“I’m teaching my kids to not see color.”
I really hate when I hear parents say that. As a Black mother who is raising Black children, I need other moms to know that not seeing color is a privilege that my kids won’t ever have.
From unconscious bias and folks being racist without even knowing it, to police brutality, I have to stay alert for the safety and well-being of my children.
When you don’t see color, that means you don’t see my son and daughter.
You don’t acknowledge the unique challenges that children like them face in the world.
Seeing color and being aware of our differences isn’t a bad thing.
I mean, unless you’re treating people differently because of the color of their skin, being different is what makes our world a beautiful place.
I love learning about other cultures and seeing the world through the perspective of someone who views things with a lens that is not like mine.
It opens my world up and makes living a much more rich and interesting experience.
I want my children to grow up with a respect for people who are not the same as they are. I can’t do that if I don’t teach them to be aware of the differences in the people around them.
So, how do I do that?
It’s actually not that difficult. I’m just intentional about exposing my children to experiences that represent our diverse and interesting world.
Here are a few tips to help you make sure you children can see color, if you don’t know where to start.
How to Raise Children Who See Color
1. Fill their bookshelf with diverse books.
Take a look at your child’s book collection.
Do they feature characters of different races and cultures?
Is there a wide representation of experiences and perspectives?
Animal books are cute, but books that show different types of real people can help your children grow up appreciating others.
2. Introduce them to music from different cultures.
Music is an incredible way to make learning about other cultures simple at all ages.
Every culture, every culture, every community in the world has their own distinct music that is unique and special to them.
3. Talk to them.
I probably should have shared this tip first.
You want your children to appreciate other cultures? TALK TO THEM.
Point out how folks are different. Talk about how those differences make our world a better place.
Ask questions. Answer questions.
Have discussions with your kids so that they know it’s not a bad thing to talk about race, culture, gender, or whatever.
4. Foster real friendships with people from other cultures.
It’s not just enough to drop into a class or attend a festival.
Make an effort to meet families that are different than your own, and spend time together.
When our children can learn about other people in an authentic and organic way, it’s longer lasting and more meaningful.
What can you do to ensure your children see color and appreciate differences?
Sunday 11th of February 2018
You really do have to be intentional in these ways.
Thursday 25th of January 2018
A million yeses! I also hate when people say they don't see color because it denies me and who I am.
Many years ago, I taught a social history course and my students and I were discussing this very topic... I told them that it's OK to be proud of who you are, where you come from, and everything; the problem is when you start to think you're better than someone else because of those things. I think this was a revelation for many of my students.