Thursday, October 20, 2011

Talking with our Kids about Oppression and Privilege

Sorry I have been m.i.a. for a while. Between traveling and baby showers I've been quite the busy lady! 
I was perusing through one of my fave mommy blogs, Offbeat Mama, and came across this great post today on teaching our kids about privilege.  I strongly suggest you check it out and read through the comments as fellow parents have some great suggestions and offer good resources as well. 

As parents-to-be my husband and I often think about the values we want to instill in our children--especially since we are liberal and atheist but also middle class and white. I believe that talking about white privilege with our children is crucial (I often blame my hubby's impatience/temper/complaining involving trivial things like finding a damn parking space on his white-male privilege.) Also, we are fortunate enough to live in one of the most diverse counties in the country, with 86 languages spoken in the public schools, so I am hoping that having our children exposed to different cultures and ethnicities will allow for an open dialogue surrounding privilege and race.

Additionally, I want our children to be aware of the many oppressions that exist in the world and acknowledge the fact that many people face hardships that others do not simply because of their race, sex, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age and so on. Then I think the next best step is to talk about the ways that people push through those societal constraints to achieve equality, covering the victories so far and the work ahead.

I know it sounds like I am putting together a curriculum or something but unfortunately, I think plenty of opportunities will arise organically that will allow us to talk with our children about these things.