Pay Attention to Your Child's Digital Play
Mar 28, 2021
Is your child mentally/emotionally escaping?
Is your Black daughter coping by imagining herself in another skin? Keep reading...because this is deep.
I have something really important to share and I need you to lean in. I will, of course, share some more very strategic teachables, but it feels irresponsible to wait until I have the "right words" and examples "perfect."
Black parents and parents of children of color...I need you to lean in, especially.
As an educator, I'm noticing increased self-hate among little Black girls, especially between the ages of 7-11. A lot of them are playing games on their phones and ipads that give them the opportunity to select an Avatar before they play. (Some are fashion games, but not all of them are.) They select the skin, hair, clothing...everything.
They are making themselves appear "White" and imagining themselves that way for hours every day.
I need you to pay close attention to your Black daughter and see if she is constantly creating a "White/blonde" version of herself to play with every time. Because that is what I have noticed and it is deep.
So deep that when I asked, "Hey, what if we all made a promise to play with avatars that look like ourselves?" I was met with disgust. "No! I don't want to do that! Fine, then I just won't play anymore! I want a beautiful avatar...not a brown one!"
I also want to add that this type of response is completely out of character for each girl I interacted with.
As a teacher, I know that my students are digital and global citizens and a lot of their world is online and will continue to be, so it is important for me to engage with them there, as well.
During this pandemic, kids are being given digital tools to play with now more than ever. I need you to pay attention to how they play. Who are they mimicking?
Who are their favorite tik tok(ers)?
Who are their favorite youtubers?
It's more than buying them diverse books...make sure their online world uplifts them, as well.
Let me know if you want to go deeper. I have a lot to say on this topic... but only if you're ready.