Monday, January 19, 2009

Teaching FAIL

This year I've been feeling pressure to make Elliet more aware of social issues. We talked a lot about the election. Both girls know who Barack Obama is and love pointing him out when they see him on tv or in the paper. We talked about poverty and hunger around Thanksgiving because of the food drives at school and church.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day. This has been the hardest conversation we've had yet and I'm afraid it served no other purpose but to point out that we look different than some of our friends.

We have lighter skin and some of our friends have darker skin. Do you know what I'm talking about? Who do we know that has darker skin?
Jayden! Isabelle!
Right, like that.
Daddy!
Umm, no.
Anyway, we're all the same inside.
We're all people, human beings. Our friends may look different than us but we are the same, right?
Well, Flipper...
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Flipper doesn't count. Flipper is different because she's Flipper, not because she's black.

FAIL

I think I saved it and we talked about slavery and Dr. King. Time will tell.

3 comments:

  1. chuckle, chuckle, no really, I think the conversation proves the point that you are already doing a great job with the issue. Our kids won't even think of the color difference, and that's great.

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  2. Now don't get mad...(nothing ever starts out great when you say that)...but, I THINK (in my opinion), that teaching kids at this age, that we ARE pointing out the difference in skin and that's all they'll see. With Uncle Leonard and Aunt Shanice in our life, they are just an everyday experience for the kids and they love them and embrace them just like anyone else. When Isaiah describes anyone in his class that is a different color, it's always "so and so's name is a boy like me". Yes when they get older we should point out the differences and tell them of their struggles, but also point out our struggles. NO we didn't suffer through slavery, but at some point in our heritage, something has happened to "our" people. I think it's a wonderful thing teaching your kids about teaching them to accept differences!
    Just like Isaiah thought some guy in Walmart was a Robot. Don't ask me why...

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  3. I agree with you. I felt like I was saying, "Hey, I know you didn't realize this but you look different from some of your friends!"
    I wasn't sure how else to introduce MLK and the gravity of his legacy without introducing the sucky subject of race. And of course, Kenai was not in on this lesson.

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