We live in a world of constantly watching what we say, making sure we are not offending anyone and being politically correct. I agree, we should be mindful and ensure that any language we use does not offend or disadvantage any group of people. However, what can happen is this mindfulness creates situations where we tend to watch everything we say and we stop being truly open about what we think and feel – in a way we censor ourselves. I’ve always been someone who speaks my mind and although I have toned down my directness, I never have been one to hide away from how I feel or what I think. Being a Mom in this current global environment I feel the need now more than ever to stop watching what I have to say.
My last blog post that touched upon raising kids who will always be a minority received some interesting reactions. There were many comments of support and the re-posting of the blog globally. Not surprisingly other parents feel the same way and have been faced with challenges associated with this. There were parents who have reached out to me and want to meet, want to discuss the details more etc. The other reaction was the more interesting one. These were from parents who felt that I was creating a situation and making my kids more aware of diversity then they should be. That I should be telling my kids that everyone is the same and everyone should be treated the same. That by wanting our kids to be in a more diverse environment it meant our current friends did not value diversity. I was asked why I seem to have an issue but other parents who were part of a minority group didn’t feel that way. That if my kids were not being bullied because of any issues related to diversity then maybe I was making this more of an issue that it was. Really? Do people think that because they don’t hear someone talking about issues that they don’t exist? Can I really raise kids with blinkers on? Can the best environment for my kids be one defined by whether they are bullied or not? In 2016 do people still think diversity refers to only color? Does it mean just because my kids and I are happy and have great friends that I should be okay with the status quo?
Once again I will be open and direct. We will not raise our kids with some fairy tale notion that everyone is the same. If this means that I am creating an environment where my kids become activists then so be it. I would prefer this then them not being aware. Embracing diversity is not about everyone being nice to each other. It is about acknowledging differences and then ensuring we include all of them. Without the acknowledgement there is no real inclusion.
We all walk to our own beat especially when we are parents. The beat I choose to walk to will be one of open, direct parenting. One of discussing what is happening around the world with our kids at the dinner table and allowing them to watch the news. I want them to question what they see and what they hear. I want them to have a social conscience. They may choose not to be interested in any of these discussions and that’s okay. My goal as a supermom is to raise them to be mindful but never to stop stepping out and letting the world know who they are and what they have to say.