Many Black parents strive to set an example for their children by teaching them to obey established norms. The best ways black parents can set an example might be challenging to implement consistently, but here’s how to make everything fall into place.
Children learn much more from imitating and observing others than from being instructed orally on what to do or how to behave. As a child, I never thought it was fair when my parents told me to “Do as I say, but not as I do,” and I’m sure that phrase still gives many parents pause today. However, each succeeding generation of parents acquires more knowledge than the one before it and works cooperatively to achieve greater results. The following are nine methods by that we can improve our parenting skills and provide a good example for our children by modeling appropriate behavior in our day-to-day activities. This is a particularly significant objective for the coming year.
Go Have Some Fun in the Fresh Air!
When it’s the weekend, the last thing you want to hear is someone say, “I’m bored!” When you next feel boredom at home, grab your loved ones and get outside to get some fresh air and exercise.
Take a stroll and turn it into an exciting interactive nature quest by gathering items from the natural world along the route. Use the sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch court, play tag with your friends, or ride bikes. Take the kids to the nearby farmer’s market to learn about nutrition, and while you’re there, pick up a few ingredients to try out in the kitchen together.
Set aside at least one day every week for your family to spend together relaxing and participating in activities that everyone can appreciate. Dress appropriately for the weather, whether hot or cold, and spend some time outside together as a family to get some vitamin D.
Find a New Interest to Pursue
In childhood, there is no limit to the amount of time spent being creative and playing, but as we get older, we may start to devote more of our time to different kinds of hobbies.
Put yourself to the test by mastering a whole new skill or returning to an old hobby you used to like. Start a new book to read or finish one you started earlier instead of vegging out in front of the television for hours.
Have you ever contemplated picking up the crochet hook? Right now is the right time. Family activities are also quite enjoyable. Explore different puzzles or board games as a group. Try out this new delicious recipe for dessert. Have fun with your pastime of choice!
Engage in the Art of Conflict Resolution
Even the healthiest of relationships are going to have their share of disagreements at some point. Children tend to copy the behaviors they observe. Thus we must provide them with the skills necessary to mediate and resolve conflicts, regardless of whether the issue is between siblings, adults, or even a parent and a child.
“Start by listening to your children. Give them autonomy of self and empower them to communicate their differences respectfully,” recommends Dr. Cindy Duke, M.D., Ph.D., FACOG, America’s only dual fertility expert and virologist. “Give them self-autonomy and empower them to communicate their differences respectfully.” Dr. Duke is an outstanding physician, podcaster, and motivational speaker who tackles topics such as life, health, and women’s empowerment.
She claims that historically, colonialism resulted in more submissive children in the African-American community. “We’re learning how to heal the damage, and the first step is restoring our children’s agency through language.”
Maintain Integrity and Accept Responsibility
We are not suggesting that you are obligated to inform your children about the additional cookie you devoured after they had gone to bed. When it comes to establishing trust, however, we think that being truthful is the best course of action. Telling your child that you can’t or won’t be able to attend their event is more important than showing up unexpectedly and catching them off guard, even though they may not like hearing the news.
Starting from a young age, open and honest communication between a parent and their child is the most effective method for establishing trust in the relationship between the two parties. And even if we try really hard to keep our word, sometimes things don’t work out the way we wanted them to, despite our best efforts. Explain what took place in a kindly manner, extend a liberal helping of grace to yourself, and resolve to do better the next time!
Treat Yourself With Compassion
If there were only triumphs and victories to be found in life, navigating it would be a lot less difficult. As a parent, it can be equally painful to watch your child lose it because they are frustrated, but we frequently forget how vital it is to learn how to manage our own frustrations. Onyi Azih is a mom, entrepreneur, and practicing psychiatric physician assistant who has made it her personal and professional mission to normalize dialogues about mental health.
My patients and my children are coming along with me on this road of self-improvement and caring as I work as a mental health professional, a mother, and a Black woman. Your children can serve as a terrific reminder to you that you are deserving of love, greatness, and acclaim if you have them recite positive affirmations with you. It’s crucial that we teach our children to be kind to themselves, but it’s also a lesson that we should learn as parents.
It’s not necessary to wait until Thanksgiving to express gratitude to those around you. Parents have the ongoing responsibility of nagging their offspring to use manners like please and thank you. Because what we do is just as important as what we say, let’s demonstrate to our children how to be grateful in deed as much as in word. Compose a letter or create a picture for a friend or family member you care about.
Be particular when expressing your gratitude, and remember that every act of generosity, no matter how great or how tiny, deserves a thank you. You might also use lunch as a chance to discuss with your family why you are grateful for each member of the family.
Get More Rest
When they reach a certain age, youngsters start to question the necessity of sleep. If only they had known that in their latter years, they would be pleading for even a few hours of sleep. Even if you cannot get your children to go to sleep during nap time, putting our bodies and minds into a more relaxed state can help us recharge. When it is time for you to relax, make sure the lights are out, and you lie down for at least half an hour. Dr. Duke is a proponent of resetting our bodies to achieve the highest possible level of health.
From our heads to our toes, our bodies and minds are interconnected in ways that allow seamless communication. At any age, we need to learn to calm down our active brains and give our bodies the opportunity to perform some much-needed housekeeping tasks.
Play some soothing music in the background during your time of silence, and if you feel like you could use a little more time to yourself (especially if you’re the parent), give your kids some quiet toys to play with for another half hour. Keep in mind that resting is not a form of punishment. It is a chance for us to give our bodies the fuel and energy they need to go through the rest of the day.
Discuss the Emotions You’re Experiencing
This is, without a doubt, the most important point on our list. Young children are immediately exposed to the world and all of its myriad intricacies. Even though many of their experiences can be thrilling, some of their interactions may leave them feeling overwhelmed or angry. However, children cannot automatically verbalize their emotions; therefore, their trusted caretakers must educate them on how to do so.
Help your children better understand their own feelings by sharing your experiences with them. Maybe you had a trying day at work or a difficult conversation with a family member or friend that drained your emotional reserves. It’s also possible that you’re just too exhausted and irritable compared to your typical self. Please describe your sentiments to your child using various terms, and then ask them to talk about some of the feelings they are experiencing.
Feelings are designed to be experienced regardless of age, whether they be happy, sad, or enraged.
Allow Yourself Some Grace
To fulfill all the obligations that come with being a parent, we must also act in the roles of educators, leaders, chefs, chauffeurs, and referees—sometimes all of these roles at the same time! Put out our best effort while extending grace to ourselves along the way. Being a parent is not about achieving perfection. Being present and appreciating each moment is the key to success.
Parents sacrifice a great deal of themselves to ensure that their children are secure, content, and well-supported, yet on occasion, we make mistakes. When we go home at the end of a hard day, we could be too aroused and prone to become angry. Being an adult is difficult to work, and asking a tired worker to play “I Spy” for thirty rounds before dinner is not fair.
At work, in our relationships, as parents, and at every level of life, we are conditioned to believe that we must perform at a level beyond the capabilities of a normal human being. Because of this, we wind up being on our own and having a sense that we are being abandoned. You should extend grace to other people, including yourself, and acknowledge that you are an exceptionally wonderful human being.
If you find yourself too exhausted to give your child the attention they need, remind yourself that it’s normal to feel this way and ask for help. Take a moment to calm down, even if it’s just to catch your breath or escape for a few minutes, and tell yourself, “I am doing my best.”
Then, if you want to be a successful parent, you need to get back into the game.
To be a parent is to take on the role of a leader. If we want our children to develop into happy, successful adults, we must set an example by engaging in the actions we preach. Every day, there are opportunities for us to show our children that we are not perfect but that we always do our hardest in everything that we do. This can be said but not always done, but in the end, having good intentions and being guided by someone can get you a very long way.
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