This is episode 177 of Let’s Parent on Purpose and a very timely one. I am joined today by my good friend and co-youth minister here on the Treasure Coast, Mikiala Tennie and we are going to discuss talking about race and racism to our children.
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Mikiala grew up in sunny South Florida. She started volunteering in student ministry while still a student herself and hasn’t stopped serving students since. Mikiala works in ministry because of her desire for people to truly know Christ. For six years she has served at First United Methodist Church of Stuart and currently has the role of Director of Discipleship and Student Ministries. She lives with her little Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.
In light of everything going on today, many of us want to have a nuanced and sensitive talk with our children about race and racism. When you do this, remember that the goal is always to approach equality.
As a parent, you cannot be afraid to talk about racism. Mikiala says, if parents are not willing to have these difficult conversations with their kids, they are doing a disservice to their families.
Do not leave it to the outside world to teach your child about racism. If you are not addressing it, it will create trauma.
Embark on the conversation with the hope of brining up your children as assets to the gospel as it relates to racism and inequality.
Inequality is real. Racism is real. And it is not over.
Teach your children to look at differences as one of the joyful parts of life. Mikiala says, to be able to move forward, everyone has to be willing to step into somebody else’s world and understand that trauma that has made them who they are. We have to be human together.
More than just talking about it, you must show your child that beyond that, you are a good example of striving to make things better. This is not just a topic of conversation.
Watch what you say because your children will pick up on your racist remarks, even if you make the comments in passing.
Your children must see you intentionally engaging in conversation with adults about race and racism. Show them that you too are open to a diverse set of friends and voices.
The greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. If we are truly people of the gospel, that has to mean putting into practice what we preach, taking actions informed by the gospel.
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