, years later, I can’t even imagine what we could have done to deserve that many spankings. When I had my children I was taught by the elders in my community that I should spank them too. So I did. But I began to realize that most of the time when I spanked my children it was because I was frustrated or embarrassed or overwhelmed. And sometimes when I was angry I didn’t always have the self-control I should have had. So when Simeon was very small I decided that I would not spank my children anymore. I couldn’t risk losing control. My stepmother, who was a parent educator for many years, taught that a parents hands were for loving, not for hitting. I know there will be people who disagree with the choice I made, but it was the right choice for me and my family. Talking to my children and imposing consequences does take time. Particularly when it’s not the norm. Sometimes it can feel frustrating. But when I felt myself close to the edge of losing control I learned to put myself in time out. To walk away. And the wonderful thing is, that we learned to talk about everything and to trust each other. They know that they are safe with me. This doesn’t mean that I’ve never messed up. I have. But I’ve learned to apologize to my children when I’ve acted in anger or modeled behavior I don’t want them to follow. I know it must be hard living in such a small space. Finding a larger place might give you a little more space to breathe, but it’s great that your parent’s were available when things were hard. In the meantime look for opportunities to take care of yourself. And asking for help is a good thing. Nanny 911 might not be available, but perhaps there is other support in your community. Is there a family counseling center you could consult with? Maybe there’s a Big Brother program or other community support. And faith helps. Just trusting that Everything can work together for Good. Hang in there, Nila. And know that I have you and your children in my prayers. — Natalie

  9. You have a way with words and I really appreciate you sharing your feelings. I can’t help but believe that as much as teenage boys struggle to be understood, yours (who will continuously make mistakes) will evolve into an amazing young man. The Chris Brown thing is shocking, and true, we really don’t know what he had going on inside. It’s not an excuse though. Hopefully, a lesson will be learned from this public situation and more people will reach out to those young men (and women) in need of guidance. As your daughter..and Sim’s sister- I can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate you for teaching us right from wrong, for giving us your perspecitive and sharing your stories with us. Me, Sim, and all those blessed to come in contact with you are happy you’re here. Keep shining your light GullahMama; )

    Love ya,

    Me

  10. Thank you so much for contacting me about your new blog. I am thrilled to see your take on some of our current events/issues.

    Though I know that every child grows up, I find it hard to imagine Simeon as old enough to drive! Just this morning my daughter and I were watching him “get his first haircut.” (Yes I completely realize that the show is over 10 years old now! And Sara’s Comment earlier? What an awesome daughter you have!!)

    It is incredibly important for parents to tie in current events to their children’s lives. It’s wonderful how you were able to bring up this topic with your son and use it as a teaching point, instead of just blatant gossip.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  11. VERY VERY true and awesome of you to talk to your son about this. Most people just don’t think about it. I will talk to Jake about this, sex, drugs, smoking and drinking cause its our responsibility to teach our kids.
    My daughters are young going on 16 and 15 and I hope and pray they are never in the situation i was in with their father. I went back several times, can’t to this day tell you why. Except he had a hold on me that i can’t explain. The last time i left took all i had not to go “home”.
    Thank you for taking the responsibility :hugs:

  12. Thank you for your reply. I am glad to know that we are in your prayers. I am a christian and believe God can work wonders when we least expect it. It is hard living in a small space, but we just have to make it work until I can afford to get a place of our own. But with Bankruptcy behind me for two years I don’t know if I am able to do that. I just have to put it in God’s hands and let him be in control. Peace and God Bless!

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