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"Les photographes s'occupent de choses qui disparaissent continuellement et quand elles ont disparu, rien sur terre ne peut les faire revenir."


Parenting

June 10, 2020

A Conversation With My Daughter About Racism

talking about race

Me: Baby, do you notice any differences when you look at your friends?

Aimee: Hmm . . . No, I don’t think so.

(At this point I’m thinking I have to put this in a context that she would understand.  So, Disney Princesses, it is.)

Me: Okay, how about Elsa?  Do you notice any differences between Elsa and you?

Aimee: Yes! She has yellow hair.

Me: Anything else?

Aimee: Yes, she has ice powers and we don’t.

(I laugh because this is genuinely hilarious)

Me: That’s true.  How about Anna?

Aimee: She has brown hair and I think that’s it.

Me: How about her eyes?

Aimee: They’re green.

Me: Yes they’re green and how about yours?

Aimee: Mine are black.

Me: Your eyes are beautiful and brown. How about Moana?

Aimee: Moana’s hair is, um squiggly.

Me: Her hair is wavy, yes! She has beautiful wavy hair and you have beautiful straight hair.  How about Tiana?

Aimee: Oh, she has a green dress.

Me: Yes, she does!  It’s a very nice one.  Anything else?

Aimee: (She hesitates while thinking) Well, I guess her skin is a little bit darker than mine. What’s the color of my skin, mommy?

Me: Maybe it’s beige like the beige crayon in that book, remember?  (The Day the Crayons Quit.  She loves this book)

Aimee: Oh yeah, beige!

I then explain to her that she, mommy, Ellias, and daddy, have physical features that are “Asian”. We come from Asian ancestry.   Many questions ensued like, “What is Asia?”

I then explained to her that even though we may look different than other people, that we are all made by God, and that our differences make us beautiful.

I struggled when trying to explain this next part, because I wanted to select my words carefully. I told her that when she grows older, that some people may make fun of her, say mean things, or treat her differently just because she looks different than they do.

I told her that there will be people who say mean things either to her or to her friends about the color of their skin or the way they look but that it’s not okay and she should feel free to stand up to those people by saying that they aren’t right.

“Okay, mommy.”

Because?

“God made us different and beautiful.”

I realize that our little conversation about racism may be reductive and simple, but, it’s a start. I’m starting somewhere, even if it is imperfectly. I know that as she grows older, the conversations about implicit bias and the horrors of racial divide will deepen, and become more complex, but I need her to know that she can engage with these issues, and feel confident if she ever finds herself at an impasse in what she believes.

She is four years old, and has always been perceptive, observant of others, and compassionate. Children understand and retain so much more than we give them credit for, and if you’re wondering whether or not they are too young to talk about race, they’re absolutely not! The most harmful thing to do as a parent is to ignore the conversation of racism altogether.

They look to us for guidance, reassurance, identity, and how to love.

We must show them, mama.




No idea where to start?
It can be so overwhelming with everything that is out there today.

  • An easy place to start is simply through meeting your child where they are developmentally and emotionally.
  • Try to relate to their interests and reference friends or situations they may have already encountered in school or read in books!
  • Ask them questions and listen to their responses.
  • Be curious about what they share and it will spark conversation and allow you to dig deeper to figure out how much they truly understand.


Then, continue the research:


Embrace Race (@embracerace) is an amazing organization dedicated to raising a generation of children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave about race. Visit their website for tons of educational resources:


https://www.embracerace.org/

Here are some of their articles I’ve personally found helpful:


10 Tips for teaching and talking to your child about racism

Children’s Books Highlighting Racial Diversity




We all have to start somewhere, and it begins in our hearts, and in our homes.

You’ve got this mama, and I’m here if you need!





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"Les photographes s'occupent de choses qui disparaissent continuellement et quand elles ont disparu, rien sur terre ne peut les faire revenir."


the

j o u r n a l

maternity

newborn

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- Henri Cartier Bresson

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Investment for your custom
Portrait Session begins at $849.
Fill out my Contact Form to get started!

 Upon inquiry, you will receive a Collection Guide of detailed pricing & offers. 

Please inquire at least one month prior to your desired Session Date.
Availability for Fall & Holiday Bookings is limited.

 I can't wait to hear from you!

Thank you for your interest in working together!
  Please allow at least 48 hours or 2 business days for your response.

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Thank you
for your interest in working together!
  
Please allow at least 48 hours or 2 business days for your response.

For immediate answers to general questions, please browse my Frequently Asked Questions!


In the meantime, let's be friends! 

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