In my first year as a preschool teacher I worked with two four-year-old best friends, two little girls.
One was Black, and one was white.
One day I stood with them, waiting for their turns in the bathroom, as they held hands, smiling at each other, so happy to be each other’s best friend.
Then the white girl looked up at me and said:
“I don’t like Black people.”
I was shocked, dumbfounded.
I remember thinking, couldn’t this girl see that her best friend, the girl she’s currently holding hands with, is Black?
In talking with my fellow teachers, they helped me understand that the white girl didn’t see her friend as “Black.” She simply saw her as her best friend.
So, where did this idea come from?
At four years old, there is only one place where it could likely come from…
Someone at home, some trusted and loved adult, gave her this message.
It serves me to this day as such a reminder of how we are always modeling for our kids.
What we believe, they will believe.
So we must make sure that we model what we’d like to see, not just in ourselves but in our children and ultimately in our world.
It requires an examination of ourselves, something that is simple – basically asking the questions, “what is really happening here? What am I missing or overlooking, because of my own inherent bias?” – but not easy.
It’s a process I am working on, too.
It used to make me feel super frustrated that I wouldn’t ever hit the finish line for so many of these big ideas.
But in recent years I’ve come to really appreciate the process.
I’ve noticed this particularly in watching members of my online private coaching practice, the Ninja Parenting Community, grow in their learning. We celebrate lots of success as members connect with their kids, change that bad behavior to good, and truly enjoy family time.
I’ve noticed something else, too: it’s far, far easier to feel like we can make a difference in our child’s behavior, when we feel less guilty, and more worthy, inside ourselves.
It makes sense, when I think about it, that in order to make the wider world better, we have to concentrate on making our own home-world better.
And to do that, we have to think on making our inner world – the world that exists in our own heart and mind – better.
So, definitely a process!
But a path worth stepping onto.
A path worth taking tiny steps on, once we’ve gotten ourselves onto it in the first place.
A path that starts with our own feelings of worth, expands out to our children and family, and ultimately gives us the courage and hope to feel that maybe we could make a difference in the wider world.
The trick is to believe it’s possible in the first place.
I promise you, it is.
The metamorphosis I’ve seen the parents that I work closely with come through – some days, it truly brings me to tears.
Good and happy tears.
Because these parents have less to fight and struggle through, even amidst the pandemic and their own worries about the world.
They are bringing about this better world.
And so can you.
If you’re wondering where to start, come to the free live training I’m teaching tomorrow, and again this coming Sunday!
Kids’ behavior often leaves much to be desired.
It can feel as if we aren’t raising children, but instead sharing our living space with small, feral, selfish beings.
With so much disrespect, sibling fighting, tantruming – general bad behavior – it’s no wonder we sometimes feel like that.
This free live training teaches:
– How to avoid one mistake that well-meaning parents often make while bringing up young children
– The critical mindset necessary to turn a child’s bad behavior around (as impossible as that may seem, it is doable. Really!)
– 3 key steps to raising good, kind children
I am offering the training so you can preserve your own sanity, enjoy the time that you spend with your family, and ultimately to help you bring about your vision of that better world.
Click this link to register for the training:
I really hope to see you there!
Always remember that I’m here for you.
We will get through this together!
What’s up on the podcast this week:
Four tenets on how to stop racism that I learned from smart and kind gentleman Talaat McNeely, and that I use in turn to help you raise anti-racist kids:
What’s up in the Ninja Parenting Community this week:
What to do when your young child has tremendous fears… of you dying:
(If you’re not a member of NPC, but you’d like to become one, click the following link: weturnedoutokay.com/joinNPC )
What’s up in the WTOO Book Club this week:
We dive into one of the MOST useful ninja tactics for when you need your child to come do what you want them to do, instead of keeping going with what they want to do!
If you’re signed up for the WTOO Book Club, the zoom link will wing its way into your inbox this evening at about 730 EST – and the meeting will start at 9:30 PM EST.
If you’re not in the book club but you want to be, join at the following link:
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