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Hello friends, this is the second episode of the Raising Luminaries podcast.
And the name of me… oh, oh dear. another [bad intro], oh gosh, no, this is terrible.
And this name of the person that I am is Ashia Ray. You’re welcome for that. Oh my gosh, that’s deeply embarrassing.
But you know what, I’m not going to delete this. I’m going to power through because it’s important that we be enthusiastically terrible about this right now. Otherwise, we’re just not gonna – we’re not gonna do anything.
So today, we’re going to talk about this thing that I couldn’t put into words in terms of a book list back when we were focusing on picture books, which is this concept of raising our kids ‘the right way.’
One of the most common requests that I used to get from the ‘books for littles’ Facebook group – when we asked about parent challenges, was the challenge of finding the ‘right’ way to raise their kids or to raise ‘good’ kids. (You know, kind of implying that there are bad kids out there).
Or picking the right books or avoiding the wrong books. Which is kind of silly because I think about the most problematic trash garbage books out there. They’re such a good learning resource about the dominant culture and the subtle ways that we send our kids all these really toxic messages.
So in terms of raising our kids ‘the one right way,’ that always skeeves me out, like the same way that when people ask me for ‘diverse books,’ skeeves me out, because when you’re saying ‘diverse books,’ it’s usually from someone who does not consider themselves ‘diverse,’ and who sees anyone who is a part of a target identity as not the default – as kind of you know, with the glitter or spice.
So that grosses me out, but particularly ‘the right way to raise kids.’ Whenever I see terms like ‘raise your kids up right,’ or ‘raising our kids to be good’ or ‘reading the right books,’ or ‘picking the right curriculum’ reminds me that our our culture is still very much steeped in this concept that there are some ways that are superior and some ways that are inferior.
I don’t know if you can hear my kids. One of my kids is doing his machine gun verbal stim. You’re just gonna have to be be in space with us for that, I guess.
But this is rooted in the idea that there’s right ways of being and wrong ways of being and there are people who are moving through the world correctly. And people who are moving to the world incorrectly.
And that’s all steeped in the concept of supremacy and inferiority, that some things are superior and some things are inferior, you know, the path that we that we get to guide our children on – as if it’s a… what I feel like should be an opportunity and like a gift, the opportunity to be in a relationship with someone from the very beginning (or close to the very beginning) and help them learn how to navigate the world and, and I do this myself, fall into the trap of treating parenting like a checklist of obligatory things to do.
Those mouth sounds are not me, that’s my cat licking himself. Sorry if that’s grossing you out. I know that grosses out a lot of people, but he won’t leave. This is his house.
So I try and check myself and I don’t do that as much as I used to. But that fear of doing it wrong, that fear that like if I don’t cover one specific topic before my kids hit a certain milestone or if I don’t instill in them a specific value before their brains, I don’t know solidify and gel like, like a gelatin.
They’re going to have to be incels and white supremacists and all kinds of terrible people. But that’s not really the way that people grow or learn. And I have to remind myself of that, but it’s still scary. And that’s okay.
But anyway, this is a meandering ramble about how it comes off when we talk about raising kids up right, or picking the right books.
Oh my gosh, this is so distracting this house with all of these cats cleaning themselves and… two of them now! And this child singing.
You know what? Enthusiastically crappy. This is what this is – an enthusiastically crappy, somewhat incoherent rambling. So that way we can stay in community with each other despite our various accessibility challenges, time crunches, and lack of childcare.
Anyway, I hope that you’re doing well and and finding ways that work for you to navigate this second year of pandemic and isolation and trying to find ways that are not necessarily right, but at least not…at least not harmful.
Now they’re playing… these children! Now they’re playing terrible music from the Descendants movies. have you seen those. Oh, they’re very terrible.
Stay Curious, Stand Brave, and Side-Eye Righteousness
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