Family First: Winning the Parenting Game

Overview

Deloris Jordan knows a thing or two about being a mom. She is the mother of five high-achieving children - Ronald, Deloris, Larry, Michael, and Roslyn - a sought-after national speaker on the family, and the volunteer president of the Michael Jordan Foundation. Her galvanizing message on encouraging responsibility and a passion for excellence has inspired parents across the country. Being the mother of basketball's greatest player has given Deloris Jordan a platform, but it's her experience bringing up an ...
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Overview

Deloris Jordan knows a thing or two about being a mom. She is the mother of five high-achieving children - Ronald, Deloris, Larry, Michael, and Roslyn - a sought-after national speaker on the family, and the volunteer president of the Michael Jordan Foundation. Her galvanizing message on encouraging responsibility and a passion for excellence has inspired parents across the country. Being the mother of basketball's greatest player has given Deloris Jordan a platform, but it's her experience bringing up an accomplished family in a challenging environment, along with her deep commitment to church and community, that gave her the expertise she passes on in this invaluable handbook for parents of children of all ages. Using warm anecdotes and never-before-told family stories, Jordan paints a realistic and uplifting portrait of the potential power of parents. She explores the universal goals that parents set for their children - self-discipline, responsibility, perseverance, moral values, and the desire to achieve - and explains the practical tools and strategies the Jordan family uses to realize those goals. And through personal examples and wise, plainspoken insight, Deloris Jordan challenges, guides, and encourages parents who long to do everything they can to help their children learn, grow, prosper, and succeed.
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Editorial Reviews

Lillian Lewis
Deloris Jordan admits that she is no expert on child rearing and that her experience is not unique but, rather, the "ordinary experience of a mother of 5 children." Yet she is aware that being Michael Jordan's mother has given her a "platform" to give back to her community and to work with children. From her experiences, she has observed children and parents who struggle with making and keeping the "family first." She uses examples of encounters as president and cofounder of the Michael Jordan Foundation, which was established to raise funds to help disadvantaged children and to stress the importance of family to child rearing in today's world. (Recently Michael announced the closing of the foundation.) Her heartfelt family examples of instances where she employed the techniques she shares are warm and genuine. Jordan stresses that some of the crucial child-rearing attitudes that she and her husband, Ray, shared include a commitment to parenting, a vision of the family's goals, communication, flexibility, and love. If Michael's soaring success is grounded in his family upbringing, then certainly Deloris Jordan's wisdom may be worth noting.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062513885
  • Publisher: Harper San Francisco
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Deloris Jordan
Deloris Jordan is Michael Jordan's mother. Widely recognized as an advocate for children and families, she does much of her work through the James Jordan Foundation, which has adopted a school in the West Side community of Chicago, Illinois, and through the Jordan Institute for Family at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She supports the James R. Jordan Boys and Girls Club and Family Life Center, also located on the West Side of Chicago. In addition, she presently serves on the Demand Reduction advisory committee for the U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Mrs.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Wherever I go, whatever I'm doing, whomever I meet, I'm invariably introduced the same way: "This is Deloris Jordan — Michael's mom."

I always feel like interrupting (and sometimes I do) to say, "I'm also Ronald's mom, Delois's mom, Larry's mom, and Roslyn's mom." I have four other children I'm just as proud of and I love every bit as much as my world-famous son.

However, while I'm the mother of five wonderful and remarkable individuals, I realize that my identity as "Michael Jordan's mother" affords me many opportunities and responsibilities I wouldn't otherwise have. I know perfectly well that it's primarily because of the athletic accomplishments of my fourth child that I receive a constant stream of speaking invitations from organizations, schools, and churches around the country.

It's because Michael is often called the greatest basketball player in history that so many concerned mothers and fathers have asked me, "How can we encourage our son or daughter to pursue excellence?" Because countless articles and columns and books have been written about Michael's drive, determination, and strength of character, parents are always asking me, "What can we do to instill the kind of self-discipline and character our children will need to succeed in life?" And because my youngest son has become a role model recognized and emulated by millions (if not billions) of young people around the world, people often ask me, "Is there any way to protect my son or daughter from the dangers of peer pressure?"

But even more important than thesequestions of worried and desperate parents are the heart-rending needs of children that my role as "Michael's mom" has exposed me to. In 1989 Michael and I co-founded the Michael Jordan Foundation in order to better raise and channel funds to help disadvantaged children. Since then, the foundation has raised millions of dollars and distributed those funds to and through more than two dozen organizations doing remarkable work with children.

My volunteer role as foundation president has given me face-to-face exposure to the incredible suffering of many unforgettable children. It is their needs, combined with the questions and concerns parents share with me, that have convinccd me families need encouragement and help today.

Just two quick stories to illustrate my point.

One of the regular features at our foundation's annual fund-raising gala is a celebrity auction where we sell donated items to the highest corporate or individual bidders. Each year since we began the auction, we've sold something we call "Bedtime Stories with Mrs. Jordan." For a bid that usually runs from $14,000 to $15,ooo, some generous individual or corporation can name a children's service agency that will then select ten to twenty disadvantaged children to participate in what must be one of the most unusual spend-the-night Christmas parties ever. Early one Saturday evening in December, just after closing time, the children and their chaperones arrive at the big F.A.0. Schwarz toy store on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. Store officials unlock the doors to let the kids in and give them the run of the place for the evening. There's plenty of food, music, games, and everything else you'd ever expect to find at a Christmas party. But the dream-come-true fantasy for most of these wide-eyed kids is the chance to wander from one floor to another, opening and playing with any toy they choose in the whole huge store.

An hour or two before bedtime, I show up to meet the children and read them some of their favorite books, from a selection the store provides. When I finish reading, they play a little longer before climbing into sleeping bags rolled out right in the aisles of the store. As you might imagine, Sunday morning dawns very early; yet there never seem to be enough hours to play with everything before breakfast is served and the time comes for the party to end.

It's an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for the kids who come. For me, it's an annual tradition that I look forward to all year long.

A couple years ago I arrived at F.A.0. Schwarz after the party was in full swing, Children had already scattered from one end of the store to the other — some sitting quietly on the floor dressing dolls almost as big as they were, others operating the network of electric trains speeding round and round a spectacular model train display, and a few squealing in delight while racing up and down the aisles in pursuit of (or being pursued by) some remote-controlled vehicle.

I spent my first hour or so at the party just wandering around, observing the joy of those children, and talking to them individually for a few minutes. Before I introduced myself to each youngster, one of the chaperones would give me a quick summary of that child's background.

As we approached a darling little eight- or nine-year-old girl sitting quietly on the floor by herself playing with a little doll baby, the chaperone pulled me aside to whisper, "We don't know much about Lisa [not her real name] yet. She's been at our group home for only two days. The police found her on Thursday, cold and hungry. She and her mother were living on a street corner, with little more than the clothes on their backs to shelter them from the wind on a cold December night in Chicago. Her mom's a drug addict and probably a prostitute. The girl's suffered terrible neglect for most, if not all, of her life. We suspect she's been abused. She's shy and naturally a little scared by all that's happened to her over the past forty-eight hours. She keeps asking about her mother."

Family First. Copyright © by Deloris Jordan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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