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Changing the variables to produce a better result for the Black Family
As a society; parents, children, brothers & sisters, the best we can do is increase the probability of success. There is not an absolute definitive formula that if practiced, will guarantee that a child will grow up ‘successfully’; there is a combination of social and economic factors that can lead the best of children to a life of violence and/or drugs. Thus, we can only try to increase the probabilities of a positive result by trying to control the variables. Especially in the Black community, it is very important that we try to control these variables as too many of our youth slip through the cracks.
Spending time with your kids and doing family activities
Sounds pretty basic, and it is – just doing communal activities such as watching TV together, grocery shopping, cooking, walking, can yield positive effects on youth. In today’s climate, we are all busy – some working multiple jobs to get by, but even just making a phone call to see what is going on with your kids can foster a relationship of warmth and dialogue; and the more dialogue that you have with your children, the better chances are that they will come to you for guidance when something is troubling them in their lives. As the parent, you must be an authoritative figure, but you must not always exercise your title with an iron fist – yelling/screaming will not develop a relationship of open dialogue; as the child will most likely not be willing to discuss their problems with you. Parents must be open to dialogue and discourse or face a child that is unwilling to share and open up.
Positive reinforcement is an increase in the future frequency of a behavior due to the addition of a stimulus immediately following a response. Giving (or adding) food to a dog contingent on its sitting is an example of positive reinforcement. Essentially this means ‘reward youth’, when they do good, it may be best to show a tangible appreciation (if possible, like a gift or item), or at least an intangible appreciation such as accolades and praise. The common argument I heard growing up for when I do good is ‘well, that is what you should be doing’, which has some merits, but rewarding youth for their performance is a preparation for the real work world – where bonuses are giving to those that perform well. As with the real work world, once a person receives a bonus, they will try hard to maintain their behavior that led them to that award; thus, promising your kids a specific video game or outing for their performance may be advantageous – and if they fail to meet the achieved requirement, still supplement them with something that is appropriate, because you do not want them to feel resentment towards you.
As with everything, from time to time we may have problems with our significant others, work, school, or just the mundane annoyances of life, but that doesn’t mean that we have to displace our frustrations to our children. Displacement operates in the mind unconsciously, and involves emotions, ideas, or wishes being transferred from their original object to a more acceptable substitute. It is most often used to allay anxiety. That safe ‘acceptable substitute’ is usually our children, as they become the recipient for our frustrations.
When reading the statistics on the black family, the numbers are alarming and troubling – as a whole, we all need to be better educated on familial relationships techniques and inner dynamics. Being aware of such will hopefully lead to better independent and familial functioning for both the child and the parent. Now for some of the rough statistics, ‘rough’ as in ‘bad’:
The net worth of a black fmaily in America is $5988 versus a white family of $88651
9 million Blacks in the U.S. are in poverty.
U.S. Black women outnumbered Black males in every decade of the Twentieth Century.
White Males with a high-school diploma are just as likely to have a job and tend to earn just as much as black males with college degrees
Approximately 60% of children in public kinship care are African American.
45% of Black Children live below the poverty line, compared with 16% of White children
Although African American youth account for 15% of the U.S.
population, they account for 26% of juvenile arrests, 31% of delinquency referrals to juvenile court, 44% of juveniles detained in delinquency cases, 40% in residual placements, 46% of juveniles transferred to adult criminal court, and 58% admitted to state prisons.
African American students account for 14.8% of the general population for the 6 through 21 age group, compared with 20.2% of the special education population in all disabilities. 18.3% are diagnosed with a specific learning disability, 34.3% are diagnosed with mental retardation and 26.4% are diagnosed as being emotionally disturbed.
Although African American youth account for only 15% of the
juvenile population, more African American juveniles than white
juveniles were murdered between 1988 and 1995.
Knowledge is power …
.:: LiBM ::.