Child rearing by duty or force...
by, 01-26-2008 at 12:01 PM (1956 Views)
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
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