Here’s the question that poses now, “How can I see color? How can I help my kids to see color? Beyond that, what can we do to help blend?”
Since kids say what’s on their minds, I asked my 10,6, and 5 year old the same question, “What color are you?”
5yo “Ummmm a little not tan right now.”
6yo “I’m skin colored!”
10yo “Girls, you’re white. We are white.”
That was a good starting point… leading into a conversation about whether or not it mattered if someone looked differently than them, should they still be treated the same. “Yes!” Could have left it there, but I led them into my own question,
”How do we make sure that we are part of the solution in everyone being treated fairly, regardless of the color of their skin.” The two youngest kind of zoned out without a response, expectedly. But they were listening.
”We just make sure everyone is included when we play football on the playground?” My son has a start, and I’m not much beyond him.
What do we do. What would Martin Luther King Jr. say today if he walked into my home, went to the places I went, and attended my children’s school? Surely he would be proud of how far we have all come, but there is still a sense of repression and division.
I don’t have the answers! This is open for discussion and learning. Don’t write me off as a white woman wanting to simply make a difference. I want to play my part well among all races.
Here are some tips for a start:
• Start a conversation: Even if your kids zone, I think we need to shift from “Don’t see color, just avoid it” to “See the color. Be the change.”
•There are some great books written to help guide us! When God Made You and Let It Shine are two good ones to start as a family with young kids! The Chattanooga Library has shelves full of titles, and they are ready to help you and your child according to age.
•Let your kids choose their dolls. This might seem silly, but I have seen Moms steer their kids to a white doll that “looks like them”. Now, this is not a conscious behavior to say “This one is better.” but it is…. Let your daughter choose the one she wants! My youngest will always choose the Asian doll. Her older sister, the “tan one”. Pretend play should be as colorful as you expect their world to be!