MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Joy DeGruy, PhD, educator, presenter and author of "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome — America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing," said talking to parents has the biggest influence on children at a speech at the Doles Center on Saturday afternoon.
“We can take youth to games or museums, which have some impact, but we’ve found that if you talk exclusively to the parent, it is more effective,” DeGruy said.
DeGruy said if you want to change a behavior, you have to look what influences that behavior. She said the immediate environment is what contributes to behavior, adding the larger social environment, including institutions kids belong to such as schools and churches, are areas to examine.
“We need to look at what works,” DeGruy said. “We have tons of programs which are basically saying, 'can you prove it works?'”
DeGruy said it is up to parents to take it upon themselves and to pass the baton on to the next generation, adding that the generation of the 1960s did a poor job of this, leading to a lot of what is going on right now.
Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis said that the way out of this is to change attitudes.
“We hope we are going to take away the message,” Davis said. “We cannot just take it but parlay it into our community through churches and other community organizations.”
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