Attitudes concerning parenting within the Afro-Caribbean community are changing, according to a social worker who teaches parental skills to families in Salford.
Deborah Bakare, who works for Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA), which runs Prevention and Early Intervention Services across England, is raising awareness on abuse, particularly amongst migrants and BAME communities. She revealed that many first-generation African immigrants are brought up in harsh environments.
Deborah said: “Where their own parents would beat them or discipline them to put them as a way of disciplining them and correcting them as an on the straight and narrow path.”
However, the social worker believes the older generation of immigrants is changing.
Deborah said: “We are coming to a realisation, as this is a totally different environment and there are rules, and you must obey the rules. A lot of parents are scared stiff of social services and the local authorities and having their children being taken away from them.
“You can tell that the awareness is starting to spread. People are seeking other ways to parent. A lot of young people are talking about it now and what they don’t like and how they are being parented.
“I strongly believe that they would want to do it differently.”
She highlights the upsurge of conversations on this topic being brought to light within the Afro-Caribbean community, especially in local organisations and churches.
Salford resident and blogger, Natalie Nyamadzi shares her experiences of how she was disciplined growing up in both Zimbabwe and the UK.
She said: “At first when I grew up back home my grandmother raised me so I was given the typical beatings”
However, disciplining methods changed when she came to the UK.
She added: “When I came to the UK, my mother was not so frequent with it. Once I got to secondary school it was more of the stereotypical, taking off the phone.”
She highlighted the cultural and generational differences of parenting in western countries compared to Afro-Caribbean countries.
The Salford student said: “My mum tried to do ‘grounding,’ but I don’t think she knew what that meant.”
She explained how the impact of her mother’s discipline methods didn’t stem from the hitting.
“If my mum said she was upset with me that would discipline me more than the beatings.”
Nyamadzi uses her blog ‘Hidden Conversation’ to educate people on sociopolitical topics with ‘pazaz’ as she puts it.
She said: “I can’t imagine beating my kids. Even though it’s something that happened to me and that was normalized back home. I just can’t imagine doing it.”
For more details about Afruca’s work visit http://afruca.org