While sitting around the dinner table, some interesting discussions were happening… and it got me to thinking: sometimes parenting is just about being prepared for your kid to suddenly trigger discussions on gender identity or critical race theory or dictatorships (in the same week or conversation).

I am so glad for all the folks who have helped me learn how to break these down into topics and examples that kids can understand!

How does a kid get there?

Well, in this situation, the gender identity question arose because my kid understands that some people use ‘they/them’ pronouns (like her librarian at school last year). But then some people recently were talking about having babies and wanting to know if it’s a boy or a girl. The question from our kid was: how do you have a kid who is a ‘they’?

The question of critical race theory (CRT) came up because she was asking if we could go someplace and we mentioned we were trying not to support that particular government because they made unfair decisions and after a quiz on what it was they were doing, the logical follow up question was “why would they do that to other people?”. That’s a fun one to explain to the kids!

Are we all really ready to discuss systemic racism and self-preservation and the fact folks who decide on the system benefit from it not changing? The fact that our family benefits from it not changing? But as a parent, you don’t get to choose when that discussion is going to happen.

If you have kids who can ask ‘why’, no matter how young they are, be ready. Listen to others who know more and find examples or analogies that work for you and your kid. You don’t have to cover everything, but you need to be ready enough to get them to a place that won’t be harmful.

Because it might just be breakfast time when you have to suddenly explain equality vs equity!

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