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Effective Parenting of African-American Children

Effective Parenting Newsletter Parenting African-American Children

Founded in 1974, the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC) has grown to be one of the nation's largest and most productive nonprofit parenting and parenting education organizations. For more information about the Center's many programs, activities, and products and services, go to our website,, or call (800) 325-2422.

  • CICC's Effective Black Parenting Program
  • Why Parents of African-American Children Need and Deserve Culturally-Specific Training and Resources
  • Research and Theory on African-American Parenting
  • CICC's Research on African-American Parenting
  • Guidebooks for African-American Parents
  • Afrocentricity Books
  • Families Talk Video Series
  • The Gateway to Academic Success

  • Why Parents of African-American Children Need and Deserve Culturally-Specific Training and Resources

    Raising African-American children in the United States is an extremely challenging task.

    Though all children progress through similar stages of development, and all children need nurturance and sensitive guidance, African-American children and their parents face special problems as a result of our country's history of racism and discrimination. These historic, social, political, moral and economic problems make it harder to raise proud and capable African-American children.

    Parents of African-American children face special challenges in terms of helping their children cope with racism and helping them maintain a positive cultural identity. This is so regardless of whether they are raising their children in affluent suburbs or inner city, low income communities.

    Like all parents, African-American parents can use a helping hand in raising children in today's dangerous and fast changing times. They can benefit from research-based parent training classes and seminars, and books, videos and guides that teach and inform how best to relate to children as they grow.

    But if such programming and resources do not also address and respect issues that are particular to raising African-American children, they are not being as helpful as they could be.

    This issue of Effective Parenting draws attention to programs and resources that are most relevant and respectful, as well as to important research findings.

    Research and Theory on African-American Parenting

    In a chapter on African-American Parenting in the Handbook of Parenting, Volumn 4, Dr. Harriette P. McAdoo of Michigan State University indicates that the central issues that face African-American parents are: (1) the lack of adequate financial resources, (2) the role of education, (3) the high proportion of single parents, (4) grandparents as primary parent, and
    (5) the task of racially socializing their children. Her chapter then provides an overview of research on these issues.

    CICC's Research on African-American Parenting
    Black Parenting

    With grant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, CICC conducted extensive interviews with African-American parents of young children about their parenting attitudes, practices and worldviews. The findings of this pioneering study were carefully considered in deciding what to emphasize and teach in the parenting program for African-Americans that CICC was in the process of creating, the Effective Black Parenting program.

    Some of the key findings were that the African-American parents who were interviewed for this study:

    • Had high achievement expectations for their children

    • Held worldviews on disciplining children that stressed harshness and obedience

    • In terms of racial socialization, the parents reported that they choose not to make race a matter of direct discussion with their children or spoke in terms of blocked opportunities and having to work harder to achieve.

    The fullest coverage of these research results appears in the book, Black Parenting: Strategies for Training by Dr. Kerby T. Alvy.

    A chapter in another book by Dr. Alvy, Parent Training Today: A Social Necessity, also contains many of the study findings.

    Guidebooks for African-American Parents
    Raising Black Children

    Each of these books by scholars of African-American parenting and family life provide guidelines and authoritative information to enhance the quality of African-American family life and improve conditions in the community.

    Raising Black Children

    The Black Parenting Book: Caring for Our Children in the First Five Years

    Family Life and School Achievement: Why Poor Black Children Succeed of Fail

    Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African-American Males

    Developing Positive Self-Images and Discipline in Black Children

    Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys - Volume I

    Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys - Volume II

    Coming of Age: African-American Male Rites of Passage

    Herstory: Black Female Rites of Passage

    The Power of Positive Parenting

    Afrocentricity Books

    These materials make the strong case of looking to the African heritage as a source of pride, wisdom and inspiration, especially in regard to relationships with children and youth.

    Families Talk Video Series
    Gateway CD

    This six-video series shows inner-city families describing how they relate to their children in ways that reflect kindness, love and consideration even when living in the harshness of poverty-stricken, urban environments. Created by Dr. James Sayre, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Unviersity of Rochester, each video comes with guidelines for leading a Discussion Group.

    The Gateway to Academic Success
    The Gateway

    The Gateway to Academic Achievement is a powerful and engaging web CD designed for students, parents and educators that helps bridge the widening 'digital divide' by providing essential resources in a user-friendly format. Featuring hundreds of pertinent and informative web links, the Gateway makes finding homework help or college preparation websites a breeze.

    The Gateway to Academic Achievement:

    • Helps Make Learning More Interactive and Engaging, While Empowering Students With 21st Century Digital Skills!

    • Provides Over 1,800 Direct Links and Saves Students Hours Reviewing Search Engines.

    • Is Guaranteed 100 Pop-up and Spyware Free!

    • Offers Teachers Hundreds of Lesson Plans and Resources.

    • Empowers Both English and Spanish Speaking Parents to More Actively Support Their Children's Education and Learning.
    This CD is both in English and Spanish.

    CICC's Effective Black Parenting Program

    This is the first and most widely used parenting skill-building program created specifically for parents of African-American children. It provides an achievement orientation to child rearing in terms of helping parents to build a Pyramid of Success for their children. It teaches effective parenting skills in a culturally-sensitive manner, using African proverbs to show the relationship of the skills to the wisdom of the ancestors. The program also addresses historical and contemporary issues that are important to raising African-American children, such as the impact of slavery on traditional disciplinary approaches, single parenting and preventing youth drug abuse.

    Over one million African-American parents and their families from all walks of life have already experienced the benefits of this unique program. They have done this by either obtaining the program's Parent Handbook or enrolling in local classes or seminars. The classes and seminars have been led by educators, counselors, social workers or clergy who have been trained and certified through CICC parenting instructor training workshops. More than 4,000 instructors have been trained and CICC continues to provide instructor workshops nationwide.

    Now in use in communities in over 40 states and the District of Columbia, CICC's Effective Black Parenting Program has won numerous awards, including from the White House. Most recently it has been recognized as an evidence-based model program by the Child Welfare League of America.

    Click on the items below to find:

    Basic Program Description

    Video of Parental Reactions

    Program Description that Can Be Used for Grant Writing Purposes (Contains Research on Program Effectiveness)

    Instructor Training Workshops to Become Certified to Deliver Program

    Instructor Manual

    Complete Instructor Kit

    How to Bring an Instructor Training Workshop to Your Community

    How to Bring an Effective Black Parenting Class or Seminar to Your Community

    Quick Links...

    Presidential Council on Effective Parenting Proposed

    CICC Discovery Tool and Referral System

    CICC's National Partnership Campaign to Find and Help Young Children with Special Needs

    Parenting Instructor Training Workshops

    State-by-State Listing of Agencies Whose Staffs Have Been Trained Through CICC Workshops

    CICC Home Page

    Link CICC to Your Website

    Parenting Teenagers

    Parenting Children with Special Needs

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    Center for the Improvement of Child Caring | 11331 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 103 | Studio City | CA | 91604-3147