Let me just say this; raising conscious Black children is a must if we want to help create a better world for our communities. We can not raise our own children to turn a blind eye in the same manner so many white parents have in the face of systemic racism. We have to teach our children to know the truth about this foreign land our ancestors have been brought to and we have grown accustomed. We have been made to feel like foreigners by the very people, who are too, not original to a land that they have claimed their own. Black people have been forced to feel the need to adjust to a European way of living and our kids are subconsciously soaking up information that isn’t going to help them or our communities grow. Here is a list of ways you can help raise Black conscious children.
- Education System:
The public education system is full of lies and manipulation when it comes to the TRUE history of African Americans. If we leave it to the hands of the education system our children will believe their history began with slavery and that is the furthest from the truth. Our children will believe that colonizers were their heroes, how dreadful.
- Never leave it up to the school system to teach our children Black history. Teach them their true history; starting in the home. Many Black parents have began unlearning and re-learning their ancestral truths. The resources are out there, take the time to learn and teach our children.
- Home-school is always the first option, if you have the time and the resources to teach your child at home, do that! If not, the second choice would be to get them involved in a community home-school that is aligned with your goals for them if you have an Afrocentric based school where you live.
- Whatever your options are, always teach our children their true history starting in the home.
2. Cognitive thinking skills:
There is no need to hide whats going on in the world from them, it is understandable that they are children and we don’t want them to worry; but we also want them to be aware. We want them to grow into problem solvers. Explain to them in a way that isn’t too harsh (you know your child). Ensure they understand the unfair ways of the world, but also make sure they know they have the power to help the world if they choose to.
- Explain to them about current and past events of injustice (racial, animal, deforestation, etc) and ask them for solutions. “What do you think we could do to make this better?” “How does this make you feel?” “Do you think that was fair, if not, what would you have done differently?” “Why do you think that happened, was it right or wrong?” Questions of that nature could go a long way.
- Make sure you are not forcing your own ideas on our children, make sure they lead the conversation. This will make them feel empowered and capable.
3. Be about Action
- It’s one thing to just discuss an issue but its a whole other thing to get our kids involved. Don’t be afraid to take them to a protest (a safe one of course). My 7 year old son went to one about a chemical plant being too close to an elementary school when he was 6. It was safe and he felt proud of his input.
- Get creative with what you can do: Make a video, write a letter, draw a picture or a sign and post it around the neighborhood. You know, get involved, it can be fun too.
4. Stroke their ego from time to time
- Yep, stroke their ego; because in a society that is going to try to tarnish their ego we must stroke our kid’s egos. Often speak words of affirmation to them about their beauty, intellect and strength.
- Combat media’s false portrayal of the African American. We can’t raise conscious kids without raising kids who are confident. This goes hand in hand.
5. Handling their own
The conscious kid should know there are ways they can be self-efficient. We as African Americans have placed so much power into the hands of those who don’t want to see us rise to the top, we have to raise our children to start their own businesses and make a way for themeselves in the financial world.
- Teach them about finances, entrepreneurship and ways to be self-efficient with knowledge and creativity.
6. REPEAT ALL STEPS OFTEN
Hopefully these steps are helpful at helping to guide our children into a more conscious lifestyle. Our children are beauty, strength and power. It is simply in their DNA to be warriors, healers, and creators. If their abilities are suppressed they will never know where to direct their magic. It’s our job to help guide them, to lead by example, and to combat societies false narratives they try to force upon them.
By: Moms of Color