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Inclusion conversations should not discriminate

Inclusion conversations should not discriminate

            My son is trying to understand what he is overhearing in conversations between my husband, my family, and me.  He is five so he picks up a lot of what he hears, but doesn’t quite “get it” completely yet.  This makes it even more difficult, as he is forming his own ideas about what it means, and he is attaching his own fears and worries to it.  He hears things like, “riots, protests, windows being smashed, people stealing, and police” and these words sound very, very scary.  This is so foreign to him and outside of what he knows.  As a child, he believes in all that is good, kind, fair, right, and just, until he learns otherwise.  It is up to us, as his parents, to help him to always carry himself and uphold these ideas, and if he sees otherwise in the world, help him to know how to change it. 

            I was a special educator for 10 years in the K-12 schools, and now I work hard to teach and prepare future special education teachers.  I know the education system well and I know how to advocate for those with a disability.  My husband and I work hard to teach my son about all abilities and everyone’s strengths, no matter if they walk or roll up to the table, or if they have a conversation with you using their voice or their iPad.  We have taught him to see everyone as equally important and valued.  I am on the board of a non-profit that supports individuals and families who have been touched by a disability, and we have taken our son to community events where he met and played with other children from all walks of life, and with different abilities.  We wanted him to understand that there are differences everywhere with everyone, and that it is not something to be scared of.  We have done this because of our experience and our perspectives of disabilities, and because it is something that we think is important. 

            While we have actively educated our son on disability, we have not actively done so about race.  Why? It isn’t because we don’t believe it’s important, but because it’s not part of our daily experience, we haven’t pointed it out unless it was brought up.  Of course, we still talk about differences, differences in gender norms, in talents, in how we walk or move or talk, and in appearance, and that everyone is special and important, however, we have never called out race as a discussion point.  I assumed that because we are teaching our son to value differences, that we were addressing race along with it.  What I have come to learn in the past couple of days contradicts this idea.  I recently came across this research shared across accounts I follow, and I was very surprised about a lot of it. It speaks to the fact that all aspects of valuing and respecting inclusion in all forms and for all peoples needs to be explicitly taught and reinforced with our children, specifically race.

            I was floored by some of the research.  Some I knew, but much of it was surprising to me.  Moving forward, we will make a point to talk about topics with our son, that even though they are not part of what we may be experiencing, are important to his development and important for him to understand.  If not now, when? If not us, then who?  This is just the beginning of changes we will work to make so that hopefully, we, along with other parents, raise our children to be kind humans who will leave this world better than when they found it.

“We have a small window of time to nurture their minds.  That is your superpower.  Use it wisely. Make it count.”  ~Paula Kuka

Till next time,

Nancy 

Yes, you do have time to be an entrepreneur.

Yes, you do have time to be an entrepreneur.

My mom was an entrepreneur. 

Now I didn't understand it at that time growing up, but my mom enveloped everything that an entrepreneur is supposed to be - visionary, creative, determined, resourceful, and above all was the hardest working person I knew.  My mom spent her life finding places where there was a need, and filling the gap with a project, a new initiative, or a product.  Back then, we didn't think of it as entrepreneurial, we just thought of it as "being mom." If only my mom had social media, I can imagine that she would absolutely be trending right now!  As I reflect on my own entrepreneurial journey, I think to how my mom truly set the standard for me in how to use your talents to make a difference and to make your way in this world.  

I never set out to be an entrepreneur.  It simply happened. 

I had an idea for a product and my husband and I decided to take that leap and start a business.  We have been in business for three years now, and have slowly grown from making crayons to managing a product, offering product design services, and curating and managing an online product marketplace.  Now, this did not happen overnight.  As we learned we grew and added more and more to our business.  Starting a business is a journey and a lesson in learning.  If you are open to new experiences, love to learn new things, and want to make your own path in this world, then starting a business is right for you.  

But now, you wonder? I couldn't possibly start a new business now. Now with all that is going on and all the unknowns! 

Let me tell you something.  There will never be a "good" time to take a risk or leave what is known and venture out into the unknown.  We started our company when my husband was laid off and between jobs.  We decided that if not now, then when?  We made the jump into being business owners. Did you know that tons of other well known companies were founded during recessions or times of economic hardship?  Have you heard of Microsoft, Hyatt Hotels, Mailchimp, Uber, or Hewlett-Packard? These are thriving companies that never would have seen the light of day if someone did not take that risk to turn their idea into a reality.  

We recently were on a FB Live Episode of PunkinFutz's Wednesday's at Noon talking about this exact topic.  See the replay below. You can hear why we think right now is a great time to start a business and some of the lessons we have learned along the way.  Oh, and you will meet our son who makes a cameo in the video.  He just loves being in front of the camera!  I wonder how that happened....

If you have questions about starting a business or want to talk over your idea for a product, please contact us.  Our company, Two Sparrows, offers design and development services and right now we are offering a contest to win two months of free business coaching.  Click the link to enter and learn more about what we do and how we can help you. 

Till next time,

Nancy 

It's Summertime and I Just Can't Relax

It's Summertime and I Just Can't Relax
 I know that many of us can’t wait for the school year to be over.  This school year goes down in the books as one that we will definitely remember, but really wish we didn’t have to go through.  I’ve talked on our social media posts about how I was thankful that my son was in preschool, and therefore, had a little more freedom and ease in continuing his education.  Next year I will not be as lucky as he will be entering Kindergarten.  My head is already swimming with questions and we are not even truly into the summer months yet!