The world around us is complex and confusing for adults at the moment, let alone for children.
The girls have only ever attended international schools where there has been a huge diversity in ethnicity, race, religions and cultures all of which we have embraced.
Seeing what has been happening in the UK and the US has made me really reflect on whether I needed to teach racism more explicitly given that we are no longer living and working overseas.
Having enrolled one a Racism Challenge myself (which I highly recommend by the way) I decided that we cannot and should not avoid conversations about racism with the girls. In face it is essential we do so.
Were we a family of color these conversations would have had to have commenced immediate after birth so as to protect and prepare our children for an unjust and unfair future in a racist world. If we are to prevent the next generation from repeating the mistakes of the generations gone before we too as white families have to have these challenging conversations.
So, we started. We had already started with the civil rights movement and the BBC Bitesize lesson about Rosa Parks and so continued on familiar territory with lessons on Ghandi and Nelson Mandela.
It is the first time we have spoken explicitly about skin coliur with the girls and they reflected really deeply in the friends they have had the cultures they have come from
Freya spoke about Auria who is Indian and Mazen who is Muslim, Flossy talked about her TA Mrs B who was Indian and Farha her best friend who was Egyptian.
It was sad and happy in a way that the girls now identified the differences between themselves and their friends, highlighting how they were dissimilar while also being aghast and disgusted that anyone should think their friends had any less right to anything in life than they themselves have.
I’m not sure how to do the right thing or how to ensure our girls are open minded and caring about people from all backgrounds, but I’m certain we will work tirelessly to get better every day.
Because, if the roles were reversed, I would want every black parent or parent of colour to do the same for the future of my children.