“Growing up in poverty was discouraging for me as a child! I felt as though I was trapped and this was just how life was.
Why was I born into poverty?
Why was I dealt such low cards in life?
As I grew older, I struggled to find answers to these hard questions until I came upon this famous quote from Oprah Winfrey:
“What you get in life is what you have the courage to go after”
These compelling words gave me the aha moment I needed. I decided to ensure my future children would not experience my same impoverished fate.
When I became a mother, it was very important for me to instill confidence, wisdom, and a strong work ethic into my daughter Makinna.
Learning and education were very important in our household. When she made an A or B it was a very big deal. When she made a C that was also a very big deal, and she learned quickly that she did not want to make C’s.
I raised her with the vision to be grounded in her faith and to understand that with God as her foundation, all things are possible.
Over the years, it became much more difficult to keep Makinna focused on her education and making the best possible grades. There were many distractions during her high school years!
It felt as though we were at odds, and I was a mean mother, but I had a vision for her future, so I did not give in to the guilt that I was being too mean.
Communication was very important for maintaining a positive mother/daughter relationship. I made it clear to her that I was here to guide and hold high expectations for her as her mom, life coach and mentor. I was not trying to be her friend!
Makinna is now a senior in high school, enrolled in the nursing program, and will soon be graduating with honors. When she graduates she will be a certified nursing assistant, and is already working in her field part-time after school. She will enroll in the nursing program at an HBCU in the fall of 2024. As she planned her journey, I was there to guide her along the way toward the vision.”
In the intricate dance of parent-child relationships, the connection should ideally be a seamless tapestry of love, joy, and embrace.
However, as life unfolds and circumstances change, the dynamics between parents and children can evolve into something less idyllic.
The bonds that once seemed clear can become blurred with distractions and external influences: social media, music videos, television shows, and the presence of gangs and peer pressure. Parents can find themselves appearing as adversaries in their children’s eyes,
Hold strong to the vision you created for your child to overcome these hurdles. They still need your guidance and love (even tough love).
Keep in mind, when looking for parental answers, I want to affirm that you are unquestionably an outstanding parent.
7 tips to help you strengthen your positive connection with your children
1. Understanding external influences
Acknowledge the impact of external factors on your child’s perceptions and values. Social media, music, and television can shape their worldview; sometimes conflicting with parental guidance. Recognizing these influences is the first step in addressing the challenges.
2. Open communication
Foster open and honest communication with your child. Create a safe space for them to express their thoughts and experiences. Understanding their perspectives will enable you to navigate your conversations more effectively and help maintain a strong connection.
3. Balancing authority with empathy
Striking a balance between being an authority figure and showing empathy is very important. While setting boundaries is essential, demonstrating understanding and compassion towards your child’s struggles will strengthen your relationship. (The I SAY WHO I AM Book Series supports your child’s inner greatness. #SelfLoveIsTaught)
4. Remaining resilient
Parenting is a journey filled with ups and downs. During challenging times when your role may be questioned, cultivate resilience. Trust that your consistent guidance and boundaries will provide a stable foundation for your child, even if they don’t fully appreciate it at the moment.
5. Being a positive role model
Demonstrate the values and behaviors you want your child to embody. Your actions speak louder than words, and being a positive role model will help counteract some of the negative external influences that may be affecting your child.
6. Seeking support
Parenting is a shared responsibility, and seeking support from friends, family, or parenting communities is invaluable. Share experiences, seek advice, and gain insights from others who have faced similar challenges. It truly takes a village to raise children and comfort the parents (SMILE).
7. The reward of your guidance
While it may feel like an uphill battle, remember that your dedication and guidance will not go unnoticed. In the end, the strong foundation you provide will shape your child’s character, values, and resilience.
The tough moments, though challenging, contribute to their personal growth and development. Your role as a parent or caregiver is significant, and the impact you have on any child’s life is undeniably influential.