During this dark time, I want to share how we as a family discuss racism with our kids. I realize every family is unique and live their lives differently however the one thing that needs to be in unison is the discussion of racism with our children. People don’t one day just become racist. With the proper teaching and discussions at home, children will grow up knowing it is wrong and hopefully, just hopefully one day it will stop. So much of racism is brought on by what you are taught as a child or the lack there of. We have always lived in pretty urban areas and my kids go to schools where the lack of diversity has never been an issue. In fact, Ely went to a school for a bit where he was the minority. So for us, the question “mommy why does he have different colored skin” really was never asked as my kids have always had friends of various ethnicities. I know that is not the case for everyone, so I have included some resources at the bottom that I feel could be helpful if any of you are looking for ways start a dialogue at home.
From when they were tiny, we’ve told our boys people can have different beliefs, be a different color, look a different way, but at the end of the day God made us all, we are all human, and all created equally. We tell them ALL the time: “boys be kind to people no matter what”. “Unless someone is mean to you first, always, ALWAYS be kind and accepting”.
When they were toddlers I bought tons of Elmo dvd’s because I loved that they showed all different kinds of people – a black little girl, an asian boy, etc. on the show with Elmo to expose kids to diversity at a young age. If you are looking for resources to help navigate or start the conversation about race and racism with your children, here are some helpful resources:
Resources You Can Use to Talk about Race & Racism with Your Kids
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🚨It's never too early to talk about race.🚨 "Adults often think they should avoid talking with young children about race or racism because doing so would cause them to notice race or make them racist. In fact, when adults are silent about race or use "colorblind" rhetoric, they actually reinforce racial prejudice in children. Starting at a very young age, children see patterns — who seems to live where; what kinds of homes they see as they ride or walk through different neighborhoods; who is the most desirable character in the movies they watch; who seems to have particular jobs or roles at the doctor's office, at school, at the grocery store; and so on — and try to assign "rules" to explain what they see. Adults' silence about these patterns and the structural racism that causes them, combined with the false but ubiquitous "American Dream" narrative that everyone can achieve anything that they want through hard work, results in children concluding that the patterns they see "must have been caused by meaningful inherent differences between groups." In other words, young children infer that the racial inequities they see are natural and justified. So despite good intentions, when we fail to talk openly with our children about racial inequity in our society, we are in fact contributing to the development of their racial biases, which studies show are already in place.” (Dr. Erin Winkler, 2017) Images by @pretty_good_design, adapted from work by the Children’s Community School. #Parenting #RacialBias #TeachersOfInstagram #AntiRacist