Kids Understand and Believe
Black Lives Matter. It’s true. It shouldn’t have to come from a 41-year old white dude who’s balding and making up for it with a dedicated mohawk he’s wanted all his life. But it has to come from a 41-year old dude who is raising his two kids to be everything they can be. Hoping to have them grow up in a world that’s better as they get older. These conversations are not easy. My kids are 6 and 8, but trying to navigate the social justice movement is a necessary thing. They need to understand that some people do not believe that everyone is equal. Some people believe that restricting other people’s rights or controlling what happens with their bodies is a moral one.
What are parents to do when our kids start asking questions? Be honest. It’s an amazing thing to see such young kids grasp the concept of cruelty and “being mean.” To be fair, I’m very socially awkward, so my own disposition might come off as mean if you didn’t know me. Fortunately, my kids know me – and when they say the word “mean,” they know it’s from those who truly aren’t being nice or doing good things for others. Talking to my kids about social justice is important. Like most things, kids get it.
Kids are attentive and intuitive and curious and they absolutely ask a lot of questions. When it comes to asking what they see in the news, even in those brief glimpses they have as they walk by the TV, it’s enough. They see something and have to know what’s going on. These questions are also relevant when they learn anything about the past.
Inspiring Social Justice Drawing
So, when your daughter comes up to you with a drawing and message she’s created, how can I not be so freaking proud? The message is clear: all lives can’t matter until black lives matter. All lives should matter, so recognizing that Black Lives Matter is a needed step to recognize the dire differences when it comes to our country’s inequity. Things need to change. This country should be better. Every country should be better. I’m just one person. My wife and I are helping to guide two little ones.
The message is clear. It’s not filled with hate; it’s filled with understanding. Eight years of age and already light years ahead of me at that age. It’s an important thing to see your kids understanding empathy. Seeing my kids be ready for the world, filled with compassionate hearts knowing that Black Lives Matter is valuable and necessary – because such a simple statement shouldn’t make anyone cringe. It should make you see the world as my 8-year old does.
See the art, the words. Kindness to the core. That’s the easiest way to understand social justice. Opening up to the possibility of sharing such compassion. My daughter has never known anything less.