The Mother’s Day question, or, why can’t we have nice things anymore?

“During the stress of a mass craft production for a family event, we all sat back exhaustedly and reflected – what were we doing and why?”

Tasha Huddy, Anti-Bias 4th ed, p.116

Like Tasha, you are probably familiar with the questions, conflicts and challenges surrounding cultural events like Mother’s Day. The good news is, embracing such tricky questions is doing the important anti-bias work of critical reflection!

Asking why, whether and how Mother’s Day might be marked in your setting will lead to a more responsive program which honours the identities of the children and families you work with. But where should you begin?

As always, relationships with children and families are the best starting point.

Dear Mummy

In knowing your children and families deeply, you will be able to gauge how Mother’s Day fits into the diverse community you work within. Ongoing and respectful conversations with children and families will allow you to collaboratively come to an understanding of whether and how Mother’s Day is meaningful in your setting.

Who attends your service? 

There will probably be children with two mothers, and others with two fathers. Some might live with single parents, or grandparents. Some might live with foster family. Some children’s parents might be incarcerated. Some may have mothers who live far away, or mothers who have passed away. 

Every child, family, workplace and community is different. This means there is no one-size fits all approach to questions like whether to celebrate Mother’s Day.

However, anti-bias approaches to these questions – for example, asking whether celebrating Mother’s Day will nurture a sense of confidence and family pride for children and educators – will always be an excellent starting point!

Reflective questions:

Does Mother’s Day have meaning in children’s and families’ lives in my setting, and if so how?

How can anti-bias approaches help me to identify who is included and who is excluded by Mother’s Day?

How do events like Mother’s Day fit within our curriculum and philosophy?

The Anti-Bias Approach In Early Childhood:
Visit The Inclusion Room:
Learn To Include Books:
My Friend Has Two Mums – Online Course:
Book Dr Red Scarlet for consulting, research, or workshops:

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