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Saturday, 6 June 2020

HOW TO EXPLAIN RACISM TO A 7 YEAR OLD ...

Rhea (my daughter): Mummy what does Black Lives Matter really means?

Me: (panicking, cause I think I need to talk to my "7 year old" about racism. A topic I've been avoiding for a couple years now).

When children begin growing curious about the world around them, they usually look to their parents to explain, and with what's going on, on the news, YouTube, you name the social media network. There is no hiding this anymore. We as parents at some point won't have a choice but to answer to the sometimes scary questions about racism. Please note, this does not go for on my black kids, but kids or families of all race.


Although we want our children to ask questions, who they're asking matters. It's one thing to have a child confide in their parent, it's a completely other thing for them to blatantly ask someone they don't know. If you get my point...
Talking about race can be very sensitive, especially because Rhea is only 7. But she is as curious as a cat, and as a mind of a child twice her age. So yeah the racism topic is delicate, and even a bit messy.

Some parents may choose not to have the conversation of race with their kids. However, some children may inevitably learn about it by confronting racism in their everyday lives.
My daughter is only seven, and as experience racism (unknowingly) a couple times.
But they are soo innocent. Young children have natural curiosity about differences, but they don't put any value on what it really means.
Rhea acknowledge that her hair isn't straight( and if it's always up to me, will never be). She acknowledge the various skin colour and accents. But in her eyes it doesn't matter.


Some people choose not to talk about race,  because they don't want to raise their children to be too caught up with the differences, assuming the child will see each other as being "equal".
And I was one of those parents!!
But the hard truth is we are not, never as been, and evidently from current events we are still fighting to be.
Walking around acting like you don't see the differences can actually do more harm than good to our kids and even us adults.
"At our core, we are the same. We all want the feel safe, accepted and loved. But teaching kids to be colorblind sets them up for failure." - Coleman Mortley.

Parents need to educate themselves, if we are not completely aware. Teach children about historical events, peaceful protest and the reasons behind them, and of course be open to answer questions about current events. What they are seeing on the news; what they may or may not experienced at school or even when walking on the street.
Talk to them about racial differences and how people are sometimes treated unfairly on the basis of race. Prepare your child to be self-aware, smart and safe out there.


2020 has been a year of lesson and wisdom. A year to remember as we say. After sheltering our kids at home from the deadly coronavirus , juggling home-schooling and maintaining our sanity. Here comes another crisis, right. But ..this one we can't go on quarantine to protect ourselves and kids. Because it's literally everywhere. Now it's likely that our kids might find a video of George Floyd taking his last breathe. If they haven't seen it, they have heard us parents speaking of it.
Ask them what they know and what they've seen. Ask them what they understand about it and how it makes them feel.

If you are like me it might be a scary topic, because I fight my daughter's battles without her knowing to protect her. But now is the time to educate ourselves, our kids and speak up.

I could go on and on with this topic , but I will leave it here. Parents should model the behaviour we want for our kids to follow, and not hide the truth, but limit their exposure to the media; to the harsh reality. Kids are not born racist , racism is taught.  So make a difference. Teach our kids that the colour of our skin or race. Whether Black, white, Asian, Espanic or Northern American.  Doesn't make us different. We shouldn't be treated differently because of the pigment in our skin. No race is superior or inferior to any.
We are equal, and should be treated as such!!

Thanks for stopping by loves,
Good night and Good morning


xxx
Patrice 
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