That’s Right! I’m an Adoptive Mom!

Featured

Tags

, , , , , ,

I am asking myself, “Why am I starting a blog?” And honestly, I still don’t know if this is a great ideal or if I’ll be any good at it.  “Will anyone want to read anything I have to share? Do people really care?”  I guess I am just going to have to go for it and see what happens. That seems to be my mantra lately.  “Is my three year-old ready to participate in basketball? (He wasn’t) Well, let’s just sign him up and see what happens.”   And so, that is how I am going to approach this new project. So here it goes.

“I am a mom. I am an adoptive mom.  I am an African-American, adoptive mom of a loving, hilarious, creative, high-energy, African-American son.  I am working mom. I am a mom on a journey.  I am a mom who is still learning how to be a mom. I am a mom.”

That’s me. A mom.  That’s right, I’m an adoptive mom. This is an important part of my identity, but not my entire identity. I’m a wife, a daughter, a teacher, a sister, a friend, and much more. But, for our purposes here, I am an adoptive mom. I will write about mom stuff, I will write about adoption, and I will write about anything related to being a mom.

I bet you have a question at this point “If being an adoptive mom is an important part of your identity, why does it seem (by your handle) that you are focused on race?”

Great question! When my husband and I considered adoption, we realized the only experience we had with adoption was from media, friends, and family.  From the media and other interactions, we learned that white families invested a lot of money into adopting newborns and infants both domestic and abroad, while black families adopted older kids through fostering or by taking in relatives.  Whether this was broadly true or not, this was our sphere of reference and influence. After much contemplation and research, we decided to go the route of private, infant adoption–which garnered an interesting(and misguided) array of questions and comments from our friends and family.

What we learned from the experience is (at least in our state) black families rarely engage in private, infant adoption. Of course there are many reasons for this, the most salient being socioeconomic status and the cost of private adoption.  But there are also a lot of misconceptions about the adoption process that ALL groups have. My hope is that our story and the information that I share here will inspire people to overcome some of these misconceptions.  So, although race is not going to be a major focal point of this blog, I do want to begin the conversation.

In future posts, I will explore all of the adoption options available to prospective parents. I will discuss why private adoption was the best choice for us (Note that I said for us. I do realize that it not the right option for everyone. Potential adoptive parents must choose the route that is best for them). I will discuss, in more detail than you probably want, our adoption journey.  I will also discuss everyday mom issues–and there are plenty- the good mom stuff and some the stuff that makes us want to curl into a ball and cry. I will discuss the challenges and joys of being a working mother (again, best choice for us, but not everyone).

I hope and pray that you are willing to go on this journey with me. I hope that we can engage in a dialogue about many mom-related topics. I hope that you will offer suggestions and ideas about what you want to read, learn, and discuss.  We are in this together.  Let’s jump in and see what happens!

Until next time!

~D.R.~

Follow me on Twitter: @blkadoptivemom

Advertisements

Workout Momma

Tags

, , , ,

I’m fat. I’m really fat. You know that BMI chart (I hate those by the way)?
image

Well I’m solidly in the red zone (morbidly obese). The thing is, I didn’t feel morbidly obese. Yes, I’m meaty. I made myself believe that I was okay with that, until….

I couldn’t keep up with my son. Yes. It’s very cliche but so very true.

I was totally cool sitting on the couch reading or watching television- or i was playing Farmville or The Sims. My job didn’t even require too much stamina (75 minute lectures 1-3 times a day)– I only felt the effect when my asthma flared up or I put in a lecture hall with a bunch of steps ( I walk when I lecture).

However, I didn’t like have pictures of me taken. I didn’t like to leave the house. I purchased my clothes a size too large so they didn’t cling or ride up. I constantly refused invitations to go out and dreaded when I had to attended company functions for my husband.

Even with all of this, I ate junk, ate late, and ate a lot in a single sitting. I would actually order (for delivery of course) 12-piece chicken and Jo Jo boxes, knowing that my husband doesn’t like left over chicken or chicken with bones- need only eat the Jo Jo’s… so I’d order extra Jo Jo’s so I wouldn’t have to share. The box of chicken would be gone in less than 24 hours.

I had tried diets… You name it, I’ve tried it. Nothing kept me motivated (and the fertility treatments and miscarriages didn’t help my mindset at all). I tried working out- but either injured myself ( found out that was a mental block) or felt judged at group classes.

When our son arrived, it still didn’t matter. Not until he was 3 1/2 and could run really fast.

One day, he broke away from me at home and darted towards, and into, the street. I couldn’t catch him. He stopped at the main road because I was yelling at him, thank goodness; but if he had run into the street, I wouldn’t have been able to save him if a car was driving by. That FREAKED ME OUT! So, I started doing little things, decreased my calories researched different ways to lose weight. Bought pills. But I really didn’t know where to start.

Then, a friend asked me to be on a marathon relay team. I said “no”, of course. How could I run over 3 miles? I couldn’t even climb the stairs without being winded. But eventually I agreed, after she said it didn’t matter how slow we were and that we could walk if needed.

So that was the start of it. I walked and jogged a little most days every week leading up to the race. I tried jogging, but couldn’t even last 30 seconds. A single mile of walking was torture. But eventually, my walking speed increased and so did my distance. I finished my 3.5 miles of that race, that was this past September (2015). Then, I signed up for another race, and then another.

I also signed up with a gym that offered small group personal training sessions- it was a little pricey, so that only lasted 4 months. But it was enough. I knew what types of workouts to do and I was starting to lose weight. So, I joined the local YMCA.

I try to run/walk 3-4 days a week. I use the equipment at the Y, and I track my food and calories in an app. And I ZUMBA! I am part of a wonderful group of women at all stages of fitness. We support and encourage each other.

In the last 6 months, I’ve lost 25 lbs. It’s still a struggle (I’ve plateaued for the last 6 weeks), but I’m still motivated-most of the time. I’m still 75 away from my ultimate goal (which is still 40 lbs heavier than the BMI says I should be — what evs).

What has changed? My confidence. My stamina. My activity level. My motivation. I’m doing this for me, but my family benefits.

Instead of driving to the local park, my son and I walk there if it’s not too close to sundown. I can run around with him more… I still get winded after a while, but I can almost keep up with him. Apparently he’s just really fast for his age.

I’m a happier wife and mom. I may never win a race, but I’m improving the quality of my life. This is my journey, my time, my pace.

Until next time!!!

BTW… I’m registered for a half marathon in June!!! (I’m still in denial, lol!)
********
Pictures from the past 6 months, from September to March.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Audio

“Mommy, you love me”

Tags

, ,

The other day, I was just hanging with my little dude.  He was snuggling on my lap as we were watching “Mickey Mouse, Once Upon A Christmas” on Netflix.

While I was rubbing his head, he looks up at me and says, “Mommy, you l0ve me! I love you, too!”

And that, my friends, is how I enjoy spending my days off.

What about you?

Christmas with Birthmom, 2015 Edition

As many of you know, we have a fantastic relationship with our son’s birthmother *  Well, a few days before Christmas, we had an early celebration with her. Our time together was so special that I had to write this post (although I have two drafts waiting in the que).

About two weeks before Christmas, Sheila called to ask if we wanted to have a small celebration before the actual holiday. Even though we had just had a visit in early November, I said “of course!”  She wanted to do it at her place since her oldest son was home from college.

 

The Event

My husband, son, and I arrived at Sheila’s home just after 7pm. Her youngest, *Trent* greeted us as he was super excited for our visit. We did all the hugs and kisses as usual and were then introduced to the significant other (This is a big step. She had discussed him with me during our previous visit, even asked for some advice.  This is the first person she has allowed us to meet that she is dating.) We ate dinner and then it was PRESENT TIME!!

Oh my goodness is all I can say. My little guy was so excited! We knew she was going to get him a present, she always does. But this year it was one after another.  Favorite, by far was this guitar/mic combo. It is pretty cool. Noisy, but cool.

20151229_115320.jpg

Then, since he was already opening gifts, Sheila gave him his birthday gift (New Year’s baby, remember?). Again, a super excited kid. Then there was me, so touched by this interaction between my son and his family, I was doing my best to hold back tears. I do not know if  I can adequately describe the joyous and sentimental feelings I was experiencing. Just knowing that he was having this experience AND it was being captured on video, I was thrilled that he will be able to look back on this when he is older.

Sheila did not stop there. She had gifts for me and my husband. First, too sweet. I totally was not expecting it. But it was the special gift she gave me that sent me over the edge– my hubby thinks I overreacted and is still teasing me about it.

 

img_20151224_093415684.jpg

Family Tree Locket

I know, it is a simple gift. But it is the meaning behind it. I was, am, so touched by the sentiment. Although we have a great relationship, I sometimes wonder if Sheila has second thoughts about her decision. It is moments like these that remind me that she is not regretful that she selected us, that she made an adoption plan. That is why I was more emotional than the moment called for.

Anyways, we continued to exchange gifts for a bit longer.  Then Sheila hit us with the whopper… A surprise birthday celebration for our little guy!  I thought I was over the edge before? Oh lawdy! I freaking lost it!

 

This is the first time we have celebrated our little guy’s birthday with Sheila, other than the days following his birth. We have always had phone conversations on his birthday, but this is the first time we had a cake and sung “Happy Birthday”.  It was amazing.

We ended the evening with some fun. We had a photo shoot (Sig. Other is a photographer).  We took a few pictures as a large group and then a few with little guy and his two brothers, and little guy, Sheila, and Trent, as well as a few other configurations. The boys played and the adults chatted.

It was a great night!

 

That’s all for now! Stay tuned, there are a few more posts coming soon!

Until Next Time!

~Daysha~

Role Conflict: The Sociologist versus The Mom (Thanksgiving Edition)

This piece started as a Facebook post to a group that I belong to. However, the more I wrote, I realized that this might be a decent blog topic. We all have issues, problems, and challenges when it comes to parenting.  My  primary struggle is the conflict between me as a Sociologist and me as a Mom. I titled this post as “Role Conflict: The Sociologist versus The Mom (Thanksgiving Edition)” because I am quite positive this is not the only time my dual roles will battle each other.  So let’s get to it!

Next week is Thanksgiving. I have mixed feelings about the holiday. What’s the big deal you ask?  Well, I have a huge issue with the roots of the holiday- I hate perpetuating the myth of the shared meal between the Pilgrims and Native Americans and everyone living happily ever after. At least most are aware of, in general, the negative interactions between the groups; however, many do not know the true origin of the Thanksgiving Holiday. I have come to terms with, and embrace, the current meaning of Thanksgiving: the celebration of family and giving thanks for whom and what we have.

As a parent– and new school-age parent– this holiday is frustrating. We received a newsletter from the preschool informing us that the children will have a Thanksgiving feast (awesome– yay for food!) but they will also be making “Pilgrim and Indian” hats to wear during the feast (say what?)

The Sociologist side of me wants to go down to the school and wring the necks of all of the educators there and scream “how dare you perpetuate this F*ing myth of a holiday?!” – But alas, the mom side is winning out. Do I want my son to be an outcast by not allowing him to participate in the dressing up portion? No. He’s too young to understand why he will be the only one not allowed to wear the cool and funny hats. He will think he did something wrong. I don’t want him to take that on.

The preschool is just engaging in the same activities as every other school in the United States. So my job, I suppose, is just to teach my son the true history of Thanksgiving at home (age appropriate information, of course) and allow him to participate in the classroom activities. As he gets older, he will be able to decide if and how he wants to celebrate Thanksgiving.

This parenting thing is getting trickier and trickier.

Until next time!

~Daysha~

National Adoption Month- Joining the Chorus

Tags

, , , , ,

By now, most of you know that November is National Adoption Month.  As I have scrolled through my Facebook and Twitter feeds, two common questions have been discussed– “What does adoption mean to me?” and “What does open adoption mean to me?”.  For this post, I plan to join the chorus and answer these questions.

What Adoption Means To Me

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Laughter
  • Worry
  • Kisses
  • Hugs
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Awe

… What does adoption mean to me? Motherhood: the great times and the not so great times.  The laughter and the tears. Having the responsibility over another human’s life. The unconditional and reciprocal love we give each other. If it was not for adoption, my identity as a mother would not exist. If it were not for adoption, I would not hear, “I love you mommy” every morning. If it were not for adoption, I would not have the opportunity to see my husband teach, shape, and be awed by this little being in our home.

What Open Adoption Means to Me

  • Sisterhood
  • Unconditional Love
  • Selflessness
  • Gratefulness
  • Inspiration
  • Knowledge

… What does an open adoption mean to me? Having an extended family. Our son’s birth mother is now a member of our family. Her selflessness allowed me to become a mother. Her love is unconditional and her presence is an added benefit to our family. We are like sisters. We confide in each other. And yes, I ask her for advice. She has two older boys and her experience and insight is invaluable. But guess what? She asks for my advice as well. Having an open adoption has brought four (4) beautiful spirits into our lives, our son, his birth mother, and his two older brothers.

And so I ask you: What does adoption mean to you?

~Until Next Time~

Daysha

Mommy’s Big Day

Tags

, , , ,

To say that I am a control freak might be a *slight* understatement.  I like structure. I like schedules. I like things done a certain way, my way. Don’t get me wrong, I can have some spontaneity, but even then, I like to have some type a plan— what are we going to do? How long are we going to stay?

This flows right into my parenting style.  During the week, we are scheduled, structured.  I lighten up on the weekends so we can have some down time. I typically don’t call in someone to “babysit” unless it is unavoidable.  My husband and I try to make our extra-curricular schedule so that at least one of us are home.  We do have date nights in which my sister or mother will watch lil’ dude for a few hours. I can count on one hand home many times my mom has kept him overnight- three (first anniversary after birth,  the death of a close friend’s parent- and husband was out of town, and the night before my surgery).

Okay, so now you know a little about my overprotectiveness and my control issues. Last weekend (Labor Day weekend), my schedule was jammed packed. I had a ton of grading to do and I have several papers to work on myself. I was in dire need of my husband to hang out with lil’ dude for a day or two. Typically, this is not an issue. They will go and do their thing and I’ll have the house to myself without distraction.  However, last week my husband had already planned to visit his family that lives 200 miles (three-hours) away. What is an overprotective, control freak of a mom to do?!?!?

I couldn’t come up with a good reason not for lil’ dude to go. All of my objections stemmed from my personal issues, I know that. My husband’s sleep issues (not quite narcoleptic, but can easily fall asleep anywhere, including the driver’s seat) are under control from the medicine the doctor prescribed him— that was my BIGGEST concern.  But, having observed him for the last six months while on the medication, even that objection was no longer relevant.  So, after MUCH discussion on Friday night and A LOT of begging from a certain 3-year-old, “please mommy, I want to go with daddy and see cousin,”  I acquiesced.  I did place one stipulation, it was only to be a day-trip like we normally take when all three of us go.

So, that Saturday morning, I filled a bag with goodies and extra clothes, loaded up my two guys in the car and watched them drive off. They were gone.

I spent the day working. I completed nearly all of my grading and assignments. I cleaned the house. I had the television to myself, AND I wasn’t interrupted every 7 minutes.

And you know what else? Lil’ dude survived! He had a blast with his cousin. They went a carnival– he got to ride a pony- and he played, played, played.

IMG952015090595170852435

IMG_20150905_170142558

I did not bother them for the entire day until 8:30p. I called to check if they were on the road yet– because I would not be able to sleep until they were back in the house. They arrived home around midnight, and lil’ dude was sleeping soundly.

So, on Mommy’s big day, I relinquished some control and everything turned out fine. I’m not saying, however, that I am ready for that to happen again any time in the near future!

The Things Kids Say

Tags

, , ,

As you can probably tell by the frequent posts, this has been an exciting week!

I just wanted to share a quick story from Saturday. I think it’s hilarious, but I’m the mom.

On Saturday, we were all getting ready to go out. I helped lil’ dude finish dressing after his bath and then went to get dressed myself. While I was getting my clothes together, lil’ dude went into the bathroom where my husband was getting dressed (he’d just gotten out of the shower).  Here is the conversation that took place.

lil dude: Daddy. What are you doing with your penis!

Mel: I’m putting on my underwear.

lil dude: Oh. — You have a BIG penis…. [Mel: Why thank you] … and I have a SMALL penis!

And that folks, is when I lost it! I was laughing so hard!

~Daysha

When the Hard Work Pays Off

Tags

, , , , , ,

We all know “that kid”.

You know, that kid at the store having a meltdown because he doesn’t get his way.

That kid that can’t seem to keep his hands to himself.

That kid who enters a quiet room and the proceeds to make the most noise possible.

That kid… that kid… that kid…

My son is “that kid”.  He’s high energy, always on the go, loud, grabby, and loads of fun. I love it!

But….

In public, it is a lot of work to keep up with him. He is SUPER STRONG and he doesn’t realize his own strength. So a simple, “ooh, let me see!” typically results in something being knocked over. He is busy and curious, just like a three-year-old should be. The thing is, when he gets excited, it is very difficult for him to calm down.

I’m usually the mom saying “come here!” “sit down” “walking feet!” and trying not to make a scene.  You see, he doesn’t do this intentionally– I know when he’s trying to rile me up– he just LITERALLY (yes literally, not figuratively)  cannot sit still once he gets going. It doesn’t take much to get him going, but it takes a lot to bring him back down.

That’s our background. Now you know where I am coming from.

On Monday, we were at Speech Therapy. It’s a cute little office with an area for the kids to play. Our appointment is at the prime 5:30p and there are plenty of other kids there. At this particular visit, we arrived about 10 minutes early- typical. Well, my little man SLOWLY walked to the kids area where about 6 other kids were playing– all ages (some are patients, some siblings) while I signed him in. When I sat down, he was calmly riding the stationary Big Wheel. This is a big deal because he usually goes crazy on this thing. He played quietly and calmly for the 10 minutes until his appointment started.

Meanwhile, there was another mom there with three boys and they were giving her a fit. They were doing what my son normally does. I really feld for her because I know how frustrating (and embarrassing) it is. There was another little girl there that was also giving her mom the blues.

As I took in the environment, I thought to myself “I must be in a Twilight Zone because this doesn’t happen.” Although I felt for the other parents, I was thrilled. MY SON DID NOT GET RILED UP! He played calmly and quietly. All of our hard work paid off! Even if it was just for this one visit, he has shown me that he is capable of remaining calm and playing quietly during the appropriate times. THIS IS A HUGE STEP for us! I was so proud of him and of course I reinforced the positive behavior.

So my son may be “that kid”, but slowly he is being “that kid” less and less.

I’m a happy mommy!

Until next time!

~Daysha

P.S.- Here are a few shots of my busy lil’ man!

Jumping!0812151719 0814151732

Why I Changed Childcare Providers

Tags

, , , ,

For the past few months I have wanted to write this post but I did not know how to start it or exactly what I wanted to say. Even as I type now, I am still apprehensive about what I want to write.

For the past year or more, the news and other media outlets have been riddled with stories about unarmed black men (and some women)  stopped, shot, and killed by white officers.  Those specific events are not what I want to discuss. I do, however, what to talk about the overarching concept of implicit bias. In short, implicit bias occurs as a result of our socialization and experiences. Throughout our life, we are exposed to messages about different groups of people based on social class, race, age, ethnicity, religion, etc.  These messages shape our thoughts and opinions about these groups without our realizing it.  Positive or negative, these unconscious biases influence how we perceive and interact with other groups. Most of the time, we do not even realize this is going on until it is pointed out to us.

So why do I bring this up? Why am I talking about this now? Recently, my husband and I went through an ordeal with our son and his daycare. Let me say upfront that I know my child has/had his own issues to overcome. I am not arguing that. For example, our son has a speech delay and attends speech therapy. He had problems communicating with the other children and the teachers which frustrated him. He would act out by hitting.

So what am I arguing? What was the issue? The issue is that the daycare had me convinced (for a while) that my son was just uncontrollable and was the root to all of the problems at daycare. When I would pick him up, he would either be sitting in time out or playing by himself away from the group. The first thing the lead teacher would say to me was all of the issues they had with my son that day.

Based on these reports, we worked with our son on ALL of the things the lead teacher said was wrong. Extra time practicing sharing and taking turns. Finding alternative ways to express his anger and frustration. We enrolled him into speech therapy within weeks of being told he had an issue. Once he turned three, we enrolled him into a developmental preschool (3 hours a day, 4 days a week) that also works with speech and other issues.  We made playdates with other kids when we could. We went to the park so he could play with other kids. We signed him up for youth sports through the local YMCA.

My husband and I saw a huge improvement in his behavior. At the park and sports practices, he took turns and played well with the other kids. We received mostly good reports from his preschool. At the time, we were still working on listening and following instructions. This is difficult for him because he still has problems processing and understanding instructions without visual cues.

His speech was progressing, and he started to tell us about his day the best he could. There was one thing that he would tell me every day… “Joe* hit me.”  I would ask him if he hit Joe. He would say yes. Then I would ask him, did you hit Joe and then he hit you?  Sometimes he would say yes… “I hit him and he hit me.” Other times he would say “He hit me and I hit him.”  With each conversation, I will tell him not to hit and if Joe or any other kid hit him, just tell his teacher.

One day, there was a class party and the parents were invited. I went and observed and tried to stay out of the way the best I could.  This is what I witnessed on this occasion: My son would be playing with a toy. Joe (yep, figured out who Joe was quickly) would come and take the toy. My son would take it back, Joe would cry, tell the teacher and they attempted to reprimand my son until I spoke up.  My son then goes to another area, they are playing with instruments. My son is playing with some drum sticks. Joe goes over to my son and starts hitting him with a stick. My son tells him to stop several times before finally hitting him with the stick. Joe starts to cry. Again, the teacher tries to reprimand my son. I don’t stop the punishment, because he should not hit, especially with an object, but I do inform the teacher the other boy started hitting first. So they put Joe into time out as well.  So I figured out part of the problem, my son does not cry enough.

At home, I told my son to cry whenever someone hits him and tell the teacher. Do not hit back, just cry. After that, things got a little better for a while.  (This was September through February).

In March, all of the paperwork and evaluations for the developmental preschool were completed and he started going there for the greater portion of the mornings.  I would drop him off to daycare around 8a, the bus would pick him up from the daycare at 8:45a and drop him off at 12:15p. He would have lunch, take a nap until 2p and I would pick by 4:30p. In all, he would spend 3 hours at daycare 4 days a week, and all day on Fridays.  So imagine my surprise when I would pick him up and there was nothing but negative reports from the lead teacher (not the other teachers) every time she worked the later shift.

In April, the preschool (part of the public school system) went on Spring Break. Everything went downhill from there. By Tuesday, the lead teacher was calling me saying my son was out of control and needed me to pick him up early (it was 3:30p at that time). By the time I arrived, she was not there, so we just left. From that point on, when I dropped him off to daycare, he did not want to go. He would cry and scream…completely out of character for him. He regressed in his potty training and started acting out the preschool. At home, he would say that Joe hit him. When I picked him up, he would be in time out.

So, I arrived early to pick him up one day so I could catch the lead teacher and chat with her. Again, she told me how horrible is behavior was, he was hitting the other kids way too much. I then pointed out (nicely) that when my son comes home, he tells me that Joe hit him.

Her response? Well, parents come in and tell me all the time their kids said another kid did this and that to them, and typically the “guilty” kid was not even in attendance that day, you know, kids make things up.

Did you just call me son a liar? (internal thought).

Well, we have been hyper vigilant watching our son interact with other children at the park and other activities. We do not see the behavior that you are talking about. We asked his preschool teachers, they too haven’t witnessed this behavior.

Her response: Kids are really smart. The kids here have been together for a while and they know how to get each other into trouble. They know that if your son gets to too wound up and excited, he can’t calm down easily and that he will get into trouble. They know how to pick on each other that way. We have 18 children currently and will have 22 next week, we can’t see all of the things all of the kids are doing.

Seeing that I was not going to get anywhere with this teacher, I left. Visited another daycare the following day and gave them a two-week notice that I was switching to a new childcare provider.

Today, my son is flourishing! He loves his new daycare and is excited to go every-single-morning! Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night asking if it is time to go to [daycare].  We get mostly good reports. He is 3, so he does have his bad days.  I cannot tell you how much of a relief it is to pick him up, everyone is all smiles, and the teachers are like “he is such a good boy!”

Potty training is back on track! We only use night-time undies, and even most of the time he is dry when he wakes up.

So what does this have to do with implicit bias?

In discussing this situation over with a few colleagues, I learned that differential treatment by race in schools start as early as preschool. One NPR Black Preschoolers are Far More Likely to be Suspended”. If you conduct a quick search, you will find many of these headlines. These media outlets are basically reporting information based on recent research that black children, especially males, are often assumed to be older than they are and are expected to behave at a different age appropriate level than their white peers. Further, the stereotype that black men are more aggressive than others penetrates into the preschool years. Therefore, black, male, preschoolers’ actions are taken more seriously than other children’s behaviors. However, this happens on a subconscious level. Teachers are not setting out to treat children differently, but have been socialized to do so throughout their lifetime.

When going through this with my son, I knew that implicit bias was part of the problem. But I did not want to start off the conversation with the teach saying it was a race issue. Yes, my son was the only black boy in his classroom. However, you can’t start a conversation by saying it is a racial thing. I am 90 percent sure this teacher did not intentionally treat my son differently because of the color of his skin. She probably didn’t even realize there was some sort of implicit bias occurring.   I am not even saying this is actually the case.  All I can say is this was our experience and based on that experience and research, implicit bias is most likely the culprit. That is why I took the steps I did before withdrawing him from the center.

What do I want you to get from this post? I really do not know.

  • Trust your gut. If you see a change in your child, explore the reasons for that change.
  • Be aware the bias and racism does exist.
  • When you hear about the “problem child” in your child’s class, ask yourself why that child is deemed the “problem” and what are the teachers/schools doing to address it?
  • If you know of anyone else going through something similar, please share my story.

Until Next Time!

~Daysha~