5 Tips to help talk to kids about racism
It's not easy speaking to your child or children about racism. Naturally we want to protect our children from the harsh realities of the world so they can retain their innocence. However, finding child appropriate ways to talk about racism can help equip children with the knowledge they need to make sense of the world they live in. This helps reinforce that these issues stem from society and have nothing inherently to do with who they are.
Tip 1: The earlier the better
Ultimately having these conversations early on will teach children that it is ok to talk about racism and that these topics are not taboo.
Tip 2: Use practical examples
The more recent the example the better children can relate and make sense of it on an emotional level. You can use real life examples or a situation from a book that highlights themes to do with fairness and unfairness.
If your child has been on the recieving end of racsim, strong feelings may be present. It is important to affirm how they are feeling so they are not isolated by the experience. Not acknowledging the emotions generated may unintentionally communicate what they are feeling is not ok or important.
Tip 4: Meet your child where they're at
When your child comes to you with a question about a racist incident, check your childs understanding and ask them what they think to see how they make sense of the situation. They may comprehend more than you realise.
Tip 5: Don't be too hard on yourself
Extend yourself some grace! There may be times when you don't know what to do or say. These are ongoing conversations that can be revisited in an organic way. If there was a question you found you were unable to address, try writing a response down on paper to help gain clarity so the next time the same or a similar situation arises, your prepared.