This past weekend I took my 20-month-old son to see Sesame Street Live, we were accompanied by one of my good friends, her son who is close in age to Carter and dada came with us too! What I was shocked to see was the disparity concerning attendees of color versus those who are not, and being brutally honest I’m pretty sure you could count the number of black people there. — excuse the brutally honest statement, and excuse the one to come … but what is it with people of color not exposing their children in activities and things to do?
I had this conversation long ago with a friend way before I was a parent and at the time she was. I constantly suggested things to enroll her daughter into, dance class, cooking classes, gymnastics, swimming etc… I’d constantly see fun things for kids her daughter’s age to do and grow envious that I didn’t have a child of my own to engage with and introduce them to new, fun things. She never signed her up, and eventually, I stopped asking. I guess she just didn’t have the time.
Finally being a mom, especially a mom who works hard to make ends meet etc… I can see why some parents may not have the time or the funds to engage their kids in activities, but…(and here goes the blunt me again) why not make the time and find a way?
literally, sponges, just waiting to absorb, so remind me again why we are choosing as parents to not engage? … oh that’s right, it’s easier to throw an iPad in front of the kids and have them sitting there watching it hours on end as long as they aren’t bothering you—- I forgot. Now please don’t go labeling me as some judgemental mom because sometimes the iPad is a very necessary distraction/ break for mom and dad. Carter at 20 months and has taken a liking to YouTube so I totally get it, but what I don’t get is making a habit of it. What happened to kicking it old skool’ ? Coloring books… puzzles, games? I lived for those as a kid and that wasn’t too long ago, I’ll remind you I’m only 27. It’s sad we are raising a generation dependent on technology, it’s sad we as adults have become a generation dependent on technology and it’s translating to our kids. When Carter was 6 months, I signed him up for swimming (such an eager new mom I was). The class at the Y cost $180, his dad and I were the only parents of color… when asked by friends how much the class costs because they too were interested, we were meant with turned up faces and the shocking, “you paid that much for a damn swimming class”? And Just as confused as them I tried to remind myself how much iPads were going for at the time.
So you guys would rather spend ridiculous amounts of iPads etc, but not spend money signing the kids up for an activity? — oh.
My goal as a black mother raising a black son is to keep my child engaged. Sparking his interests is not only something I’m looking forward to doing but something I feel is necessary while raising the next generation of children. The more we do, and the less familiar faces I see I try to stay hopeful that my son’s peers’ parents will someday get on the same page. As a black girl being raised in the suburbs I know what it feels like to be exposed to things with not a familiar face in sight, I can count of my hands and feet how many times I was the only black girl in the class.
You think We wanted to drop $50 on each ticket to Elmo, HELL NO, but my son loves Elmo, We knew Elmo was coming for months so guess what we prepared to bring Carter to Elmo…
(I’ll go broke anytime if it means seeing him smile like this)
Moral of the story the same amount of time parents spend on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram could be spent looking up a class or an upcoming activity in the area to engage their children in.
Moms feel free to drop some ways you keep the kids busy and past activities you guys’ have participated in… were they worth it?
The older my son gets, the more I want him to do… call me an overzealous wannabe soccer mom, but I can’t wait to be obnoxiously cheering in the stands at all the games with my wine in my cup (that everyone will think is coffee) Am I the only one?