Parenting while black often poses a number of unique challenges. Along with making sure our children are prepared to succeed in school and on to successful careers, we must prepare them to be strong and confident in an economy that is still dominated by images and cultural beliefs that differ from that of many of our families.
We hear these sad stories of children now being bullied via the internet or children who feel like “outsiders” and rejected by their peers. We see our children attempting to adapt to TV family behaviors, only to say and do things that worry us deeply.
Take suicide for example. The suicide rates of young black males used to be very low by comparison to same aged white males. In the last few years, the suicide rate among African American males has skyrocketed. Of course there are emerging environmental factors – especially the economy & the “leave every child behind” effectiveness of schools- that fuel that hopelessness. As black parents, we need to school ourselves about steps to take to keep our children resilient to disappointment. We can equip them with real tools for success.
Stock your parenting tool cabinet
In our pages, you will find books by both black & white authors that seem especially pertinent to the challenges we and our children face. In addition, we like to think that 21st Century living, is enhanced by both new thought as well as the words and wisdom of our ancestors. With the growing multicultural diversity in our cities, being black in the age of technology requires some special tools.
There are authors who’ve dedicated their lives to studying what works and tracking the impact of what doesn’t. How lucky we are to learn from them:
The Five Love Languages for Children, Gary Chapman
Real Dads Stand Up, Alicia Crowe – Expert legal information on child custody, visitation, child support and other issues challenging divorcing, unmarried and separated parents. Order here
Raising Low-Fat Kids in a High-Fat World
by Judith Shaw, ISBN 0-8118-1441-6
Giving the Love That Heals – A Guide for Parents
by Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt
ISBN 0-671-79399-3, Pocket Books
Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery by Na’im Akbar
Great Books for African American Children
by Pamela Touissant, Plume, 1999
Racial Inequities in Special Education,
Co-edited by Dan Losen from the Harvard Civil Rights Project
(A must have if you have children in special ed.)
The Myth of A.D.D. – 50 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Learning
by Thomas Armstrong
In Their Own Way – Discovering & Encouraging your Child’s Personal Learning Style by Thomas Armstrong