What Successful PARENTS do
Dr. Deborah’s Thoughts
Successful parenting requires more than providing physical needs for your children. Every parent wants the best for their child and there are some things we can definitely do as parents to make our lives more peaceful.
First, Believe you can do it: Believe that no matter how you grew up you can still have a happy and healthy family. Being optimistic means being positive and having the mindset to know that even if things don’t look like they are getting better, they eventually will be better. Parents, we need a growth mindset understanding that each day, we have been given is an opportunity to grow and become our best selves.
Second, Build your self-control muscles: Look, I get it children have a way of working on our last nerve. They organically know how to push our buttons until we have orbited into a space that we didn’t need to go if we had taken the time to settle down, breathe, meditate on being grateful and respond to the situation rather than reacting to it.
Third, Be a Safe Haven: Our children need to feel comfortable speaking to us about any and everything. Even if you are a bit uncomfortable. Start at a young age allowing them the opportunity to speak openly to you about their fears, doubts, anxiety, or even shame. Let them know that you will be present in the time of trouble and that you, like God will never leave or forsake their trust.
Fourth, Reflect on your own childhood: You want to do this so that you are not Lording over them or speaking from the mountaintop. I think we give our children “EVERYTHING” except our experiences. Let them know that they are not the first ones to make mistakes or to fail at something. However, they will be the first in the family if they don’t get back up once they fall down. Motivate them to keep trying to do their best without making them feel like they have to be PERFECT!
Fifth: Don’t parent alone. No man or woman is an island. We are better when we work together with other parents. We can learn from their lessons, stories, and experiences so that we don’t repeat the challenges of the past. We can strive to become that group of courageous parents whose mission is to raise compassionate children with Purpose, Perseverance, and Patience.
Finally, Do not Spank no matter what: It is Independence day on July 4th and I want to challenge you to become an independent parent who will decolonize spanking. We have carried so many practices from slavery as black parents that are not serving our children well. You have seen so many instances in this country where people are dehumanizing our black and brown bodies, why then must you continue to do so by spanking your children. Yes, I know what the book of Proverbs says but when you study the life of Solomon’ and his “wise sayings” you will see that for all his talking, it didn’t work out to well for his children.
Dr. Deborah L. Tillman