Of course, there has always been tragic events throughout history. I remember as a child the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles. I grew up about 45 miles south of LA and the impact still traveled across the United States in a series of events. I was only 7 years old but I was scared. We couldn’t venture outside and I stayed home from school for a week. A child to a young Mother we never spoke about what was going on around us, her goal was just to keep my sisters and I safe. I can’t help but think how it would have been better to speak about the event. At 7 many wouldn’t think a child would understand but I knew the difference between black and white, it was enough to open a conversation.
Over the course of my childhood, I started to analyze and break apart how I picked up on current events. Most issues were discussed during school, church, and with friends. Information was delivered so much more differently then it is now and with the growth of technology I can’t help but think how much will get to my kids before I do. So I compiled some concepts to how I plan to raise my children to be socially aware and have the skills to address whatever issue is going on. While it may be a difficult task to monitor what’s going on in the community, giving a child the tools to develop a social conscious of their own will help them throughout their life.
- Faith – This is a solid concept that everyone may not agree with but one that my children will grow up with. Everything happens as planned. There are no accidents, yet a bigger picture we are yet to see. I believe if their foundation is built in faith, they will understand why things are the way they are.
- Diversity – Promoting diversity from the toys my children play with to the value of understanding different cultures. I want my children to gain perspective so that they can take in everything with an open mind.
- Privilege – Addressing privilege is vital in growth. I want my children to have a grasp of our history and understand why there are differences between specific groups. Teaching my children what privileges they may have or not have is important early on. This will allow them to understand issues that arise in our community at an early age and how they should address them.
- Volunteerism – Teaching my children the value of serving our community. This can be within our church community, at school, and possibly a local shelter. I want my sons to know what it’s like to be selfless. I believe by having them give their time to those that need it will let them witness why specific issues create conflict or exist in our world.
- Open Discussion – As my children get older, I want them to be able to come to me about anything they have questions about. Whether a news article or something they don’t agree with at school. Being able to be open is what family is all about.
Overall, I want my children to know as much as they can before they begin to dissect a situation. Raising socially aware children is one of the most important priorities a parent should have in order to take on what world issues we will face tomorrow. The more children are aware of justice, equality and fairness, the better they will be able to help build a good community.