Posts filed under ‘societal rules’

It Doesn’t Matter if You’re Black or White

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Let’s take an honest look at an ugly topic – RACE. There I said it! Not just race itself, but what happens when we allow race to permeate our thoughts, feelings and our perceptions. Think about your son or, or if you’re younger and sans kids – your brother. Did it ever occur to you that your child (brother) is held responsible or labeled because of his race? Let me give you an example. When you are walking down the street and you see a black boy walking in your direction, do you a) Cross the street; b) Clutch your purse tightly or c) Continue walking without fear? Or, what would be your first thought if you heard that an altercation occurred between your child and another student? Would you assume it was the other child’s fault? How about if the other child was a black child? What would be your assumptions?

When my son was three years old, his daycare provider (a friendly, white woman) took care of him and several other kids, including her own. We lived in the same neighborhood and our older children attended school together. She was fanatical about cleanliness and that was okay because who wants their child in a pig sty. She loved her family and believed in God. Important points for me! We were off to a great relationship! At least that was what I thought. One day I after work, I picked up my son and she told me that he bit her son. What? Biting was not new to me because my son bit another child at the previous daycare provider. I was very concerned because biting is aggressive act and I needed to know what was going on in my young son’s mind that made him think biting was acceptable. My husband and I would address those concerns with him once we got home. What I wasn’t prepared for were the next words out of my daycare provider’s mouth. She said that he was an aggressive kid and that he would probably grow up and kill someone someday! WHAT?!? At the previous daycare provider, her toddler son (white) started the biting phenomenon and bit our son. I’m not sure if he was punished, but one thing I know, his mother did not decide that he was aggressive and would grow up and one day kill someone. As a matter of fact, she apologized for his behavior, kind of laughed and said “boys will be boys”.  Two different kids, same behavior was judged differently. The only difference is that one kid was black (African American) and one was white. boy-white

More recently I was talking about parenting to a business partner of mine who has three sons. Her sons go to predominantly white schools and the youngest tends to show his feelings (good or bad) though facial expressions. He has not learned the art of masking those feelings yet. In any case, her son’s teacher told him to stop doing something and he continued to do it. She told him a second time and he made a face and said okay. She wrote him up and called his mother. Okay! When my business partner asked her son why he didn’t stop when he was instructed, he told her he wasn’t ready to stop. He also told her that Johnnie (white) did the same thing but he was not told to stop. Now you can spin that anyway you like. Should both sons be admonished equally? Of course, but what is happening in many classrooms is that behavior is viewed differently and punishments, suspensions, and expulsions are more severe for children particularly boys of color. WHY IS THAT? And WHAT can we do about it?

Race may not be an issue in countries where people physically look the same. In those instances you are most likely judged by socio-economic standards like who your parents are and whether you have money or don’t. In this country, the United States, race is an out of control issue that is based in fear and needs to be addressed personally as well as societally.  In Michael Jackson’s song – Black or White, I have to say – it does matter if you’re black or white. You ARE judged by the color of your skin and not necessarily the content of your character. Isn’t that a shame…

C. Lynn Williams
Author & Speaker

http://www.clynnwilliams.com

cgwwbooks@yahoo.com

September 13, 2013 at 11:43 am 5 comments

Where are You Putting Your Trash?

Please tell me What it is that makes a person drop trash out of a car or out of a window? No home training you say? I don’t believe it I answer

Is it that it is no longer a crime to “litter”? Maybe a $100 ticket would lessen these offenses? Or maybe as a child, when you dropped something on the floor at home, your mother picked it up for you, so you think the “street maid” will pick up your your stuff? In Chicago it’s an epidemic. Earlier this summer I watched a guy empty the trunk of his car and place the papers at the curb.

Being the assertive, Save-the-Earth person that I am, I marched out of my car and asked him why he was littering my neighborhood. He apologized and picked up his trash and placed it in the nearest garbage can. I’ve also found soiled diapers by the curb. Isn’t that what diaper bags are for?

Now if I can just catch those dog owners who allow their pets to defecate on my lawn without picking it up! Mayor Emanuel, we need enforcement of that littering law.

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Just my ordinary thoughts

C. Lynn Williams
http://www.clynnwilliams.com
Preorder my upcoming book: Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES https://raisingyourdaughterpresale.eventbrite.com/

August 31, 2013 at 4:37 am 3 comments

We Choose People Like Our Parents

Do you believe we choose mates like our parents? My daughter certainly thinks so, and I am really wondering if parents are the reasons young women in our communities to go awry, south, crazy, whatever phrase you want to attach here.

Here’s the story: I am related or mentoring at least five women over the age of 20, who are pregnant and unmarried. Two of the young women I have known all of their lives. Their parents are hard-working people. Well their mother is hard-working; dad is retired now, but was always what my grandmother would say – ‘nickel slick’. Nickel slick is someone who knows the rules, but doesn’t always abide by the rules. These girls were raised properly, taught to respect themselves and yet seemed to follow the path of their girlfriends (getting pregnant) and not their mother. Why?

Daily I hear that social norms are changing, and marriage is passé. It’s no longer necessary to be married to have children. One of the young ladies felt that way long before she got pregnant. While I completely disagree with that line of thinking, let’s dig deeper to get at the root of the issue. Why are our daughters feeling that they have to raise children by themselves, with no husband and many times, no boyfriend? In African American communities, “Non-Hispanic black men and women aged 25-44 have lower percentages who have ever been married than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic persons of the same age.” – See more at: http://marriage.laws.com/marriage-statistics#sthash.ydfVSfgd.dpuf. According to Dr. Boyce Watkins, “black women aren’t getting married because many of the available black men are incarcerated.” http://tiny.cc/mtyjzw.

I believe the issue has to do with how we are raising our daughters. I talk about it in my new book: Raising Your Daughter: the Joys, Tears & Hormones! It’s one thing to expect your daughter to conduct herself as a lady, wait until marriage to have sex, and allow men to respect her as the beautiful woman that she is. Is that the example that she sees growing up? Is that how you conducted yourself? Was her father (your husband) faithful to you? Did he treat you kindly and respectfully? Today, many women are starved for love & attention. Maybe you don’t have a relationship with your father. Maybe you didn’t know your father. Maybe he didn’t tell you he loved you. So, the first ‘nice’ comment you receive from a guy, you have sex with him and you believe you’re in love. Major mistake! And not a mistake you want your daughter to have to learn from. Teach your daughter to have dates where nothing is required of her but her company. Matter of fact, teach her to be selective, have many dates, and decide if you like what your date is talking about. Get to know him, his family and his background before you become intimate.

Having a child should not be a ‘Rights of Passage’ for your young daughter. I guess that means you have to do a better job of picking your mate too.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parenting Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter: the Joys, Tears & Hormones! Available in late summer, 2013

July 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm 1 comment

Racial Differences When Raising Sons

If you have raised or are raising a son, this article’s for you!  asian_mom_son hispanic-mother-and-son-studying-isolated-on-a-white-backgroundTrayvon-Martin_hoodie2_black son

I have a series of questions for you. The first question is: Are there differences between raising a son that is Black versus White, versus Hispanic versus Asian? Would your answer be yes or would you answer no? I would answer yes. As a Black mother raising Black boys, society’s rules are different when it comes to my sons. If my sons get stopped for a traffic violation, they are more likely to be harassed. If they are in unfamiliar cars or neighborhoods, they are more likely to be stopped. If either son makes the mistake of using drugs, he has a higher chance of being convicted than his White counterparts. As author Marita Golden says in her book, Saving Our Sons, “…there is always the fear that he will make a fatal detour, be seduced, or be hijacked by a White or Black cop, or a young predator, or a Nazi skinhead, or his own bad judgment…”

Does a Hispanic or Asian mother face the same concerns when raising her son? Quite possibly, but it’s how society’s rules and the legal system handles them that can make the difference in how that son is handled. Stay tuned for part 2 in this series on racial differences when raising sons.

 

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parenting Coach
http://www.clynnwilliams.com

 

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter – Joys, Tears & Hormones! available in summer, 2013

June 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm 1 comment


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