I can only speak for myself, but these last several months have truly challenged me as a parent, and this last week has been the hardest. While dealing with my own emotions and feelings about race and equality in this country, I also needed to ask myself how do I talk to my children? How do we talk to our children and offer support, how much do we share with them about what is going on right now and historically, what is appropriate at what age and do I even know how to do this?
Whatever and however you choose to approach this, it is important that you do something. That you talk to them, teach them and engage with them in these essential and somewhat difficult conversations.
Our tradition teaches us:
“Learn to do better, seek justice, support the oppressed, bring justice to the fatherless, argue the case of the widow.” ·Isaiah 1:17
Read books with them. Talk with them. Reach out to your neighbor and deepen your understanding, increase your knowledge, and pave the way for change.
Listen, especially to your children. You are their role models and they need your empathy, reassurance and wisdom.
There are so many resources out there to help us with this process, and I have no doubt that finding just the right ones can feel overwhelming. We hope that you will find these resources helpful as you begin to or continue the process of supporting you children during these turbulent times.
Some On-Line Resources
CNN and Sesame Street Host a Town Hall, Saturday June 6 at 7am PST https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/us/cnn-sesame-street-standing-up-to-racism/index.html
Matter: A Reading List for Children & Families https://skokielibrary.info/lists/520/black-lives-matter-a-reading-list-for-children-families/
Resources for Talking With Kids About Racism from PJ Library https://pjlibrary.org/beyond-books/pjblog/june-2020/resources-for-talking-to-kids-about-racism
Ten tips to talking to children about race https://www.embracerace.org/resources/teaching-and-talking-to-kids?fbclid=IwA\R3VZo1hybhba3yXz1NVI5P3Z7Z7AepFAmqGF9LfA1uIa6gS2Bgm50TFb10
Antiracism for Kids 101 (an article with children’s book listing): https://booksforlittles.com/racial-diversity/
A collection of books about Diversity https://docs.google.com/document/d/15du7zdaU1FSfyCM22ppFcPoXrvNkZpeSmiGxSTnVpW0/edit?ts=5ed85595
It is my hope that some of these will help you initiate or continue these conversations in your home. We are here to support you and your children in any way we can.