For young children, images of angry protests in the news and polarized conversations in the car are confusing and disturbing. Make no mistake, these teachable moments about diversity will change the entire landscape of our country ~ one way or another. Calm, positive, simple conversations and an encouraging soundtrack can help children understand their worth and others’.
When my son was a preschooler, we tacitly, consistently paid attention to similarities, not differences in our daily life. There were inclusive play dates and parties, positive messages of friendship and cooperation in our books and music, avoidance of “good guys and bad guys” language, and identifiers of children and their families that didn’t begin with skin color, physical needs, intellect, or neighborhood.
One of my favorite albums from those years is The Sky Blue Catfish. Fans of this fun CD are still listening to it 26 years after its release by the Minneapolis Music Workshop for Kids/Baby Boom Music. Granted, I liked a quiet home without popular radio playing; that said, this is well produced music with timeless, life-giving messages that weave mutual appreciation and positive communication into a family’s values.
Like other crucial lessons, parents have to begin early. Values instilled when children are learning language and observing each other in natural settings will center them for life.
Two other songs from The Sky Blue Catfish: “It’s Music To Me,” about respectfully letting children learn in their own ways and allowing them to freely discover and grow into the amazing individuals they can become; and “Mr. Fuzz,” about how hard, necessary, and ultimately inevitable is change. ~ Timely when it came out, maybe even more important today.
Full link to “Something Special” song access – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h7Lnw8x6NyrLyPRr2mkiVm5IzdwCFGM5/view?usp=sharing
Full link to “It’s Music to Me” song access – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Lc_a2rs1Ty22v22YDdLb5Rby9pPox4z2/view?usp=sharing
Full link to “Mr. Fuzz” song access – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YQUe1gAkrxOnUYEZAitWzWhcQteW66k9/view?usp=sharing
Photo courtesy Pixabay.com