Today’s post is so so special to me! I’m turning over the pen and paper to my hubby and he’s sharing how to teach our young black boys how to love their skin, themselves and build confidence at a young age.
It’s not easy being feared or hated solely because of the color of your skin. And it’s not easy to talk about. In fact, I hate that I even have to write this post and that we have to have “THE” conversation one day with our boys. It’s just not fair.
But with the events of the last few years, it’s feeling like centuries of racial tensions are finally bubbling over. In the last year we’ve gained more allies and more conversations are being had openly about the double standards placed on brown lives. Companies are starting to take notice and make a stance.
While this is all AMAZING, it does bring on the issue of why. I have shared with Jerome about the levels of anxiety I often feel from thinking about the world our boys will one day go into on their own. It makes me nervous. We have been very open about the events that have occurred in the last few years and we have allowed them to watch to a degree. But with that comes the heavy explanation of why. Why are we here? As a country..
As we have these tough conversations, we feel it’s so very important to teach them to love their black skin. Because the world won’t. We want them to love themselves first because the world has depicted the black body as one to be feared, one that is stupid and one that is less than. When they are confronted with these images or depictions they will already know who they are and all the power they possess because they are a child of God and that being black is a gift!
With that, keep reading to see Jerome’s thoughts on how we can teach our boys to love themselves first!
TEACH SELF LOVE
I truly believe that the firt step of teaching a child how to love their brown skin skin is to help them understand and embrace their uniqueness at an early age. Teaching your children self love will help develop a healthy and positive self concept because society will not always view them in the same light.
I often think to myself how can we teach our boys to feel safe in this world. How can we prepare them for society that may view them negatively just because the color of their skin.
TEACHING RACE AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES WITH YOUR CHILD
How do we teach them self worth and to embrace their race when they continually see people of color targeted simply for the color of their skin? I am no expert on the education of race relations, but I do not believe that you have to be one to discuss race with your children. It will be uncomfortable, but sometimes you have to be brutally honest. It’s best to do it in a age appropriate manner if possible. You should also not be afraid to let your child know that you don’t have all of the answers but assure them that you will try to the best of your abilities to help them find the most accurate information.
Help your kids understand throughout all races there are ethnic groups that have different values and beliefs. Find books that help teach these lessons and allow them to explore different cultures through different avenues.
BE OPEN ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED
Don’t shy away from things you’ve experienced. You should give your child examples of racism and racial biases that you have encountered. Don’t forget to share with them the things that you have learned and have done to to overcome and confront racism.
While sharing with them your own experiences may feel scary or not age appropriate, do it when you feel they are most ready. Let your children know the fight against racism and social injustice is still happening today and try to find ways that your family can help the cause.
The last year has been tough. We have had to have difficult conversations and relive racial trauma over and over and over again. I refuse to be desensitized by the plight against the black body. In our household, we will continue to celebrate who God made us to be, our uniqueness and support black businesses and services.
EIGHT CHILDREN’S BOOKS THAT TEACH SELF LOVE
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Have you found yourself having to have tough conversations with your children lately? Are you confused on where to begin? Let me know down in the comments how you’ve approached the topic and share any resources you’ve found helpful!
Until next time,