11-27-2011, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Hello. I wanted to get input and advice from you all on how to approach a special group of parents in my church in a tactful and sensitive way.
Me and my family attend a non-denominational church with parishioners that are diverse members of various races and ethnicities. I have noticed more than a few inter-racial families with caucasian parents who have adopted or are fostering black/African-American children. I've seen on more than one occassion a whole family of "straighties" with a daughter with a head full of kinky-curly coils in which the parents clearly have no idea how to properly care for her tresses let alone style it. Just today this entire family sat in front of us that consisted of a myriad of ethnicities and races; one Asian daughter, two Hispanic sons, one caucasian son, one caucasian daughter, one African-American daughter and the parents were both caucasian.
Anyway, the African-American child was a cutie and I could see the beauty in her kinky-coils despite the fact that they were dry, tangled, matted in some spots and just generally pretty much all over her head in no organized style with a headband slapped on to try to give the whole mess some semblance of a style (I guess).
In any case, the little girl was cute and kept turning around and smiling at me then waving. I smiled back and racked my brains for a tactful way to offer to show her mom more effective techniques (than what she is currently using) to manage and style her hair. I envisioned showing her mom how to gently detangle then shampoo, condition and moisturize the cutie-pie's hair then throwing in some twists for a style.
But I'm a mom too and I know things that are meant to be helpful can be interpreted as as criticism. Parenting (in every aspect) is very personal and nothing will ruffle a parent's feathers quicker than implying that you're not doing a good job at it when you're doing the best you can like everyone else. You know?
My husband and I talked about it for awhile after church and he suggested that this may be a way that God is calling me to get more involved with the church. Offer like free, one-on-one "tutoring" sessions with parents who want direction on caring for their children's kinky-coils. The thing is, most parents aren't just going to walk up to a black woman they don't know (even at their church) and request that sort of help and it's touchy with approaching these parents because some may become defensive.
Anyway, I say all this to say that I'm turning to a group of parents who clearly have no qualms about asking for help with their children's hair (at least online here on naturallycurly.com)...If someone were to approach you IRL about giving you tips on how to care for and style your child's curls would you become defensive or welcome the help? Would you see it as insulting? How could a person convey their desire to help rather than criticize? What would be an example of what someone IRL could say that would put you at ease and embrace the message rather than reject it as criticism?
Anyone with an opinion or even personal experience with this please feel free to comment.
Thanks in advance.
Me Fascina El Pelo
Low Porosity; Medium Strands; Dense