Being an advocate for POC as an adult comes with a certain commitment and dedication. That being said, making sure we involve our children is a whole different task. I feel enormously convicted and compelled to share what has been re-shared over the course of this past week. I know I cannot remotely understand what my fellow black American’s are presently going through, however I can shed some light on all positive knowledge that has been passed around. Among that information are some great children’s tools that I think are definitely worth having on hand.
Books that little ones can enjoy:
Books read to you on YouTube:
How to start at home:
Address comments, questions and issues immediately. Children have no filter as they say. When they learn something new they want to practice it. My kids are aware of the protests and discrimination against black Americans. They can be quick to repeat things however, we encourage them to ask questions first.
Keep them updated on issues, but gently and age appropriately. Little ones should not be watching the news. I rarely watch TV but I make sure that I inform my kids (ages 5-7) about the unfairness in our society and that in order to make a change, we must change our hearts. One great way to show this is with reading, art and illustrations.
Relate it to them in child appropriate terms. The book “Something happened in our town: A child’s story about racial injustice” has illustrated the issue of police brutality with a pattern on a blanket. The mother says to her child that the pattern is a bad pattern that we must break by including children of all colors. You can find this book on youtube which is great for kids at home using tablets or other electronic devices.
Exposing them to diversity day-to-day: The great thing about being in Los Angeles is that there are many different races, religions and cultures. It can seem easy to create diversity while living in such a melting pot, however some areas of our city are still segregated and require a different approach. We recently made the move from one school to another one in Mar Vista and the one main difference is that this one is culturally diverse and they focus a lot on that as a fundamental cornerstone. If you live in a rural area or an area where there is not a lot of diversity, you can take them in to nearby cities or towns, visit African American historical museums (when they open again) , watch children’s shows with different races and enroll them in culturally rich schools or activities.
Most importantly, teaching them about loving others no matter what color, shape or size, comes from your actions as an adult. Speak kindly, use non-biased terminology and keep adult conversations between adults. Keep children away from harmful media that might disrupt their loving hearts. Be careful what informs you because it forms you.
One way I personally practice is by reading stories from the Bible like “The good Samaritan” in the book of Luke chapter 10 verses 25-37 which shows the importance of helping, caring and loving others even if they are different. Whether you are a person of faith or not, this issue is one that needs to be addressed. I love the dialogue that’s emerging and being amplified by our community and all over the world. We have a duty to raise children who will help those who cannot be heard and lift up those who are too weak to do so.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”