Race and the damaging effects of racism are common topics of conversation today. Here are good tips for educating children on race and racism
Parents who remain silent might convey the message that racism isn’t necessary or that it’s someone else’s problem. Everyone may play a part in the fight against racism and eradicate it if they want.
What Is the Importance of Racial Discourse?
We can help our children understand, accept, and enjoy the distinctions between individuals by letting them know it’s OK to talk about race at a young age.
As a result, children learn to empathize with and care for those different from themselves. They become better equipped to take action when they observe injustice in the world around them.
When It Comes to Racial Issues, How Should We Speak?
There is no “correct” method to discuss race or racism with your children. Depending on your ethnicity, nationality, and personal experiences with racism, that dialogue will be unique to your family.
Some ideas for starting and maintaining a discussion are as follows:
- To begin, gather information.
- Define the core beliefs that guide your family’s actions.
- Speak clearly and concisely.
- Be aware of your audience:
- When it comes to fairness, preschoolers have a good sense of what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. So, discuss what is and is not permitted. Examples for youngsters to relate to include: “Everyone with [your child’s hair or eye color] has to eat something different than the rest of the class at snack time. Do you think that’s fair?”
- To help school-aged children comprehend how they might feel if they are discriminated against or excluded on purpose, use daily examples from their lives. What would you think if someone held on to all the swings during recess and didn’t let any other kids have a turn? “How would you feel if you observed a fifth-grader bullying a first-grader?” is another possible question. Finally, relate these ideas with examples of individuals who have suffered discrimination to foster empathy and a desire to stand up for others. It is important to ask children questions like these.
- Children as young as ten years old have what it takes to handle more complex subjects. Their empathy extends to those subjected to prejudice; nonetheless, they may feel powerless to intervene. If you’re a kid who experienced bullying or was ostracized because of your skin color, brainstorming ways to help, such as writing letters to school principals and government officials, can help.
- Ask a lot of questions – and don’t be afraid to do so.
- Choose an environment where people can freely express their feelings.
- Please carry on with the conversation.
Race & Racism: What if I don't know what to do about it?
It’s OK if you don’t know everything. Don’t be embarrassed if you can’t come up with a solution. Find out and share your findings with your youngster.
As a family, what can we do about racism?
When it comes to raising children who desire to help others, parents can do various things. Here are a few ideas for family fun:
1. Do not be afraid to make friends with those different from you.
Consider enrolling your child in a school, daycare, or club that includes children from other parts of the country and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Putting your child in this kind of environment teaches children to make friends no matter where they live.
2. Be open to new experiences.
Learn about the diverse civilizations of the world as a group. To broaden your horizons, immerse yourself in other cultures’ festivities and traditions. You can learn about different cultures by attending cultural fairs and museums.
3. Let us hear your voice.
Please do something about it when you see something that isn’t right. Get your thoughts out there. Send an email. Make art that promotes a cause, or create one from scratch.
4. Encourage your children to follow your example.
To better understand and appreciate one another’s differences, spend time talking and doing activities as a family. In doing so, you will assist your child in developing empathy for others and yourself.