Early conversations with your child can be fun and stimulating! Some subjects can be challenging to discuss, like race and racial bias. We’re here to give you some tips on how to talk to your child about hard but important topics.
Race is one component of who we are that makes us beautifully unique. Racial differences should be celebrated. Racial bias is the idea that people hold disparities and perceptions of other races that impact the way other races are treated. Whether these biases are intentionally expressed or not, it is important that they are discussed in order to be combatted and challenged by all. Yes, all. Research shows that babies as young as six months old can tell racial differences, and toddlers and preschoolers can adopt and promote racial biases. As parents and caregivers, we have the power to show even very young children that diversity is a strength and that our differences are what make each of us unique.
How to Talk to Your Child about Race
Don’t ignore – talk. Share about racial differences. Highlight the beauty and uniqueness in each race. Be open and point out racial biases that occur. Encourage your child to ask questions.
Expose your child to other races and cultures. Use natural opportunities in your community to engage with people from other races than your own. Read books about race and social justice.
Model and empower your child to promote social justice. It’s important that your conversations turn into actions. You should model this for your child too by doing the same.
For more resources on talking to your child about race, click here.
QUICK TIP: Books are a great way to start these conversations. Read stories with your child that show a variety of characters from different racial backgrounds.