Photo credit Jon Tyson
How is your heart today?
My doula asked me that question last week and it stopped me. I chose to pause and tune-in to the present moment and noticed my unexpected reply bubbling to the surface.
Part of me deeply hurts for George Floyd and the battle our nation is undertaking for people of color.
Part of me is awestruck and proud of our local Minneapolis community for activism around human rights.
Part of me is in a tug of war…wondering if what I’m doing or how I’m being is “enough”…while another voice inside reminds me it’s essential to take good care of my nervous system, my growing baby, my inner state in order to effectively contribute.
All of us are made of many parts. And global circumstances challenge (invite?) each of us to tune-in and make decisions on who you are now.
If you’re like many people in my community, you are questioning how to help kids develop who they are while simultaneously doing your inner work.
Good for you! Children are not born with inherent bias, however systemic racism and family prejudice will always influence attitudes and beliefs.
How can you help your child develop compassion for all who are marginalized?
Talk about race. Identify positive traits within groups of people. Make it clear you don’t condone hate or racial biases. Here’s a great article on how to talk to kids based on their age.
- Build friendships with people who have a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds.
- Read children’s books together so you learn language to talk about race and diversity. Here’s a great website if you want to add social justice books to your repertoire.
- Check your own stress level so you can create a calm space where children aren’t absorbing your tension. Consider reading an article that helps you feel more grounded and informed – or try a trauma-release exercise like deep breathing.
As with most things, kids pick up on what their trusted adults model. Take good care of your heart – and others’ hearts – and your kids well-being will follow.
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