Dear Parents, Know that, as I say this, I am both empathetic and compassionate: you have a responsibility, no matter your ethnicity/ies, to guide your children through the racial trauma of our times. Even if you don’t think they could possibly know what is going on in the world, they do. They may not have the words to express it, but they feel it and they see it.
How can I help them when I am confused and traumatized myself?
Start by dealing with your own trauma, instead of ignoring it or stuffing it down with wine or food or streaming binges. Trust me, I’ve been doing my own stuffing, and it’s not healthy for me physically nor emotionally. So, I finally had to start dealing with it because I was so emotionally exhausted from crying after hearing every news report. Here are suggestions based on things I’ve been doing that have helped tremendously.
- Allow yourself to feel the pain and cry/scream… for like 5 minutes. Get it all out. Then stop. Set a timer, if needed.
- Keep a daily private journal about your thoughts and feelings. Just write a few sentences, or more if that’s your thing. If you don’t like pen or paper, type it into the notes feature built into your smart phone.
- Read & Pray. Have a two way dialogue with God, based on the promises He has already given you in His Holy Word. So, reading is one way to listen to Him because the Bible is his living word. Then talk back with him verbally, or by writing in your journal. [Suggestion: start by reading in the Bible App, and join one of the relevant updated Bible Studies there to guide & focus your study.]
- Engage in constructive conversations with family, friends, neighbors, and community members that you trust to be honest and open hearted. You don’t all have to agree, but you must all share truthfully and listen to one another with open hearts AND with respect. This can be in person, by phone, over zoom, or through messaging.
- Take decisive action. Join a boycott. Sign a petition. Call or write a letter to your governmental leaders and representatives. Volunteer to support a political candidate. MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE CANNOT BE IGNORED.
One notable thing about all of this is that your children will be so encouraged to start understanding their own feelings. Even young children will begin to ask you questions, and…
…you’ll be equipped to guide them into clarity because you did your own work first.
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR PARENTS
There is so much more I could say on this, but I’ll stop here. I want you to digest this advice AND to actually do it. Use the contact form to reach out and let me know one thing that you saw differently or got confirmation about after reading this blog article.
About Anxiety: God bless you… and don’t let anxiety kill you or hurt your family. [Cick here to read articles about dealing with anxiety in homeschool.]
About Identity, Race & Combatting Bullying: I was blessed to connect with an author who is also a social worker. She has created books for children and women around issues related to identity, race, body image, and more. View her Instagram post about her books below: