If you would’ve told me last year that I would be teaching my then 8 and 5-year-old about social justice, I wouldn’t believe you. Not because I felt like I didn’t need to but because I thought we had time before we explored some of these tough issues! Then the death of George Floyd happened, and my husband and I were glued to the television, and the questions started. There were times during the pandemic that we told our children to turn their heads while watching the news. I would rather they learn about the world and social justice from Mommy and Daddy versus the media.
There are four ways that we primarily teach our children about social justice!
Family Meeting during Dinner Time…Each night my family eat dinner together! This is our “open-forum” time! It is the time that we listen to stories from the day, we talk about plans as a family, sometimes we watch tv and eat and talk…but it’s our time uninterrupted! When times got heavy last year, it was a time that we would often turn our TV off and answer some of the heavy questions for the kids! We had to shut out all of the noise in order to make sure we were being intentional and effective in these conversations with the kids!
Being Involved in the Community…One of the things I love about my church is that we are a big family, but we active in our community! We are always finding ways to serve and give back to the community! Our work in our church serves as an example to our children to always give back and serve in their community.
Reading Together…there are TONS of books on social justice for children! We usually find books and read them together and have conversations about the information! For us, this is usually bedtime or after school! But increasing social justice books in your children’s library will promote more conversation and learning between you and your children.
Conversations and Crafts…One of the best times to talk with my children is when we are crafting! My children love to craft! A while back while taking a walk, we found a painted rock and from then on I wanted to paint rocks with my children.
A couple of days ago I picked up some rocks, paint, and finishing gloss and we made painted rocks for social justice! In researching this project, the purpose of painted rocks is to make someone’s day by sharing an inspirational message or word! We had fun creating these rocks, I definitely think this is a project we will recreate over and over during the summer!
These days the conversations are very tough! When you are open and honest with your children, it will make your children more comfortable asking questions and having a discussion. I will admit that some of the conversations I hate that I have to explain at their young ages but we have to, we don’t have a choice. My husband and I try to lighten up the mood with activities while we have these conversations. Honestly, there have been times we have fought back tears during conversations but it focusing on our activity makes transitioning the conversations easier.