It’s The “Little” Things That Matter: Technology and Children


By Rhonda Nemri

I am no parent, but do hope to be one someday. Therefore the statements I am about to say are in no shape or form based on personal parenting, but more so the observations of parents and children that I encounter from time to time. I’m not a child psychologist or pediatrician, but I have a fair amount of common sense. I grew up with four other siblings, and had opportunities to help my mother watch over my three younger sisters. I wasn’t even good at it, but I had to keep an “eye” on them. I have taken babysitting opportunities for some of my cousin’s children. The fact that I was even trusted with no children of my own, is an honor. The techniques and style of parenting has changed over the years. You have the hovering parents, and then you have the parents that are at ease with difficult situations. But what has been lingering in my brain for some time are the parents that are not using common sense. But what does it even mean today to have common sense? I believe that saying has changed a bit. I am taking into account the perspective of how I was raised and how other family members were raised. Also just things that are clearly obvious of what to do.

The most irritating thing happening right now is the carelessness of parenting. I do understand that some parents may not have the means to support their children and give them what they want. Possibly they never learned the simple things of what to do. However, I speak about the parents who utilize technology on a daily basis, causing them to disconnect from their child on an emotional and physical level. I have spent most of my undergraduate and graduate studies studying the way humans communicate and the effects of technology. So why not apply this to children as well? I am positive there are countless research studies on this problem, but I would like to take it in the perspective of observer, and share my thoughts. Adults are not the only ones communicating. We take a huge responsibility of teaching our children how to speak properly. Handing an infant a phone or an iPad should not, and I repeat should NOT be your last resort to get your child to listen to you. There is something called discipline and consequences. The amount of “educational” shows out there is infesting our children’s mind in this repetitive motion, and inadequately gives them the opportunity to really look at you and learn to speak to you. I must admit that Barney and friends was one of my favorites to watch, but I had limitations. Parenting has become boxed into the idea of carelessness and laziness. Food options have become chicken nuggets and fries. Bedtime is not in an actual bed. Play time is using a phone to play a game. I’m really scared for our future. This does not mean you don’t love your child, but it just means that you’re not paying attention. We have to be attentive as individuals and help our children grow into respectable and knowledgeable human beings. I give credit to the parents who work all day and still manage to make it home and spend time with their children. Being a parent has to be the most selfless thing. Your child comes first! Not you! You can still take care of yourself, but your child is YOUR priority. From the food they eat, to the shows they watch. No one is asking you to suffocate them, but you must be 10, even 20 steps ahead of them. Or else you’ll end up with the disobedient child, or the aggressive child that won’t sit down and just listen.

“Technology changes the way kids socialize and interact with others, which can have huge impacts on their mental and emotional well-being. It has now become common knowledge that high levels of social media use, in both kids and adults, can lower self-esteem and create negative moods. However, all types of technology can actually have negative effects on children when used in excess, because they lower children’s frequency of interacting with their peers. This makes it more difficult for them to pick up on social cues and develop meaningful relationships with others — something that can have serious negative consequences as they grow and develop. They also have a difficult time developing emotions the same way other kids would if they spend too much of their time with technology and not enough time being engaged while in the presence of others” (Dhruvin Patel, 2017).

As adults we are always on our phones, from checking Facebook posts and snap chat stories. We are constantly feeling we have to be connected with everyone. You can take a thousand great pictures a day, but that picture does not give the full story. If adults are constantly on their phones and not communicating, then why would a child want to do anything else but be on a phone? I see children with newer phones, and toys that are meaningless. What happened to the old school flash cards to learn ABC’s and 123’s. We do have to adapt to change, and change is apparent. However, not when it is brainwashing yours and your child’s mind. This is in no way discrediting parents who do what they are supposed to do, or utilize technology. But as I stated, there has to be limitations and rules. Parents should be a team, and have each other’s backs. If this is something that is lacking, then there will always be a dysfunction in the family. It is not about who is right, it is about what is right for your child.

So do yourself a favor, and as parents or future parents give your child what you would give yourself. If you don’t care for your child then you don’t care for yourself, and vice versa. Let’s not get sucked into technology and use it as a backup plan to get your child to focus. What’s making them lose focus is that phone that you carry in your hands all day long. So of course they want a piece of it too. I have a baby niece, and she means the world to me. I would absolutely hate if anything happened to her. Perhaps she is the reason why I have come to discuss such a topic, because for once in my life I have taken a role as “caretaker”, and helping out in ways I never thought I would. I am just an auntie right now, and I can give my niece back to her parents at any time. I don’t have the full-time experience of having children, but most of this is “Common Sense”. If you have spent most of your single and child-free life pampering yourself, you can do the same for that cute little bundle of joy that you call your own.  Get your children off Instagram and Snap Chat, and give them more than just a screen spewing things that are not always beneficial. If my mother did it without phones and technology, so can you!


Concerned Childless Auntie 



Resisting Fear, Loving More

love and fear

What have we learned from our horrible experiences? Has it made us stronger? Or has it completely taken over our lives? It can most certainly be both. Some experiences are easy to hide and you hardly ever go back to the memory of that experience. However, there are certain things that one goes through that feels impossible to get over. I am guilty of living in the past, and letting it get the best of me. However, I tend to find it very comforting to know there is one or two people that I can go to, to express my feelings. What I have learned is that even though you have those people to go to, they will not necessarily grasp the entirety of your feelings and emotions. So what do we do? From my experience, withholding your feelings is not the best thing. Therefore, seek help when help is needed. A good listener can take you a long way. My goal is to not predict outcomes in my head, and to just let it be.

I recently read a book “Love is Letting Go of Fear” by author Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D. This book was published in 1979, and I was pretty amazed by how relatable it was to me. Given the book is dated, it is still relevant to how we tend to behave during good or bad experiences. One of my most relatable parts of this book is the following.

We often believe that the fears of the past can successfully predict the fears of the future. The result of this type of thinking are that we spend most of our time worrying about both the past and future, creating a vicious cycle of fear, which leaves little room for Love and joy in the present (Jampolsky 20).”

One of the things I will keep asking myself after reading this quote is, am I going to go on with my day with peace of mind or conflict? I believe I deal with a lot of conflict, but tend to want the outcomes to be peaceful. We need to be more conscious about what we  choose to have as our conflicts, as not all conflicts are necessary to dwell on. When people lash out or hurt others, it is because they have fear.  Fear is the most nauseating thing to experience. You can wake up with it, and go to sleep with it. It will eat you alive. We react negatively due to fear. We fear of losing, we fear of loving, and/or we fear of failing. These are all legitimate things to fear, but should not consume our lives. Again, I am nowhere saying I have resolved all my conflict and fears, but I am getting there slowly but surely.

We need to be more open to helping those in need, and being there for the people that matter. One of the major key points I have learned over the years, and throughout the readings, is that forgiveness is a significant factor in how we proceed with our lives. Forgiveness is not to say the other person gets a free pass. It is allowing yourself to move forward, and not hold all the bitterness inside, allowing it to take over you. I have forgiven many people, but I am well aware that they have hurt me or disregarded me during that moment. But, I should not hold on to it forever, and live a bitter life. People make mistakes, and so do I. I am sure I have done something inconsiderate to someone, and they have forgiven me. I am no better than them. If they have not forgiven me, then I can’t make them. This is something they have to choose to do on their own. We can also choose to forgive people, and not have them in our lives. But if we continue to keep them in our lives we should not focus on what they have done to us, but rather how they have proceeded after the conflict or mishap. Most of all we need to forgive ourselves, and keep working on bettering ourselves.

Authored By: Rhonda N.

Humbled and Jumbled

I think the word humble is thrown around way too much, that it is losing its pure definition. People tend to think they are humble, and this is great. But what does it actually mean to be humble? Can humble people also have bad intentions with other people? Can humble people treat others with disrespect? Are humble people only humble in certain instances, where it benefits them?

I consider myself to be humble. However, I wasn’t always so humble. In my early teens and early 20’s, I actually didn’t embrace who I was as a person. I constantly compared my life with others. I didn’t like my upbringing. I didn’t even associate myself as a Middle Easterner. But as I started going to college, I began to meet people who were not me. I met different races and ethnicity. The more I was around people who weren’t me, I was beginning to embrace my culture a lot more. Then I started experiencing trauma with people in my family dying. It was to the point from 2005-2014 we have lost people close to us. One of them being my father. These experiences made me appreciate life just a little more. But this writing isn’t about death. It is more about being humble and genuine about it.

The reason I bring this up is because I consider myself to be a fairly decent person, especially to others. I am self-aware to the point that I know when I am crossing the line, and when I need to apologize. Some people don’t want to come to terms when they are wrong. They believe it shows a side of weakness. I even believe that I am this way because I tend to want peace in my life. Even when people don’t deserve to receive my goodness, I still give them it. I love making people feel good and bring their self-esteem up, but not when it’s getting in the way of my happiness.

People will live their lives being good in certain instances, but never really  a good person all around. I at times start thinking, “what if I start treating people the way they have treated me”. I am not talking about the ones that are good to me. I am speaking about the ones who are just there, and taking advantage of me.

I know some people know my personality enough to control my behavior towards them. It is like they know I will eventually crack down, and let them have their way. So they act outrageous, and feel they have no consequences, because I give them a free pass. But I am sure this will be changing soon. To the point where I will still be a good person, but not let people slide, and stomp all over me. This happens too much in the workplace, families, friends, and even random people.

There are people in this world that walk around angry about how certain people treat them, but they are the same. They get so upset when someone is rude to them, or doesn’t respect them. Yet they are the same. If people would just follow their own advice, or follow the certain life quotes that they tend to post on social media; they would be okay humans.

We all have the ability to have goodness in our lives. But we are too misguided or distracted by the things that have no importance. Maybe it does have some importance to you to some extent, but it is short term. We tend to want success, but not work hard for it. Money of all things has been the cause for our turmoil and sadness. We are NOT humble human beings if we can’t even for a split second share our wealth, even if it is just a little bit. We all define wealth in different ways, however being rich in life is not only through money. Be rich with love, respect, happiness, compassion, consideration, etc. The list can be as long as you want.

With strangers I don’t tend to take to heart how they treat me, so I look more at the people in my life that I care about. However, I do care how I treat strangers as well. We should not be so centered on just family and close friends. There are people out there in this world that actually need you. Even if you don’t see it. How many times have you met a stranger, and spoke to them for just a moment, and realized you have much more in common with them, than you do with the people you call blood or best friends? I have met people randomly, even in a grocery store line that have shown me more compassion, than the people who call me a friend.

Just remember when you die, you don’t take all those goodies you bought. That nice car, watch, or house doesn’t get buried with you. But what does get buried with you is you, and the person you were to people. If you have just a month to live, what would you do? How would you spend your last days?

No matter what, I know I can still remain to be a good person. We are not perfect human beings. We never will be. But we can be decent humans walking this earth, and paving the way for the generations to come after us. This sounds cliche, but so what!? Why is it becoming easier to be ungenerous, disrespectful, and greedy?

Don’t count all your good, and share with the world what you have given, but know your self-worth and do not let people walk all over you. Be humble!

Do They Know?



Do they know? Do they feel? Do they wonder? Do they see? Do they expect? Do they have hope? Do they still love? These questions all surround one explicit idea, and inevitable part of our lives. The dying.

How hard it must be to come to reality that you will not get better. How terrifying it must be to know there is a chance you will one day take your last breath unexpectedly. Just that small ounce of hope they have. That look they give you that they have given up.

The most petrifying look you can see in their eyes. Would they still be here if they would have tried a little harder, or was this it? It was that last look you gave that you may not return home. The sickness that made you weaker. The sickness that took your strength. The sickness that made you doubt. The sickness that made you cry. The sickness that made you lose yourself. The sickness that left your family within darkness. The sickness that took you away. The difficulties to look before your last days. The difficulties it has been to accept, but regardless move forward. You were smart, and you didn’t kid yourself. You knew. You felt. You accepted it, without us knowing you did. You tried to be stronger, but it took over you. The last days of your life were the most difficult, because it was supposed to be the road to your recovery. But instead it was to a dark, and unsettling road. It was your destiny. It was your story coming to an end, but your memory to an eternal life.

Your eyes had darkness, your heart of gold.
Your sounds of love, your feelings of old.
You whispered in my ear, you are strong.
I looked to your eyes, and hymned your song.
The song of strength. The song of your life.
Despite your end, we still stand.
Never forget you, as we still hold your hand.
Your memories are forever ours.
As each one of us were your stars.
A father we loved together with those days.
Together as a family we made our ways.
As we still remember in our lives.
We think of you still standing by our side.

In Loving Memory of My Father July 26, 1960-June 8th, 2013

Don’t Let the “Good” Fool You

By Rhonda Nemri

I have come to realize over and over that the people you deal with will not always portray who you are as a person. That just because you are nice and considerate, does not mean they will be too. I have this conversation with people many times about genuine good people versus people who do good things, but are not always genuinely good. It is very irritating when meeting people, and always wondering are they really who they say they are. We can ask them what are some of your pet peeves, and they may respond…”rude people”, “mean people”, “liars”, “cheaters”, “inconsiderate people”, so on and so forth. Yet, they portray these types of negative characteristics on a daily basis. I’m nowhere near a perfect person, but I do believe I have a decent approach to how to treat people, even when they do not deserve to be treated well. Being a good person means not expecting people to constantly say you are good, and not constantly trying to convince others you are a good person. You can say you are nice and considerate person, but can you show for it?

I’ve met many people who tried to convince me of the person they are, yet they don’t truly fit the description they have set out for themselves. It is just a cover up to fully be accepted. Bad people exist in this world. Some know it, some don’t. I’ve come to write about this topic because it is becoming more apparent to me that people are self-centered, and tend to do things for themselves only. Now, doing something for yourself is not bad, but you have to stop and think to yourself, that there are people in your lives that deserve to be treated well.
Do not ever tell an inconsiderate person your feelings, or what hurts you in life. They do not listen to these words. They hear it, but they do not truly grasp it. This just makes you get emotionally hurt when you tell someone your feelings, when really they were not listening. You expect them to treat you differently when you tell them what you do not like. A considerate person would take what you say, and use it to their advantage to be a good person to you instead of turning things around on you.

Overall, the point is that life is not always pleasant, and it is not always on your side. We will meet people who belong in our lives, and we will meet people who will be in our lives for a short time and leave. Learning to let go the grudge of a bad person is hard, but what I always say is if you treat me bad, I won’t treat you bad, this is your ultimate choice to do so. But if you do treat me bad, I will make sure you know that I do not belong in your life, whether at all, or barely.

A Writers Intent

By: Rhonda Nemri

A writers intent is to provide a different perspective to others. To let the reader experience another persons experiences whether fiction or non fiction. A writers need is to fully express themselves, and most times it’s done creatively. A writer hopes for many readers and commentaries on their writings. But whether one reader or a thousand readers, the writer is at ease because they have released all internal thoughts out. It helps a writer release their thought process out on paper or typed in their computer.

When writers express themselves, they are risking a part of them. Their vulnerability, sensitivity, rage, and passions are exposed, and can be ridiculed by those not agreeing with statements of the writers beliefs, attitudes, and values. But that doesn’t stop them.

A writer may not care for the amount of readers, however a writer surely hopes to reach out and be a helping hand for those who may be internally struggling. For those who may not have the courage to speak up, but to feel connected and not alone in any issues in their lives.

A writers intent is to inspire those who need inspiring, help those that need help, and create another world for those who choose to be lost in words.

A writers intent is to help themselves understand their own voice, and realize the wretchedness of their own oppressions.

I dedicate this to all the writers who inspired me to write, and allowed me to express myself with no regrets.

Destructive Power

By : Rhonda Nemri

They cut you. They cut you so deep, you bleed. But you don’t bleed to death. Just a bunch of cuts that become scars. You don’t walk away, you forgive them. Each time you forgive them, you think to yourself it will be better. When really, you’re handing them that power.

Now this power is so destructive that every time you legitimately have the right to be hurt and upset at them, they make you feel it’s your fault. Each time this happens, another scar is added. You try to walk away, but it’s that power thing that just can’t seem to go away. Whether you are with them or without them, they seem to have this power over you. You lose sleep, you don’t eat, you overly think, you lose yourself in all of this.

Each time you come back you hand them that power again. The sad thing is they know it, and they feed off of it. They need it to survive. And they will survive because you are feeding them your precious soul. You are feeding them your life that used to be yours. But something keeps you around them. Something makes you whole again when they are good. It’s this drug feeling that numbs you, that you can’t even see what’s wrong. But you enjoy it, because with it, it keeps you alive.

They say they need you and want you, but what they need is that power that someone else may not give them the way you give them. That’s real abuse. Not the physical kind, but the emotional and psychological abuse. That abuse will stay forever with you if you keep handing your self control over to the person who thrives over having you by their side only for the sole purpose to control you. This is toxic, and you know it. But you’re afraid that if you walk away, no one will want you the way you’ve laid out your life to the last person. So you stay and forever have lost yourself.

It isn’t just our intimate relationships that this applies to. Power is a necessity for some in your family, friendships, colleagues, superiors, etc. we all struggle through powerlessness in our lives. But to let someone take over our lives for their sake, we should reconsider them in our lives. Emotional and psychological abuse hurts more than physical. All abuse is harmful, but it is the words that affects us coming from the ones that say they love us.

The Fools Will Chatter


By: Rhonda Nemri
Photograph painted and photo edited By: Rhonda Nemri

I mustn’t show my tears. Or else the fools will chatter.

I mustn’t show my smile. Or else the fools will chatter.

I mustn’t grief out loud. Or else the fools will chatter.

I must show my tears. Or else the fools will chatter.

I must show my smile. Or else the fools will chatter.

I must grief out loud. Or else the fools will chatter.

Yes the fools will always chatter. With chatter they speak as fools, and fool you to believe they stand beside you as if you’re a fool. But indeed the fool will always be a fool, full of ignorance.



By: Rhonda Nemri
Photograph taken by Rhonda Nemri

Lying there with your eyes closed and your cold delicate skin, I see you but can’t feel your touch. Throwing myself at you with tears rushing down my face, dripping to the cold ground.

Catching the last moment of your presence as I press my warm face against yours and sing you a song that once was heard.

Revealing my story to you in the last moment before the doors shut. Staring in the eyes of the lost souls, feeling their pain, but nothing can be done.

Consoling one as I feel the wind knocking me down. Creating visionaries in ones mind as we lose the branch off the tree of life.

Whispering voices, crying eyes.
Look around, touch the ground. Fall in hurt, reach for support. Crazy scenes, loud full screams. Stop the ride, feeling to confide.

Moved away quick as they give one last look. Running back to just hold you in that split moment I’m shook.

Soil is moved for your rest. Feeling this urge to fall apart, as the dirt shall fall, and the grass will sprout.

Digging with my bare hands, as I visit your long stay. Feeling this pain that won’t go away. Dig, dig ,dig, but I don’t go far. As I stop the dreaming and walk to my car.

I look one last moment before I leave, and pass through the gates as I weep.

Your memory is in my mind throughout the day. As I place my hand to my broken heart, and hum this way.

As the sun shines I feel your smile. I hope this feeling will stay for a while. I rest my eyes through the night. As I wake things don’t feel right.

The final thoughts are of this life, without a moment of you things don’t feel right.

Painted Silhouettes


By: Rhonda Nemri
Photograph Taken By: Rhonda Nemri

Colors changing into the mood.
Loud as the fire bursts with creation of realism.

Layered in black cloth as it resembles the feelings of mourn.

Stripping the darkness from its root, and bringing back life.

Shameful appearances of the painted silhouettes.

Once again it shall appear to be solid, but soft as the inner core of the bodies falls to the ground in grief.

Surrounded by the cold and warm structures that create no absolute.

But to signify once again the wretchedness of this long gone chapter.

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