I ‘m a Mom just like any other Mom – and I also happen to black. Am I trying to “segregate” myself by highlighting that fact in some of my posts? Absolutely not. I simply feel that it’s necessary to celebrate and embrace the differences that come with being a Mom of color. With that being said, there are myths that come along with being a black mom and raising a black child that I’d like to dispel. Her are the top 3:
Myth 1: We all use weapons (i.e.: “switches”) when disciplining our children.
“Go get a switch!” was a familiar term to many of my peers back in the day. A switch (for those who are unaware) is a small, thin stick used by many a black parent to discipline and put “the fear of God” in their children. The worst part was that most of my friends had to pick out their own. I witnessed it many times to my horror and amusement.
To watch my friends endure this punishment; although quite hilarious at times, was something that was foreign to me in my own home. It just wasn’t something that my mother chose to do.
I’m quite apathetic on the issue, but I do know that it won’t be something that I will utilize. I’m positive that many of my peers – who wish to erase the memory of “the switch” forever – will not be adopting the practice on their own kids either.
Myth 2: We use television to help raise our children.
I’m not even going to lie. The older my children get, the longer their attention span gets. TV begins to become an easy option to help distract them. Although we do have the the occasional movie time, I very rarely allow my children to have long stints in front of the boob tube.
The statistics on children and television aren’t good. [Hours per year the average American youth spends in school?: 900. Hours per year the average American youth watches television?: 1500] TV has been known to stifle creativity and promote violence. Quite frankly, I have no problem finding them better things to do, and I know many of my fellow African-American Mom friends who agree.
Myth 3: We all want our kids to be “fighters”.
“Did he push you? Well push him back!” I’ve heard things like this many a times out on the playground from my black Mommy peers – And although I don’t want my children to be passive per se, I also don’t want bullies either. There is a very fine line.
“There are hundreds of constructive ‘smart’ ways we can teach our kids to get out of an altercation.” says Stacey Shefeld, founder of Black Mom’s Connect. “It’s up to us as the parent to teach them to our kids.”
Ultimately, I’m a brown mom with little brown babies, and to state it as a matter of fact, there are tons of issues that I as an African American Mom face that my white counterparts do not. Ultimately, all moms generally want the same things for their children: for them to be happy, healthy, functioning member of society… no matter what their coloring is. 🙂