Helpful Guidelines for Black Boys returning to school this Fall 2015.
Kirkland Vaughans Phd & Warren Spielberg Phd Authors, The Psychology of Black Boys- Two Volumes, Praeger Books. Available on Amazon.
Listen to the interview with George Kilpatrick Inspiration for the Nation:
1. Parents should watch with their child and discuss (not lecture) the YouTube film entitled, “Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival “
2. Parents especially Fathers, Stepfathers, Boyfriends, and Uncles might also discuss racist experiences in which they felt threatened, humiliated, or helpless and both the effective and damaging ways they coped with them
3. Discuss with the child, how in retrospect they imagine they may have been able to improve upon the outcome of that experience.
4. Explore with the child, his own similar experiences they may have had in the past and what was the outcome? How might the outcome be improved upon?
5. In that past situation can they recognize the triggers for when they began to feel flooded or overcome with anger, panic, fear, or shame.
6. Practice that same scenario but this time as those same feelings begin to emerge, take 4 deep breaths before speaking or responding, what difference do they notice?
7. In the past have they discussed this incident with anybody else ? If so, was it helpful, if not, why not? If they were afraid to discuss these experiences ,why?
8. You need to remember your support system. Name them now. Know that your parents can access additional support when needed.
9. Above all, you Must Remember, it is not your job to resolve conflicts with teachers or administrators of your school. That is the job of an adult and that is why you have parents.
10. Develop a written academic set of goals for the upcoming school year with your parents. Review your progress by mid semester to determine if you are on the right course and if not, determine what is impeding your progress, as well as a corrective plan of action. You and your parents should sign and keep separate copies of this document.
11. Do not hesitate to ask for additional help in school. Parents be alert that your child may need additional help. Your school or church will have a list of resources for tutoring and or supplementary education programs. This help is extremely IMPORTANT.
12. Parents: you must take an active role in your child’s school. Do not be intimidated by school personnel. You are entitled to request meetings beyond open school nights. Lobby your school for weekend parent/ teacher programs.
These guidelines are not meant to be encompassing but are designed to facilitate a dialogue among Black boys and their parents about the painful issues or racism. It is a common practice among traumatized and oppressed people to not have discussions about their personal painful experiences. The result of this are very powerful subtle but unintended communications like shameful experiences may not be discussed at home, you are literally on your own in learning how to come to terms with these painful experiences. This silence also constitutes a major channel for the intergenerational transmission of trauma. These conversations are the first step in protecting your child against such. It is also very important to note while we are particularly focused on Black boys, we also believe that Black girls are also in harm’s way as a result of our racist society and that they can also greatly benefit from these guidelines.