#BlackoutTuesday: What it means + how parents can take part

It goes beyond posting a black box today.

#BlackoutTuesday: What it means + how parents can take part

Instagram and your other social media feeds may be going dark today, as people post black squares in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. It's called #BlackOutTuesday, and it's all about listening, learning and amplifying marginalized voices.

The idea started with music industry executives, according to CNN, with the hashtag #theshowmustbepaused. Executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang say they wanted to call out "the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard," and that they wouldn't be carrying out business as usual during this time of anger and unrest. From there, the idea spread to Hollywood stars like Rihanna, Drake and Kylie jenner, to major brands like Netflix and Disney, to everyday people looking for any way to express their support and their frustration.


If you want to participate, there's more to it than just posting a black square, however.

The idea is to follow up by not posting for the rest of the day, which has a two-fold purpose: giving you time to reflect on ways to help fight social injustice, and making posts by people of color more visible on your timeline. One tip: do NOT add the #blacklivesmatter hashtag to your post so people looking for information on it aren't overwhelmed by pages and pages of black squares to scroll through.

While it's a relatively simple gesture, that small black square can become so powerful if you commit to following up on that second part. If you're a parent, that's especially urgent right now—after all, as President Obama reminded us in an essay posted on Medium this week, "Ultimately, it's going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times."

The minutes you won't waste on social media today can be spent reading up on organizations that are trying to meet this tumultuous moment—you can get started with the Obama Foundation, or the Anti-Defamation League or Common Sense Media. It's an especially important task for white parents, many of whom may be confronting these issues for the first time. As psychologist Dr. Surrenca Albert told Motherly, "Racism is not an inherent concept, it is learned." If we want to do undo generations of racial prejudice and strife in America, parents need to commit to teaching our kids differently.

Albert believes that "having conversations about racism should begin as early as possible," which means there's no better day than today.

In This Article

    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

    And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

    Gracious Gobbler

    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

    But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

    I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

    Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

    Keep reading Show less

    It’s science: Vacations make your kids happy long after they’re over

    Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

    Whether you're looking for hotels or a rental home for a safe family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.

    Research indicates that family vacations are essential. They make our, kids (and us) happier and build bonds and memories.

    Keep reading Show less

    Dear 2020 baby: Thank you

    This year has been a mess. But you've been the light in the darkness.

    Sweet 2020 baby,

    I just want to say thank you.

    Because in many ways, this year has been a mess.

    A bit of a disaster, really.

    But you.

    You've been the light in the darkness.

    Keep reading Show less