Over the past week, I have felt completely let down and heartbroken at some of the actions that continue to go on in the world.
Honestly, I am also feeling guilty.
Having children has opened my eyes and heart so much more. Mole, is now two and Frankie is nearly one. Yet, I still didn’t address the issue of racism with myself because, I’ve always known my heart is in the right place. But now I can do better. And i’m sure i’m not the only one.
So where do we start?
It starts with self-examination
What did I find? Ignorance.
I question and wonder what was my plan? I obviously wanted Mole and Frankie to grow up with love to share for EVERYONE but, my way in thinking they would do this was to completely not pay attention to the matter and just go on about our daily lives?
Silence is not the way forward here
What am I now doing?
I spent the yesterday educating myself. I realised that saying you are not a racist is not enough. You have to be active. You have to speak up.
A few articles I read spoke about how we can help our children to grow up with better intentions.
There were two ways that really stood out to me that will make a difference that I can implement right now!
I went straight to Mole and Frankie’s bookshelf and took a look. This time not searching for a cute story to read to them both or to give Frankie sensory time with a touch and feel book. I studied their books. I looked at how many books had people in them. Then the books that did have people in them, did I buy books that honour and represent the lives of all people?
The answer is that their around 98% of their books had animal character.
But, the small percentage of books that did have people as characters (excluding her personalised ones) did have a range of diversity.
This left me in two minds.
One, relieved that Mole and Frankie were exposed to books where the main characters were all skin tones or religious beliefs of characters were clearly visible.
Two. Annoyed that I should have been more confident that the books they had did were diverse without me needed to check. Meaning that when I am purchasing a book. I am making a conscious effort for it to be equal.
Here is a set of books I recommend .
Recently, I made Mole a basket in her room full of her dollies. I was very proud of this basket and how “cute” it looked. Now, I look at the basket and all I see are white dolls. Where is the equality in that? How am I setting her a good example if this is what I’m giving her to play with?
To move forward and do better, I purchased the most beautiful black doll for her to play with.
it?s important for white children to have dolls that represent different ethnicities, ?to promote cultural diversity and an awareness that we are all one race: human.
Dolls have always been a good way to teach Mole to be kind, gentle and caring. This is how we helped her to love Frankie.
I know I’m not changing the world with just these two actions. But, I do feel like we are making a step forward in the right direction and I encourage you to do the same.