“I’d Like to Call You In.”
We’re all learning a lot right now. Recently, one of our Brave Writer community members reached out to me to ask how we might address problematic racist stereotypes in a literature handbook about a particular book. She asked it with gentleness, without accusation. Her request led to fruitful exchange and conversation. When I returned to thank her, I complimented her kind attitude.
She replied, “I’ve learned it is better to call people in to a conversation than to call them out for problematic behavior.”
What would happen if we called our children in to a conversation as opposed to calling them out for misbehavior?
Imagine shoes and coats left on the floor. And instead of saying “Hey you left your shoes and coat on the floor! Pick them up!” we say, “Hey, I want to call you into a conversation about your shoes and coat on the floor.” Now I know the language sounds a little forced but the spirit is right.
What if we said, “Hey! I want to hear about your shoes and coat on the floor. What are you planning to do with them?” The same way this Brave Writer mother asked me how I was planning to manage a troublesome passage in a book is how we can relate to anyone whose behavior is disappointing or confusing to us.
She gave me a moment to realize the issue at hand without my having to feel the searing hot lava shame of failure that I didn’t live up to her standard.
This is a great tool for all of our relationships. It’s the one I wished I’d used in the past when I wanted to inspire participation in showing support to our Black homeschool colleagues.
Let’s see what happens when we call in, rather than call out. So powerful!
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!