Dr. Cathy Subber leads the discussion on talking to your children about race, and listening to understand. She is joined by Patti Minglin; Tiffany McQueen Lewis, a new mom to The Moms Network; as well as guest mom Laticia “Tish” Thompson, to share their experiences on the subject.
“I know in the past few months I’m trying to make sure that I’m truly doing as much as I can be to understand what I don’t understand,” said Dr. Cathy Subber. She goes on to invite discussion about how the moms have approached the subject of race with their families saying, “I know we’re all going to have a bit of a different story based on the age of our children and who we are.”
Understanding What You Do and Don’t Understand
Minglin started the discussion, saying she is trying to teach her kids about race, all while learning herself. “Talking about what we don’t know and doing learning ourselves, I think that’s what I’ve really been doing. I’ve also been kind of taking cues from my kids, because they’re older and they’ve grown up being accepting of everyone and being very inclusive, so that’s just more a part of their dialogue,” said Minglin.
Thompson spoke to that point as well, adding that conversations with her children about race come in doses and ongoing discussions. “I’m always trying to teach my kids about inclusivity. They also go to a predominantly white school, so while I try to teach them about inclusivity, I also have to be conscious of how they will be perceived, and that is a tough conversation to have with your babies. Having to say that this is the world that we live in, so there might be a time where you’re at school, you’re on a bus, and you might be called the n-word,” said Thompson.
Lewis has younger children, an eight-year-old and four-year-old twins, and she is still preparing her kids for discussions on race. “I’m at the stage where I’m building the foundations, really focusing on helping them to see themselves as people that have value, valuing their friendships, what kind of characteristics and traits they should be looking for in friends. Also just being proud of who they are, as African-American children,” said Lewis.
When we’re listening to understand, the discussion of race is, and always will be, an important one, and it is the responsibility of parents to help share their perspectives with their children and keep them educated, while being open to education themselves.
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- Dr.Cathy Subber
- Tiffany McQueen Lewis
- Patti Minglin
- Laticia “Tish” Thompson