Arts Today vol. 5.6

Page 164




Most parents need more parenting skills, but what about focusing on those under duress?


Malaika Horne is author of the recently published book: Mother





parenting programs or even

Wit – Exalting Motherhood While Honoring a Great Mother

an institution of parenting?

There are other institutions such as education, health, criminal justice, finance and so on. A novel idea it isn’t, but brought up periodically and just as quickly dismissed. Nevertheless, we continue to ignore this burning question at our peril, which fogs our vision and distorts our outlook about the most fundamental of institutions, yet nothing established or official. So, to the point: there ought to be an institution dedicated to parenting or the family. It deserves careful thought and analysis.

About a decade ago, a friend and family attorney encouraged me to write a book about Flora Dell Horne’s (my mother’s) parenting skills as she raised six successful children with little recognition, fanfare or support. I’d periodically mention my mother to her and as she learned more, she told me it was an extraordinary parenting story. This included a father with a strong work ethic but took little responsibility in child rearing. More common in mid-century America and still -- to some extent -- holds true today. As a child and as a young adult, I didn’t see my mother as extraordinary. Yet over time, as I ventured out into the real world, she distinguished herself more and more in that she was rather strict -- yet nurturing and loving -- no-nonsense but



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