2. Focus on the advantages of having afro-textured hair. Show them that our texture is diverse, unique and can accommodate a wide range of styles. If you have no hang ups with using heat, you can mix things up a bit by allowing your child to wear her hair straightened sometimes.
3. Surround them with images of people with lustrous, healthy black tresses. That might include magazines, photos and books that focus on positive reinforcement for those who choose natural hair. A good book to start them on is Same Difference by Calida Rawles.
4. Encourage them to set goals for their hair and help them achieve these goals. Have them document the process by taking pictures or doing videos. You may be averse to publishing them on the various social media and there is nothing that says you must put the child out there if you are uncomfortable with that idea but you can create an old fashioned scrapbook to document the process together at home. It could be something just between the two of you; a bonding experience.
5. Stand up for your child. Relatives often feel it is their duty to set you straight when you don’t see eye to eye and unfortunately, some of them will work on the psyche of your child if you are unresponsive to them but do not allow them to bully your child. Preferably, keep things above board to show your child how to be diplomatic in difficult situations; you really do not want things to get ugly to the point where the child is further conflicted. If possible live peaceably with all, but if it means you have to throw your weight around for them to get the message, then so be it, just not in-front of the child. Your first responsibility is to your child’s well-being.
You may have no control over those who do not share your concept of healthy natural hair and honestly, it may be futile to convince them that the centuries of old euro-centric idealism of beauty are flawed but you do still hold weight when it comes to influencing your own child.
You can communicate messages that affirm your child’s cultural identity and promote healthy self-esteem.
Check out these two videos that can be powerful resources to help you teach your childred how to embrace their kinks, coils and curls.
Calida Rawles’ “Same Difference” teaches diversity on a number of levels but focuses mainly on the issues we often have with hair. This would make a perfect gift for your child if you are trying to foster a positive attitude to afro-textured hair.
Originally posted 2013-11-19 15:00:06.