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How COVID will Change Parenting

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I am reposting and updating a post I did in the past about how the new decade will change for parenting. I believe now that the COVID era will be additionally instrumental in the way people parent their children because by the time we get over this pandemic, more of us will become experts in home schooling.

Here is the post again. Enjoy!

Now that I’ve reviewed the parenting trends of the past, from a celebrity perspective, let’s take a look at the top parenting trends that we can expect in the coming decade.

From Helicopter to Free Range Parenting, child raising techniques and patterns change over time, with each generation and with scholarship and research.

There really is no right way to accomplish this fine craft and art of raising decent human beings from newborns to young adult.

However, each generation adopts varying habits and patterns that mark their eras in distinctive ways.

The Millennial Generation has already established itself as separate and almost the anti-Generation of its Gen X and Baby Boomer generations that precedes it.

One report indicates that 82% of babies born each year is to Millennial moms, so here is how this new generation of parents are creating new trends for the next decade.

1.More traveling with baby and small children

Parents will be less timid about taking their babies and small children with them while traveling the world.

The concept of traveling with children is not new but was limited to trips to Disney world or roadtrips in the Summer to the Grand Canyon.  Of course, we always had those bold wanderlust or Peace Corp types of parents who were never fearful about picking up their toddler and heading to the Andes but they were in the minority.

A new report by Resonance Consultancy points to the increasing importance of Millennials to the family travel market.

Travel Agents Report states that “44 percent of Millennial travelers take their vacations with the kids in tow,” according to the firm’s new Future of U.S. Millennial Travel report.

More than half (58%) of U.S. Millennials who traveled overnight last year have children under the age of 18 in the household, Resonance learned.

Once kids enter the picture, Millennial parents continue to travel.

Now and in the future, millennial parents will not even hesitate to do so. Many are open to the idea of home schooling their children while living and working as digital nomads abroad. They do not think a child necessarily needs in-school instructions. As a result, we will see more children grow up as students of the world.

The well traveled child is the future.

2. Making home made baby food

In the last decade alone, American spending on baby food has dropped dramatically, and there’s a growing emphasis on making baby food at home.

Millennial parents have grown up in the age of information, and generally speaking, it shows.

They’re not feeding their kids the super-processed, questionably-nutritious baby and kid food of yore, and they want to maintain their principles of eco-minded, earth- and animal-friendly living once they become parents.

And according to Forbes, newer baby food brands are catering to them by partnering up with nutritionists and food engineers to offer sustainable biodynamic food sourcing and processes.

Because Millennial parents of all economic classes want nutritious, organic, science-backed food for their babies , their babies Generation Alpha will be the best fed kids.

3. More Baby wearing, Less investment in multiple strollers

Not long ago, the stroller was a status symbol. Posh parents would have purchased more than two strollers by the time their child reached Kindergarten: a baby carriage or infant car system, a jogging stroller and a toddler stroller.

Nowadays, it’s all about baby-wearing. Also, newer parents have less income and are interested in sustainable living, less waste and extravagance. They do not rely on things like strollers to make a statement.

The term “babywearing” was coined by William Sears, a California-based pediatrician who in 1992 wrote “The Baby Book,” which popularized the concept of “attachment parenting.”

Along with co-sleeping and extended breast-feeding, baby carrying is a core tenet of that parenting approach, which is supposed to nurture a closer attachment between parent and baby and ultimately a healthier child.

The future of parenting is more engaged and connected parents and baby wearing is part of that.

4. Single by Choice/More cohabitation before marriage or without plans to ever marry

Beginning with Generation X, women have been willing to have babies on their own, or elect to just co-habitate with a partner and skip getting married altogether. However, most eventually bowed to societal pressure to find the one, exchange vows and have kids.

Future parents are not willing to be handcuffed by societal rules and tradition.

In 2009, the oldest millennials were in their 20s and as The Wall Street Journal reports, of those older millennials who did have kids, most were unmarried.

And generally, what is norm has changed.

A Pew report finds that just 46% of kids in 2016 were living in a household with two married parents in their first marriage, compared to 61% in 1980.

Generation Z is coming up behind the Millenial generation and are said to be more financially savvy,  the next era of parents will be even less constrained by standards of traditional practices.

Their family planning practices will reflect this prediction.

5. More demanding about Parental Leave

Dads in the Generation Y are also leading the charge in changing gender-based roles in the home, and likewise will change policies related to parental leave.

Millennial dads are more likely to take paternity leave after their spouses or partners have a child.  They are also more likely to be stay at home dads and to baby wear.

A Business Insider report states that “millennial dads are far more likely than their fathers were to take time off work after the birth of a baby” and quotes a 2016 Cornell University study  which asserts that dads who take longer paternal leave tend to be more engaged and involved with their kids in the long run.

That same report indicated that “in 1989, only 10% of these stay-at-home parents were dads, whereas today, stay-at-home fathers account for 17% of such caregivers” and noted that while “women still account for the vast majority of parents in this role, but the numbers are on a course toward more balance.”

Further,it states that in many dual-income millennial homes in which both parents work full time (that’s 46% of households, according to Pew), the mother is the primary earner.

They are making private companies and the government adjust to this new dynamic.

Millennial parents have influenced employers such as Microsoft and Netflix to announce significant expansions to their paid parental leave benefits.

As more private companies start to offer extended family leave and generous paternity leave, future parents from up and down the socioeconomic ladder will start expecting and even demanding adequate time off after welcoming a child to the family.

They will also be more likely to support laws or support candidates that propose new laws standardizing and expanding parental leave policies and laws.

6. More Social Media – Less Friends/Family as Advice Source

Parents will be more comfortable about sharing photos of their children in social media and some with actually brand their children from birth, similar to the way celebrities do now.

About 4 in 5 millennials admit to posting a picture of their kid online at least once, according to a poll conducted by TIME and Survey Monkey. Half of baby boomers, meanwhile, have never posted a photo of their kids online, as well as 30% of Gen X parents.

A Business Insider report about how Millennials use their children as status symbols state they are spending up to $100,000 on things like Instagram-worthy nurseries.

Month-by-Month posts for the first  year of a baby’s life and fabulous color coordinated themed first birthday parties are a thing that Instagram following are made of!

Being that the new generation of parents are more digital conscious and aware, they will continue to skip friends and family for advice and turn to Google.

A recent New York Times article states that millennial parents go to Google, chat rooms, and apps for parenting advice and as one expert told the paper, “Google is the new grandparent, the new neighbor, the new nanny.”

7. Creative Names and Less Formal Names with History and Meaning

“Finding a name that has authentic roots, but is completely undiscovered, is the ultimate baby name status symbol,” Pamela Redmond Satran, a founder of the site Nameberry and author of “The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names,” told Alex Williams of The New York Times.

The future of parenting will include names that are not necessarily connected to a family or tradition.

In fact, more Millennial parents are reportedly looking for a name that is not already attached to a domain.

Also, that New York Times article mentions that many millennial parents are giving their kids personal hashtags and YouTube channels.

8. Raising Gender Neutral Children

With more awareness of LGBTQ issues and variances of how members of that community identify, modern and Millennial parents are cognizant about how they label their children. In year’s past, we followed strict gender identity and roles. To put it bluntly, children were either male or female. However, in the coming years, more parents will be open with raising children without subjecting them to or assigning them gender identity.  Future parents may be more likely to let their kids determine for themselves how they want to identify.

A Euromonitor international report states that middle class parents in developed world, especially older Millennials who are becoming parents, are taking a more gender-neutral approach to child raising, using neutral colors and with names suitable for either gender proving popular.

9. Less Religious – More Spiritual or Non Religious

A lot of holidays in secular society have become so homogenized and commercial that it is very easy for a child raised in a non-religious household to not feel left out. Christmas, Easter even Halloween and Day of the Dead which have cultural and spiritual origins are practiced and recognized by people who do not go to Church or follow the initial practices of each holiday.

Four in ten millennials now say they are religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, millennials (those between the ages of 23 and 38) are now almost as likely to say they have no religion as they are to identify as Christian.

10. They will do what feels right to them 

If any of the aforementioned are clues, the next generation of parenting will go with their gut and not abide by what books, society, the media, the government or advertisers tell them.

In fact, they will be the one dictating what these ancient institutions do!

The next era of parents will be more empowered.

The future is here and it’s going to be quite different!

 

Extended Penalty Free Tax Filing Deadline Is Tomorrow: H&R Block’s Online is Free for Your Teen

Because of COVID-19, the US government extended the tax filing deadline without penalty to tomorrow, July 15th so the procrastinators are scrambling to file their taxes in time.

If you do not have an accountant or have not booked a time for your tax guy (or gal) to hook up your taxes in time, you can still get an extension albeit with the penalty. Alternatively, if you have time and a simple return, you can use any number of online or package filing tax software.

In past, we have used with ease H&R Block’s online service for our teen. The company is part of the IRS Free File Alliance and offers free state and federal filing for taxpayers between the ages of 17 and 51 with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $69,000 or less and active members of the military.

This is great for your teen or college kid who works all year and earns enough money to not be tax exempt!

Here is an excerpt of Nerd Wallet’s assessment and a video on how to use it from The College Investor below:

H&R Block’s prices

One of H&R Block’s biggest pluses is its free version, which is better than most. Like the free tax software from most of its competitors, H&R Block Free lets you file the Form 1040, take the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit and the credit for the elderly or disabled.

But it also lets you file schedules 1, 2 and 3, which is a big bonus because many taxpayers need to file those forms. Schedules 1-3 are forms you would need in the process of reporting things such as business income, alimony, deductible student loan interest, certain retirement contributions, the alternative minimum tax, the credit for dependent care expenses, the Lifetime Learning Credit or the Saver’s Credit.

If you plan to itemize deductions, were a landlord, freelanced or ran a small business or had any other situations going on, you’ll probably need to upgrade to one of H&R Block’s paid packages. These are solid choices as well — maybe not be as flashy as TurboTax, but they’ll get you from Point A to Point B on your tax return without any trouble. And while it isn’t discount software, it’s not the most expensive option either. That makes it a solid choice for value-seekers who still want sturdy support options and modern features.

H&R Block’s ease of use

What it looks like

H&R Block’s interface is good-looking, straightforward and easy to use, and it steps up to explain concepts as you go. You can skip around if you want to, and a banner across the top keeps track of where you stand in the process. A Price Preview button up top also tells you the tax-prep package you’re buying and how much it costs.

Handy features

There is a W-2 photo import, which lets you avoid time spent keying in numbers from little boxes. You can import 1099s, and the Premium and Self-Employed packages also import data from some popular expense-tracking apps.

Help is available within the preparation process — terminology in the question-and-answer process is hyperlinked with a “learn more” tag so you can get more information without having to wander around. The help menu updates according to where you are, and you can click to access the Online Assist portal.

H&R Block will import last year’s return from other tax prep companies. The free version doesn’t automatically import last year’s H&R Block return, though.

Where you can use it

Because the software is online, you can log in from other devices if you choose to work on your return here and there. There is also a mobile app available.

Go check out H&R Block Online Before Tax Day 2020

13 Free Reources to Beat Summer Brain Drain and Keep Your Child Ahead of the Class

It might be tempting to lie around, post videos to TikTok or watch Netflix all day. Instead high schoolers should use this time to learn a new skill, take an interesting course or prepare for standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. Here are 13 free resources for high school students to get ahead while school is out.

1. Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers daily schedules for students ages 4-18. The free website also has courses in math, physics, U.S. history, grammar, economics and biology. High school sophomores and juniors can also find free SAT practice questions and tests. Even though the upcoming SAT administrations have been canceled or postponed, students still might want to prepare for this important exam.

2. edX

Even though your classes and extracurricular activities have been canceled, it doesn’t mean you should stop learning. EdX is an online platform that offers more than 2,500 courses online for free. Taking an online course is a great way to boost your resume and prove to colleges you can handle challenging material. Take this time to learn a new skill or explore a possible major from institutions like MIT, Harvard, University of California-Berkeley and more.

3. Coursera

Coursera is another e-learning platform that allows you to be taught by professors from Ivy League schools and other elite schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford and Duke. All the courses are available for free, and topics available include C++, marketing, engineering and psychology. By taking these advanced courses, you can explore a possible major choice when you go to college.

4. Quill

Quill is offering its services for free to anyone affected by school closures. The interactive writing site is perfect for anyone who wants to brush up on their craft before writing their college admissions essays. On Quill, you can gain editing skills by proofreading passages, practicing grammar skills through short activities and advancing your writing.

5. Duolingo

The cognitive benefits of learning another language are undeniable. Studies have shown that being bilingual can benefit memoryproblem-solving abilities and even intelligenceDuolingo is a free app that high school students should take advantage of now. Some schools offer limited foreign language options, but through Duolingo, students can learn Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, Russian and many more. If you want, you can even learn fictional languages like Klingon and High Valyrian.

6. Codecademy

While you might not be thinking about the job market just yet, coding is one of the most valuable skills that you can pick up. Codecademy is offering Pro scholarships to students affected by school closures. On the free site, you can choose what to learn, including building websites to analyze data. You’ll learn by doing and can start writing code within a few minutes of joining the site.

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6 Ways to Stay Healthy During Summer Travel In the COVID Era

By Durisan

Summer is here, which normally means it’s time to take a vacation! In the age of the Coronavirus Pandemic, many plans are being changed or curtailed. No matter where you’re going, if you’re not prepared, a potentially amazing holiday can turn out to be the worst.

Here are our summer health tips to make sure everything goes smoothly and as safely as possible.

1 Wash your hands regularly

It might seem obvious, but this is your best and easiest way to stay healthy while you’re traveling. Regular handwashing can help prevent COVID-19 transmission as well as more routine illnesses like diarrhea and respiratory infections. Washing up can also help you avoid bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, which can cause major gastrointestinal issues (or even something worse). You’ll also remove germs left from a sneeze or other factors that can cause colds and other illnesses that can ruin your trip.

And consider the health and habits of the people around you. Take antibacterial wipes to deal with germy surfaces, such as a gas pump, door handles, or hotel room surfaces.

2 Eat and drink in moderation

There’s no shame in indulging when you’re on vacation, but try to keep a balance between occasional splurges and nutritious food. For example, if you’re planning a big dinner, try eating light vegetables during the day.

Also, try to eat vegetables at least once daily while traveling. Dark, leafy greens are especially a good choice: They can improve your mood and energy.

To further protect your health, try to eat outdoors whenever possible and avoid smaller, older restaurants. Getting to-go orders is a smart alternative as well and provide the opportunity for a fun family picnic.

3 Stay hydrated

It can be challenging to drink enough water when you’re busy enjoying the summer and sightseeing. However, dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and even serious health problems.

Here are some useful tips:

  • Bring an empty bottle to the airport and fill it at the terminal.
  • Keep a bottle of water with you everywhere you go — and make sure you bring extra water for any children traveling with you.
  • Download an app to track your water intake and get notifications.

4 Get enough sleep

Vacation is a time for both play and rest. If you get less than six hours of sleep per night, even for just a week, you’re more likely to get a common cold than people who sleep more. If your body is thrown off from jet-lag, try taking a melatonin pill on the first night or two in your new environment. This will prepare your body to relax at your new bedtime.

5 Get some exercise

Even if you need a relaxing vacation where rest is the only thing you’ve planned, try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Exercising on vacation can help you recover from any stiffness from sleeping in a new bed, and it improves your overall energy level. Consider exercising outdoors and avoiding enclosed gyms and studios. 

6 Use your sunscreen

Days spent at the pool or the beach mean more exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and apply it every couple of hours or when you’re sweaty and/or wet. This will reduce your risk for skin cancer. Hats are great extra protection for you and your kids.

10 Black Kids YouTube Channels with 100K+ Subscribers

In this season of elevating the unsung and underrepresented voices, a lot of people are looking to diversify and expand their media, reading and tv consumption.

Part of fostering an inclusive world is being exposed to different people from different walks of life, and in the case of a black child, to see kids who look like themselves being creative.

For those who have children and want to include black creators, in particular, YouTube videos starring black children and their families, I’ve curated a list with links to 10 channels with over 100,000 subscribers eacH that are thriving and publishing fresh new content weekly.

Check them out in order of the number of subscribers  and share.

Also, there are several other rising YouTubers who do not have a large following that I will update this post to include as I become aware of them.

Super Siah – 3.21M subscribers

FAMOUS TUBE FAMILY 3.1M subscribers

ONYX FAMIY – 2.9 subscribers

 

THE MCLURE FAMILY – 1.6M subscribers

Sekora and Sefari Play – 759,000 subscribers

Skits for Skittles – 664K Subscribers

Goo Goo Girlz – 627,000 subscribers

Naiah Games – 542,000

Cali’s Playhouse- 357,000 subscribers

Whizzaroo- 326,000 subscribers

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Nadia v. Nigel – 60,000 subscribers

Ace Plays and Giveaways – 12,600 Subscribers

ElliTV isn’t updated any longer but it has 671,00-subscribers

How to Clean Your Newborn

Bellyitch Rewind

Everybody knows that babies get dirty, however, only parents know the true extent of just how dirty that can get. New parents are in for a wild ride of drool, tears and the occasional diaper explosion.

It can get messy and stressful, but those tender moments when your baby looks up at you and smiles make it all worth it. Baby’s bath time is important, yet for the first few months, you aren’t going to need to bathe them every day (until they start getting dirty, it’s recommended that you bathe them only two or three times a week).

However, hygiene is still an important part of their daily routine that you are going to want to instill in them. So, how do you keep your newborn clean between baths?

Regular Diaper Changes

Newborns under a month old should have their diapers changed right around ten times a day – definitely not less than six. They will typically have around three or four bowel movements a day. As they get older this number will change, below is a table detailing estimates of how many times a day you should change your baby and how many diapers a month that equates to:

Age Diaper Changes Per Day # Diapers Per Month

0-1 Month 10-12 320

1-5 Months 8-10 240

5-9 Months 8 240

9-12 Months 8 240

Remember, the above numbers are just an estimate – some babies will require more, some will require less. Diapers also need to be changed as soon as it is noticed that they are soiled. Urine and bacteria can lead to painful rashes that take time to treat.

Trim Their Nails

One of the most dreaded parts of taking care of your newborn is when it comes time to trim their little nails. Just like the rest of them, their nails have been growing since before they were born – so they may need a trim during the first week (and every two or three days of the first three weeks, until the nails harden and stop growing so quickly).

While one of your older relatives might suggest nibbling on them, you may peel them too far back which is, obviously, immensely painful. When clipping, hold your baby’s finger tight and press the the fingertip pad down and away from the nail – and of course, always using special baby clippers or scissors. Snip while following the gentle curve of their fingernail.

Wipe Them Down

No matter whether you’re at home or at the grocery store, you should always be sure to keep some baby wipes handy. You never know when they’re going to spit-up or have some other kind of fluid disaster – so be prepared for everything! It’s also a good idea to keep clean swaddling cloths on you at all times, too. Just like the top sheet on your bed keeps your blankets from becoming dirty, these handy baby sheets can be quickly swapped out for a clean one upon soiling.

When it comes down to it, you want to keep your baby as clean as possible to give them the best possible hygiene for a healthy and happy life!

7 Things First-Time Dads-To-Be Must Know Before Baby Arrives

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

We are one week away from Father’s Day and if you’re a brand new first time dad, we’ve got some Bellyitch Rewind tips to help you feel better about the inevitable mistakes you will make, the uncertainty and unsurety that will be part of your firSt foray into fatherhood:

  1. You’ll sometimes think you made a huge mistake — It’s normal every now and then to secretly wonder why you ever had a kid in the first place. Forgive yourself these occasional moments of self-doubt and, from time to time, let yourself mourn your pre-parenthood life. These moments will be short-lived.
  2. Buy a rechargeable, cordless hand vacuum — Much of your time will be spent getting things off the floor. At first, it will be all manner of bodily fluids, but soon enough, you’re going to be dealing with everything from Cheerios to banana slices. Later, the list will grow to include things like glitter, dirt, forgotten bacon and pretty much anything that can be shredded by small hands. And the clunky upright is too annoying to drag out four times a day.
  3. It’s perfectly acceptable to make an entire dinner in the microwave. That’s it.
  4. Act like a grown-up — One of the most heartbreaking sights is that of a parent and their young child in a shouting match trying to see who can out-tantrum the other. Children are an endless source of joy, but only when they’re not being an endless source of frustration. Breathe deeply and never let yourself escalate to the level of irrational fury that your little one occasionally inhabits. A two-year-old has the right to act like a child; you do not.
  5. Hand-me-downs are more than okay — Not only are secondhand baby things easier on the wallet and the environment, it’s a lot less agonizing when you find yourself on the fourth outfit of a craptastic kind of day (which, trust me, you will).
  6. Make time for the other relationships in your life — Not only is it important for your child to know there’s more to the world than you catering to their every need, but you’re also teaching them a very important lesson about what it means to have a full, loving life. Seeing you in the role of good friend or devoted spouse is a way for your kids to learn what it means to actually be a good friend or devoted spouse.
  7. You’re not the “backup parent.” You’re a father — You’re a full, equal partner in turning a small, fragile sack of fluid and bones into a loving, decent, healthy citizen of the Universe. Never let the fact that other people aren’t sure what to do with a man between conception and Little League fool you into thinking that you’re anything less than critical to every step of the process. Be informed, aggressively involved and as in love as you’re capable of letting yourself be.

You got this, pops! GO BRAVE!!

Amazing Dad Quick Reflexes Videos

Father’s Day is around the corner and now is a great time to reflect on how great dads are wonderful beings to their children. What better example of this is when a father saves a child’s life…literally!

Just in time for Dad’s day, let’s take a look at some fun video compilations of dads using their quick reflexes to rescue a baby or a kid in just the knick of time!

Super dad Brian Kucharik caught the ball with one hand whilst cradling his daughter Emily. Like, Whoa!

It was part of a series of amazing dad ballpark catches:

In 2014, on Father’s Day, a dad was probably coming back from a diaper change and arrived back at the stands just in time to catch Troy Tulowitzki‘s home run ball also with one-hand while holding his young daughter with the other hand. Dude casually walked back to his seat as the San Francisco Giants play the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.

Back in 2013, another dad caught a fly ball during a Diamondbacks v. San Francisco Giants game.

And let’s not leave the Minor League out of this.  In August 2015, dad Kyle Wren caught a foul ball while holding his baby as Colorado Springs took on Round Rock.

Dads catches, while good intentioned, aren’t always good for the game they’re watching.

Like the dad last June 2015 who reached in to catch a ball during a Chicago Cubs v. L.A. Dodgers game. The refs had to call the hit back. Doh!

Finally, honorable mention to the dad who saved his son from getting a hit in the face by a flying baseball bat during a March 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates v the Atlanta Braves game.

How to Talk To Your Child About Aftermath of George Floyd’s Death

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

As a parent (future, impending, new or veteran), we are challenged to cope with these unsettling times, and to help children who are experiencing and witnessing the mayhem related to the pandemic, and now social unrest.

It’s not just us.

The world is challenged by COVID-19 and more recently, the growing protests following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia . Now more than ever, we all need to become committed to personal introspection and to gather our thoughts so we can later help our kids make sense of it all.

Parents no longer have the luxury to just ignore it because the world, companies, influencers, brands, schools, political figures and seemingly everyone is saying something…finally!

A lot of parents, especially non-black parents, may struggle how to broach to topic because they themselves do not know how to process it,  know what to say, know how to say it and may experience anxiety, fear and uncertainty on how their message will be received.

I write to share my thoughts in hopes they may serve as a guide.

Ultimately, on the protests, fires and violence, you can try to shelter children but understand that if they are online, or have eyes or ears, they will hear and see what’s going on and may ask questions.

Using simple, age-appropriate wordsm explain that people are upset with a bad incident and are protesting to let the people in charge know they are not happy because this bad incident has happened before and they do not want it to happen again.

Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

Race may be a complicated topic but if you feel your child can understand, you can go ahead and let them know that while everyone should be treated equally without regards to what they look like on the outside and what skin they have, that is not always the case. And people are upset and demanding that things change so everyone can feel safe, especially our black friends, neighbors and family.

You can let them know that it is a complicated and complex problem that adults, and in particular those in charge of certain institutions, have to deal with and hopefully, we will make progress.

They should not be burdened that they bear any personal role, though you can tell them that they should always treat everyone with kindness but let them know that the problem is bigger than just one-on-one individual actions of kindness. Bigger systems need to work in order to make the type of changes people are looking for.

If you feel you need to address the fires, violence and looting, you can let them know that there are bad people who are not protestors who have sadly gone to where the protestors are and that they causing more ruckus and mayhem.

It is upsetting to you and the protestors because they think their voice may get drowned out by these other guys.

The government is stepping in to try to weed out the bad apples mixed in with peaceful protestors, but some people think it may be too much force and getting even more upset.

Again, let them know that these are adult matters and we adults are in charge of working all of this out.

You can give them a sense of understanding that what is happening is not anything they can control but that you have hope things will work out eventually and in the end, if not soon, in the future.

For older teens, if you are comfortable discussing, you can let them know that the uprisings in protests around the United States and solidarity marches and demonstrations around the world call our attention to the cause: the systematic and institutional abuse of power and authority that has resulted in repeated instances of police-involved killings of unarmed black men, women and children in America, many times when the victims are innocent of any wrongdoing.

There is a lot of scholarship and articles summarizing the problem you can find online. Here is one that I recommend:

They should know that a lot of people are taking to the streets also because they are tired of being stuck at home because of Stay-home orders and calls for social distancing.

They have decided to join those people who are frustrated with being restrained from critizing authories and once again calling for reform to ensure all citizens are treated with human dignity and respect during police encounters.

It’s a mixed bag of a lot of different people with different agendas and looks like a mess.

Nonetheless, let them know the focus must remain on the cause of the uprising and not the tragedy and property losses that are the effect.

Ideally, all lives should matter when it comes to the exercise of caution by police to limit civilian death outcomes. Sadly, history has shown that is not the case as one racial class of people is persistently killed at an alarming disporptionate rate compared to their population in America and with impunity.

There are several initiatives and ways to get involved, demand action of elected officials, or donate to the cause of those doing the hard work to improve this situation for the betterment of all, and in particular black citizens in this nation.

I hope this helps.

Stay healthy and Safe out there!