The Kids Are Alright

Conscious Dialogue with Children on Activism and Injustice

By: Julia Childs
The Kids Are Alright

 “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ― Mahatma Gandh

 

Black Lives Matter. They always have, but those three words are being said now more than ever. Conversations within the collective over the past couple of months have led to an increased consciousness regarding racism and injustice. As a result, folks are openly navigating the importance of incorporating their children into the larger dialogue on activism and change. For many Black parents, this conversation has been an essential part of the daily dialogue for decades. For other multicultural families, navigating how to incorporate different perspectives into the home has been a welcomed challenge for some time. Some families may just now be critically examining their childrearing practices and reimagining their parenting path moving forward. We all unite from different places, a testament to the differences that make us beautiful. Let’s dig into how we can support our littles while we collectively work towards justice.

Mindfully Celebrate Our Differences

Studies show that children receive messages regarding race from birth and can begin to show racial bias as early as age 6. This also means that for children of color, they can experience racial bias that early! While this statistic may feel overwhelming, let’s reframe it. Our children are so intelligent from an early age that they begin developing a curiosity around those who are different from themselves. Providing an education on those with ethnic backgrounds that differs from theirs is a beautiful place to start. To counteract the possibility of experiencing or perpetuating racial bias, parents can celebrate different heritages. Books, film, and cultural events all stand as starting points for empowering those young curious minds. Here’s some children’s books that are a wonderful starting point.

 

  1. Big Bed For Little Snow
  2. Black is a Rainbow Color
  3. Coming on Home Soon
  4. A Girl Like Me
  5. Going Home With Daddy
  6. Hammering For Freedom
  7. Hands Up!
  8. Map into the World
  9. My Papi has a Motorcycle
  10. The Rabbit Listened
  11. Saturday
  12. Seeing into Tomorrow
  13. Side by Side
  14. Sometimes People March
  15. We Are Grateful
  16. We Are Water Protectors
  17. Whole World
  18. When Aidan Became a Brother
  19. You Hold Me Up
  20. Your Name is a Song

 

Tackle the Race Talk Head-On

So we know that children receive messages about race as soon as they arrive on this earth. Unchecked, that can become racial bias or internalized anti-blackness. Race is a topic that is best handled compassionately with a firm, fact-filled approach. Sure, this may feel daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. The Conscious Kid has a lovely guide filled with resources on how to discuss race with children.

 

Support Young Activism

Passion and drive for a better world can come at any age. Having dialogues around what your children would like to see change in the world can help you start thinking critically about how you can support their activism. Perhaps your daughter is a burgeoning intersectional environmentalist – beautiful! Maybe engaging in a community garden is where she can plant her seed for change. Is your son really invested in health and nutrition? You two could start an Instagram TV series that focuses on low cost vegan meals à la Tabitha Brown. Whatever it may be, there is plenty of room for parents to team up with their children for the greater good. A little support can go a long way for everyone! 

 

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