BOOK # 01 SUMMARY: UNIQUE – NOT WEIRD!
Unique –Not Weird! It is the first children’s book in a series about talking to kids about difficult subjects. This time we are talking about race and ethnicity. Our family is biracial and bicultural. Eric is Afro-American, born in Louisiana. I am originally from Brazil, living in this great nation for almost 30 years. I speak six languages and have a thick accent. Eric and I are well-seasoned travelers who love people, food, and new cultures. We authentically appreciate diversity, a part of who we are.
We hope to create a tool to support those trying to talk about race with young children and initiate a dialogue. We don’t pretend to have all the answers. There’s no one “right” way to have these conversations. We encourage parents to have these sometimes uncomfortable conversations with your children. And, if you find yourself wishing you would have answered a question differently, own it.
The stories in this series collection represent real conversations within the context of our family. Our Little Doo-Doo is continually watching us (she has eyes in the back of her head!), so we are mindful of what she sees and how we explain our actions. What we don’t say is just as important as what we do say. This is true for actions too – what we do, and don’t do, provide a model for our daughter.
For my husband and me, nothing is more rewarding than raising our 5-year-old daughter. We are training her to embrace antiracist ideas and expose her to people different from her. We encourage her to be proud of her identity and inheritance. In this family, talking about race and ethnicity is not a one-time occurrence.
Most of the time, we are selective about the information our daughter receives. However, kids get knowledge and understanding from many other sources. During the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, she likely overheard conversations about race, racial differences, and racism — and is asking tough questions.
I believe for many parents, the protests after the death of George Floyd resulted in their children’s first questions about race and racism. Those protests sparked questions from children, and racism is no longer a subject that parents can avoid. We prefer to be the ones talking with our daughter about race in America. In this way, we engage her, hopefully providing answers and shaping her feelings about race. Not shying away from those difficult conversations is the first step in raising an antiracist child.
As parents, our goal is to raise Little Doo-Doo to see racial disparities. We also want to empower her to express notions of racial equality. We hope and pray she will embrace her own identity and always respect humanity — to do her part to challenge this big problem of racism.
BOOK # 02 SUMMARY: NAVAL WARSHIP HIDDEN TREASURE
NAVAL Warship Hidden Treasure – It is the second children’s book in a series about talking to kids about difficult subjects. This time we are talking about the contributions and sacrifices made by military children and their families. It’s rare when there are stories about challenges experienced by female Sailors as they simultaneously balance military obligations and parenting.
When anyone serves our great nation, far from home, the rest of their family must be resilient — especially the kids.
Here, we share some of our family dynamics, parenting philosophy and authentic dialogue with our 5-year-old daughter as she relates with her daddy and reacts with her mother’s absence due to frequent military underway and obligations.
My husband Eric retired after 26 years of faithful military service and I am still active duty, serving as a military chaplain.
Many women deployed, or going underway on naval ships, are also wives and mothers. The entire family serves when a military member serves. Yet, there were times, outside the military community, where these sacrifices are admirable when made by “hero” dads. Moms, however, don’t always enjoy that accolade without some questioning: “How could a mother choose to leave her children?” I’ve even heard that accusation from well-meaning acquaintances.
Together, my husband and I constantly work to teach our daughter that we value her sacrifice and appreciate her contributions. Strategically, we seek ways to include her in the decision-making process, and let her voice be heard.
This book is dedicated to all the brave female Sailors, in active duty. I honor your sacrifice and dedication. You all are amazing!
Hopefully, this book will give you and your families’ new insight and inspiration.
BOOK # 03 SUMMARY: A CITY WITHOUT WALLS (A City Without Limits)
A City Without Walls – It is the third children’s book in a series about talking to kids about difficult subjects. This time we are talking about the homeless in San Diego, California. Children have questions! When your child asks about a person they see sleeping on the street, or someone resting on the sidewalk with their belongings, it can be difficult to answer but from a child’s perspective, it’s simple curiosity.
As parents, the ideal answer should include concepts such as empathy, compassion, and social responsibility. If you want to explain a complex issue like homelessness in a way your child will understand, it’s best to be well prepared when the inevitable questions arise. Hopefully, this book will initiate ways to navigate a difficult conversation. I suggest talking to your kid about homelessness before they encounter it for the first time. That way, they’ll have a working understanding when they do meet a homeless person. This approach also gives parents more control over what exactly your kids learn about homelessness since they’re learning it right from you, not friends or TV.
There are a few things you may want to avoid when talking about homelessness. It’s a tricky subject, and it’s only natural for kids to feel unsettled or upset by it. Though uncomfortable at times, avoid lying to your child about homelessness. Do not avoid their questions, try to keep your answers simple and age-appropriate, and do your best to answer honestly. After every talk, encourage your child if they have more questions about what you’ve talked about. Ask them to sum up what they’ve learned and this will help make sure your message was received the way you intended.
It’s also important to reassure your child they are safe and secure. Discovering that some people, even kids, don’t have a place to live or a mommy or daddy to take care of them, can be very upsetting for a young child. An extra bit of reassurance from you can make all the difference!
Homelessness is an important issue in our community, country, and world. After learning about homelessness, most children become more compassionate, caring, and empathetic. It is important to dismantle stereotypes and reduce judgmental attitudes. Hopefully, your child will develop an appreciation for diversity, while recognizing widespread commonalities, as well as enhancing their capacity for critical thinking and moral reasoning. Engage your child in community initiatives and organizations.
And, when the time comes, please vote for Little Doo-Doo. I can assure you she will be an honorable and committed first female President.
PARENTING E-BOOK: Making Parenting Easier in Challenging Times.
What does parenting burnout look like during a pandemic and how to overcome it?
This is why I wrote the book: MAKING
PARENTING EASIER IN CHALLENGING TIMES
It is a practical guide to empower parents to be and do your best.
When I did this work, I had parents on my mind after all we are walking with the same shoes.
My intention is to offer you a pleasant experience and as you navigate throughout all the features available on this E-Book – I hope you receive new insights to make your journey easier and hopefully more meaningful.