It's Just For Fun Friday! On JFFF, we review items and activities that you can do with your kids in order to increase their cultural competence and diversity awareness.
Admittedly, this week is less fun than usual, but it's also incredibly important. It's all about talking to kids about what happened in Orlando. You don't want to scare little ones, so the shooting itself is not necessarily what you want to discuss, but that violent act is not the only thing that happened in Orlando. Homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism - that also happened in Orlando (and happens much too frequently throughout the U.S. and the world) and ignoring the underlying issues isn't helping anyone. This week is about giving kids tools and empowering them to better understand these concepts so that they can combat them.
Think that this isn't an issue for your little one? Think again.
I first remember hearing the word 'gay' used as a negative connotation when I was 6 (I remember who said it too). Yes, that was in first grade. My first year at elementary school in the suburbs of New York City. My previous school included kindergarten and was one of the most loving environments ever (still is - shout out to The Seed!). While I was there, I didn't understand that anything a person was could be seen as negative. Then I went to first grade and 'gay' was synonymous with bad. It was confusing at first, but it didn't take long before I 'got' it. I still didn't agree, but I also didn't speak up until I was much older - we're talking late high school and college here. It's not that I didn't hear gay slurs throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I just didn't know what to say. You can't ensure that your kids will always say something - and they don't have to all of the time - but you can provide them with the tools & language so that if they want to speak up, they can. Because I wanted to, I just didn't.
What is your first memory of hearing slurs against people who are LGBTQ+? When did you learn to speak up (never is a legitimate answer!)? How will you help give your kids the tools and language? Leave a comment below.
As stated above, this week's video is less fun, but I hope you find it inspiring & empowering.
Check back next week for another Just For Fun Friday!
About Just For Fun!
This is the place to go to develop your child's cultural competence while still having fun! If you know that your child needs this essential 21st century skill, but find it so overwhelming, you are in the right place. Using everyday items and activities, you can increase the diversity awareness in your home. It's Just For Fun!
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