Monday, August 15, 2005


How black Parents fail their kids- Part 1

This is a five part series that will deal with some very sensitive issues, but they are necessary.

Failure to Plan for our kids

Goal setting is essential for building a successful life. All parents should have a plan for their children's future, as well as help their children to develop goals of their own. I learned from a teacher in high school that in order to to be whatever I wanted to be I had to plan to be to be that person. So, for example, she told me that in order to be a doctor, I had to plan to be a doctor.

Goal setting is a life-long skill. It helps your child to focus their unique gifts and talents, it helps to cultivate and strengthening your child's self-worth, and equips them to lead a life full of meaning purpose, and direction, regardless of the professional or personal paths they choose. Planning for a child's future helps a parent direct his or her child(ren) to those areas were the skills required to succeed in a particular field can be acquired. Without direction from a parent, many children are left aimlessly navigating this difficult world, moving from one frustration to another.

Too often, many black parents fail to plan for their children and therefore their children fail to succeed. From an early age, black parents must plan for their children, as well as help their children plan for themselves. One of the greatest gifts any parent can give to his or her children is a road map for their future. A "road map" that details where they would like to be in the next two, three, or five years.
Does your child have a five year plan of his or her future?

Even before your children are born, you should have a five year plan for their future. As they get older, they should become involved in tweaking the plan(s) you have for them. Too often, black parents wait until their children are in pre-school before they start planning for grade school. It is too late- there is too much catching up to do by then. I cannot forget the conversation I had with a parent at my church who's child was in the ninth grade, yet neither her nor the child knew if the college was in the child's future. That is absolute negligence.

Having a plan does not mean it is unalterable; all plans will need adjustment over time. The intricacies are not critical, what is important is there is a plan to provide guidance.

As parent, we have a duty to set our children on a path to success. The best way to do this is to plan for their success.

Some Practical Advice

Having a plan means you're armed with a vision of what your children can be. Having a plan means that you have a list of how you are going to help your children reach that vision. When you have a plan, you are focused.

Planning for your children's future means planning for everything from their schooling to their after school activities to their friendships. Your plan should include your future vision of your children, or who you want your children to be when they become adults. Think about each child as an adult. Write down what you want his or her life to be like. And then write down the skills s/he will need to have that kind of life. Your plan should also include short-term and long-term goals for your children that encompass both their academic and non-academic portions of their life. Write down specific benchmarks you want your children to achieve and by when. Think about what you will have to do to make sure each of child reaches those benchmarks.

How dou you implement your plan

1. Ask for professional help to form goals for your child.

2. Join local parent organizations

3. Seek help from professionals in your church or community

3. Seek out, speak to, and introduce your child to others, in the profession, field or areas in which your child has shown an interest or a career you would like your child to pursue (no pushing). Your aim should be to expose your child to as many areas as possible and let the child choose.

Monday, August 08, 2005



Should black parents spank their children? Most black parents I have discussed the topic with have agreed that spanking should be on of the many instruments of discipline in the childrearing toolbox.
I initially opposed spanking because of its history in my own childhood. As a child,I strongly believed that my parents used it to punish rather than as an instrument to modify my behavior. And for the first few years of my child's life, I steadfastly refused to spank my child, until I discovered that time-outs, denial of privileges and taking away of favorite toys did not always work. I would occasionally resort to spanking. Lately however, I have returned to my no spanking rule for these reasons:my son has become too aggressive and occasionally hits because he has come to believe that whenever he is angry at someone, he can resorts to hitting. I know some of you will disagree with my reason for my son's aggressive behavior, but even if my occasional spanking plays a tangential role for his aggressive behavior, it is to much for me. Additionally, I was not consistent with my discipline methods and would resort to spanking too easily. I have since done some research and instituted a new system of discipline in my home.(my wife is in on it too). It has worked like magic. No need for spanking anymore.

One common refrain I have heard from black parents is that black kids need to be spanked because unlike white white kids, time-outs, loss of privileges and loss of favorite toys by themselves will not work. I disagree completely. A consistent strategy of love and discipline, without spanking will work with any child, whether black, white or yellow.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Tips for Helping your kids age 0-5 prepare for Pre-school

1. Read to your kids everyday for at least half an hour.

2. Talk to your kids for at least 10 mins everyday about their day-what they had for lunch, who are their friends, etc. If you have more than one child, set aside a special time for each child.

3. Take your kids to the library and let them select books they like.

4. Reduce their exposure to TV, it retards their ability to develop critical thinking skills.

5. Play games with your kids. Games help kids develop motor skills and help them build confidence.


Why Black families should ditch the public school system for private school

The public school system is the gravest threat to black success today. Here are some sobering statistics from the Boston Public School System. Only 40% of the black males who start high school in Boston graduate. Almost fifty percent, that is half, of all black male students in the BPS are classified as special needs students, and this phrase "special" doesn't mean they are gifted. Rather, it means they are suffering from some form of mental illness. The stats for black females are not markedly different.

What are the chances that these young men will ever be productive citizens. Zero.

Only, a complete withdrawal from the public system by black families will spur the stakeholders-politicians, special interests, and the education bureaucracy, to fix the system.

But while these stakeholders fight amongst themselves. Dodge is burning. Black families owe it to their ancestors, to themselves and their kids to provide a good quality education to their children. And presently, the public education system is failing ours kids miserably.

Private education is cheaper than many people think. At least it is cheaper that the cost of incarcerating our young men. It is also cheaper than the cost of the inferior education, presently provided to our kids by the public school system.

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