Talking with your child about the protests against police violence: To help you think about age-appropriate conversations to have with your child, here is the script we used to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement in February of this year, as well as some conversation-starters for you and your child:
“Black Lives Matter is a movement, which means a group of people who all believe the same thing. In our country, Black people are not treated fairly. The people in this movement don’t think that is OK. We say, “Black Lives Matter” to let people know that that is what we believe. Right now, people all across the country are coming together to protest and make their voices heard.”
“People protest when they feel like their voices are not being heard. What do you do when you are trying to tell someone something important and they aren’t listening? What do you do when you are really angry and no one is hearing you?”
If a child asks a question which you do not feel prepared to answer, you can always say, “That is a wonderful and incredibly important question. It is so important that I am going to think about it for a little while and answer your question later, to make sure I give you a really good answer.”
- Sidewalk chalk-talk: Create some messaging for everyone who walks by. What do you want them to know and do right now?
- Sign-making: In the spirit of PCM, invite children and neighbors to make signs, drawings, or banners and post them for the community to see.
- Toy Protest: Make small signs with tape and small pieces of paper. Have your stuffies, action figures, and dolls speak out about what needs to change. (Remember, Play is how children learn. It is how they process. Observe closely as they play to learn what they are thinking and feeling about what is happening.)
- Candlelight Vigil: While the one organized for Saturday has passed, you can hold a vigil any night. Light a candle (or several) for the lives impacted and lost to the pandemic, racism, and white supremacy. Spend some time in your window, on your front steps, porch, or sidewalk- talking (at least 8 feet apart!) with other neighbors and other families.