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Latinx Parenting Founder Leslie Arreola-Hillenbrand Discusses How "La Chancleta" Has Ties to Colonialism

·2  min de lectura

Getty Images / MoMo Productions

Parenting can be tough—disciplining children even more so. Scores of Latinos grew experiencing things like el gancho, el cinto or the infamous chancleta (which has gone on the be the focal point of many a meme).

While many older generations of Latino parents resorted to using these tools for disciplinary reasons, many new generations of parents are looking to steer clear of things like this as they've learned that it may cause more harm than good.

In a conversation with the effortlessly fierce Amara La Negra on her Exactly Amara podcast, Latinx Parenting Founder Leslie Priscilla Arreola-Hillenbrand discusses how the chancla has deeper roots than one might expect. Roots that tie it to the brutality of colonialism.

"I will tell you that if you look at the statistics from people that are in prison, especially black and brown boys that turn into men, that created violent situations—and even women—over 90% of experienced corporal punishment. Over 90% of them experienced trauma or some form of abuse in childhood," the parenting coaching cites at the top of the interview.

Arreola-Hillenbrand further explains, "In indigenous tribes in Africa, there is no record of corporal punishment. These are things that we adapted historically from colonialism."

"We were oppressed, and we adapted oppression into our homes," she affirms.

The mother of three explains how not understanding the more nuanced origins of the chancla does a disservice to Latino families everywhere.

But, Arreola-Hillenbrand notes that there are exceptions to the rules, as everyone lives with different daily circumstances.

"Do we have people that raise their kids differently? Yes. Are those kids good kids, and turn into good adults? Absolutely. There's no judgement that I hold for parents, I do wanna say. There's no judgement," she clarifies.

She continues, "The message that I share a lot is—if you were raised with fear, and you haven't had the privilege to go to therapy, and you haven't had the privilege to talk through some of these things, then you are out in the grocery store and your child starts having a massive tantrum. And say you're undocumented, for example, which a lot of our community is. Your priority is gonna be making sure that you are not calling attention to yourself. Your priority is gonna be that your kid shut up in that moment, porque si no, something worse can happen."

The mother of three finishes explaining, "We are still raising our children with a lot of fear, but that fear is warranted because there's things to be afraid of. "

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