By Mia Barber
It’s important to always remember that as a parent you are a learner and teacher. I am always amazed at my daughter’s ability to process information and apply herself. After making it to the finals in her school’s spelling bee – I was amazed at how my daughter constructed words based upon her studying. Words I couldn’t even pronounce or had heard before, even as an adult. While she placed second, my daughter was still happy with her performance. “It was a nail biter,” I said to her. I then let her know that I admired her for studying and applying herself. She responded, “Admire me? Parents can’t admire kids.” I said, “Yes they can. You are a human being and have special unique things about you. So, yes, I do admire your work ethic and appreciate you sharing your talents.” She cocked her head to the side, raised her eyebrows and said “Wow.” As a parent of a young Black teen, I hope my exchange with her only strengthens her understanding of self and ability to recognize how important she is to me, her family, and the world.
I believe that by working early with our children with language rich materials and by affirming their uniqueness, brilliance and power, we help them become positive young adults who will surely become assets to our community.