Latinx Parenting believes passionately in shifting the paradigm of raising children towards creating a trauma-informed, healing centered, nonviolent and cultural sustaining approach where Latinx familias can nurture connection in their homes and culture in ways that support individual, family and intergenerational collective healing.
“THE MOVEMENT TO END CHANCLA CULTURE IS ABOUT HEALING AND RECLAMATION”
Chancla culture survives through the use of oppressive strategies—including corporal punishment, shame, and fear—to manipulate children into behaving to please adults.
We know, from research and memory for some, that the ongoing oppression of children causes significant harm to a child’s development and emotional development.
La Chancla is in reference to a sandal or flip-flop, and in Latinx culture, it is frequently referenced as having been used by our immigrant or Latina mothers to get children to change behavior by either threatening or actively using it to physically hurt us as children.
La Chancla and oppressive views of children, including our own inner children, is not actually part of our culture— it is what keeps our culture back. In Latinx media, there are countless videos and memes that are intended to be funny, but when you look at it from a child development and children’s rights perspective, they are normalizing violence against children. Chancla Culture thrives off of this normalization.
“I JUST WANT MI GENTE TO HEAL”
Dr. Manuel Zamarripa of the Institute of Chicana/Chicano Psychology, a teacher and someone I consider an elder in this personal and professional work of decolonizing our familias, has affirmed that many Indigenous communities believe children hold innate wisdom that needs to be honored. When we talk about decolonizing our families, we talk about returning to this understanding and treating children as whole and complete beings with many gifts and capacities.
Did you know that…
By the year 2050, 1 In 3 children will be Latinx. (U.S. Census Bureau)
Latinx children are at risk for more mental health outcomes five times more than their white counterparts. (McGuire & Miranda, 2014)
Thoughts of suicide are 8x higher for Latinx students who feel less connected and less communicated with within their families. (cibhs.org)
Frequent use of corporal punishment reduces risk of upward social mobility. (brookings.edu, 2014)
WE CAN DO BETTER.
For those of us that grew up on the receiving end of corporal punishment and experiencing the effects of Chancla Culture, this may bring up some feelings that we may or may not have dealt with before we became parents. This has been so normalized, that it makes sense that Latino comedians joke about it to thousands of people, that on Mother’s Day you’ll find brand new illustrations created in reverence of La Chancla.
Laughing at chancla memes and videos may give some of us Latinx people a sense of feeling seen and relating to that experience. It may be difficult to acknowledge that growing up in chancla culture caused harm, because so many of us have been raised not to question or “disrespect” our parents by challenging their choices.
Respect is an important value in our familias, and in our culture, the need to be respected and to provide guidance is often confused with the urge to create fear through punishment. However, by acknowledging that our parents didn’t have alternate tools or adequate information and resources, we are not disrespecting them. We are simply naming that it caused harm, and we are invited to reflect on whether or not we want to cause that for our children. There’s quite a bit of compassion we can hold for our parents once we understand where Chancla Culture comes from, and that their choices were usually not intended to harm, though the fact is that they often did.
This is a huge paradigm shift and takes ganas.
Our mission is to offer Latinx communities and its allies, family education that encompasses the cultural, socio-political and diverse needs of each family. We are transforming the culture of child-raising by educating, advocating, envisioning and inspiring families to end the cycle of violence towards themselves and their children through the practice of nonviolence, reparenting, connection, and community wellness towards liberation and thriving.
When we commit to our healing, whether it be for ourselves or for our families, we begin to understand that things don’t have to be either or, we live on intersectional planes, dualities are valid, complexities are the norm.
This is liberating because it frees us from thinking that acknowledging our own pain and trauma means betraying our parents. Boundaries, whether concrete or just energetic, are gifts to ourselves and to those who we are setting them with. There’s no shame in holding dualities. In fact, there’s a distinct freedom we can experience as we embrace them and embrace the vastness and richness of our experiences and healing process.
This movement is not just for Latinx Parents.
It is just as much for Latinx children, those that