Cultivating Confidence and A Sense of Pride in Our Children

Growing up, at times I struggled to embrace my Blackness (and what I now acknowledge as my brilliance) as a result of dealing with unchecked (internalized) anti-blackness from existing in this world in a Black body.

By: Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA

Growing up, at times I struggled to embrace my Blackness (and what I now acknowledge as my brilliance) as a result of dealing with unchecked (internalized) anti-blackness from existing in this world in a Black body. Something I’ve been conscious of over the years is unpacking and healing those parts of me. Consequently, I vowed that my children would have the opposite experience. This requires effort and intention because in a world where they try to make you hate every part of your Blackness at every opportunity possible, to love yourself despite their attempts is an act of resistance.

One of the agents in which we are socialized by is the media. Oftentimes, their portrayal of Black people from the African diaspora is negative and inaccurate. Black people are not monoliths - we are not one dimensional beings. We are a varied and complex group of people who have rich and diverse lived experiences. The problem arises when these experiences are not represented and instead, we are constantly bombarded with the same images and stories because it makes it challenging to envision ourselves existing in any other way. This is why it is imperative for us to actively choose otherwise and reject the narrative that they desperately want us to believe. 

I have sought and continue to seek out uplifting content for my children to consume whether it is online, print media, or in between. We are conscious of who and what we allow to enter into our home so it is important to us that we let them watch shows that contain characters that not only look like them, but that also affirm their unique features (such as their hair, skin, etc.) and portray positive messages. Over the years, we have seen an increase in programs that include positive representations of Black characters on various streaming services.

On Netflix, here are some shows to check out with your family:

To browse Netflix’s other offerings, search: “Black Stories for Kids / Families” in the kids account on Netflix.

Another way that we instill confidence and pride into our children is by exposing them to our history. Being African Canadians, but descendants of African Caribbean parents, and African ancestors, it’s important that when we teach our children history, we are not only focusing on African American history; therefore the content must be inclusive of the aforementioned.

YouTube is a good source for educational content, some of the channels that we watch are:

I suggest checking out your local library to see which books, movies, documentaries, etc. they have featuring Black authors, characters, stories, etc. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to sign up to your local library’s e-mail list so you can be notified of their upcoming programs and events. We recently attended an African Drumming workshop held by our local library that I discovered from their newsletters. I invite you to visit and support Black owned bookstores and Black markets / vendor shows; we make it a point to purchase (children’s) books written by Black authors that tell our stories.

Another way we instill a sense of pride in our children is by: exposing them to different genres of music, such as reggae, afro beats, jazz, and more. We purchase Black art and proudly have them on display in our home. Furthermore, we recite affirmations with our children, in fact, our daughter has a coloring book that we purchased from Amazon, called: “I LOVE ME | Affirmations Coloring Book for Girls: Self-Esteem and Confidence Coloring Book for Afro Caribbean, African American, Hispanic and Biracial Girls | Positive Affirmations for Little Black, Brown and Biracial Girls

There are a plethora of ways that you can instill confidence and pride into your children, these are just some of the ways that we do. If you’re unsure where to start, I hope this blog gives you some ideas.

Take deep care and be well, mama.

Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA

Certified Transformational Coach | Certified Essential Oil Specialist |

Certified ARōMATOUCH Practitioner | 200 YTT , Wholesome Mind Health Coaching