Table of Contents
Thought Paper on Justice: Childhood Love Lessons
Childhood is the most crucial stage in life. In this stage, a child can learn how to love and kindness or physical abuse and unkindness. Parents must be careful how they treat children in the name of correcting their behaviors. Hooks (2018) presents this critical argument in chapter two, “Justice: Childhood love lessons”, of the book, All about love: New visions. You cannot claim to love a child while abusing them. Most parents claim that punishment is necessary for children to differentiate right from wrong. Looking at our experiences in childhood, it is now clear that physical punishment does more harm than good.
There are better ways to punish children than physical abuse. You can teach children right from wrong using calm words and actions to model the behaviors you want them to portray. Additionally, speaking can solve misunderstandings. It is also possible for a parent to set limits and consequences if the child does not complete a task. For instance, you can take away a child’s bike if they fail to do as requested. It is way better than pinching or beating up the child trying to influence their behavior.
Physical punishment is not appropriate today and has never been. The author describes how inmates had scars all over their bodies due to physical abuse from their childhood. Surprisingly, they did not hold any grudges against their parents and guardians. They tended to believe that it was right to abuse other people. Consequently, when we normalize abuse, we teach children that it is normal to abuse others. When they grow into adulthood, they are more likely to abuse other people than a child who did not endure such punishment.
Overall, we need to accept that parents can use better ways to teach children good behavior than physical punishment. Children want love, and parents also need it. Without understanding how to love and accept love, a parent is likely to engage in abuse without knowing while claiming to love their children. A child may not speak out in case of abuse. So, we should call it as it is – an injustice to children.
Hooks, B. (2018). All about love: New visions. HarperCollins.
The Trayvon Martin Shooting: Thought Paper
Several race-related events have occurred over the last two decades in the United States, causing a massive change in parents’ concerns over their children, especially the black community. Thomas and Blackmon (2014) dig deeper into the issue of racial socialization by explaining what ensued after the Trayvon Martin shooting. Their way of investigating this issue is through qualitative study that leads to a crucial insight as far as racial socialization is concerned. What happened in the shooting of Martin created tensions across the country and changed how African American parents perceived the environment for their children. As Thomas and Blackmon say, a significant percentage of the black community believed that the shooting was racially-inspired despite the lack of evidence to ascertain this.
The questions both Thomas and Blackmon ask the respondents in this study were things that an ordinary parent would think about on their own after the shooting. For instance, the question, “If your child were in a similar situation to Trayvon Martin, what would you suggest he or she do?” This question helps a parent think of how to train their children to respond in case of similar events based on what they believe might have happened in the shooting. We all want the best for our families. But time after time, we cannot control what these close people get into or meet in their lives. The only thing we can do best is offer advice, as the study revealed. For example, 31% suggested that the shooting reflected racism and racial profiling. Also, 32% believed that African American boys and men in the United States were at risk solely because of their race. These responses indicate the parents’ concern about children’s preparedness in facing racism.
African American parents have consistently taught their children about the presence of racism. It remains crucial in their input in tackling depression, anxiety, and low self-concept that may emerge from experiences of racism. This study reveals a noteworthy point; that there is a need to integrate racial socialization into the counseling process. Children from minority groups must be prepared to respond if confronted in an overtly racist situation. Again, as seen over the recent years, how to respond to the police versus other community members should differ. What matters is to stay away from violence as much as possible and remain respectful to the community members. The failure to understand what to do when confronted by similar events is wrong as we continue to see the emergence of similar events on our media today.
Thomas, A. J., & Blackmon, S. M. (2014). The influence of the Trayvon Martin shooting on racial socialization practices of African American parents. Journal of Black Psychology, 41(1), 75-89. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095798414563610
Gay Fathers on the Margins: Thought Paper
Carroll (2018) seeks to investigate the stratification within gay fatherhood communities, hypothesizing that acceptance and portrayal in society and media have increased for gay fathers and queer people. The study found that single gay fathers, gay fathers of color, and gay fathers with children through heterosexual relationships were marginalized in the gay community. It is financially and emotionally strenuous for a gay to become a parent. Such individuals cannot reproduce on their own. So they can adopt or get a child through surrogacy. These two processes are not simple and require resources.
The study found that African American and Latino same-sex couples had a higher chance of having kids than whites. Additionally, gay fathers of color faced challenges not shared by white gay fathers, such as conflicts between ethnic communities and gay identities. Fathers that transition to an openly gay identity later in life face severe challenges both emotionally and logistically. For instance, it is common for some to feel guilty and shame in their effort to explore their sexuality. Others may feel responsible for destroying their family. It may lead to depression and resentment from their children and ex-wives.
Society barely understands single gay fathers. They see themselves as outsiders within gay fathers’ groups and are better at dealing with the challenges of single parenthood. When we see these gay fathers in public with their children, we often assume it is a mom’s day off. It is not easy for some groups to get associated with gay fatherhood. For instance, Asian gay fathers may get backlash from their community and family if they decide to get a child through surrogacy. There is a lot that these groups face and which we do not know because the media does not give the correct picture about them.
The study brings out a critical societal issue to our understanding. It is high time we understand the struggles gay fathers go through while trying to live the lives they want. The decision to become a gay father should be respected by society and considered normal rather than an anomaly. Carroll (2018) discusses one of the most controversial issues today, making this study crucial for our modern society.
Carroll, M. (2018). Gay fathers on the margins: Race, class, marital status, and pathway to parenthood. Family Relations, 67(1), 104-117. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12300
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