8 Tips for Talking to your Child about Racial Injustice Share +

Posted by: coronadosafe 11 months ago

We cannot separate the importance of a sense of belonging from our physical and mental health. The social ties that accompany a sense of belonging are a protective factor helping manage stress. When we feel we have support and are not alone, we often cope more effectively with difficult times in our lives. Coping well with hardships decreases the physical and mental impact of these situations.

Racism can put a wedge in our sense of belonging and community. For parents and caregivers, how to address it can feel daunting, especially with young children.  But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from it. In fact you can, and should, start talking about these things from an early age. Listen, reflect, ask questions and be clear about what’s right and wrong.  It’s never too early!

Here are 8 specific Tips for Talking to your Child about Racial Injustice, (by Marianne Celano, Ph.D., Marietta Collins, Ph.D., & Ann Hazzard, Ph.D).

  1. Take the time to address your child’s questions or comments.
  2. If your child makes a negative racial comment, ask him or her in a nonjudgmental tone, “What makes you say that?”
  3. Encourage multidimensional views of others.
  4. Be prepared to talk about what your children see and hear.
  5. Use children's literature to introduce children to diverse individuals and social justice issues.
  6. Clearly state that you believe it is wrong to treat someone differently or unfairly because of their race.
  7. Balance your acknowledgement of the reality of racism with messages about hope for change, the availability of help, and the value of activism.
  8. Make a rule that it's not acceptable to tease or reject someone based on identity.

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