Concerning our Children and the Recent Tragedies from Louisiana to Minnesota and in Dallas
Three days in a row I woke up crying. Two days I watched a black man die at the hands of police, and finally I woke up to 5 officers who lost their lives. All of these were equally tragic events.
I have held the mother of young black men as she cried, and silently prayed with a FB friend whose biracial son was missing in the first minutes of the onset of the DFW tragedy. Moms, make no mistake, to us they are biracial, but in the spur of the moment in most cases what is seen is an African American individual, she had every right to be terrified. I have lost friends because of their lack of consideration. I realized that there are people out here prejudice who don’t even know that they have a problem.
I see the world a little differently in light of these tragic events and though our kids may not be talking about it to us, it is affecting them too. They are so impressionable. It is up to us to help them through even though we too are in the midst of the storm. It is not over; as a matter of fact this may be just the beginning.
I was left feeling dazed, almost confused. This has definitely not been an easy week to be a mom. I don’t know what to say to a 6-year-old about things like the shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota, and the attack in Dallas. I do know that the worst thing I can do is not answer her questions.
Hashtag wars, news reports, casual conversations and peers all bring more confusion to an already confusing and frightening situation. When tragedy strikes we desperately try to understand it ourselves, so explaining it to our children can be tough. Sometimes there are no words, no excuses, but there will most certainly be questions.
I am sticking to just that, answering her questions as openly and honestly as I can due to her age. I refuse to lie to her about the events taking place, and I won’t send her out unprepared for the world she lives in. This is an everyday struggle kissing boo-boo’s most parents can’t even fathom.
Some things are just pure evil, and that is how I see the events as of late. They are wrapped in a package of racism and a long time battle. They are hinged on to a new movement that has been rebirthed from one of so long ago.
How do you tell a child that you can love black lives and still support blue lives if they see brown people being gunned down? My child asks me after the Dallas shootings, “Mom did they shoot the bad cops?” This question came from her perspective of what she was hearing and seeing on the news and from her peers. I had to humanize it for her.
Our children will get their information somewhere if not from us, so it is important to find out what they know and let them lead the conversation from there. If we are dazed and confused they have to be!
Let them ask the questions so that they only get the answers they are seeking. Make sure that you listen to their feelings and concerns.
Take the time to educate them on how to stay safe when encountering officers, because let’s face it, our children are at an elevated risk to encounter excessive force.
It is also a good time to teach them that all police are not bad, as a matter of fact the majority are actually good people.
I feel it is important to speak to your child opening the dialog with so, how do you feel about the stuff that you are hearing. Seeing etc. Do you have any questions? Reinforce that if ever they do want to talk that you are there for them. Some of the things that come up may be quite difficult, but as mom you will find the needed words at the time. It is times like these that we have to be there for them and we have to be there for one another. ~Spring
Tell us how you are handling these tragedies in your home.
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