“Let them be little”—it’s a hashtag I use on Instagram often enough, and it’s a sentiment I hear on Facebook. But when a friend wrote this in response to a post I’d written about involving my kids in the resistance against injustice, my gut told me, no. Sheltering children from reality at any cost doesn’t do them any good, and it is a mark of white privilege.
After all, parents of color can’t “let them be little” when it comes to teaching their kids how to deal with a police officer so they don’t end up shot. Undocumented parents can’t “let them be little” when it comes to preparing their American-born children in case parents are detained or deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or police.
We live in a time where raising children to grow up and create the world we value is more important than ever. For me, that means raising socially conscious, compassionate and strong citizens.