By Devin Robinson
We’ve all heard “It takes a village to raise a child”.
This way of life was developed by preceding generations. Relatives or not, adults all watched over the children of our community. Today, we complain about not having that same ideology in place but do we really want that? What we seem to really want is “It takes a village to PRAISE a child”. Follow me for a moment.
Our discontent for, especially nonrelative, adults’ interaction with our children is only voiced or contested when an adult corrects, chastises our children or puts them in a character-building situation.
Our voice is often silent in times when these same adults praise, or even overpraise, our child(ren). So the issue is not that we don’t want other adults interacting with our children whatsoever, we only want them to show up during the upside.
With 86% of all children attending schools outside of the home, 34% of them participating in extracurricular activities, 50% of marriages ending in divorce (with 62% of those persons remarrying), 73% of black children being born out of wedlock, and with the black community being the most religious group of all, our children are expected to end up in Sunday School without their parents. Our children are prone to interact with nonrelative adults who are in authority as they grow up.
The problem is we have evolved into a parental regime who views our children as our property, rather than separate people with separate visions, dreams, missions and ambitions. We protect them as if we are protecting our cars. We believe that a scratch on our children will make them ugly, rather than make them better. We have drifted away from letting our children feel discomfort and challenges. No wonder why we are finding “victims” of bullying resorting to massacring other children and adults in public places. They are taking other people’s lives because of some discomfort they felt and were not conditioned for.
Many parents make irresponsible statements in front of their children, sometimes to make their children feel secure, secure their relationship with them or look up to them but what it does instead is make the child feel invincible. Statements like, “NO ONE (had) better mess with my child…” “These people don’t know who your parent(s) are…” These statements are made when a teacher takes a pair of Beats headphones from their disruptive child who refused to put them away in class. These statements are made when a coach sits out their player during a team sport game as the child struggles to perform well.
If we parents truly want to prepare our children for the world, then we have to set our emotions aside and do that. Protecting them from every mosquito is simply giving them an unrealistic view of this world we live in. Now, if you are raising them to not migrate too far away from you forever, you are practicing the right techniques in coddling them.
We simply just can’t have it both ways. We have the power of future business leaders and community leaders in our voice. We are birthing them every day. We can’t think the village shouldn’t have the authority to praise and also punish.
Abuse? Now that is something altogether different. We simply can’t want our precious jewels to only be subject to positive life experiences. They, too, may develop Affluenza.
And when they do, we will begin to see that entitlement behavior carried out in our communities in many of the negative ways we are witnessing today. All because we refused to let them feel those negative experiences while they were younger.
Devin Robinson is a business and economics professor, author of 8 self-help books that teach individuals how to transition into entrepreneurship. His latest book is Power M.O.V.E.: How to Transition from Employee to Employer. As an entrepreneur, he is widely known for his work with beauty supply store owners.
Online View …
Mr. Harrison L. Page
Many young parents spend more time defending bad behavior from their child(ren). Practice poor, if any parenting skills, in raising healthy balanced children. The result over time does great harm to the children and creates a burden to our community. And in the end, enlarges the penal system.
An unruly 3rd-grade student, without guidance, will become a future resident in the criminal justice system. The numbers don’t lie.
Parents take heed, and take a moment to LISTEN to those who spend more time with your child. Children repeat the behavior encouraged at home. Harrison L. Page is Managing Editor, Indianapolis Online Community Magazine-ICIndymag.
The HomeSchool Web site is an invaluable resource for the parent or guardian whose child(ren) attend public school as well as the guardian who homeschools. Tips, essays, strategies, news-and-views work after school and weekends … at home. Mr. Robinson’s essay and Mr. Page’s view were culled from the site. Please send contacts for other parenting and student resources online and off to: firstname.lastname@example.org. (BG)
Confidence and MISTY COPELAND
They said her feet were too big, her body not right, at thirteen too old to start, didn’t have the “makings” or the “look”. Now ballerina dancer Misty Copeland, leaping boundaries, has captivated the world with an “I can and I will” movement that won’t stop. Her book, A Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, is a New York Times best-seller. A current sports company-produced video (an awesome alternative to some of the X-rated fare young boys and girls view) has gone viral. Check it out at: blackamericaweb.com/2014/08/01/ballerina-misty-copeland.
Growing up poor in San Pedro, Calif., Copeland was one of six children to a single mother. For a long while, her family lived in hotels. She was discovered by a ballet teacher who offered free classes at a local Boys and Girls Club where Misty had entered to study woodworking. Thirteen is considered a late start for prima ballerinas, but she persevered and scholarship opportunities followed. She was at the center of an ugly custody battle and, as BlackAmericaWeb said this week, “most significantly in terms of the ballet world, she was Black”. At 19, she joined the American Ballet Theatre’s Corps De Ballet as the third African-American soloist in the company’s history. She recently performed with Prince, a big fan, and is working on a children’s book. The world is showering her with praise for her dance skills. “I don’t think I had any idea of what the ballet world was, what my opportunities would be as a professional, where it would take me, that I could actually make money off of it and actually have a higher career and life built around it. But I knew I loved it, and I was being told over and over again that I had the potential … so it was like, ‘I’m not doing anything else’.” Share Misty Copeland’s story with your children.