It seems like I am always picking my battles. I pick my battles with my child, I pick my battles with the old white lady giving me nasty looks, I pick my battles with the pretty black women trying to exert that she is somehow going to trump me with my baby’s father as if her blackness is a pass to disrespect me to him and I pick my battles with the school when my child it passed over for her more fair complected friends. Then today happened.
Picking My Battles
I am having a very hard time picking my battles, or at least picking to let it pass or express my disdain for the entire thing.
My child goes to summer camp, and the theme of the camp is empowering women and eliminating racism. I also live in the south where racism is do deeply rooted that many people innocently insult, I mean they have no idea the things that they say or do is racist.
Now do not get me wrong, my child’s counselor is a sweetheart. She is a high school kid, red hair and green eyes. She has always been kind to my child. I do not think she meant anything by it, but in a hyper sensitive time in this country it is easy to read something into it, and I did not like the message sent to my child.
What am I talking about?
Well, let me tell you.
Tomorrow the camp has a big sing and dance competition that the kids practice for weeks on end. Charliegh came home wanting her hair straight. She said the counselor ask her if mom could straighten it. Ok, I love my baby girls curls. I think they are as sassy and beautiful as anything. To me that was telling her she had to straighten her hair to be beautiful, to be like the “other girls”. So me, I want to enlighten her if she is going to work with children she has to think through what the “message” is beyond the request. I don’t know. Again, I am positive she would have never meant to send that message, but when my daughter says “but I won’t be pretty” then Houston, we have a problem.
Summer is almost over, and so I am picking my battles, or should I? I did explain that her curls are far more beautiful and that I would rather her not go through with it. It is however a big show with a lot of people so whatever I have to do in order to make her confidence I will do. It just breaks my heart that a little girl now thinks to be beautiful and confident she has to straighten her hair, skip her swim lesson and not play too hard so that her hair will be straight.
What do you think? Furthermore, how do you go about restoring confidence to your children when the world unwittingly chips away at it? ~Spring
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