Print this guide and, together with children, enjoy the journey! As you share these pages together, point out that no matter where we are, we can learn from one another and appreciate our differences and similarities.
As you sit with your child, you might also think about your own family’s life. The military life is not an easy one, and as challenging conversations abound, you can also take time for self-care. Caring for one another in big and little ways keeps you connected. Going on walks, having dance parties, and making space and time to share feelings are a few examples of what you can incorporate into your family time daily, weekly, or monthly.
As a family, you can have fun and become better informed. We can all be upstanders and citizens who advocate for those in need around us, standing up for anyone who is made to feel that their skin color, features or native language is a problem rather than a gift.
You might also think about the following ideas:
The military experience often places military families at the unique intersection of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity, providing a multitude of wonderful opportunities to connect and grow in whatever neighborhood and community you’re a part of.
So how do you translate your experiences into the important work of anti-racism parenting and education? If you have not personally experienced the harm of racism, how might you teach children about the importance of justice and equity? How do you honor the dignity of every person, especially those who look different from you?
Answering these questions is part of a long process. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and while it may be uncomfortable, it leads to growth and it highlights our resilience.
As parents, it can help to look inward and examine your own biases. It’s brave to take this step and model a posture of learning as you lead children into this conversation—but the truth is, their naturally curious nature means they’re likely already there!
Children naturally notice differences. Starting in our own homes, we can help them continue to recognize and celebrate the diversity all around us.