Inclusive Parenting, Is It In Your 2021 Goals?

2021 is ringing in a new found outlook on what may lie ahead. Still unpredictable, New Orleans won’t look the same this year with a new way to celebrate our beloved holiday Mardi Gras. Once Mardi Gras was transformed to socially distant “paradeless” celebrations, it was a shock to me, as I was interested in celebrating at least a few parades with my family. Last year, I was so far along in my pregnancy, that it was not a possibility along with the unknown scare of the virus, we stayed indoors and ate our king cake happily and quietly.

We knew that 2021 would bring a new outlook. However, with the same uncertainty, inclusive parenting is more important than ever. It is a topic I touched upon on my Facebook Live series. Watching, experiencing and observing your child is probably one of the most important goals that we can include in our daily tasks. Inclusive parenting can feel a bit daunting, especially when it is time to do something that may not warrant slowing down. These are the opportunities that you may consider leaning into what may be uncomfortable.

For instance, inclusive parenting, which I talk more about on my Facebook Live Series. I have been obsessed as of late with tablescapes and I have used my new found joy to include my son. This is a project that before I would have completed quickly and not have thought twice about including anyone. Think about it, after choosing all of your fresh flowers and trinkets, the last thing on your mind may be to explain each flower and double your time of creating your masterpiece, in my case it is my tablescape. Slowing down, I had to remember is important for my son to be included so that maybe he will have the same inspiration when beautifying his own space. Now consider that I am referring to a 9 month old who is barely speaking any words. I have found that sitting him in his hi-chair while I cut and arrange the flowers and taking time for him to smell them brings me joy. Although, the time is doubled, spending time with him and including him brings us both joy. It is is something new and it is one thing that I know that we will both have the opportunity to look back on and appreciate. This month, I have to come up with our Mardi Gras tablescape, although we won’t be at the parades this year, we will enjoy creating an inclusive learning environment through the beauty of tablescapes.

Maybe next year, we will attend all of the festivities, but in 2021, we will create our own tradition that will be inclusive and memorable. My challenge to all parents this year is to implement inclusive parenting, whether you are already doing so, or aspire to be more inclusive, it is definitely a major return on your investment called, time and love shared with your child.

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Nia Avery is a New Orleans based Fine Art Consultant for Heather James Fine Art. Prior to joining Heather James Fine Art in 2017, Nia was an art consultant in Beijing, China, where she oversaw the inaugural C!Talk initiative, a series of cross-cultural events sponsored by the World Culture Open organization. She also previously served as an art consultant in Houston where she co-led the Emancipation Economic Development Council workgroup for the art non-profit Project Row House. Nia received her Bachelor of Science from Clark Atlanta University. Before relocating to New Orleans, she served on the board of Loma Linda Hospital’s “Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild” in Indio, California, and was a member of Desert AIDS Project’s “Partners for Life” committee in Palm Springs, California. “New Orleans is my hometown, so I am thrilled to be back. As a gastronome and fine art consultant, I have found that this city is the perfect fit – and because New Orleans is a city focused on tourism, there are always opportunities to meet people from all over the world. Living here presents an exciting opportunity to contribute to the cultural landscape. My favorite place in the city has yet to be discovered. From 1000 Figs, to Original Thought, to the McKenna Museum, there is always something to discover and experience. I am excited to discover many new favorites for years to come.”

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