In a society that is trying too brainwash our children and current generation into thinking, acting, and viewing the world from a culture that is not theirs I think this is a crucial conversation. America is a melting pot of identities but I think any American can correlate the American dream, the American persona to a certain image. The image that is pushed out and publicized in a positive context by the mass media; it is not of a dark complexion, unruly hair, a high BMI, short statute, or big brown eyes.
Our children are growing up watching this from an innocent and naive perspective. Whether or not they understand that society is pushing down an agenda of conformity is irrelevant. What is important is that they cannot identify with the leaders, politicians, innovators, or strong courageous heroes that are constantly being shown to them. It is our job as parents to be their biggest influencers and teach them the power in loving the skin they are in.
Time and time again we see that children are committing suicide, are having a self-identify crisis, are being bullied or manipulated into acts they should not be subjected to because they cannot understand who they are. As a mother, it is our job, responsibility, role, and biggest challenge to guide them towards identifying who they are as a person. It is crucial to show our future generation that they do not have to be apart of the larger mass, that their greatest tool is their brain, that their voices should be heard, and that submission is not the only alternative. If we do not teach our children how to identify themselves and their characteristics to those of influencers, leaders, and thinkers than we will continue to raise a thoughtless society. A society that is filled with self-hatred, division, and one that can be easily influenced or coerced.
Now this doesn't have to happen over night and there isn't a specific rule book to follow on showing your child how to have a healthy relationship with themselves. The most important thing is taking the time and committing to routinely showing them who they are.
Some tidbits I now incorporate into my son's schedule that were low cost and help him reflect and identify on who he is as a person:
- Drawing: how he feels or something that he likes everyday (I literally went to Dollar Tree and got markers, crayons, color pencils, and a big sketch pad. Total $4 = showing my child how to express himself)
- Journalism: he has to write 5 sentences about his day and read it aloud to reflect on the moments that stood out. (Again, Dollar tree is a lifesaver I got 4 different journals with characters that he likes. Total $4 = showing my child how to reflect on the things that make him happy)
- Language: I should have been taught him (shame on the Devil) basic Spanish words because it is part of his culture and he needs to be well rounded. Total $2 = understand his background, diversity.
- Culture: FREEEEEE I went online and printed out pictures of men that my child could identify with, wrote a short bio on the back of the picture, and everyday I am showing him something that man has accomplished or relative to what the man stands for.