About Activist Parenting
Cradling my first newborn baby, I softly walk them to sleep, gently bouncing them and singing nursery rhymes. And I think what is with all these ‘he’ pronouns? So I switch it up. He became she, ze, or they. And that is the moment I became an activist parent.
Kids learn best through play, including learning about social issues. Through play kids can learn to be open-minded, open hearted, and inclusive with people of color, queer and gay identifying people, transgender and non-binary identifying people, and people with disabilites.
Parents are in a powerful position to create incredible social change.
By being thoughtful and intentional we can raise kids who have open minds and hearts, who are inclusive in nature, and who have the strength and confidence to stand up for what is right. Imagine a world, a country, a state, or even one small town where the number of kids like this far outweighs the number of kids not like this. Now imagine all these kids growing up and following their greatest dreams and ambitions.
Does being an activist parent require a degree, other credential, or specialized knowledge? Nope. Does it require the experience of certain jobs? Nope.
Activist parenting requires out of the box thinking, a little creativity, and the desire to have fun engaging with your children.
Kids learn through play, singing, reading, moving, interacting, being outside. Kids learn in community story times and music times. Kids learn through meeting new people, making new friends, and staying connected with old friends. It is through these same avenues that parents find their opportunities for activist parenting. Each blog I write highlights an example.
Activist parenting requires self-reflection.
You may find that you thought you were really comfortable with a topic until it came time to teach your child about it. You may find that you live in a bubble with people similar to you. You might be surprised at your own preconceived notions and unchecked prejudices. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you self-reflect, learn more about yourself, learn more about others, and grow beyond it.
Activist parenting requires continual self-education.
Luckily there are a multitude of resources. Do you like to read? There are countless books, both fiction and nonfiction, written by people telling of their own experiences of racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, sexism, homelessness, domestic violence, sexual violence, and of living in a country undocumented.
Do you prefer to watch videos? People document these same type of experiences in movies, on youtube, on facebook live.
Would you rather enjoy great art? You are in luck because there is so much of it, I could never adequately describe your options for learning more about people’s experiences with oppression through their artwork.
Do you ever listen to music? Music speaking to personal or a community’s experiences can probably be found in each genre.
There is always more to learn.
Yes, yes there is. For example, if you think you have a pretty good grip on black history, you probably don’t. If you haven’t learned about the experiences of black women or black trans women or black women with disabilities or black trans women with disabilites who have experienced homelessness or……..do you get where I am going with this?…….then you have some gaps to fill in your education. There is always more to learn.
Activist parenting is fun.
If you care about social justice issues and you also enjoy singing with, playing with, and reading to your kids, then you are at the right place. I hope you find lots of fun ideas and even get inspired to come up with your own.