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Kids: Taking Action, Being Heard

"Hi, why did you put girl stuff in a section and put boy stuff in a different section and why did you say that girls are supposed to wear dresses and stuff like that and why did you say boys are supposed to wear superheroes and dinosaurs and stuff ???????????????????????" --F

My 7-y-o recently emailed a clothing company whose website we stumbled across, as well as a local leader who was subjected to overt racism.

"Hi, I am very sorry for what happend. I am very sad that the person was very not kind. I DON'T like that you got a racist email I'M very sad that you got that email. I believe that racism should NEVER EXIST. I BELIEVE IN LOVE AND KINDNESS AND POSSIBILITIES AND GOOD WORK AND VOTING FOR RIGHTS AND FREEDOM." --F

Several months ago I started feeling like "ending on an up note" in conversations with my kid about injustice--whether by offering specific examples of things people (incl kids! incl his family!) have done/are doing or more general language about how people have always fought for and made good change happen--was no longer where I wanted to end, at least not every time. Like I wanted to, on occasion/where possible, also offer my kid an immediate action he could take--something concrete--to challenge -isms and the status quo.

So, knowing how into typing/texting he's become in pandemic times, I thought to make that into a potential action by giving him a chance to reach out directly, in writing, about stuff he's seeing and hearing about. For now, he's into it. Sometimes he even gets a response.

Are you supporting your kids' agency in similar ways these days? In other ways?

--Kristen, white mom to a white son in Northampton, MA

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