How To Talk with Your Kids About Charleston

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In the wake of the Charleston shooting, many parents are wondering, "How can I talk with my kids about this? How much can they handle? How soon? How can I raise kids who speak up against racism and root it out of their own lives and the life of their community?" You're not alone.

To help answer that question, Do Justice (dojustice.crcna.org) is starting a daily series featuring interviews with parents of various races about how they speak about race and Charleston with their kids. Anissa Eddie of Grand Rapids is our first writer today. 

She writes: 

"As I think more about it, maybe I didn't talk to him about it because the thought of how relatable it was actually scared me too much. Even though we do not have toy guns, our boys turn things like Legos and sticks into guns—it is almost unavoidable. We are very strict to not allow them to point any type of pretend gun at people, but they still "play shoot" imaginary zombies and monsters. As our conversations continue over time, my heart wants to constantly reassure Malachi that no one will ever mistreat him or wrongly judge him due to the color of his skin. I want to promise him that he will never have to fear physical harm because he is black and that he can always trust the police. But, these reassurances and promises would not be the truth.

The truth is that there is a very high probability he will be mistreated or wrongly judged because of his skin color. There is a chance he could be physically harmed because he is black, and he will most likely need to interact with police very cautiously. As his mother, I have the responsibility to convey these truths to him while at the same time trying to help him develop a strong self concept and an unwavering sense of self worth. This is a heartbreaking task that I am only just starting to embark on with my son (and one day, his younger brothers)."  

Read more here.

Do Justice is a conversation space for justice in the Christian Reformed Church, run by the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue and Office of Social Justice. 

Posted in:
  • Black & Reformed
  • Racial Reconciliation
  • Blog
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