All Articles Tagged "black parents"

Will Spanking Your Daughter Sexually Confuse Her In The Future?

March 24th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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spanking your daughter

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As we evolve, there are certain things our parents did in raising us, that we realize might not be the best modus operandi in raising our own children. You already know, I’m talking about spanking. The debate around the subject has been going strong for years. In the Black community there’s a long history of spanking or even beating our children. Some tie it back to the Bible’s “Spare the rod, spoil the child” philosophy. Some believe that if we don’t beat our children, he or she will be beaten and maybe even killed by the White man. While others believe our tendency to spank and even beat our children is directly linked to the treatment we received when we were enslaved, throughout the diaspora. The traditions have merely been passed down from generation to generation.

In recent years though, people, even those in the Black community have spoken out against corporal punishment for children.

Recently rapper Talib Kweli spoke out about his abhorrence of disciplining children in this way.

He went on to talk about the topic for days, calling spanking lazy, representing a loss of patience with their children, un-nurturing etc. At one point, he called it domestic violence. For people to hit a defenseless child, is to him, akin to a partner hitting another in a romantic relationship. Essentially, his philosophy is if you love your children, violence should never be a part of the way you raise or discipline them. This discussion went on for a while, with plenty of back and forth from followers, most of whom were spanking advocates.

And while people might not have expected to hear this viewpoint from Kweli, it’s not too far from anything we’ve heard from others who are anti-spanking.

But today, writer and correspondent Stacey Patton, who is working on a book called “Spare The Kids: Why Whooping Children Won’t Save Black America,” shared her thoughts on spanking and why it’s particularly dangerous to spank girl children. In addition to the emotional and psychological damage people have claimed it causes, Patton suggests that it also presents a psychosexual threat.

Here’s what she posted on her Facebook page.

It’s an interesting concept to say the least. As someone who was spanked as a child, only by my mother, I can’t say that I ever felt sexually stimulated in the process; but I do agree that the behind is so close to the clitoris and vagina that it can work as a sexual stimulant. Some would argue that those organs only come into play once puberty sets in; but how can we really be sure? If children start exploring their genitals for pleasure, as early as toddlerhood, who’s to say what they’re feeling. Most of us aren’t asking our children what sensations they experience as they’re being spanked. And even if we were, many children might not have the language to accurately express that.

I don’t have children; and while I would like to think that I won’t hit my future kids, I can’t say what type of challenges parenting may present. And while I’ve always felt like hitting children who are virtually defenseless is hypocritical, especially when you teach your children not to be violent; there’s also something about this theory that makes a lot of sense to me. And serves as yet another, very logical case against hitting children, especially as many of us were hit.

What do you think about Patton’s post? Does the theory make sense to you? Does it change or reaffirm your thoughts about corporeal punishment for children?

Poor Baby: Learning How To Maintain Your Child’s Hair When It’s Nothing Like Your Own…

July 13th, 2012 - By Jouelzy
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This article is for you if you’ve thought or said the following things:

“I have a child with a head full of hair and I don’t know what to do with it!”

“Oh baby, my child’s hair looks nothing like mine, what do I do?”

“Oh baby, my child’s hair is so dry/fine/curly/kinky/thick, I’m just trying to figure out how to keep it healthy!”

Are you a parent who is struggling to figure out how to deal with your child’s hair because they don’t have a similar texture to your own? You’ve mastered the art of your hair and then your bundle of joy comes into the world with a beautiful head of hair that you just can’t figure out. Or maybe you always go to the salon to care for your hair and it’s not a good idea to try and convince your two-year-old to sit still to get their hair done at the salon too. It’s a common problem that plenty of parents face, but I’m here to ease the struggle.

CNN Explores Race in Education

April 4th, 2012 - By Veronica Wells
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The way people grossly underestimate children never ceases to amaze me. Children are people, with brains that develop at a much faster rate than ours. Sure every once in a while they may say things that will catch us off guard but we should never underestimate what they are and are not able to comprehend.

We re-learned this lesson in the clips from CNN’s upcoming special, “Kids On Race: The Hidden Picture.” In this video psychologists and even some of the CNN journalists, including Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brein, spoke with a diverse group of children and even their parents to discuss the issue of race in their schools, in their friendships and in their homes.

Check the video clip below:

The video found that while both children recognize differences in race, black children are more likely to be open and optimistic when it comes to interracial friendships.

Are you surprised about the results from this video?

More on Madame Noire!

Does Colorism Play a Part in the Adoption of Black Children?

March 8th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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African-American children make up 30 percent of the 500,000 children currently in the American foster care system, despite being only 14 percent of the U.S. population. On top of being over-represented, these youths are less frequently selected for adoption compared to other kids.

Could the skin tone of black children play a role in whether they are chosen — especially if the family considering them is black? Mardie Caldwell, founder and CEO of the Lifetime Adoption agency, says this is true — and that this bias is exclusive to African-Americans.

“We’ve found that many African-American families have definite preferences for the type of children they want, whether it’s newborns [or older children], and also in terms of their physical appearance,” Caldwell told theGrio. The author of seven books on the adoption process, including her latest, Called to Adoption, suggested that the finicky tastes of black families made private agencies reluctant to work with them.

“A lot of organizations and other adoption professionals have actually stopped doing African-American adoptions. We’re one of the few centers, Lifetime Adoptions, that does African-American and biracial adoptions, and we’re one of the largest in the United States,” she explained. “When families come to us they will actually give us preferences and say ‘we want to stick with a child that looks like us, and we’re lighter-skinned or we’re darker-skinned.’ It does make it difficult at times.”

By contrast, “if we have families that may be biracial — one partner is Caucasian and the other is African-American — we can come to them with any black child, and they’re more open,” Caldwell said. “The same is true with Caucasian families, which is why you’re seeing more Caucasians adopting children of color, because they really don’t care about the shade.”

Read the rest of the story at


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Most Expensive Black & Brown Celebrity Baby Pictures

January 16th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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Magazines, blogs and websites have been known to pay a pretty penny to get the first, exclusive pictures of a celebrity’s newborn. But more often than not, these publications aren’t chasing after celebrity babies of color.

With the arrival of  Beyonce and Jay-Z’ bundle, all of that is about the change. But before Ms. Blue gets her first spread, check out the brown babies who paved the way for her at Black 

More on Madame Noire!

Poor Child: 5 Hood-ish Baby Names That Take Creativity Too Far

November 30th, 2011 - By Renay Alize
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Naming your child is an important task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is the name people will call your little bundle for the rest of his or her life…Unless it’s so terrible that they have to change it– like in the case of 9 year old New Zealand girl named Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. (Don’t worry the court ordered that she become a ward of the state until she could legally change it.)

Most people, black people included, take the power to determine what a child will be called very seriously. Black people, always known for setting trends, have a legacy of naming their children something unique (if not the word “Unique” itself). There’s history behind the tradition though. In the 1960s, black parents were deciding to do away with the traditional, European names in favor of celebrating African tradition or creating and blending their own new sounds.

So while we know the history behind such “interesting” names, there are still some that just give us pause. Check out this list of names that just do way too much and not enough at the same time.

Is Spanking in Our Community a Residual Effect of Slavery?

November 11th, 2011 - By Brande Victorian
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A new study has confirmed what black people always joke about when it comes to raising our kids: we will spank that behind. A new study from the University of Texas at Austin shows that 89% of African Americans spank their children and are more likely to whip, paddle, and use other physical punishments for discipline.

Black parents aren’t really much further ahead of other ethnic groups in terms of their use of corporal punishment. Numbers from the study show that 80% of Hispanic parents, 79% of Caucasian parents, and 73% of Asian parents have spanked their kids. Still, a host of explanations has been offered as to why this practice is more common among black parents, including the idea that spanking is a tradition “left by the brutality of slavery,” according to a CNN report. Other experts say spanking among black parents is rooted in fear that their child may become disobedient. Data suggesting lower income and less educated black people are more likely to physically punish their children serves to paint a very clear picture of how this practice is viewed by non-African Americans.

Some say there is a fine line between beating and spanking a child, but I think the distinction is quite clear. To propose that black parents spank because they were exposed to beatings as slaves and passed down the tradition, suggests that black parents are regularly beating their children and I don’t believe that to be the case. The mention of poor and uneducated African Americans resorting to spanking also draws images of inarticulate parents who aren’t able to verbally instruct their children without laying hands on them.

If black parents are using physical punishment because somewhere in their lineage an ancestor was whipped, I need to know why significantly more than half of Hispanic, Caucasian, and Asian parents also use corporal punishment as part of their parenting strategy. It’s unfair to frame this practice among the black community under the guise of a history of societal oppression. Just because in this day and age parents come under harsh scrutiny for merely popping a child’s hand in the grocery store doesn’t mean we need to look at spanking as a black issue that needs to be fixed. The focus on black parents appears to be just another way to scapegoat us as violent people.

Do you think it’s fair to suggest black parents spank their children more because of the scars of slavery? If so, what is the driving force behind Hispanic, Caucasian, and Asian parents’ use of corporal punishment?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.


“Don’t Ask Me That!” Questions Your Child Might Ask at the Exact Wrong Moment

September 14th, 2011 - By Christelyn Karazin
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Our children know us better than we know ourselves. Unless we are psychotic or capricious, they know what makes us mad, happy, satisfied and downright disgusted.  They also know how to push our buttons, and have memories like elephants for stuff we would rather they’d forget. Ironically, they can’t seem to remember to take out the trash, change their underwear, bring all their books to school, so they call you in the middle of the day to just drop everything and deliver them.

Years back, I remember asking my mother a very inappropriate question, “Did you and Daddy have sex before you got married?”  She paused and said something that burned a hole in my memory: “I needed to try what I was buying.”  With that mental picture emblazoned in my mind like a thousand not-so-splendid suns, in retrospect, I wish I’d never asked.

Now with four kids of my own, I know my daughter might feel, at some point, comfortable enough to ask the same question.  Saying I was a virgin won’t fly; she was born before I met my husband.  It won’t work on the others, either.

Since I’ll be faced with the same dilemmas, I’ve prepared a quick-and-dirty list of possible questions and good answers to shut things down before they know too much.

To Spank or Not to Spank: A Black or White Issue?

August 15th, 2011 - By madamenoire
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The New York Times recently featured two Madame Noire contributors in its Room for Debate discussion on spanking and whether or not corporal punishment is a racial issue. LaShuan Williams says “Corporal punishment has long been an acceptable, common form of discipline among African-Americans. Indeed, spanking is as much a part of popular black culture as fried chicken and Kool-Aid.” Alrighty then.

Toya Sharee doesn’t quite agree with that view.  “Black parents today are beginning to recognize more and more that every tantrum can’t be controlled with a time-out or a spanking, and that discipline should be tailored to specific situations for each individual child,” she says in the Room for Debate piece.

Do you think most black parents think they are supposed to spank kids? Do you believe in spanking?