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As a black parent, you’ve probably had more than your fair share of being stereotyped and misunderstood. It’s all cynical and tiring. You just wish there was a manual out there specifically for black parents; one that totally understood you and your situation. The fact that you’re a black parent means that your parenting style has to be specifically well-suited for black kids, and there really is nothing wrong with that.
A Different Set of Problems
Raising a black kid comes with its own set of responsibilities. You not only have to raise your child to find their place in the world that we live in, but you also have to teach them to do it while being acutely aware of their ethnicity and culture and the unique implications they present. That said, what does successful black parenting look like? What does it take to raise a black child who not only survives in the 21st century but also thrives?
1. Regular chores should be part of the routine.
Numerous studies have shown that children who do regular chores tend to develop a sense of confidence, responsibility, and ambition early enough. These are all qualities you want in your black son or daughter more than anything else. By teaching them to carry their own weight and be responsible early enough, you will be cultivating the right kind of personality in them that they will be able to face their responsibilities when they’re older. They will also be more likely to be ambitious. You should also not try to incentivize them to do the chores with pocket money. They will feel even less motivated to do them. Such things should be mandatory.
2. Set high expectations for them.
Everywhere you look, low expectations are set for the black community as a whole, and even lower ones still for black children. The best way to break this is to set high expectations for our children right from the word go. When your expectations of your children are high (and realistic, of course), they gain an understanding of what direction they should go in life pretty early. One such expectation is that they pursue higher education. Another is that they maintain healthy finances. You should not only set such lofty expectations for them but also help them to live up to them by setting an example yourself. If you expect them to be ambitious and hardworking, you must show ambition and hard work yourself.
3. Teach them to cope.
One of the harsh realities of life, black or not, is that you won’t always get what you want, and even when you do it won’t always be how or when you want it. This is something you should teach your black child from the beginning. Delayed gratification is something they should learn early enough if they’re going to develop the endurance to be successful. You should also teach them to deal with their anger.
4. Teach them that failure is not final.
Failure is inevitable. In fact, it is impossible to succeed without failing at least once. As a parent, your role is not to eliminate risks for your children, but rather to minimize them and manage them where necessary. You should, therefore, teach your black child to neither fear failure, nor to be ashamed of it, but to take it as a normal part of their journey to success.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Your child will need emotional and social intelligence just as much as book smarts to get by in life. Teach your black child to cooperate with their friends and empathize with them so they can gain the social skills that will ensure their success later in life.
6. The Importance of Quality Time
Try to make the time you spend with your child count. It’s less about quantity and more about quality. Rather than use television to fill in the time you spend with your child, use it to talk to them like you would a normal adult. Listen to them talk about their day and the most important moments. Try not to spend that time scolding them or complaining about them. They will feel much more comfortable talking to you.
7. Teach them not to give up.
This is directly related to the point about teaching them not to fear failure. You should encourage them not to immediately give up when they come across a problem but to persevere. Tenacity will help make them more successful in later years.
8. Respect their independence.
Even as a black child, your son or daughter is an independent entity. Do not overprotect them. You may actually be delaying their maturity and preventing them from learning to think for themselves.
9. Teach them the importance of good relationships.
My friend, who works for a company that offers assignment writing services, swears by this one. Children develop their perspective on relationships pretty early. It’s not even about whether the parents are together. It’s more about whether the kids are encouraged to develop strong relationships with their parents and each other. This will encourage them to develop strong relationships later in life.
10. Be consistent.
In order to be a successful black parent, you need to be a conscientious and goal-oriented one. That means not just punishing your child when they do something wrong but also encouraging them to continue with the right. Seek to impart a message every time you talk to them and mold their personality from a young age.
Successful black parenting is as much a science as it is an art. By taking the right steps, you might just raise the next president.