Busta’s Person of the Week: Meet Dr. Telika McCoy, the child expert

March 01
03:00 2018

By Busta Brown

You’ve heard the saying: “That Child!” I had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Telika McCoy about that child.

“When you think about your own childhood, you were that child. I was that child that had to read a sentence more than once because I didn’t comprehend. So I was that child that needed a little more help in class. I was that child that needed to be inspired that I can actually be something,” Dr. McCoy said.

Dr. McCoy said she was that child that some people would say could never write a book, but she did. It’s the perfect title: “That Child! Preparing for Challenging Moments with Youth.”

“The idea of the book is to get in tuned to the type of child you were, who you wished you had around in your life. It doesn’t mean you didn’t have good people around, but who was that person that was missing. And for the people that were around, what didn’t they give you.”

Dr. McCoy said “That Child” will help adults become more opened minded toward our youth. “Hopefully, the book will inspire you to give what you didn’t have.”

Dr. McCoy has always had a passion for children and building strong families, so she did something about it. She attended Shaw University, where she majored in sociology, and graduated with honors. After completing her undergraduate studies, she earned her Master of Divinity degree from Shaw University Divinity School. While attending seminary, she was mentored and taught by Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, making her one of the few theologians to claim such education. She earned her Ph.D. in human services from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Dr. McCoy put in a lot of hard work to better understand how to help “That Child,” and teach anyone that knows a child how to do the same. Chapter 2 in the book is titled “When I was young” tactic. She talks about how to effectively apply the tactic as an approach. “I’m sure so many people remember someone saying to them, when I was young … People mean to enlighten the child when they say it, but sometimes we don’t apply it the right way. We use the “when I was young” tactic to say my generation was better and stronger than yours. Well, think about how that sounds to “That Child” that you’re dealing with,” Dr. McCoy said.

Chapter 2 in her book “That Child” gives us the dos and don’ts on how to apply the tactic without putting the old school and new school generations against each other.

The book helps anyone that knows a child how not to burn bridges with children. “It helps us bridge gaps between generations. You should apply your past experience, but your good ole days that are gone, guess what; today is their good ole days. It’s OK to say ‘when I was young,’ but it’s how you apply it.”

The Winston-Salem native said many times children would say to her, that they feel judged after those “when I was young” talks with adults. “Many times adults, we don’t listen to understand young people, we listen to respond to them.”

It’s clear that no one is born wise, yet the book helps adults understand the importance of being patient with children. Of course, we talked about children and gun violence. I mentioned to Dr. McCoy how parents can be in serious denial about their children’s mental state, so what signs should they look for?

“If they are unusually distant, that’s something you should consider. You can only find out if they’re distant if you are asking about their day and what’s going on with them.” She’s not talking about homework, whether they’ve washed dishes or cleaned their room.

“A genuine concern about the activities of their day. If you do that now, the moments they don’t share a lot, that’s a red flag.” She’s a minister, so of course she shared some biblical principles as well. I also talked to her about Christian vs. professional counseling, and how it might help or hurt church members.

Checkout more of my inspiring and very informative interview with Dr. Telika McCoy on our YouTube channel @ Winstonsalem Chronicle. Contact Dr. Telika McCoy on Facebook and Twiiter @drtelikamccoy.

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