She founded a non-profit to help transracial adoptive parents style their Black kids' hair
Image courtesy of Styles4Kidz
True

This article was originally published on 7/22/2020

If you aren't familiar with textured hair, it's hard to know how to style it properly. Similarly to how straight-haired people may not know that curly-haired people often don't use shampoo, people who don't have textured hair often have no clue what products to use to keep hair healthy or what hairstyles work best with different hair types.

That can be a problem when non-Black parents adopt Black kids. Hair is a significant cultural reality, and knowing how to manage one's hair is important. If parents are clueless about helping their kids with personal grooming, children will grow up missing out on that aspect of their personal identity.

Enter Styles4Kids, a non-profit organization founded by Tamekia Swint in 2010. Swint had helped a transracial adoptive mom learn how to style her three daughters' hair, and that mom began referred Swint to other adoptive parents. She founded Styles4Kids with just a handful of clients, and how helps thousands of parents and kids. The non-profit organization focuses on hair care education, training, and services for transracial adoptive parents as well as children in foster care, residential facilities and detention centers.

Great Big Story created a video about Swint and her organization that explains why helping kids with their natural hair is so important.

"Sometimes transracial adoptive families don't understand how important hair is," Swift says in the video. "It's much bigger than. hair. It's really about the care and the confidence that we're giving to the child through the hairstyle."

A white mom with six Black kids shared her own realization that her hair styling skills were not up to the challenge, and how Swint helped her gain the skills and confidence she needed to help her care for and style her kids' hair.

"I would want to tell other transracial adoptive parents that it is your job to make your kid look decent when you're out of the house, and if you can't do that naturally on your own—and most of us can't—then it's your job to seek out help from somebody who can teach you."

Styles4Kidz uses Facebook and Instagram to educate and encourage families to master hairstyles that boost kids’ self-esteem and cultural pride. Swint also leverages Facebook fundraisers to run a non-profit salon "where multiracial, foster and adoptive kids are empowered to embrace their natural, ethnic crown." Swint calls her services "Hair Care With Heart," fulfilling the organization's vision of building "a diverse community of people creating and celebrating hairstyles that boost kids' self-esteem and cultural pride."

Learn more about Styles4Kidz on the organization's website here.

We’re partnering with Meta to spotlight individuals and community organizers who are using their tools for good. We believe that positive actions can create a ripple effect of kindness, online and IRL.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less

"Top Gun: Maverick" reviews are raving.

If you're anything like me, when you heard that a "Top Gun" sequel was being made nearly three decades after the original, you may have rolled your eyes a bit. I mean, come on. "Top Gun" was great, but who makes a sequel 30 years later and expects people to be excited? Especially considering how scrutinizing both audiences and critics tend to be with second films.

Then I saw a trailer for "Top Gun: Maverick," and was surprised that it looked … super not terrible. Then more and more details about the film emerged, then more trailers and behind-the-scenes footage were released, then early reviews started rolling in and … you guys. You guysssss. I don't know how the filmmakers managed to pull it off, but everything about this film looks absolutely incredible.

And frankly, as a member of Gen X who saw the original "Top Gun" at least a dozen times, I could not be more thrilled. We deserve this win. We've been through so much. Many of us have spent the better part of the past two decades raising our kids and then spent the prime of our middle age dealing with a pandemic on top of political and social upheaval. We've been forgotten more than once—shocker—in discussions on generation gaps and battles. So to have our late-'80s heartstrings plucked by an iconic opening melody and then taken into the danger zone in what reviewers are saying is the best blockbuster in decades? Yes, please.

Keep Reading Show less

TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

Keep Reading Show less