Teach them to stand up to injustice whenever they see it. Teach them compassion, kindness, and love. Teach them not to passively ignore or avoid the trials of others, but to always stand up for what is right. Teach them the TRUTH and don’t sugar coat it or encourage your kids to be color blind. “Color Blind” creates passivity.
Watch what you say and what they hear. Be careful watching shows in your home that [vocalizes] harmful comments about racial differences, economic status…or even racially harmful political commentary. I need you to listen carefully for those messages. Make sure you aren’t supporting them in conversation or in things you allow around your children. I need you to be careful of how you speak about minorities, making sure you are valuing them the way you value your white counterparts.
Your children need to hear that you enjoy shows that feature black characters & movie actors. They need to hear that you listen to music with artists that look different than you (more than just hip-hop) and that you read books by black authors.
Your kids need to have positive minority experiences in their own homes and churches. It is important they see that you are intentionally building friendships with minorities and regularly have them in your home. Look to befriend black moms. If you wouldn’t say it to a white friend, don’t say it to a black friend. Simply treat them the same. Your kids will do this as they see you model that behavior.
All of these things will shape and develop your children’s world-views. These intentional acts will change how they view entire groups of people because interaction with different people will be intertwined in their lives. Your children will see them as their peers and appreciate all of their many similarities while embracing their differences.
We are the same as mothers. We don’t want our kids to be bullied. We want them to live successful lives. We want people to give them grace, and love. We want them to make great decisions. We want people to be kind to our kids. We want to protect them. We want their childhoods to be magical, and to set them up for the best lives possible.
Your children are part of the hope I have for the world to change.
Your children are the next generation and the children my boys will grow up with. If you can model inclusive attitudes, and ideas that one race is no better than another, then you will raise kind-hearted children. They won’t automatically label any kids as “threats”, “incompetent”, or “thugs” just because of the color of their skin.
The hope is when they see my kids, they will see their hearts, amazing personalities, and make judgments in a fair way… after getting to know them.
People always ask me how I instill confidence with all this negativity that comes at them… Jesus. They love Jesus. We love Jesus, and His word is our truth above anything the world says. Their hope is in the Lord. Our hope is in the Lord, and I pray this post will encourage you to make a difference in your children’s lives, in our children’s lives, and in this next generation so the world will truly be a better place.
If you see one of my sons at night with a hoodie on… they are probably cold. Don’t act fearful. Smile at them when you see them at the store. Say “Hello.” When they come to your home, welcome them with love, and no awkwardness or weird questions. Just treat them the same as you would any other children in your home. Judge them on their character, not on their looks. Always assume the best, not the worst. Shower them with kindness and love.
And you will truly make the world a much better place.
With so much love for you,
This piece originally appeared here. See more from Jehava on her website, or connect with her on Facebook.