There's a lot division in our country right now, especially after the presidential election. So, we've decided that the Real Mom Series needs to tackle what it means and looks like to raise a bright future for our country and our world. Please be sure to check out the takes on this topic: Design for Mankind; The Effortless Chic; Apartment 34; The Life Styled
I'm a white, upper-class, suburban mom raising white, upper-class, suburban children. When I pin on Pinterest, scroll through my Instagram feed and read posts on Facebook I most often see white middle to upper-class, able bodied men, women and children staring back at me. It's not wrong to live in the suburbs, to have money and to be white by any means. But as I write these words out something feels wrong, and that's because I'm lacking the rainbow of diversity this world has to offer in my personal life, in my work life and in my virtual life. And, if I'm not intentional in showing my kids that people in this world live differently than we do, worship differently, love differently, act differently, etc. then they will grow up not knowing how to love their neighbor that is different. And, they will not see that it is equally their responsibility as an American citizen to act just-fully for those that are not like them.
So, I must confess that I have unintentionally created a bubble for myself and my family. And though I am aware that discrimination exists in our country and world, I haven't really done anything about it in that way that I should. The biggest way I can fight racism and discrimination against women or people with special needs is to raise the next generation to think and act differently. But, that's only going to happen by setting an example.
Here is a list of actionable ways I can be an example for my kids and I can also show my kids the beautiful, diverse world we live in.
1. Acknowledge injustice when we see it and try our best to help rectify it when we can. I don't want to teach my kids to look the other way even if a problem doesn't "involve them." So, if we can solve a problem on the playground, stop and help if we witness an accident, talk about current events that are unjust.
2. Vote, take them with me, and talk about who and why I am voting for. (I did this year.)
2. Spend time in difference parts of our city playing. Phoenix is the 6th largest city, and each suburb looks different than the other and has something different to offer.
3. Involve them in service projects that they can do at a young age. Serving food pantries, donating their toys and cleaning up our city.
4. Buy children's books that show people of other ethnicities, cultures and abilities. It's easy to paint the world white and able-bodied without being intentional. After looking at our kid's books I realized we don't have any that show kids that are asian, black or who have special needs.
5. Buy toys that show different skin colors and abilities. Elle loves playing with Barbies and dolls, but they all look the same.
6. Show them different places of worship and learn about different religious holidays. We are Christian and often talk about Christian holidays, but we haven't ever talked about other holidays her friends celebrate.
7. Make and eat meals from all over the world.
8. Travel to other countries
9. Pro-actively share content on our social channels that is diverse in gender, race and ability.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please comment below.