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Empowering Black Children Post-Pandemic: 5 Crucial Strategies for Parents

January 16, 2024

January 16, 2024

Children need encouragement, love, and boundaries to grow and develop into healthy and productive adults. Often, due to the color of their skin, Black children may endure more unnecessary and unwarranted interactions than their non-Black counterparts. Although these circumstances were evident before the COVID-19 global pandemic, issues surrounding social injustice and disparities post-pandemic are still unmistakably evident.

Post pandemic 2 on successful black parenting magazine

The pandemic has worsened many of the psychosocial stressors experienced by adolescents, likely contributing to the increased rates of depression, anxiety, and stress among that population. This finding is especially concerning for Black adolescents because the Black community has been disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of the pandemic (Onyejiaka, 2022). This research validates the external problems that exist for Black children. Parents can help minimize the risk of their child internalizing behaviors, such as those associated with anxiety and depression, which can impair children’s adjustment and ability to function well at home, at school, and in the community (Osofsky and Fitzgerald, 2000). Parents are the first line of defense in protecting the social and emotional welfare of Black children. The five strategies listed will help parents recognize and respond to their children’s social and emotional needs.

02 black 01w8znbw on successful black parenting magazine Let’s Talk…

Having an “open line” for dialogue is critical. Parents should be aware of the impact society has on the daily psyche of Black children. As we see messages in the media that overtly (and covertly) demonstrate the disparities between Black children compared to their white counterparts, parents need to engage in meaningful but often heartbreaking discussions. As parents of Black children, we must become socially and emotionally adept to the ills that our children face and talk to them willingly and honestly. Being “woke” isn’t enough. Parents of Black children in a post-pandemic world must have tough conversations and not shy away from issues that often plague our kids daily. It’s okay not to have all of the answers. Nonetheless, the discussions must take place.

02 black 02m7u7bg on successful black parenting magazine Shhh…

Quieter time is essential for Black children. As parents, we must help block out the daily noise our children constantly endure. Silence the phones. Unplug from the gadgets that we are so accustomed to using. ACTIVE listening is vital for our children. Do we hear what our children are saying? The daily noise, hustle, and bustle that our children encounter is very real. The emotional, social, and spiritual restoration of Black children is essential. Quieter time will help diffuse and dismantle the negative thoughts, actions, and emotions that Black children regularly encounter. Techniques such as focused breathing and journaling are effective methods to help establish a “quieter time.”

Post pandemic on successful black parenting magazine

02 black 03nkaysw on successful black parenting magazine Seek Support…

As parents, sometimes ‘we miss the boat.’ We believe we are the sole protectors of our kids, the only ones who “know what they need.” While this is the case most of the time, it is not a full proof of ideology. Support and protection may also be found in the caring hearts of others. It’s okay to solicit others for support. Children may not have the skills to express their feelings until they reach a boiling point. As parents, there is no shame in utilizing support systems to assist with answering tough questions. Our children need to feel supported post-pandemic as much as possible.

02 black 04r5qyog on successful black parenting magazine Connect Deeper…

A deeper connection is paramount for Black children. A deeper connection involves becoming socially and emotionally attuned to the unique needs of our kids. Black children need this deeper love 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our kids need continuous reassurance, commitment, and, most importantly, time and attention to navigate this journey called life. In a society where Black children seem constantly behind the eight ball in nearly every facet of life, parents must advocate and become aware of what our children need to be fully supported.

02 black 05f4lvnq on successful black parenting magazine It Takes a Village…

This adage is still binding today. Parents, caregivers, neighbors, extended family, and other caring persons are critical to the well-being of Black children. Each person plays a pivotal role in developing strong, competent, and confident children. Parents can’t do it alone. Reaching out to community organizations, nonprofits, or spiritual organizations will help establish and maintain the support our Black children needs.

In navigating the challenges faced by Black children in a post-pandemic society, the importance of these five strategies cannot be overstated. Parents play a pivotal role as the first line of defense in safeguarding the social and emotional welfare of their children. Engaging in open and meaningful dialogues, creating moments of quiet reflection, seeking external support, fostering a deeper connection, and embracing the proverbial village all contribute to a comprehensive approach for nurturing resilient and thriving Black children.

“Parents play a pivotal role as the first line of defense in safeguarding their children’s social and emotional welfare.”

As we strive to empower our children, we must recognize the unique adversities they may encounter daily. The post-pandemic landscape presents challenges and opportunities for parents to instill resilience and self-worth in their children. By actively listening, understanding, and addressing the impact of societal disparities, parents can provide the support necessary for their children to navigate the complexities of life.

Moreover, the need for a collaborative effort cannot be understated. It truly takes a village, encompassing parents, caregivers, neighbors, extended family, and community organizations, to create an environment where Black children can flourish. By actively involving various stakeholders, we contribute to a collective commitment to the well-being of Black children, fostering a sense of community and shared responsibility.

In conclusion, these strategies serve as a roadmap for parents dedicated to the holistic development of their Black children. By implementing these approaches, we address the immediate challenges presented by the post-pandemic society and lay the foundation for a future where Black children can thrive emotionally, socially, and academically. The journey may be complex, but investing in our children’s well-being is an investment in a brighter and more equitable future for all.


AUTHOR

Shannon R. Howell

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