This is an continuation from the part one of our 15 Suggestions For Raising Intelligent Black Children. Education is still the great equalizer in this country and world for black people, so it is a must we maintain a laser like focus on giving our children the best opportunities we can to advance their education and intellect.
Let’s continue with the list.
Allow Them To Struggle
Most parents tend to over do parenting by doing too much for their child. Any time you see them struggling to open a jar, we jump in and do it for them. If they are struggling with a math problem, we show them the short cuts. STOP!
Young black children need to create their own track record of running into problems, struggling for a bit, then figuring it out and overcoming it. This will give them confidence moving forward in their educational and learning experience. You must realize they are going to encounter things they cannot solve in 2.5 seconds.
And this is what stumps most children and causes them to give up. If they can’t solve something quickly, they assume they are not smart enough to do it and stop. You don’t want this for your children so let them struggle to find solutions and build confidence along the way. They will need it.
Show Love & Provide Security
It is very import for black children to feel love and safety. It makes them feel appreciated and in a place where they can be themselves and not be judged. It gives them the desire to learn more and more.
Some scientist even say love, affection and security positively impacts the growth of the brain in children. This is something I wholeheartedly believe and cringe when I see black fathers being overly tough on young children because they want to ensure they grow up to become “Real Men”. Love and affection is an important part of every person, man, woman and child, so be sure to give it liberally.
I cannot express enough how important it is to have structure, rules, boundaries in the life of your child. Although they may resist it at first, if you persist and be consistent, they will fall in line, adhere and appreciate you for it.
Structure allows young children the opportunity to predict their day. They know what is coming next and it empowers them. If you think about it, children are always asking what are we doing next, what’s for dinner, what time are we leaving? They want to feel like they have some sort of control over their day. Structure gives this to them and it is wonderful for the development of intelligent black children.
Demand High Expectations
Bottom line, most people hit or come near what they are aiming for in life, education and goals. Therefore, you should set the expectation high so your child understands they must achieve more. Just getting by isn’t going to get it. Besides, most children are born with an innate sense of achievement. They want to win. Nurture this feeling so they can carry with them every where they go and be sure to support them regularly so they can achieve their high expectations.
After a conversation on structure, you might think this is a bit out of place, but it isn’t. You have to have order in the day of your child, but allow for them to be children. Allow them to think outside of the box, creatively. Don’t shut them down because they want to color the trees blue and the sky green. Allow their imagination to soar to new heights. Ask them why they selected those colors getting them to think about their decisions and actions. We call this the start of critical thinking which is a skill they will need in the future.
Teach Them Chess Early
We wrote an entire article on why we feel chess is a MUST to be taught to every black child, so I won’t go into the details here about it. Make sure you read the article. Break out the chess board and teach your children this mental wrestling.
Don’t Follow State Standards
Newsflash: Our educational system SUCKS! There is no other way to put it. This shouldn’t be a shock to you, so you understand if you are following their educational standards by age, then your child is going to get destroyed when they come face to face with other cultures around the world.
If you are going to use the State educational standards, then you need to think two to three years down the line If they are saying 2nd graders need to learn this, then you need be teaching that to your preschooler or kindergartner. If you don’t, your child will forever be behind.
Be Involved Throughout Their Education (selecting schools, teachers and holding them accountable)
WE NEED #15 FILLED
I know this isn’t a complete list of ideas to create intelligent children, which is why I’m hoping you will help me out. Add your suggestions and tips in the comment section. Let’s see if we can help give the black community a blue print for raising intelligent children.