by Dr Boyce Watkins
I’ve long observed the state of black children with deep concern. It seems that with all the billions of dollars being spent to educate children in urban areas, this money is going to waste. This waste appears to be a mixture of good old government inefficiency, apathetic parents, and teachers who don’t care much about our children. But spreading the blame doesn’t actually solve the problem. While we are sitting around trying to figure out who destroyed our children, the little ones are left to languish in the stench of inherited ignorance.We live in an age of information, where opportunities are everywhere, but it’s the early and educated bird that typically gets the worm. That’s why I made this list, for parents who want to cut to the chase and get their kids what they need without having to spend a ton of money. This also allows you to figure out how to help them succeed without being overwhelmed by the process.So, without further ado, here are the six things a child needs in order to be educated well enough to achieve nearly any professional objective:
Reading: Our kids don’t pick up enough books and it’s killing their possibilities. In today’s society, the smartest adults are the ones who get the biggest opportunities, that’s just a fact. Have your child read a book a month and talk to you about it. The first books they read should have black authors. They should consume the ideas of black people before they read work by anyone else. They need to know who they are.
Writing: Most of the young people who reach out to me in my inbox were never taught how to write. This destroys their ability to do business or present themselves in a way that will make others want to work with or hire them. Writing is not a matter of knowing every single rule of grammar known to man (I personally failed English class several times when I was in public school), it’s often a matter of practice. Kids aren’t practicing their writing skills by banging out text messages all day, they have to be positioned to do more formal writing to be able to communicate properly and not be stuck in America’s economic basement.
Math: If you can’t count your money, then someone is going to rip you off. Life is nothing but one big math problem, so problem-solving skills will come in handy as your child tries to navigate life. If they have a fear of math, make them do more of it. The best way to overcome a fear is to confront it. Running away will only make it seem that much more impossible.
Black History: We learn all the white history in the world, and that hurts us. We need to make sure our kids learn about themselves before they start honoring anybody else. A lack of self-love is the greatest problem in the African American community, and we should all be annoyed with our kids coming out of school idolizing their great great grandmother’s rapist slave master.
How to start a business: Black people have the highest unemployment rate in America. This will only be solved when our kids learn how to create their own jobs instead of begging white people to create jobs for us. When your grandchildren don’t have food to eat, you don’t want your child sitting around waiting for a someone else to feed them. Solid entrepreneurs know how to feed themselves and they aren’t begging anybody to take care of their families. Entrepreneurship training for black children should start from the day they learn how to say the words “Mama, can I have some money?”
Critical thinking skill: The inability to think critically about the world around us is one of the most limiting factors in the African American community. This is how music labels are able to feed us toxic hip-hop, mind-dumbing TV shows, poisoned food and harmful political propaganda on a daily basis. The development of critical thinking skill comes from playing games of strategy, such as chess, and questioning systems and processes. Critical thinking skill turns you into a leader, not a follower. Black kids need to learn to carve their own paths, not follow the ones that white supremacy has put in front of them. A critical thinker is an intellectual leader, someone who can differentiate common sense from a popular lie. They aren’t going to learn this from the school system, because conformity is rewarded in most white supremacist systems. Your child will get ahead if they know how to consistently buck current trends and set new ones If a child practices these six things on a daily basis, they will have the foundation needed to succeed at the highest levels. Knowledge is not about what you already know. It’s about your ability to consume and process new information everyday in order to adjust to the changes around you. We have a tool we’ve invented for kids of color called The Dr Boyce Watkins Financial Flash Cards for Children. The cards present a low-cost framework which allows you to drill your child on key financial concepts they will need to know in order to be successful. Any child who learns the concepts on these cards will have a financial literacy level which exceeds the average college-educated adult – I based the development of the cards on my 24 years of experience teaching college students at major universities. The cards don’t cost more than a family trip to the movies and will have an impact on your child that lasts for 40 years. You can take a look by visitingFinancialFlashCards.com. Feel free to take a look, and perhaps this can be your first step toward educating your own children. Black children must be educated by black people, and we must stop handing our children over to the slaughterhouse. Dr Boyce Watkins is a Finance PhD and founder of The Black Millionaires Of Tomorrow wealth-building program for children. To learn more, please visit*BoyceWatkins.com. *