It is important that we acknowledge how difficult this day can be for some. This day can be a reminder of suffering and loss. For those who find this day difficult, reach out and talk to someone. If you find it hard to talk to those around you we have a link to support lines below.
Events around the world recently have made us reflect on how important it is to teach children about diversity, how important our roles are in young people’s lives and how we need to take accountability for our actions and language. We can all take an active role in having these conversations. Often children start to mingle with others outside of their home from a young age so starting these conversations early is important.
Below we have highlighted some of the ways this can be done:
1. Read books that celebrate diversity.
Did you know that according to an Arts council report (2018) only 1% of children’s books had a BAME lead, and only 4% of books had a non white character in 2017 (https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/books/best-childrens-books-diversity-a3974701.html). Whilst the numbers are low, there are many independent authors who are trying to tackle this. To make this first step a little easier we have rounded up a couple of articles which have some great suggestions, southbank centre and Huffington Post.
For those of you on Instagram we have researched the following accounts to keep yourself up to date:
2. Visit cultural events to celebrate and learn with other communities
There are so many family friendly events that take place all over the UK celebrating Eid, Diwali, Christmas, Vaisakhi etc. These events can easily be a family fun day out for all.
3. Be a role model with the way you communicate and treat those around you.
Children look to the adults around them to help them navigate the world. Your behaviour and the way you speak about others can help children to be more open and tolerant. If we want to see a change in the world, it actively starts with you. Do your research, educate yourself and those around you.
4. Actively challenge stereotypical narratives in a way that opens conversations and compassionately educates those around you.
Challenging friends and family about their language and behaviour can be difficult. We may be fearful of their reactions or feel like we will offend. This step goes hand in hand with the previous. It is important when being a role model that we demonstrate how we can challenge in a way that feels safe for all involved. This in turn teaches our young people how to have these difficult conversations.
In saying this, we recognise how difficult it can be to know where and how to start. Educating yourself on how you can have these conversations safely will help you feel confident in talking about issues you want to challenge.
The SF team have researched some resources that can be helpful in having difficult conversations:
NSPCC parents guide for talking about difficult topics with children (article)
YoungMinds how to have difficult conversations with your child (youtube video)
How to talk to friends and family about sensitive subjects: the art of having difficult conversations (article)
Seekh Talks – Difficult Conversations (youtube video)