Like many of you, I have been feeling very emotional this week. My heart is heavy with all the hurt and pain I have been witnessing. In a world filled with judgement, it is hard sometimes to find the words, the right words, to fully express how I am feeling in times like these. I know I need to trust the goodness inside myself and find my truth, and I would much rather speak my truth than to not speak at all.
As a mother, there is a natural instinct to protect my children from anything that might make them feel sad or unsafe. The pain and suffering inflicted by racism is not a thing of the past and I bare the responsibility to speak with my kids honestly and often about it, even when the truth is uncomfortable. I have to make sure they understand what it means to have white privilege and to take the time to learn and discuss Black History, beyond just one short month out of the year.
I encourage other mothers to join me in using this as a learning lesson for our children, to allow our children to feel comfortable enough to come talk to us about anything. Allow conversation without judgement, and learn from our children too. We don’t know it all. My children sometimes ask questions that I may not know the answers to, so we explore them together. I’ve felt like I’ve always been on the right side of this, but I have a lot to learn and want to educate myself even more, so that I can be a better mother, a better auntie to my nieces and nephews, a better friend, and a better person.
We should all want to do better and be better. The best way to teach respect, love, and kindness is by modeling it. The best way to teach the importance of using your voice and standing up for what is right and what you believe in is by modeling it. I have always felt the importance of allowing my kids to be who they are, to give them the tools they need, structure and security as a parent, but to not mold them into any ideal. There is so much I learn from them every day, so much light and perspective they bring to situations, so I encourage you to be open to that as well.
In order for change to be lasting and not just about this moment, we need to continue the conversation beyond today, this week, this month. God help us.
Watch with your children:
CNN and ‘Sesame Street’ will host a special addressing racism this Saturday, June 6, at 7am PT/10am ET