Bethia: We’ve been thinking about how to talk to our kids about the #BlackLivesMatter movement which is so prominent at the moment. I’m going to be honest, I feel nervous and actually quite scared to tackle this. I’m white and I fear saying/doing the wrong thing. I was challenged this week by a friend who said that we need to tackle it, approach it and face it, even if it is uncomfortable. The priority is the NEED for people to be HEARD and for me to give it my attention.
Jess: This issue has raised its ugly head so much in the past, why is it that we are suddenly making real changes after all this time? How is it that I find myself searching for the diversity in our area, when I didn’t before?
B: Making real changes? I’m jealous that you see changes already - I see the hope and potential of change but at the moment I just see confusion, frustration and anger (rightly so).
J: The changes are subtle, whispers on social media, slight shifts in attitude which together (as a global population) WILL make a difference. The right change takes time! Lockdown life has exacerbated this frustration but has also given the debate some space to grow. What will you do to make change in your life?
B: For a start, think more carefully about what we pass on to the next generation. Open the conversation. Make it normal for our children to engage with these challenges so that they exercise those muscles, they learn how to use them more effectively and grow up to respond better to diversity, inclusivity, equality and just the ‘real basics’ than we have.
J: We’ve both been lucky enough to spend time living in a variety of cultures. We have been exposed to privilege and poverty, tolerance, acceptance and racism in many different guises. The key TAKE HOME MESSAGE for us is to teach our kids to #bekind so they will be socially robust enough and have the tools to treat all people with respect, without regard for differences. As parents, is this enough?
B: I have no idea! We are learning as we go - #parenting is a massive ‘first time’ thing for everyone. That’s the way we’re doing it, otherwise we can easily feel overwhelmed. We could have a checklist of all the ‘top values’ we want them to have but there are far too many. At the moment (and it could change) we’re thinking about raising a type of person as opposed to ticking the boxes of Things They Need To Know.
J: You’re right, sometimes it really does feel like we have to raise decent human beings instantly, but it is a slow and evolving process - the world is changing so blooming quickly! We’re doing our best at a speed we can cope with.
You get the picture. Kindness conquers boundaries, and sometimes it really is a superpower!
Join the discussion on our Facebook group or Instagram feed - there’s no way anyone will have been able to breathe air and not know that there is a debate to be had. The message has been heard, now time to live it. This is a problem we ALL need to engage with.
Here are some books which you might find interesting: