You’ve seen it before right? A young child running freely through your local Walmart or CVS without a care in the world, wreaking havoc on any and everything that they come in contact with. An embarrassed parent usually can be found somewhere in the vicinity shouting empty threats hoping their child will obey their wishes. Many people will read this and think… What’s wrong with allowing my child a little freedom? Kids will be kids…right? No!!! Wrong!! For people outside of the Melanated community, it may be suitable to allow your children to run around in public places with no regard for the rules and regulations of the environment, but for us, that will never be acceptable behavior.
Let me explain, if you pay close attention to the climate in America as it relates to race relation, it’s just as fractured as its ever been. It seems as if every other day I’m reading a news story regarding the harsh punishment and/or treatment a melanated man, women or child received based on the perceived idea that they were doing something wrong. When in most cases they were merely attempting to live there lives like all other citizens of this country. This is something we definitely must face as black people, anything we do can be criminalized and this goes for our children as well.
Unfortunately, we must parent our children a little differently because of this. Teaching your adolescent child how to conduct themselves in public places will set the framework for an adult that knows how to do the same. It’s important to note that this process starts in the home, if you allow your children to run around your house without structure nothing will stop them from doing the same thing when you go other places.
So, creating activities that require your children to sit down and focus will make your job as a parent that much easier. If you’re consistent, over time this will become a routine and you won’t have a problem getting them to sit down wherever you go. The younger you start this process the better. In closing, spend the necessary time teaching your children there is a time and a place for everything, If you don’t, there is an unjust system that is ready and willing to do the job for you.