I always make #ScarletForPresident jokes because of the stuff that’s come out of her mouth since she was a toddler! In some ways, I want to keep her young and protected from the news of the world, but in other ways, I’m happy she’s precocious about social justice issues. She has passion and fire and that’s what we need in the next generation. I think there’s a balance to skate here – and reading WordFire Press’ Danielle, Chronicles of a Superheroine made me realize that if your child is showing a propensity for learning and helping others, you can nurture it in a slow and comfortable way.
As a woman and a mother, I think we’re at an interesting point in history right now. And I think about our daughters today and what kind of future they’ll have, and how we can help shape it. So I wrote a list to myself, and YOU!
7 Ways to Involve Our Daughters in Social Justice Issues:
1 – This starts early – but make sure your children have diverse choices when it comes to their toys, books and TV and movies. And let your loved ones know too. My kids have school teachers for aunts, uncles, and great uncles, and the amazing books they’ve received over the years have taken my breath away. All beautiful and inspiring and age-appropriate too. I’m critical with my kids’ toys. I like to make sure what they play with represents different identities and perspectives.
2 – When your child asks the tough questions, which they will, use this as a teaching moment. I can’t tell you the questions we’ve gotten in the last few years – especially with Des being in first grade now and seeing more of the world at school and with trips to NYC and beyond. When they ask questions about other people, loudly, it’s natural to feel embarrassed. Instead of quieting them, take it as a great moment to tactfully explain – or expand upon – diversity.
3 – Make social justice a family affair. Whether your kids volunteer once a week or once a month, or only around the holidays, support this. Let them know they’re helping to make the world bigger and brighter. And join them as well.
4 – Let your child have a voice, and truly listen. I remember being a kid and feeling powerless around adults, but my parents really did listen to me – even when I said the most outlandish things! It changed the way I viewed and respected other adults, but ultimately I still think they were in the right for showing so much support and respect for us. Your child’s perspectives will help you learn more about them, and how they see the world.
5 – Talk to your kids about current events in an age-appropriate and friendly way. Not sure how to do this? These days it’s impossible to shut out the news of the world from them. This can be a learning experience with an honest and open conversation. And you can be the one to ease their fears – which is better than leaving them unspoken.
6 – Change their knowledge of history. My town is a unique one, and my daughter has learned a lot of true history since kindergarten, but make sure to fill in the gaps that school is missing, concerning black, LGBT, and indigenous populations, heroes, and histories. And if you see or hear something that concerns you, say something.
7 – Teach them to be a Danielle! You all know how much I adored Danielle, Chronicles of a Superheroine. It hit me hard.. right in the heart. So many lessons to learn there.
It teaches us how to be, and how to teach our kids to be. And what are those messages? Be Smart, Be Kind. Inspire your children to dream big, pursue their passions, and be kind to others along the way. Anyone can change the world. Teach your kids that you don’t have to be an adult to change the world. Learn by Doing. Inspire your children to care about world issues and create change. Pursue Your Passion. Encourage your kids that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Ready to know more? You can pre-order Danielle, Chronicles of a Superheroine right now with this link. This signed, hard-cover first edition novel is a perfect holiday gift! Plus, you get a chance to win an hour-long video conference with Ray, a free e-book of the novel and How You Can Be a Danielle, and a 22-by-29-inch illustrated poster by Amy Kurzweil!
So, have you ordered Danielle, Chronicles of a Superheroine?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.