On episode 56 Lin and I discuss the parenting style and enthusiasm of Kyren Gibson as it pertained to his son in one particular video.
First, let me start by saying the young King is absolutely adorable, and secondly, I was touched by the bond between Kyren and the son……but then there is a pause for me. Let me be clear, I do not have biological children, but I am an integral part of raising my nieces and nephews. I don’t think parenting comes with a handbook. Its trial and error, learning on the cuff and many times our children are raised only by generational, environmental and cultural norms. That’s when I asked the question, can some things we teach our children be too much too soon, especially for our young boys?
King looks to be about 6, 7 or maybe 8 years old. It’s obvious he’s listening to his dad and learning or “remembering” some valuable information, and honestly, I don’t have a problem with that, but can we allow the minds of our children to develop at its own pace. After watching the video, I asked myself, am I not giving the young minds enough credit. Maybe young children can handle what I consider “heavy” information. Could I be underestimating the children? I decided to do a little research.
I came across an article titled “Why We Need to Allow Children to be Children” by Roshan Thiran and Eva Christodoulou. The article focused on children developing a sense of agency. According to the article, “Agency” is the ability of people to express their own individual power, through thoughts or actions. It is the power that allows people to think for themselves and be the ones in charge of shaping their experiences. For me, that was very telling. The article suggests that different key elements and experiences need to be embedded at different stages of a person’s life journey. I absolutely agree with that sentiment. For me, many of the philosophies and life lessons we teach our children can still be taught but at different times in their young lives.
I absolutely desire our young children to have knowledge about our history, culture and our ancestors. I also want our children to have free-spirited minds to explore what important to them while learning what is important to make them well rounded and woke, just when the time is right.
From the Mother’s Perspective (Lin)
As a parent, I completely agree with everything Aunt Kim said! I am and have always been of the belief that children should be children for as long as possible. They need to play with toys, play outside, use their imaginations, and give their mommies lots of kisses! ☺ The phrase “children are like sponges” rings very true. They absorb EVERYTHING! Therefore, we do have to consider information that can be too heavy for their little innocent brains to process. Although they are learning new things every day, we (parents) definitely need to be sure we are teaching them in stages. While I admire that Kyren takes time to teach his son, King, life lessons and the ways of the world, I do feel that King was repeating a lot of the information and is really too young to process and understand it. Not that he doesn’t need to know it…ever…just not right now. Below Aunt Kim listed each lesson Kyren is teaching King and rated how she feels about them. I will also give a rating which you’ll find in italics.
Life Lessons by Kyren: We dissect each lesson and give our opinions.
- Knowledge is power and power is money, and with no knowledge you have no power and with no power you have no money (Too soon) (Too soon)
- Malcolm X said a man who stands for nothing will fall for anything (Too soon) (Too Soon)
- Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or who says it (On Time) (On Time)
- The media is the most powerful entity on earth they have the power to make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent and with that they control the mind of the masses (Too soon) (Way too soon)
- What’s self-hate? Hating yourself or your own people (OnTime) (Borderline)
- Who’s the Black Panther Party (Too soon) (Way too soon)
- What’s gentrification? (Too soon) (Way too soon)
- How did Martin Luther King Die? (Borderline) (Way too soon)
- Who is Obama? (On Time) (On Time)
- Racism is for Who? (On Time) (Borderline)
- Daddy raises you to do what? And live with a purpose so you can what? (Borderline) (Borderline)
Listen to the episode and let us know what you think by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org