How many of you live in a place like we do (Silicon Valley) where there is so much money floating around that kids realities are skewed to believing that things like expensive European vacations, multimillion dollar homes and every opportunity known to human kind lies at their finger tips? It's great that the world is their oyster in a lot of ways, but the price of privilege, as Dr. Madeline Levine calls it, can be very high. I believe that involving kids in service of all kinds can counteract the price of privilege. From having friends of diverse backgrounds who live in less privileged places, feeding the hungry, growing a garden, caring for animals in the shelter, hammering nails in a home for a family in need, cleaning up the beach, spending time with a child in the hospital or an elderly person who loves the company of kids, tutoring a child who goes to a less resourced school, having discussions about inequality and making a difference, there are all kinds of ways that we can support our children growing up in privilege to have more perspective, compassion and value for putting their privilege to work in order to make a difference in their world.
As parents, what we do in our own lives and with our own educations has perhaps the biggest impact on our children's sense of perspective and values growing up in an environment of privilege.
“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
I have a commitment to using my own education as a means to transform some aspect of the world and I intend to shape the experiences of my daughters to do the same!
My years of teaching in inner city schools taught me that there is so much need right in our own backyards, the understanding of which has been intensely magnified by having my own children who have been born into such privilege, that daily my own desire and commitment to shaping my children's hearts and minds to give back and to transform this world with all that they are given increases and multiplies.
I'd love to hear from other parents raising children in privileged communities - how are you supporting your children to use their privilege and educations to transform our world?