We are living in crazy times, but for many of us it is not the unknown. Our parents, grandparents, and many generations before them have all dealt with oppression and racism. The idea for my book, Mama, came to me in 2016 after so many deaths due to police brutality were responded to without justice. Four years later, and the incidents of police brutality on black people, and all minorities, has increased. Police officers kill people not resisting arrest and other people who are asleep in bed. Now, people have become vigilantes and killing black joggers. Other people are calling the police with false reports of bird watchers threatening them.
In these times, what do you say to your children? The conversation may be hard, but it has to be done. Parents, children are perceptive. Not only do they hear and see what’s going on, but they can feel your pain and anger. Children, don't be afraid to ask your parents about the images you see or the things you hear. This is the perfect time for you to have a conversation about race in America and police brutality.
My first suggestion is to read a book together. For younger children, read it together and discuss it as you read it along with each other. For your teens, read the book separately, but have a daily discussion about what’s happening in the book. Of course, I’m going to recommend Mama, but these are additional books that I recommend for children and teens.
After you read your book, make sure you have a conversation. This conversation is going to be hard and emotional. This article provides great tips on how to talk with your children. Don’t be afraid. This conversation is necessary for our emotional and physical well-being.
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