Mother and author, A.Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez, recently wrote about why she rejected the tough discipline that has traditionally been a hallmark of black parenting.
In a follow up article with the Washington Post, Trina Greene Brown, founder of Parenting for Liberation, was invited to share her response. Here is what Trina had to share:
Raising my son in the black Baptist church, I often heard the common biblical reference of discipline: “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” which implied that failure to discipline will lead children to unruly behavior. I felt this ever-present unspoken critique of parents like myself who made a commitment to nonviolent parenting. Unfortunately, over time, I began to buckle under the pressure of how a black mother was supposed to instill fear and demand the respect of her children. I began adopting “tough love” approaches that were in direct conflict with my values of equity and justice, particularly as someone who has worked in youth development, fighting for young people to be treated with dignity and respect. I began to question, “Don’t my own children deserve respect?” … Pushing through my shame, acknowledging and atoning with my children, I renewed my commitment to abandon “tough love.”