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How do parent’s address racism with their children? My Story - Richa


Given the tragic current events I think many parents including myself are wrestling their own feelings and hopes they have for their children. Therefore, I feel it’s very important to give them the strategies to enable them to deal with each-others differences racial and otherwise.


Children learn about racial differences as early as preschool. On many occasions my daughter has come back from school talking about why her skin colour is different from her friends or why her hair is darker or why are princesses always fair? And so on. As a mother what I have learned now is the importance of communicating about race. Children at a very young age are able to pick up on non-verbal cues and body language and being afraid to talk about race is quiet observable.


It is never too early to talk about racism with our kids and I believe children are never too young to talk about race. The key here is to enable our children to understand that our differences are something we should acknowledge and celebrate. My goal as a parent was to have an open and honest conversation with my child about individual differences. I also learned that there is never just one conversation about race, it is an ongoing process which we need to have repeatedly to go through various difficult issues that might arise. In order to teach my daughter about race and racism I took experts advice and started incorporating various books and videos that reflected diversity.

Experts believe that it is important that children’s brain develop in such a way which starts to view differences as normal, this can only be achieved by normalising and celebrating differences. These are the steps I am taking to ensure my child grows up understanding and respecting differences.

Resources

Some fun video clips for children:

Sesame street: I love my hair

Sesame Street: Lupita Nyong ‘O loves her skin

Yoopies: A Parent's Guide To Black Lives Matter



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