This may be a hard, uncomfortable conversation, but I ask that you stay through it to the end.
I chose to name my brand The Mom Advantage because I strongly believe that as moms we have the advantage of teaching and guiding our children in any way we want. We have the advantage over anyone else because we get their full attention during their most active brain development (90% by age 5). We have the advantage to make the most of this time. You could teach them the sky is green, and they would believe you.
You could also teach them to be racist. (Stay with me)
That is what is happening. Not on purpose, but on passiveness. Remember they watch and listen to everything you say and don’t say. You may not know you are, in fact I know you don’t know you are because I know you are a loving, giving person and would never intentionally hurt anyone. But we are all in the same boat. We all have racial biases and it’s time to start acknowledging them. (If you’re saying, ‘not me’. Please pause here and recognize your feelings.)
Mom, it starts with you. Right now. Before you can go here with your children, you have to go there with yourself.
Acknowledge your own biases. Work on yourself first so that you can bring a deeper level of compassion to the conversations you’ll have with your kids. Because that needs to happen, now. It’s never too early to teach your child about fairness. It’s never too early to teach about standing up for a friend. It’s never too early to teach about racism. It’s never too early. (see my first resource below)
Racism is deep rooted. It is our responsibility as moms, as leaders of these little ones to dig up the roots. Yes, we are going to get dirty. We need to get dirty, it’s the only way. Start the conversation now. Start with yourself.
Acknowledge your privilege. I am a white woman. I have white privilege. If you can freely go for a walk in your neighborhood without people staring in suspicion, you have white privilege. If you can throw up the hood on your hoodie when the wind blows and no one crosses the street to get away from you (or calls the cops), you have white privilege. We must acknowledge it in order for this narrative to shift.
In my little way, I work for equality through what I know- education. My life’s work is around providing resources to help children have equal opportunities though language and literacy. I truly believe education is the center of movement. That is why I have used this medium to make change in the world. But I can do better. I can do more. And I will.
I will commit to fighting racism wherever it shows up, even within myself.
Ask yourself- How can I help this discussion? How can I contribute to help POC have the same privileges as me? How can I shift white privilege into human privilege? Joining peaceful protests? Contributing to causes that support the forward progress? There are so many ways! But first we must start with ourselves.
You have an advantage Mom. You’re their first teacher, make it meaningful.
(Edited to add more resources)
Age by age how to talk about racism with your littles. A great resource with examples of what to say & tons of other resources in the post: https://www.mother.ly/child/talking-to-kids-about-racism-age-by-age
A great video about a less known moment in US history that only deepened the dived and grew white privilege.