Hedreich Nichols

For the Mamas

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SmallBites focuses on issues of belonging and identity, and intersectionality is one of those topics. This week, I will focus on intersectionality in a unique way:

So many of us who are in the classroom are dedicated to our kids–our personal kids and our school kids. I know my personal kid has displayed sibling rivalry a few times throughout the years, and he’s an only child. Of course he knows that he is my kid, but he knows that they are too. That is how us mamas, us parents are.

I am a teacher, I am a parent, and a big part of who I am is at that intersection.

While the resources here are mostly geared toward educators, shaping the world starts in our own personal corners. So if you are a mama, a grandmama, a surrogate mama, a play mama, or simply a person of any gender who mothers all the time or from time to time, this blog is for you.

Small Bites Friday Five 5-7-2

Before – Before you become a mama, think carefully about your own ideologies and beliefs. Does your stance leave room for the beliefs and ideologies of others? How do you meet ‘others’ in the real–and virtual–world? Are you respectful and ready to model being a good person by your own highest definition? Armed with intentionality, prepare yourself to model being the person you hope your child will one day grow up to be.

Littles – If you have ever watched littles bonk each over over the head with a toy they just took, you will know that humanity in it’s best form, has to be taught. Begin with these tips from Jen Cort’s conversation with Sarah Hershey and this wealth of resources from NPR. If you have experienced discrimination or if your kids are mixed race (code for Black, ask Barack Obama), Kamau Bell has some tips and resources to help you navigate the spaces we find ourselves in.

Middles – My book “What is Anti Racism?” from Cherry Lake Publishing is an excellent place to start. Although it talks primarily about anti-Black racism, it opens talking about how we other and treat people because of their identity. Throughout the book there are reflection questions and activities so that you can your kids can talk or go beyond just talking.

Young Adults  With summer reading lists on the horizon, how about a family book study? Here is an allyship lesson plan from Bryanna Wallace and Autumn Gupta called Justice in June. Even if you are planning on binge watching more than reading, you can pull from this comprehensive resource to do more than ‘have conversations around race’. Further, this Rich in Color list links to several other sites and lists to expand your horizons.

Solo Flyers  By now, you have done your job as a parent and hopefully you have raised thoughtful, empathetic children who care about others. Maybe you and your children share values, maybe you have divergent beliefs. If so, this is where you practice acceptance and embrace them for who they are. Still, if discussions tend to get heated at family gatherings, here are a few tips to help you keep Mother’s day celebratory. And if relationships are strained, you are not alone, but just know, there is no reason they have to stay that way.

And finally, this Lagniappe from Common Sense Media with great questions to guide conversations with children of all ages.