We all want a better world for our children. Today, we have been given the opportunity create the path towards that better world. With the black lives matter movement growing and thriving, we can create a better future by not only educating ourselves but also our children in this incredible movement.
It is hard to know where to start, especially if your children are on the younger side. Below is a compilation of a few starting points for teaching yourself and your children about the movement.
A great first step is to just start the conversation. These conversations will be difficult and uncomfortable, but that's okay. Important conversations are not always easy, so embrace the challenge and know that sometimes mistakes will be made. Making mistakes means that you're putting in the effort and it's through those mistakes that you can learn and grow.
There are many resources online specifically tailored to conversations with children about the black lives matter movement and about Black History and culture in general. We’ve linked some of our favorites at the bottom of this section to get started with.
If you’re still struggling to start the conversation, experts suggest letting your kids begin. Create a space where they can ask any questions they may have and answer them to the best of your ability. Have a search engine or resource ready to find any answers you may not know. It may surprise you how much you can learn from the questions of you child!
Raising Anti-Racist Children | Kid-Friendly Language to Help Kids Grasp the Concept of Black Lives Matter | "What do I Tell My Kids?" Experts' Advice on Discussing Black Lives Matter with your Kids | Important Lessons to Teach Our Kids
Sullivan, who has a doctorate in developmental psychology, says "Parents should also ensure they are practicing the kind of behavior they would want their kids to show when they grow up: being kind, appreciative of diversity and respectful of all people." This sounds easy enough, but as parents we all know this is easier said than done.
The first step to teaching is by doing and being able to evaluate yourself. Are you inadvertently engaging in behavior that could hinder a message of equality? This is one of the hardest tasks to undertake and may take some intense self evaluation. Whether it's an unconscious or unexamined privilege or even not having the knowledge we need... these behaviors can be changed and children will benefit immeasurably.
Because we know this can be such a hard task, we've used the help of some online resources as a guide:
How to Check your Privilege | Check your Privilege Challenge | "Check your Privilege" Used to Annoy Me. Now I Get It
Educating ourselves in a time like this is more important than ever, especially with little ones that we are responsible for. Thankfully, finding articles and books to educate ourselves is a relatively easy task - Finding material for little ones that take on issues in a way they can understand is harder to find. Luckily, there are also a lot of resources online to help with this. Below are some books for young children that can help teach the importance of equality.
ABCs of Equality
Something Happened in Our Town
Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro sit-ins
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Whether it’s a documentary or something that can teach your little ones about Black history in a kid-friendly way, there are plenty of movies that celebrate diversity to choose from. Check out the list below based on rating for you and your kids:
Disney’s The Princess and the Frog (2009)
The Color of Friendship (2000)
Hidden Figures (2016)
Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
Remember the Titans (2002)
When They See Us (TV mini series rated TV-MA)
Just Mercy (2019)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
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