Monday, January 24, 2011


So, we're drawing down to the wire we set up (from a financial perspective) that we have to cross before moving. And moving is the wire for procreating (I do NOT want to have a baby in this house/neighborhood). And, being me, I'm considering a billion things in terms of moving and procreation and parenting, none of which I can really focus on since they aren't immediate.

But a question occurred to me today: being half of a white, heterosexual couple who plan on doing things the old-fashoined way barring complications, what specific things should I say/do/consider in order to raise an un-bigoted child? I have general ideas about the principles I want to pass on and demonstrate, and a genuine dislike for closed-mindedness. But I'm already embodying (or planning to embody - unless there are surprises/setbacks *knock on wood*, our plan is for me to be a SAHM) a lot of normative traits.

And those aren't *wrong*, but I'm not sure the best way to teach our child(ren) that other lives/choices (regarding work allocation, not sexuality - that is not a choice and I don't mean to suggest otherwise) are also wonderful and healthy and happy and attainable, if not aspirational. I've tried online searches and book searches on amazon, to no avail. I think I'll be ok, but it would be so much easier to have some sort of guide so I'm not flailing around blindly. I'm already hampered and blinded by more privilege than I can ever understand; and while I know it's there, I also know that living in it prevents me from seeing or identifying all of it.

So if anyone out there has reading suggestions, I'm open. More than open, I'm bordering on desperate.


Kyahgirl said...

I'm so happy to hear that you seriously are going to move and seriously considering procreation.

You know what I like about you Trina? You analyze and think, and plan, and analyze some more. I could be a bit biased I think that's a great way to be, especially about big decisions. (Might explain why I didn't have my first child until I was 38!)

Anyway, on to your question.
As you know, I'm kind of OCDish about reading. I've read a lot of childrearing/parenting books but can't say as I've encountered one that specifically talk about bigotry and 'bigotry prevention'.

I do know from raising my own kids (I'm not done, they are only 11 and 12) that they adopt a lot of your attitudes and beliefs. Its really important to me that my children be open minded, compassionate, ethical and courageous about doing the right thing. They are only going to be that way if they have that kind of role model. My husband and I talk a lot about how we want to parent and how we're doing and how we need to improve and change. Its an ongoing process and being a parent is a huge journey of self discovery too. We've made lots of mistakes but I think as long as we keep checking out compass we'll stay on course.

I could go on and on but I don't know if it would be helpful. If you ever want to talk about what parenting books I've found valuable, drop me a line. I haven't' put any of them into my goodreads reviews yet. Speaking of goodreads, have you browsed around on there?

Trina said...

I'll definitely hit you up for recommendations! So far I'm reading "Nurture Shock" and "Attached At the Heart", and have ordered "Hate Hurts". I think the best thing to do for the first few years will be to try to have lots of books with non-white characters. Nothing preachy, but trying to be inclusive. Luckily, there *are* lists out there to find those books, including one on ye olde goodreads. Speaking of - your reviews turned me on to Carla Kelly and I'm reading my way through her books now :~D

Kyahgirl said...

I think the fact that you're conscious of the issue means you will be thoughtful and careful when the time comes to start influencing the thinking of little people.
If I hear of any books that I think might be good, I'll let you know. Most of the books I've read have been about discipline and shaping character. Barbara Coloroso's "Kids are worth it" is excellent. There is always more to learn.

Speaking of Carla Kelly, I hope you enjoy some of her books. Her older books can be really hard to find but I enjoyed 'Mrs. Drew Plays her Hand", very much. Also, the Wedding Journey was good. Usually I don't expect such good character driven stories from Harlequin but I think they've picked a winner by signing her up!
I've kind of been more into contemporaries lately but Carla Kelly helps me enjoy jumping back into historicals now and then!