Parenting

Parenting: Raising The Next Generation

The fourth installment of the Black Community topics focuses on parenting and how it affects the Black Community.

The 3 Questions

1. Are single parent homes the new normal in the Black Community?

2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child?

3. Do you feel that our morals have changed and if so for better or worse?

FRONT STREET

There are a lot of problems within the Black Community, all of which may stem from this one category.  Parenting is the most difficult and consuming endeavor that exists in the typical human experience.  There is no one way to raise a child, and like the African proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  However, nowadays it is less and less common to see that proverb in action.  Based on the increasing number of outside influences, children seem to be less interested in doing what their parent(s) say and more focused on doing whatever makes them feel good.  Additionally, they have become more selfish because We as adults have become more selfish with Our time and patience with Our children.  Without proper guidance, we may be leaving the future generation to make critical decisions before their time.  How much is parenting to blame for the destruction of our community?

Please write in and respond to our 3 poll questions or post some questions that you would like to see discussed.  These question and more will be addressed during the discussion found on YouTube beginning on  4/15/2012.  This video was filmed Decmeber 10, 2011.

Parenting Part 1

Parenting Part 2

Parenting Part 3

Parenting Part 4

18 thoughts on “Parenting”

  1. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child? No, but does that mean you should correct every child you encounter . . . nope, I wouldn’t do that either. The African proverb is that is take a village to raise a child, but the next question should be “Who is in your village?” or “Is that child in my village?”

    I try to be selective on who I let influence my child (well as much as I can) and I think most parents are the same. If I don’t know you or your values I don’t want you correcting or nurturing my child.
    1. I don’t know the other person’s values,
    2. The other person’s values may not line up with my values, and
    3. It may cause confusion for my child.

    Obviously when it comes to the child being in danger or causing harm to someone else, then yes you should step in; but the world and even the black community’s values are so different from house to house, neighborhood to neighborhood that you can’t let everyone contribute to your child’s “village.”

  2. 1. As sad as it is to say, I do believe that single parent homes are a norm in the black community. I grew up in a single parent home and most of my friends did too. I find it rare where i live to find a black couple with children that are still together.

    2. I am young, however I am a full believer in correcting your kids. And I do believe that others should be able to correct children to a certain extent. If my child has other people that look after him such as a grandmother or my brothers or sisters then of course I would want them to correct him. However I wouldn’t want a random person to correct them. I would rather that person come and tell me what my child did so i could correct it in my home.

    3. I think that our morals in the black community have changed for the worse. Parents have left tv and videogames to become the babysitter for the children, which also plays a big part in the childhood obesity of this country. I got beatings when I was growing up and it helped me to respect my parents and I was thankful for them raising me that way. It was good to know my place as a child and when I got older me and my parents became good friends. The black community needs to get away from letting their children do whatever they want and need to be more of an enforcer.

  3. I agree with both of the posts up there. Unfortunately as sad as it is to say, the single parent home is becoming the norm in the black community. Thanks to more and more absent fathers (those that are dead, in prison, or just don’t care), more women are having to juggle working and raising children on their own. This is also what leads to our changing morals. Since these kids in the single households are raising themselves, they are led to make a lot of the wrong choices and there are no parents there to enforce their decisions. Don’t get me wrong, not all children that grow up in single households have wrong morals. I myself grew up with a single parent after my father passed, and I think I turned out pretty well. I still had good values and morals growing up, but that was also the age of no internet, shady music videos, and such (but that’s another topic).

    On whether or not you can correct someone else’s child, i think there should be some limits. As a parent, I would love for someone to correct my child in the right way, if I myself know and trust the person. I don’t know how I would take it if I am at the supermarket and my child throws a tantrum and some random person tries to correct him.

  4. 1. Are single parent homes the new normal in the Black Community?

    Yes, I fear that not only is it the new norm in the Black Community, I also feel that many of the topics that you focus on on this website are a result of bad parenting period. I think that a single parent household isn’t necessarily worst than a two parent household but I think that it can definitely work against a child. Nothing strikes fear in a child more than “Wait til your father gets home!” The more stable the household the more stable the child, barring the exceptions. Also, the age of the single parent is really paramount in this discussion. When a child has to raise a child they still generally have an “I’mma do me” attitude going on. This type of attitude gives way for stuff like going clubbing with your mom or having your parent buy your weed for you and several other overtly irresponsible things.

    2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child?

    If the parent gives you permission to discipline their child then it’s fine. I know people are going to read this question and automatically think that under most any circumstances they wouldn’t want their child corrected by a perfect stranger, but I beg to differ. If you see a friend of yours child doing something that you know the parent A) doesn’t approve of and B) doesn’t know about then what do you do? Call the parent? What if you don’t know them that well should you stop them? I believe so, but even with that said it still depends on the situation.

    3. Do you feel that our morals have changed and if so for better or worse?

    I feel that the worlds morals, mine included, have slipped. The instance gratification of the internet age has made it convenient for us to feel that the world and all of it’s delicious wickedness is at our fingertips. This new “tree of knowledge of good and evil” has made everything acceptable and yet everyone judge and jury at the same time. I feel that the Black Community is no better or should I say no worse.

  5. 1. Are single parent homes the new normal in the Black Community?
    Well it is sad to say in my eyes yes it is. Men and women have changed the values of life drastically. Women are having kids at younger ages these days and the men are not stepping up to be good fathers as they should be to this child. I feel this is all thanks to both men and women having sexual relations at earlier ages and thinking its cute having a child in there early teens. Parents should speak to their kids more in depth about this situation and explain/ show them why it isn’t cute or special to have kids so early. Also the divorce rates are way high ultimate because men and women don’t believe in fighting for love and what’s right anymore. It seems to be easier to get divorced and collect a check in some cases then deal with the issues you may have with your spouse, then again you are thinking of yourself and not the children in the mix.

    2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child?
    I don’t think it is wrong I think it’s just the way you do it. I don’t agree with hitting another person’s child at all. However I do agree with explaining to the child what they did wrong and passing the information on to the parent. Lots of parents are ignorant to the fact that there child can do wrong. Most believe their kids to be complete angels, which in fact is not true in most cases. Scolding another persons child goes back to my point of having kids at an early age. How are you to scold someone else’s child when you are a child yourself you have to be in a position of experience in order to correct people and or kids.

    3. Do you feel that our morals have changed and if so for better or worse?
    It is obvious that morals have changed. I feel they are changing for the worse but at the same time they are changing as time changes. A younger persons morals and beliefs are different from an older persons beliefs, and as time goes on and kids continue to have kids and the divorce rates continue to sky rocket morals will continue to change sadly for the worse.

  6. 1. First of all if I pick up my son every other day and every other weekend is he still considered to be a single parent child? Do fathers who are active in the lives of their children despite not being under the same roof get tossed aside for the sake of this statistic?
    Though becoming more normal for all communities, YES it is certainly more normal for ours to have single-parent homes. Recently my son and estranged wife went to a small, local church in our community that caters to the black population. Unfortunately the 2 of us were the ONLY couple in the congregation. The females and their young children sat on one side, and the “men” of the church sat on the other. These boys ranged from 5 to 15, and were the only males in the building aside from the pastor, band and myself.

    2. Correcting someone else’s child can be a godsend for the parent, depending on the nature of the correction. I wouldn’t pop someone’s child on the forehead for sassing, but a stern look or well-placed warning from a stranger can be just the right thing and even help that parent reel in their youth at that moment.

    3. Our morals have changed for sure, and often for the worse. Social networking and the ease of communication are great when well placed but the devil when abused. Our kids will all have cell phones and Facebook accounts far too early for our liking and the unfortunate truth is that if they want one they can go and do it secretly. At least with TV you have an idea for what is out there. The advances in technology have had a huge impact on our moral code, what is appropriate, etc. Also since physical punishment is nearly extinct we have been forced to address more serious issues (internet, bullying, etc) with less serious punishments!

  7. 1. Are single parent homes the new normal in the Black Community?

    Unfortunately, I feel like it is the new norm for single parent households to exist within the Black community. It seems to me that the majority of my friends are in these single parent households where either the father (and a few times the mother) just walked out of their lives. It shouldn’t be this way but unfortunately it is.

    2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child?

    It isn’t wrong to correct someone’s child if it is done so in the appropriate fashion. I think it is okay to correct someone else’s child, as long as it is done in such a way that doesn’t involve getting physical with the child, or cursing them out etc. Another thing that should be done upon correcting someone else’s child is to inform the parent (or guardian) so that they can follow up on the child’s wrong doings. What they did wrong might stick more in the child’s head if they hear it from their parent/guardian and someone else.

    3. Do you feel that our morals have changed and if so for better or worse?

    I feel that our morals have changed, most of the times, it is a change for the worst. Single parent households exist in the Black community, Black youth are becoming pregnant at an earlier age, some dont finish high school and many don’t actually get to start/finish college. There are also things like the hip-hop industry which encourage female degradation and things like the “money, girl and cars” centered lifestyle. Unfortunately, I witness a lot of our people not doing anything with their lives and I feel like it shouldn’t be this way. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, fought for our freedom and equal rights, while it is debatable if these equal rights actually exist for people of color, many are not taking advantage of it and succumbing to stereotypes.

    I must also note that, there are however some that defy these stereotypes and try to make something of themselves, no matter the circumstances.

  8. 1. It is sad to say this but yes it is true, single parent homes are the new normal in the Black Community.
    2.It use to never be wrong to correct someone else’s child but now it is, people take offense to it knowing that it wasn’t meant to be disrespectful or rude, or the child might become disrespectful and rude with the adult because parents let their children act this way
    3. Yes our morals have changed I feel for the worse, Kids of every generation have been doing bad things,its just that the bad things in every generation get worse.With this new generation it is slowly becoming an anything goes environment if it is already not that and the things that these young children are exposed to at such young ages does not make things any better. You still have the parents who will not tolerate any disrespect from their child but with more babies having babies, its like a toy they just want to play with them and want to be their best friend so they don’t know how to be a parent and without a real role model the child usually turns out worse than the parent. Changing for the worse has already happened I don’t know how much worst it can get with every new generation being worse than the one before them and its sad that we as people either accept it or look the other way so we are just as bad as the people accepting this nonsense

  9. The 3 Questions

    1. Are single parent homes the new normal in the Black Community?
    To be quite frank they are becoming the norm in the Black community. I think this has a great deal to do with the high incarceration of black fathers. It has become a cycle now to have the black mom raising the children and holding down the family while the fathers are doing numerous bids of time. It has become socially acceptable for men especially to not be held accountable for raising their child. Its sad but most people don’t want to address the underlying issue. For many years this epidemic of single parent homes has been increasing and instead of addressing the issue we’ve allowed it to manifest into this colossal problem with no clear solutions.

    2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child?
    Personally I believe it is okay to correct someone’s child but only inside of certain boundaries, I think if you see a child misbehaving in public and you do not know them a look of disapproval helps the child understand that their behavior is unacceptable, and especially that it affects people around them. It helps them be aware of how they are viewed by others. If I am left in charge of the child then I am assuming I have complete disciplinary control over them. If the child does not listen I won’t hesitate to pop or pluck a child to show them they are wrong. If that’s a problem with the parent its best they don’t leave their child with me.

    3. Do you feel that our morals have changed and if so for better or worse?
    Morals of parents have definitely changed. There are a lot of things i was not able to do as a child that is the norm these days. I didn’t receive my first cell phone until 11th grade and was not even allowed to get fake nails until I was in the 12th grade. I know 9 yr old children with these very things today. I also feel that the morals have changed because it is a lot more acceptable for younger girls to have babies. Babies are raising babies. Communication has become totally technological and people do not even know how to talk face to face anymore.

  10. 1. Are single parent homes the new normal in the Black Community?

    – Yes it has become the new normal in black communities. It is not surprising to hear that a child is being raised by either their mother or grandmother. It’s more of a shock to find out that both parents are raising a child in the same household. It’s like we expect for a child in a black family to be raised in a single parent home.

    2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child?

    – No it is not wrong to correct someone else’s child when you see that they are doing something wrong. It is our responsibility not to turn a blind eye to things. That’s the problem with our community now. But the correction of someone else’s child should have some form of boundaries. And they should also inform the parent of that child what the child is doing wrong so they can also address the issue themselves.

    3. Do you feel that our morals have changed and if so for better or worse?

    – Our morals have changed and for the worse. No a days we don’t have as many positive role models to look up to and we don’t have anything to aspire to like our parents and grandparents did. We really don’t know what our true self worth is anymore so therefore our morals have been placed to the back burner.

  11. 1. Yes, considering I was raised in one and people are becoming more independent of each other and utilizing family for help especially in the black community.

    2. Yes, also depends on how you do it, nothing physical and depends on the environment. Parents are overproctective now a days, even when kids are wrong.

    3. Yes, I feel our morals have changed to a more independent status and self improvement. I think this is not a good thing because it is ideal for kids to be raised in homes with both parents.

  12. 1. I think single parent homes are just as common as they have always been. it seems to be more perception than reality, like black men don’t raise their children or go to college. Or black women are all gold diggers and have weave. Overall, I feel the black family is as much as a mixed bag as black folks are.

    2. It is not wrong to correct someones child, but it seems more important to correct both the child and parent. But, there must be a relationship with both the parent and the child. Children need to be well rounded individuals and therefore receiving credible correction from different sources can make adults who can adapt to different situations and contribute to making our community better in the future.

    3. No, morals have not changed, but our approach has. Some parents seem to forget that they are the adults and reasoning with their child or trying to be their friend, but it is risky. Our morals are the same. Parents don’t want their children going to jail or being menaces to society. But, our world has changed and parents need to find a way to instill the same morals all while keeping the child involved in the world in which they live.

    * I do not have any children so all of my comments are from NO prior experience.

  13. 1. The single parent home is not and should not be accepted as the norm for our society. We as a people must continue to demand that both parents remained totally involved in the life of our children. We are begining to see an increase in the number of single parent fathers and thus creating an equally dangerous trend. Failure to resolve what has created this issue will further severely damage the future of our community. Althoug it may be relationship issues that has created this issue, we must be more adamant to teach our black men and black women self respect and respect for each other. We are having babies for the sake of sex and not realizing we are potenitally damaging the future of our children and society should be continue down the road of irresponsibility.

    2. It should be perfectly acceptable to chastise another persons child, within reason. I have made it clear to my community that if you do not want me to father your child then do not bring them around me. I am obligated as a father to be an example, moreover a Godly example of a man and a father. Therefore, I am compelled by this duty to offer all children the same parenting that I give to my own children.

    3. Our morals have not changed. Our view or appreciation for those morals have changed. We have raised and are raising children that are immune to these morals. As parents we have failed to instill these morals in our children because we were trying to parent differently than our parents raised us. The problem is now we have a generation of children that do not have respect for others, let alone repsect for themselves.

  14. 1. Are single parent homes the new normal in the Black Community?

    I believe single parent homes have at least since the 80’s or 90’s have been a common trend in black communities, due to high teenage pregnancy rates within the communities. However, in most cases its not mom or dad raising the child, its the grandparents. The grandparent role as the parents is significant trend within the communities as well.

    2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child?

    No, I don’t believe its wrong to correct someone else’s child, if you do it out of love. Some children just need guidance and to see what they are doing is not right. I do believe as community members we should be looking out for one another, and not feel offended if someone is looking out for our children too. As long as no one lays a hand on the child, but gives them a push in the right direction I feel its perfectly fine.

    3. Do you feel that our morals have changed and if so for better or worse?

    Society morals have increasingly declined, and the black community is no different. You hear it in the music, see it the TV, internet etc. Maybe it started with fall from the church, or with the integration of a cultural melting pot, I’m not sure. It does not look like its going to get better at any point. It seems we are moving towards a anything goes society. That’s why its important for us to teach our children correct morals and values growing up, so they won’t depart from them as the start to go into society.

  15. 1. I wouldn’t exactly say that it has become the norm but it has definitely increased in the last ten to fifteen years. I believe that it is more so do to the younger age that young girls are having babies and the young men are not taking responsibility.

    2. No it is not wrong to correct someone else’s child. That is the way I was brought up. Your parents are not always around and someone has to do it. I do not have a problem with that.

    3. I believe that our morals have not changed but we have lost sight of them. We put sports ahead of education. That is one of the biggest examples I can give. We put a ball in a kids hand before a book trying to find away to make a quick buck.

  16. 1. Are single parent homes the new normal in the Black Community?

    I do not have the official statistics, but unfortunately, this seems to be more prevalent today than any time since Reconstruction (when we had no choice). Single parent homes can be loving and nuturing just as much as a two parent environment can be. The key ingredient is love. However, it is much more difficult for a single parent to cover all the physical and psychological requirements needed to rasie a child to adulthood. Raising a child is a difficult task for two parents. That difficulty is multiplied four-fold for one parent because of the likelyhood of other associated issues involved, including the lack of adequate finances, interaction with the school system, work-life-balance issues and just having enough time to do it all.

    Single parent homes can come from multiple sources including ‘out of wedlock’ births, divorce, incarceration of one of the parents, and lack of commitment by one of the parents. No matter what the cause, it should not be accepted as the norm because a fully functioning family is the key to our future, both politically and economically. The strength gathered from a strong central family cannot be underestimated.

    2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child?

    It depends. If you know the child, the parents, the circumstances associated with the act etc., then it may be appropriate to admonish. My first instinct is to correct the child, but that may not always be appropriate.
    If a child is in the process of doing something that will cause harm to him/herself or someone else, correcting that child is not only the right thing to do, but our duty to do so.

    However, we all need to understand the circumstances and timing of the action. If the parent is there and does nothing, any action by others could be considered unnecessary or looked on by the parent as interference. The answer to this question is situational.

    3. Do you feel that our morals have changed and if so for better or worse?

    The moral compass is still the Bible. Each of us has an internal moral compass and must place a premium on doing what is right based on that compass.

    Morals are taught by parents, ministers, community leaders, teachers, mentors and role models. In one sense, the overall morals of our society have lessened, because today’s society tends to be more tolerent than in the past. We still try to teach the same high moral standards that were taught in previous generations, however, we tend to accept indiscretions without any retribution more today than before. One of the primary differences today is that things done in the shadows come to light much quicker. With social media, 24/7 news coverage, instant messaging and other ways to expose what happens individually and collectively, it is difficult to support a position without justification. So when someone makes a ‘mistake’ or gets caught doing something illegal or immoral, it is exposed relatively quickly. We tend to accept it and move on to the next thing. Folks are not held accountable for some of these small acts, and as a result, do not learn from the mistakes. More often than not, the results are not good for that individual or society.

  17. 1. Are single parent homes the new norm in the black community.
    Unfortunately single parent homes are the new norm period so it is reasonably safe to say that single parent homes are the norm in the black community as well. The absence of a parent usually the father has left our children struggling to catch up in a society where the black race needs every advantage that we can get. There are times however when it is best that the parents go their separate ways if they cannot collectively raise a child in a safe and secure environment without fighting and other outside activities that do not focus or increase the well-being of the child or children involved. Just because parents are living separate lives the child should still remain the focus first.
    Divorce rates are increasing seeing it is easy to divorce and technology makes divorce simple and relatively easy to accomplish.
    2. Is it wrong to correct someone else’s child.
    It is not wrong to correct someone else’s child the level and type of correction depends on the situation. Levels of correction may increase in my experience especially if one parent is not around. When one parent is not involved it makes the step-parent step up, at least someone steps up and sets the example. I never put my hands on another man’s child but I never had to either. Since they lived with me there is a level of respect that must be maintained while living in any household.
    3. Have our morals changed for better or worse?
    In a general statement our morals have changed and I think on average they have changed for the worst. This statement can’t be used as a blanket statement, but prayer and God has vanished from the lives of most individuals this absence of God. The absence of God in our lives explains a lot of things, to include the increase in single family homes and the lack of discipline in our children. A lot of people claim they know God but they have a religion with him sure enough but not a true relationship. A lot of people think about themselves first and will do whatever it takes to get ahead without regard to their fellow man.

  18. 1)I don’t know what the statistics are on Black Single Families but I would like to think positively and say we may be slowly becoming a minority in that category, especially since we are the minority in terms of the census. So therefore , I will be optimistic in my view point and say, when I look around me I see more and more young black couples jumping the broom in a concerted effort to indirectly lessen the numbers that’s plague our race as whole.

    2) Parenting! As Bill Cosby once said, when you make a promise to a child you have to stick to it. Whether it is to punish for a negative or reinforce a positive. Parents need to stick to those promises. I prefer to speak to a child with the hope of making a difference but most times I look at the source of that child’s behaviors. More often than not, it’s usually coming from lack of structure and dysfunctional parents, or parents who just don’t have a clue as to how to parent. It’s just one of life’s learning curves and it’s either we get it or we don’t. It’s also based on how open we are to learning and our ability to proactively utilize or resources and the foundations that was set for us by our parents etc. I do believe as we parent, we mature in our thinking because children basically force us to grow up.
    I could never walk away from a child who needs help in some sort of way, even if it’s to just say, no you cannot behave that way. I believe everyone should make a conscious effort to make a difference in a child’s life, when given an opportunity to do so. I have no desire to put my hands on any child knowing what I know and after parenting my own. However, if it’s a relative when I am finished with them, there will not be a next time around me. I have learnt though that you always need to stay ahead of your children in terms of their thinking and there is no room for lazy parenting. It’s like sports always have an offensive and defensive game plan but plan to win fairly by being honest with yourself in terms of your weaknesses and your strengths, so that they can comprehend the rules.

    3) Our morals have changed and technology is the Achilles heals to facilitate even further that change. Things are too easily accessible and distracting and it has given a lot of us a free pass to test the boundaries of our relationships with our spouses and our children, etc. We are saturated with too much and we are basically living excessive lives. We drink too much, we eat too much, we spend too much and we expect too much from each other and when that equation is not balanced enough for us it leads us to a lack of appreciation for what the other person can contribute to our lives. It basically creates that dirty pool of over indulgence and exaggerated needs and so we convince ourselves that we are not satisfied. Added to that our men and women just simply have no respect for each other and it shows. Why, because we’ve become too easily disposable to each other ; probably because there is a serious lack of patience, empathy and diligence to listen, learn, communicate and appreciate one another in terms of each other’s differences. Life is complicated and it seems like simplicity is just too boring for our egos in our efforts to get ahead in this life.

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