The world watched in shock and awe as Toya Graham, a single mother of six, physically disciplined her teenage son who was protesting during the Baltimore Riots. A video of Graham slapping her son’s head and grabbing him in public went viral on the internet, and several news agencies interviewed her for the headlining act.
Standing by her actions, Graham explained that she didn’t want her son to be another Freddie Gray, the young man whose suspicious death in police custody was being investigated, and which also eventually led to the riots. Take a look at the video, where you can see how Graham dispenses some really tough love:
While most people have lauded her efforts to keep the son in line, others have lashed out at this strict style of parenting. This is reminiscent of the furor created over tiger moms, a term used to describe mothers of Asian descent, who believed in a very harsh form of discipline for their children, and focus on complete obedience and academic excellence, as opposed to Western mothers, who are considered lenient, and are more geared towards building their children’s self-esteem.
Whether you choose one path or the other, positive parenting is all about raising a child who is happy, confident and capable of making their own way, where they can contribute as productive, sensible and responsible citizens of the world.
Strong communications skills, positive reinforcement of personal values, and unconditional love are all you need to ensure your child has a mentally and physically healthy upbringing.