Updated: Nov 19, 2021
As I observe the thinking patterns and behavior patterns of myself, my family, and my community, I often wonder who told us these things were ok? This edition of ‘Who Told You That’ is dedicated to the Black parents. I’m sure many Black parents stopped reading this once they realized they are about to get outed, but that’s fine!
The accountability of Black parents is almost nonexistent and their ignoring and blaming game is immaculate. Who told you that these characteristics listed above qualified you as a good parent? Here’s a list of things that the Black community say, specifically Black parents, and or do that’s really alarming and damaging.......
Who told you that constantly threatening your children with “Imma beat your ass” was ok? That’s literally what the slave owners said to our ancestors and you’re repeating the cycle. Ok massa, I mean mama. Putting your child, or anyone for that matter, in a constant state of fear and fight or flight, overload parts of the brain, can cause emotional irregularities , and distorts their perspective of you from peace and safety to war zone. Why do we say things to our children that we wouldn’t to anyone else? You ever told your boss you was gone beat their ass because they upset you? Oh ok, I didn’t think so. Let’s fix it.
Who told you that saying “I brought you into this world & I’ll take you out”was ok? Ummm WHAT? Who was the first person to say this and WHY? My theory on why this is a common phrase is because Black parents have the mindset that they posses and own their children. Therefore I can do and say whatever to you because you’re MINE. This statement is literally saying I will take you out........That’s giving real homicidal vibes. I don’t like it! How could a person have a healthy relationship with their parents after hearing them say something like that? Let’s fix it.
Who told you that telling your children “I aint ya little friend” was ok? You mean to tell me the person who gave life to me isn’t even a friend? I get their needs to be boundaries in a parent-child dynamic but no relationship works without a solid friendship foundation. Honestly, some parents do treat their children like opps and it may be because you really believe your children aren’t your friends. How can your children come to you about things when in their mind you’re not a friend? Phrases like this puts more distance between parent & child relationship and can create a me v.s you mindset/environment. It is very well possible and easy to have an appropriate friendship with your children. Let’s fix it.
Who told you that “A child needs to stay in a child’s place,” but only if it benefits the adult? Don’t get me wrong, I agree BUT why is this only said when its beneficial to an adult. If a child is running and playing and falls some will say “that’s watchu get for running around” but that’s a child’s place, playing. Children having to work to help parents make ends meet is not a child’s place. Children always having to babysit and provide for their siblings isn’t a child’s place, YOU are the parents. Make it make sense yall! Let’s fix it.
Who told you that “You cant be that sick if ___________”: its like our community equates being sick with dying. If a child or youth say they don’t feel good that means they can’t laugh, talk, & gotta stay in the room/house all day. It’s like because I have a headache or my stomach hurts I can’t do NOTHING. I honestly think that’s just another form of power and control.
Let’s say the child was faking, as a parent your focus should be on WHY they were faking and what they were trying to avoid or escape. Don’t you take personal days, mental health days, and vacation days from your job? Children and youth need a break too every once in a while. Let’s fix it!
I’m sure you can think of more sayings or even behaviors we do so regularly but serves no true purpose and does more harm than good. Start challenging those things and releasing them from your life.
More of this will be found in our upcoming project launching mid summer!
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