Parenting Decolonized – Part 1

Ai Parenting is a judgement free community moving from screen time to quality time, our motto is don’t sedate, relate to create.

I’ve attended over 100 conferences and I found the virtual Parenting Decolonized conference to be the exact opposite of what my experience at most conferences has been. Instead of talking about accomplishment, presented shared their own vulnerabilities. In this blogpost we will cover three topics

  • How Healing our Trauma heals the world
  • A world without the carceral state
  • Unschooling the Tiger parent

Antoinette Cooper
Healing our Trauma
Heals the World


  1. Accept healing as part of our process of being human
  2. Allow kids to cry and build our capacity to handle their emotional outbursts
  3. Don’t just read stuff on the Internet, commit the time for self-healing, commit the time for family healing by finding a safe community to share vulnerable stories.
  4. If experience with grandparents causes more trauma then spend less time with them. We are not more powerful than our environment. 

If we look at the core of reconciliation we are dealing with trauma. Unless we come up with a vocabulary to talk about and create support around different types of trauma it will continue to silence trauma.

Antoinette had to let go of bringing her mom along, cannot force someone to transform. 

Silence is the tool of oppressors, it prevents healing. Yo momma so fat Jokes can be a form of violence. Who could we be if we were not violent, it’s such a part of our culture, we’re not sure who we are without this, if you overcome trauma you become a vessel for creation, if you dwell in trauma you’ll never think outside of the status quo.

Who is doing the imagining? Can’t come from the oppressors only. Parenting is passing the baton, what wounds do you pass on to the next generation? Our children cannot be their authentic selves if we the parents are still traumatized. 

Take away social emotional healing as a negative thing. Same continuity as breathing, it’s part of the human experience. Healing is like breathing, bring a healthy expectation to it. 

Healing is a natural state for our body, emotions, and spirit. It’s what every part of us wants. It’s not about what are you doing to heal. It’s what are you doing to interrupt healing? Don’t suppress, express! Practice repair regularly, and intentionally.

If a child is crying let them cry, we interrupt the natural ways of healing. If we interrupt build our own capacity to be with the way that we naturally heal. This can be through meditation, thinking before we react, journaling. Crying isn’t the hurt, it’s the healing from the hurt. 

Creating an oasis where children can feel safe, look for community where people are developing the capacity for those hard conversations. Wounds happen on a collective level. For example, the black body was traumatized whe people sat and watched the person who was hung. Suppression and control is not healthy, cuts people off from our collective humanity. Doesn’t serve the expansion of us all. 

Dealing with Trauma will cost you, as will not dealing with it. Antoinette had a trauma bond she had to leave her marriage. Costing her health. Fearing the work, it’s your birthright to have the resources for healing.  

When speaking with our children about the trauma that we experienced as a child, we need to see if it’s still happening. Do what we need to do in our to protect our child. Body or Nature, what does the seed need? It needs protection to flourish. If grandparents have calmed themselves, give them an opportunity to shine in relationship. 

Words we need to learn in school: Trauma, feelings, emotion, embodiment, disembodiment, gives a flavor around trauma. Body as place to study, how the body experiences trauma. How the emotions experience trauma. Letting people know Trauma does not mean forever. They’re PTSD and also Post Traumatic growth. More we express and complete, the more we move to PTG. 

There’s Self-healing and collective healing, work is not complete without both of them. Doing things in community helps us get healing through the vulnerable sharing of others.

Some people may not have community. Afraid and wounded by community, so our trauma response is to isolate. Who is the community we attach to? Does this community have integrity? If not, leave. 

Acknowledge that we are unconsciously contributing to trauma, practice repair and what repair looks like and to restore integrity with people. People are reading themselves into a frenzy, it’s only performative. Don’t be afraid to put your foot in your mouth. Be a pioneer, be vulnerable, make mistakes, learn, repair.

Activism without action is just acting. Ira X said lean into action. We all make mistakes, e.g. speaking about LGTBQ2 community, lean into that. Caused some harm, apologize to them. Feel embarrassed. Plenty of relationships where we’ve been a hot mess, if we’re doing this work, we’re going to be making mistakes. 

Commit to creating the world you want where everyone has the experience of full self-expression. Paradigm shift from conquering and conquest to connection and divinity.

Panel – a World without
the Carceral State

Panel – World without Carceral State


  1. Use restorative justice with kids, don’t isolate, instead ask questions “who was involved?” “What really happened?” “What needs to happen to make things right?” Involve them in the restoration. 
  2. Show role models of best practice or accomplishment
  3. Gives our kids more agency and expect more accountability

Panelists: Cozine, Victoria Burton-Harris, Yusef Bunchy Shakur. 

Host: Danielle C. Dunn

13th Amendment – Forced Slavery and servitude illegal EXCEPT as punishment for a crime. 

What mindset does your child get when you enter a school greeted by an armed School Resource Officer, Metal Detectors, and see punitive measures in your class such as no-tolerance suspensions? Some schools have pre-school children go through metal-detectors. 

Responding punitively is not restorative, doesn’t not allow them to reflect on why they caused harm, more importantly it doesn’t allow us to reflect as a society on how we have failed this individual who has been segregated from the rest of our society. 

We don’t ask Education, mental health, poverty questions when we punish. When people act out, their don’t develop an appreciation for what happened. Restorative measures can also be for those who do the harming.  There are no bad people, everyone has value, everyone can be redeemed. They need to KNOW that they have value, they need to know HOW they can be redeemed. 

A system of true justice needs to be restorative. 

As parents when something happens we feel we have to punish. 

Connect before your correct. 

Fear holds back restoration. We don’t welcome others when we feel afraid and uncomfortable. As a parent, we worry. We tell our kids “you better be scared” because that’s how we were raised. We pass on the fear.

Cozine went to prison at 17 for 20 years. He said it’s “hard to believe that you can achieve great things if you don’t see role models that look like you.” 

Cozine said “when you go to prison, it’s like going to your room for 30 days, making your bed, and only talking to certain people. You feel like you’re being treated like a child because your upbringing gave you that. We say we prepare our kids for school, are we really preparing our kids for prison?”

Find opportunities to involve our children in restoration. Instead of punishing ask “what were you thinnking at the time?” “Who was involved?”  “What really happened?” “What did you think after you realized what happened?” “What effect did this have on you and others?” “What needs to happen to make things right?” Give them power, control, and agency. Set them up to be forever in control of their own lives. 

Children don’t need us to make decisions for them. Justice is a society that cares enough to give you freedom and a high level of accountability. 

Justice as revenge or justice as punishment does not lead to restoration. We can’t expect restoration when we lose agency, feel alienated, and aren’t empowered to care for ourselves. 

Stop immediately going to separation, when you do something wrong we put you in a cage and expect that all will be well. We can co-create the solution, instead of separating go towards those restorative questions.

Young people are angry but they don’t know why. Our answer should not be to separate them, rather we should get to why.  Our solution is to pluck them out of the classroom. Adults need to believe in restorative practices, they need to believe that people are more than grade or a household income. We can’t expect children to rise above if we put them into environments that are harmful. 

Iris Chen
Unschooling the Tiger Parent


  1. Talk about how we were tiger parented and how we are tiger parenting.
  2. Do projects based on the child’s interests, connect that to what they need to learn to get to the next steps.
  3. Empower our kids to choose their own path, and allow them to fail if they choose not to do the homework. 
  4. Look at how empowering our kids helps us reduce our own anxiety around the outcomes. 

In 1840 Horace Mann, Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education travelled to Prussia seeking a way to transform “unruly” children into disciplined citizens. The Prussian educational system sought to create obedient workers and soldiers, well subordinated servants and clerks, and citizens who thought alike. 

Deschooling or Unschooling is about recognizing our child’s innately curious nature. Realizing that we don’t need to be a task master, we need to trust them to lead the way. Finding education in nature and outside of the classroom. 

Education doesn’t really prepare you for adulthood, it prepares you to be a cog in the system. For example if pythagorean theorem isn’t relevant for your goals, what should you learn instead? 

The addresses the concern “when am I going to use this in the real world?” Ask what will they need that school isn’t teaching today? We need to move from forced to interest based learning.

When you’ve been told what to do your whole life, it’s hard to make good decisions when you have more freedom. 

When we empower children to share their passions and find their own path, we feel less anxiety around being responsible for the outcomes of their lives. For example, if we control everything and they fail a test we blame ourselves and the child does not feel responsible at all. Let them fail the test, it will teach them about consequences for the long term? 

Unschooling resists oppression by giving children agency to be their authentic selves and to discover who they are through failures and successes. It conditions them to expect consent when it comes to what they learn. It gives them the ability to push back and have their own ideas about what they will do. 

A typical day of Unschooling looks like having breakfast, and doing projects based on their interests. Projects can be inspired by gaming, for example importing pro-create images drawn as a mod for Roblox. Writing stories about Minecraft, learning to code in their favorite game, having meals together to reflect, and having a regular rhythm for play days and park days.

Some kids prefer more structure so then a schedule could provide more predictable times to play games together or watch movies.

Be intentional about talking about how we were raised and then stand in the shoes of children when we talk about what they would like for the future. Ask how does our practice gatekeep for oppression?


  1. Untigering: Peaceful Parenting’s book on Amazon
  2. My Chazz’s Leadership, Parenting, and Teaching on Amazon

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart