In an ideal world your child would come to you asking about profanity and words they may have heard at school, but the reality is they probably already know many of the socially constructed meanings of those words.
This can be particularly challenging as a parent as you attempt to grapple for control over how your child interprets or uses particular phrases.
As a black mother or caregiver, the infamous ‘N’ word is probably the biggest vocabulary-related dilemma you’ll come across. So how do you deal with it?
A good idea is to never show your child any extreme reaction when they ask you or you hear the ‘N’ word used by them or around them. Instead attempt to sit your child down and, calmly, walk them through the history of that word, recommending that they too keep they’re calm if they hear it used.
The ‘N’ word tends to be used against young black children in school as a way of provoking a strong reaction and causing conflict. Many parents talk of how schools overlook the issue or don’t believe a child’s complaint that they were bullied using the ‘N’ word.
Empowering your child with calmness and intelligence is by far the best medicine for a bully and your child’s concentration at school.
Now if you’re extremely against the ‘N’ word, irrespective if you have children or not, check out an interesting site called Abolish The ‘N’ Word, belonging to a group aimed at eliminating its use in American society. They recommend you consider some of the following tips:
1. Make a personal commitment to stop using the “N” word.
2. Download the contract. Read it. Sign it. Hang it up in a place where you can see it. Other people will see your contract and support your efforts.
3. Remember your elders and the sacrifices they made for you.
4. Expand your vocabulary and find an alternate word to use
5. Only purchase the radio versions of songs.
6. Write to the record labels requesting that they stop publishing songs using the “N” word.
7. Write to individual artist requesting they stop using the “N” word in their work.
8. Start a writing campaign at your school to both artist and record companies requesting they stop using the “N” word.
Click here to read the full list.
They also have a little contract which you can print out and sign as a resolution for yourself. Click here to see that.
In the meantime, we wish you GOOD LUCK! with this trying dilemma as a parent and as a black women in general. It can be resolved with proactive parenting and strong intelligent, communication.