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    Sun Ship

    Child rearing by duty or force...

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    by , 01-26-2008 at 01:01 PM (1966 Views)

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    After posting a few responses within a recent thread in the forum, in which a very important and insightful question was presented initiating that thread I thought I would further expound on my opinion here in my blog. The question was, “Should you force your child to apologize?”

    We speak a lot about traditions as progressive Black people, and many times we point towards Africa more so than our immediate diasporan African ancestral heritage. In both cases, we have a lot to ponder when it comes to the tradition of raising children for even in the continent the traditions varied. But let’s focus a little on our recent cultural development here in the Diaspora as it applies to child rearing, and ask ourselves "what generation of children have done or are doing what", and across the board in all these various generations, "what type of traditional raising or rearing of children was or is most effective?"

    The elders use to make it clear that even if you felt as a child that you didn’t want to follow their authority that somewhere in this world at some point, time, or some place, be you like it or not, you will submit to someone’s authority be it based on rules, laws, leadership, or by force. For they understood that even under the best societal or cultural situations historically or presently, without a collective surrendering to this understanding amongst our own people there could not and cannot be any civility, unity, or collective advancement. From Garvey to the Black Panthers and every organization in-between many of those who were able to organize under these organizational umbrellas were usually brought up in very traditional Black households or communities where there was leadership, authority, and order, and especially a very high respect for elders.

    My fear is, today we are raising more and more children either, to not be consciously caring or redemptive, and also not able to respect the authority of proper instructions as it applies to proper leadership, as well as the instruction and council of elders. We speak of unity and developing a collective response to our oppressors, but we are furthering in some cases the type of mentality that further splinters workable social structures and will create even more chaotic and fractured communities than we have presently.

    Though I don’t like the term “force” per se, but traditions and cultural parameters must be wisely enforced. When I see other groups progress highly successfully in areas we only dream of being successful in even in our own way, I usually see the remnants of layers of strong traditional cultural ideologies or expectations unique to those people, even if it’s somewhat Americanized or practiced a little more liberally by the youth of those cultures.

    As cited earlier, the subject was “should you force your child to apologize?” Well, if I listen to many Black elders around me, and even some younger voices, the consensus is that, the last thing they are experiencing is a young adult population in our community that is full of too much remorse and children that are overly apologetic! Or children who seem to be being oppressed by enforced instructive and corrective measures by their parents and other community elders.

    The type of authoritative childrearing I experienced and many others I know within our community years ago is rarely even present in the best of homes (and some of it needed to be reformed), and surely it is absent in too many homes in the so-called “ghetto” or “inner city”, as well as Black suburbia. And with that said, it is obvious to too many of us that there is a direct correlation to the way our children are reared, and not only what we see happening destructively in our community, but also our inability to unite long-term collectively or effectively in recent years.

    Brother Sun Ship

    Link to original thread: Should you force your child to apologize?

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    1. tyydae's Avatar
      The way I raise my children, may very well, have a lot to do with my personality. I have been called everything from a free-spirit, to a gypsy. This has very little to do with my style of dress, but also includes the way I live, the books I read, down to the music I listen to.

      As far as the way I bring up my children, once my children reach a certain age, there is no forcing them to do anything. Now, there are several exceptions to the rules, I admit that, but the overall concensus is that you are allowed to develop into the person you wish to be without too much interference.

      I may be very well walking a fine line here but, but hey it is not my first time.

      Believe it or not, my children are very sensative, and receptive to others, One of my daughters is overly sympathic. I can not show you my world through a computer screen (and I know this is not what you are asking for) but in so many words, my children are free to be HOWEVER.

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    2. Sun Ship's Avatar
      Sister tyydae, thanks for adding even more of your perspective to this interesting topic contributed by you in the forum. I think there is much validity in what you believe, for in every area that we express our ideas as a people we need creativity and diversity. I am not one who supports a monolithic way of living and I am the first to challenge too much conformity regardless of what ones political or social views are. Sister as far as music and the books I read also, I have been walking on the edge and diving over probably most of life so you don’t have to convince me there. I have lived my non-conformist life to its core.

      I think even in the world of creative expression and what some may even call eccentricity there has always been a method to the madness and balance, and great discipline and tenacity is needed to fully explore ones path. Many of my closets friends have always been very creative artist and musicians so I’ve gotten a hear and eye full all of my life from those who reasoning is “out there”, but amongst these brothers and sisters I have also seen great discipline and focus.

      In the end it’s all about the cause and effect and the results…


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    3. tyydae's Avatar
      I am not trying to tell you that I am out here. Just give you a little understanding of why a life of order, and discipline, makes me nauseous.

      Okay, so what do you see wrong with the way I handle my children. Please Be Frank Here!

      I do make every attempt possible to rear my children, in a home where there is order, but I am not able to extinguish their possibilities by forcing them to do much(once they are a certain age).

      BTW, I have a daughter that is a dreamer. I mean that. She is always distracted, mediating, and off in her own world. You don't think that kills me, when I need her to help with the housework, and every few moments I find myself reminding her to get back on task. It's like "Will you Wake the Hell Up!" "That window isn't going anywhere."

      But jumping down her throat, and forcing her to do things, bothers me when I go to bed. When that happens, first thing in the morning, I am in her room, explaining to her, where I was wrong, but what I expected from her.

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    4. Sun Ship's Avatar
      Blessed and Beloved Sister, I don’t necessarily disagree with anything you just posted, I’ve just been expounding on what you’ve said from my own perspective. And believe me, I understand the dreamer…Thank heaven your daughter has you as her mother (smile)…

      But anyway, it’s a balance, and even the dreamer has to be motivated and prepared for a world that is “anti-dreamer”. A society that rather discard and even abuse this type of open-mindedness than reward it. For every creative mind that I’ve seen succeed, I’ve seen too many fall through the cracks and mentally abused by this dreamless world.

      One of my saying is, “if you don’t do it then who?” ...many times I have to tell myself this!

      And sometimes…just sometimes, “you got to do what you got to do…” "for it is what it is..."

      And there’s nothing wrong with being “out there”, enjoy it, for there’s a whole community of “out there” people out there (smile).

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    5. tyydae's Avatar
      Okay, there must be a balance. I dig that. I was just told the same thing, by a loved one, concerning something else.

      I got you...I got cha!

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    6. JemChi's Avatar
      Peace Yall, I had to chime in on this one. I can dig what both of you are saying and as for me, creating that balance is the goal for me. I want my children to be able to grow and utilize their own minds and abilities, but I also want to make sure that, as a parent, I do my part in helping them construct that. My parents kind of let us do us, but boundaries and parameters were put in place, and we knew not to cross them and if we did we knew what the consequences would be. But they never really forced us to do anything. Now with that said, there certain rules that came in my home and we had to follow them, period. We were raised not to eat me meat, and we didnt want it, we didnt eat. There were no alternative dinners. If we wante d name brand clothes or other things the other kids had, it wasnt happening. No matter how much I wanted a perm I couldnt get one, and it was my hair, lol. We had chores and responsibilities and my Pops wasnt playn when it was time for it to be done. We was up at 7am on the weekends, lol, doing our work. My father's philosophy was if you get it done early then you have all day to play. Now as an adult, I feel like the way I was raised has alot to do with how I deal with the the real world.

      Now as a parent, I think Im a cool Mama , I still enforce the rules of the house, and my girls have to do what they have to do. I bend sometimes, but believe I unbend quickly. I really want my children to understand, like you said Bro. Sunship, there is an authority that they'll have to answer to in some shape or form, so I feel as a parent, its my responsibility to instill in them limits and parameters as it pertains to them as individuals in a whole society. I dont feel like I force my children to do things, but they do what they are suppose to do as children in my home..Peace

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    7. tyydae's Avatar

      I mos. def. admire you, because the balance comes from my husband. If he were not in our lives (for whatever reason) I imagine I would be forced to make a great number of changes, in order to provide my children a home of great balance.

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    8. Sun Ship's Avatar
      Sisters JemChi and tyydae you are both on point… We are all always trying to balance between “being too hard or too easy” on the children we must raise; this is why balance is necessary and should be in every home. Regardless of our problems, we cannot side step the highest and most natural goal of having both the father and mother present in the African home. This takes both the Black man and woman to achieve this goal. Also, when our children see this leadership and discipline they will not only know the difference between actual solid leadership and the charlatan or tyrant, they will also know how to lead themselves by example; for every master of anything, had to be a student first.


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