Raising children and family is not an exact science. The role of parents and caregivers can experience challenges, and difficulties. However, raising children within a culture embedded with systemic racism and intergenerational trauma can create an added layer of challenge. If you are interested in receiving support from our program, contact us:
In our 4th Let’s Talk Cafe, we explored parenting in 2020 given our experiences with coronavirus pandemic, racism, parenting, relationships, managing mental health, and more. We were honored to have Danielle Davis join us for our LIVE enlightening discussion as she highlighted the experience she has a career professional, and mother to her 10 year old daughter.
Let’s Talk Cafe: for Parents Preliminary Findings
In our listening circle hosted on August 26 by Anada Treleven and Nicole Perryman, we addressed the challenges our families’ experience with raising their children and caring for their families. While we could not unpack all of the dynamics which exist within these areas, we were able to highlight some of the key challenges and suggestions for support:
- Enhance your child’s knowledge. In our youth cafe, we learned that the Canadian school system is not inclusive of Black people’s experiences, ways of knowing and knowledge. We know that in some areas, the school system will only highlight our difficult experiences, i.e. slavery, but often does not cover other historical moments that can heighten our children’s confidence and self-esteem. We have to take ownership on our children’s education. This includes, reading books that cover Black people’s experiences, about Black families and youth, and about significant people in history. Encourage your child to learn extra information on their own time. One parent noted that they often have their child work on scholastic book exercises 2 or 3 grades ahead for their child. These strategies help to build your youth for success.
- Advocate for your child’s education. Many Black parents experience racism and discrimination in the school system from a child, and as they become a parent. However, making your presence known in your child’s classroom, with their teacher, and within the school community will help to position you to advocate for your child. It is critical for parents to: meet with the child’s teacher and develop a rapport, consider joining the parent council or becoming a member, learning about who are the administrators for the school (i.e. principal, vice principal, trustee and superintendent), and developing a relationship with these key people. At times, the relationship can become severed for many reasons, and if you feel that your child is unfairly treated in the school contact us! We have a host of resources and support available for you to access.
- Encourage honesty and communication with your child. Many parents shared that they encouraged honesty and communication with their child so they can advocate for them in the classroom or with teachers. Give your child opportunity to share and communicate with you about their experiences in the classroom. Encourage your child to be honest, but also take accountability for their behavior. Teach your child how to advocate for themselves within the classroom, with their teachers, and others in a respectful way. Empower your child to believe in and develop their confidence in spaces where they may be treated differently or experience bias and racism. If behavior patterns lead to multiple principal interventions, suspensions or expulsions, contact us as we can provide support in this area.
- Reclaiming fatherhood. During slavery and post-slavery, colonialism had no place for Black families, and Black males. It began this narrative that fathers were not involved, and may not need to be involved in their child’s life. We know alternative narratives. Our group participants highlighted the importance of Black fathers in our children’s lives. Yes, many Black families are involved in their children’s lives. They play a critical role in raising their children, and continue to support their children. As fathers, we encourage you to join our final Let’s Talk Cafe: for Men and share your experiences with our group.
- Plan for post secondary. In Canada, we know that many people graduate high school to continue to post secondary in the trades, colleges, universities or travel abroad. Thus, start early with your child to prepare for the next stage. This begins with choosing the right high school, the right coaches or sports team to join, the right academic programs and classes for your youth, and the right volunteer and work opportunities. We are actively developing a mentorship program for youth, as well as webinars that help your youth create success. To learn more about our initiatives, contact us through our, Special Interest Survey.
Want to learn more, join our initiative
Consider joining our initiative, and supporting us with building a strong community. This community involves bringing together organizations, professionals and individuals to support our community and grow our reach. It also involves creating a supportive network for our families, our youth, our elders, and our community members.
Let’s Talk Cafe: for Men
Join us as we discuss issues related to men’s experiences on Wednesday, September 2 at 7: 30pm. Register today:
Missed our live session? Check our our Instagram page: Let’s Talk with Danny Stone
Parenting, Wellness, and Support Blog
It came from history…. Historically, Black fathers played a central role to provide and protect their family, and their community. Black Fathers actively participated the nurturing of children which included their own as well as others. They held gatherings for men and boys to discuss hardships. Fatherhood was seen as a community responsibility. The inequality, […]
We have spent the past few months, June 2020 to now talking about anti-Black racism. We have witnessed the horror of Mr. Floyd’s murder, and have fought for justice for many Black youth, men and women killed by the police and other citizens. We have watched as many have pulled titles off the shelves, “White […]
Youth Services Youth Services: Website: Phone: Address: Services Offered: Kinark Child and Family Services https://www.kinark.on.ca/ (Central Intake) 1.888.454.6275 Head Office: 500 Hood Road, Suite 200Markham ON L3R 9Z31-800-230-8533 Kinark is a leading provider of services and supports for children and youth with complex needs and their families. Services are provided […]