It takes a village

I constantly work to understand why we tend to be biased with a mindset that seriously favors raising our children based on our childhood.

We fail to understand that this is their own childhood, that times are constantly changing, normalcy keeps evolving, and enlightenment is heightened. Parenting, mostly guided by modeling one’s childhood, can sometimes allow bias, and suppress our ability to empathize with the changing times.

By restricting our children, we are restricting ourselves too

As parents, our childhood is the favored contributing factor, and in most cases, the ultimatum, in our approaches. We fail to understand that by restricting our children, we are restricting ourselves too. We are meant to be parents, and they are meant to be children, but we are also created to spiritually connect with them, as people closest to our reality.

My rational judgement keeps guiding me to understand why raising my children cannot be discriminately dependent on my childhood.

For one, they are raised in a multitude of cultures and communities. The challenge of adapting to these different cultures and communities, is inevitable.They have to balance a fusion of their ethnic African, African-American, European-American and blended families’ cultural uniqueness, values and realities, all while facing an ever-growing technologically advanced society. And, undoubtedly, the frightening unknown of the world we live in.

As parents, we need to be understanding and accepting

In the middle of forming their identities, they have to maintain and forcefully integrate their true selves into this woven piece of different environmental influences. Given how times are ever changing, we as parents need to understand and accept that utilizing the best of our childhood to guide them is just as important as celebrating their successes, and guiding them through their challenges and struggles in adopting and adapting, as they journey through living their own childhood, making their own memories, and creating their own values in the process.

In a world growing in diversity by the minute, the African proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is one we will constantly learn, and collectively incorporate into our lives.

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