A Word of Encouragement for Single Mothers of Black Males
I had a parent stop me during dismissal the Friday before Mother’s Day. She is very concerned about the welfare of her son. He is not progressing the way he should, and I suspect he has a disability. He tries hard, his mother is the best of the best, and I can tell that she works with him every day to keep him on the right track academically and socially. We talked about what was wrong for about 10 minutes straight.
When I began to discuss things he was doing well, she started to cry. She interrupted me, saying she did not think she was doing an adequate job. She was second-guessing herself as a parent. (I know as a teacher, I have a habit of taking on responsibilities that do not belong to me.) But I told her she was doing an excellent job. I reassured her that her energy, effort and time would pay off for her son. There are so many single mothers raising children that do not get the affirmation they need. I think as teachers we have to affirm them at times. It also got me to thinking of the need for resources for parents of Black and Hispanic males or girls even. Many parents do the best they can, but would relish more information/support if they could have it at their fingertips.
I am not suggesting that is a role that I will fill, but it is certainly needed in our communities. This could come in the form of manuals, books, workshops, seminars, and maybe even focus/support groups.
In the midst of the crying she asked me something that stuck with me. She asked if a woman can raise a successful man, in these times. My short answer was yes. What are your thoughts? And how can we fill that void for parents, who need the extra affirmation?