I wanted to knock my kids heads together when we went picked up free school lunches this summer. Little did I know that these free school lunches could empower my kids to overcome their privilege.

Do My Kids Need to Be Empowered to Overcome Privilege?

This morning during our family meeting we had a long conversation about what it means to be self-focused. They got it. I thought they got it.

On they way home from a long walk, we passed by the school where they were giving out free lunches. Hungry and tired, I gratefully accepted them. My kids had a lot of opinions on this, though, mostly judgmental and speaking from privilege. It is always surprising to see when your kids speak with privilege. I know it isn’t 100% true, but I feel like this reflects me.


But that is when I decide that instead of condemning myself I would use it as an opportunity to raise world changers. These are the moments of empowerment. Sure, some conversations could be preemptive. Some though, most though, come in the moment. When you realize things like privilege has grown in them, you speak to it.


It was a great conversation about gratitude, shame, poverty and increasing our empathy. So far so good!

Taking a walk with the Johnston Kids as we get school lunches


And then we opened the lunches.

The food was beyond mediocre, it was great. Actually, each bag had two breakfasts, one lunch, and one dinner. Someone could actually live off of the food provided by the free school lunches. I was impressed.

So were my kids. And then they started fighting and crying! One wanted to trade their lunch meat wrap for a cheese sandwich and the other wanted to horde the cheese sandwich for later (even though they were having a burrito then)!

It was like the whole self-focus and privilege conversation totally left their brains. Sigh.


School Lunches and social justice

Anyway, it made me grateful I picked up the lunches instead of feeling guilty because we don’t “need” them. I wonder how many other people feel shame for taking food when they need them or even don’t “need it” (but it would still help a lot).

It made me glad we had this unexpected learning opportunity today!

Have you ever brought your kids into a situation just to empower them to overcome privilege? If so, tell me in the comments below!

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