It’s time to take stock of where Ground Control Parenting has been and where it is going–with your help.
In 2011 I started writing GCP to support and inspire parents raising boys of color. Over the past 7 years I’ve been posting practical information on what works (and what doesn’t) to encourage and inspire our boys to do their best. When many parents told me that the tips and advice were helpful for their girls as well, I broadened the scope to include all children of color, but we have not lost the focus on our boys.
GCP has always had a second, equally important mission: to help parents focus on and improve our parenting skills. As I said in my introduction to the website back in 2011:
Parenting is such a demanding job and our skills for this life-long position tend to be
developed on-the-job, as needed. Many of us raise our children as we were raised (if we had good
childhoods) or away from the way we were raised (if we didn’t), following our instincts and
crossing our fingers along the way. A more focused, conscious approach is needed
to best help our boys navigate their lives through their formative years.
So the goal is conscious and focused parenting to do the best you can for your children. We need to be both confident and vulnerable in our parenting approach. But how do we do this?
Let’s focus on the confidence part. Confidence comes from gathering information and using it to help us make parenting decisions. We just can’t intuit a lot of this stuff. Our sons and daughters are growing up in a world which includes so many new and complicated variables. New technology, social media, and a rapidly changing political landscape complete with freedoms we could not have imagined and restrictions that we thought we’d escaped. It can feel so much more challenging than the world we grew up in, and there are so many instances where we just can’t reflect on our own upbringing for answers.
We need to seek help from the resources around us and hear from people who know more about these issues than we do. This is what builds parenting confidence; knowing that you’ve thought about the issues and consciously arrived at a sound approach.
But how do we find these resources? I’ve tapped into many of them in blog posts over the years. But there needs to be a more concerted effort to gather them in an easily readable book, and now I’m making that effort.
I’ve developed a series of probing questions about best practices for raising our children of color and am asking teams of experts to weigh in and give us tips. For example: How can we best ensure our young children are ready to learn? A group of educators who are expressly focused on achievement among children of color have some good answers. What must our sons and daughters need to know and do if they are stopped by the police? A panel of top law enforcement agents and legal experts give us this critical guidance. What are the top books and websites we need to know so our children grow up knowing our history and culture? Let’s ask a group that includes noted historians and esteemed museum directors. What are the most important things we should know about our children and technology? A group of scholars and tech executives give us their best thinking.
I want to make this parenting advice manual user friendly and easy to read. No one has time to read volumes when we really are just looking for answers. This has been a passion project of mine for several years, but this summer and beyond I am focused on getting it done. I’ll still be writing for the blog (and a redesign is coming soon). In fact, some of the written and video material from my interviews of the experts will be included in future blog posts.
So that is my plan, but here is the key question for you all: Is this a book that you can use and would want to read? I have found that hearing perspectives and opinions from people in the know has done wonders for my parenting confidence. I can imagine a network of parents of color across the country who would like to have access to this information. But what do you think? Would you find it helpful? Are there any questions that you would love to hear experts discuss? You can either respond in the comments, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would REALLY appreciate hearing from you!!!
Thanks, Carol Sutton Lewis