Racial traumas are experiences that can build on each other and chip away at your emotional, physical, and spiritual resources as parents, impacting the quality of parenting relationships.
Yolanda Williams, the founder of Parenting Decolonized, started an online community to support Black parents and caregivers trying to break the cycle of racial trauma from the calamitous legacy of racial discrimination and slavery.
Williams is a conscious parenting coach and a racial justice educator, offering a digital village with tools she deems necessary to decolonize minds, raise liberated children, and foster positive disciplinary practices. She provides one-on-one coaching sessions with parents to help them manage their triggers and learn conscious parenting techniques that will help them feel more connected to their children.
In addition, Williams produces the Parenting Decolonized podcast. She and her guests discuss “how to use conscious parenting as activism against white supremacy and how to raise liberated Black children without breaking their spirits,” as per the website.
When Williams became pregnant at 36, she was confronted with her past childhood traumas.
According to the WBUR, she grew up in a familial environment where financial burdens, alcoholism, and violence heavily impacted her as a child.
“I didn’t like children and I didn’t want to be around them, and I realized, it wasn’t until after I had my daughter Gia, I realized that was because of how I was raised,” she says.
“I felt like I was a burden. And so, I saw children as burdens. I didn’t see them as the wonderful teachers that they are, that now I can see them as.”
While pregnant, Williams decided to take a deep dive into her own childhood trauma. She found it necessary to overcome her trying experiences to avoid raising her daughter in the same way she was raised. Her healing journey wasn’t easy as she set out to study childhood development and seek advice from mommy classes. However, Williams felt that none of what she was learning resonated with her, especially the weight of race issues on single motherhood.
Williams didn’t want other parents to have to face discomfort alone to break this cycle. Her work speaks to the type of co-creating relationship she desires with her daughter.
“Our children need us to dream bigger, think inward, and transform our pain into peace,” she wrote in an article for Parents. They need us to learn about decolonizing our parenting and start on the path to healing, individually and collectively. The journey to being a more conscious, intentional parent is never easy, but for our kids and for the culture, it’s definitely worth it.”