Have you ever overheard your family talk about all the mistakes you’ve made while learning? I have heard everything I’ve ever done wrong, plus some added things. I think it would have pleased me to listen to my mother praise me after everyone reveled in my mistakes.
Last time I heard her say something about me it went something like, “She swears she grown. I’ll give her grown behind something to be grown about.”
Where did all this brown mother shame brown daughter stem from?
I have an idea. Since slavery, our only goal was to survive or at least that’s how I perceive it. If we’re taught only to survive, then we will do anything necessary to survive. That includes shaming our offspring.
In those days, the shame might’ve sounded something like this:
“Look here missy that daughter of yours shole is looking might plump and ready for use.”
“Massa, that girl ain’t worth a damn. She can’t cook, clean, or do the finer thangs.”
“Alls I have to do is break her in Missy.”
Do you get the picture? I hope so, and if not take a moment to think back on it. If we started years ago shaming our daughters as a protection mechanism, why is it hard to stop today? Because after slavery we didn’t STOP, we kept it going.
Like many of our families during that time, our mother-daughter unions were destroyed. And even though, we are now in the process of them being restored for many—we still have work to do. If you’ve found yourself consistently calling your child out on their mistakes—accept it and let’s address it.
Regularly speaking on the positive aspects of their lives—and the effort they put in enforces consistent positivity—and helps them strengthen their weaknesses. You will also learn more about yourself in the meantime.
Here are a few tips below to rekindling and recreating your relationships in the upcoming weeks:
1. Praise them for doing something they were supposed to in their presence.
2. Talk to them about their day and LISTEN. Ask them what was the best part of their day and then ask why? What did you learn from that situation?
3. Create a schedule that works for both of you to have alone time at least once a month. Allow your child to help you create that 1-on-1 which teaches them how to balance time. Alternatively, someone else they love a great deal can take them out and connect with them.
4. Be patient with yourself and child. Take deep breaths, show affection and smile when you want to frown because it can change your mood around.
5. Set family rules and if they’ve followed offer incentives that include things like: extra play time, favorite meal cook/bought, extra tv time, money).
6. Write them notes and tell them to write one back if you’re uncomfortable with face to face communication. For now, keep a log on how you felt and the child’s pure reaction.
Which one will you use first to recreate your relationship with your child? Tell me in the comments below!