Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Peppa Pig and race consciousness

My littlest boy is a big fan of Peppa Pig.  We don't watch much TV, but when we do, he often wants to see Peppa.  Only recently have I become aware that Peppa is a bit of a sore subject with lots of parents, because she and everyone in her family are pretty naughty.  I'll admit that I usually don't watch with my kids, so I am not sure of the extent to which Peppa acts like a little asshole.  On the other hand, I don't let them watch much of Peppa or any other one thing, and we certainly don't surround them with purchased merchandise of Peppa or anyone else.  Now that this is on my radar, I'll make it a point to watch Peppa with my boy every now and again, and comment when she's being naughty.  But in general I think the key isn't necessary sheltering your kids entirely from noxious influences, but rather being aware and present and calling out when someone's doing wrong.  And vary their diet--not too much of Peppa or Power Rangers or anything.  I won't bother banning Peppa entirely from our house, just as I would never have had 55+ episodes of Peppa on hand in the first place.  So as in many things in childrearing, I'll lean on common sense and moderation as opposed to any radical pronouncements or abrupt changes.

On that note, I recently came across this guide for parents on how to raise children that are conscious of racial injustice and inequalities, and also empowered to fight them in their own little way.  Again it seems that, more than radical, noble or romantic actions, just a bit of committed effort, common sense, and honesty can go a long way in raising kids that are part of the solution to our nation's racial problems.  I especially like the spiderweb/ball of yarn exercise to communicate to kids how racial injustice has been forged over centuries, and how it will take a lot of continued effort to untangle that web.

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