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Decolonizing Parenting

I’d like to begin by acknowledging that I am not well-versed in decolonizing parenting. There are many Black, Latinx and Indigenous folks who lead this work; many who are deconstructing the ways parenting has been wrapped up in colonial mentality and white supremacy.

I have really only started this process of erasing the colonizer in my head within the last few years, specifically as I dove into my maternal lineage. I literally have colonizer blood in my body -- my great grandfather being a Spaniard.

Now, I’m not going to deny the complexity of what this means for my family. I have loved ones who have fully embraced their Spanish heritage; it was never something I considered a part of my identity. Even so, it’s part of my family story.

Little Julia fishing, somewhere in the Philippines.

I’ve been reflecting more on what it means to have been born in a country that was colonized for so long, to have internalized cultural norms marred by colonialism. I’ve said this repeatedly before, but I have to do so much unlearning and undoing...a process that is emotionally difficult and challenging and holy crap, it’s a lot.

On top of that, I’ve somehow landed this lifelong job of parenting and raising two children without passing on whatever trauma and baggage I may carry.

So I’ve been pausing a lot more, listening to Black, Brown and Indigenous voices, and finding ways to deconstruct the ideas of parenting I experienced as a child. A few of those voices are highlighted below:

  • @Latinxparenting devotes its work to social justice and intergenerational healing. Its vision is focused on ending chacla culture.

  • @parentingdecolonized is headed by Yolanda, a racial justice educator committed to conscious parenting, decolonizing minds and liberated parenting.

  • @tea&bannock is a storytelling platform for indigenous communities. In the linked blog, guest blogger Kelsie Marchand shares their journey in decolonizing family and parenting.

  • @indigenousmotherhood is the work of Andrea Landry, who believes that healing and heart work are the catalyst for “overcoming colonial systems.”

Part of this journey is reclaiming my ancestors’ ways of parenting and raising children, and giving myself permission to go beyond my limited imagination of what connecting with my kids can truly become. Decolonizing parenting is a practice, a cultural transformation, a necessity.


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