7 Tips for Talking About Racism With Kids
When we look around, especially in big cities, we have to admit we are a colorful mixed race.
In the passing of the years, your child can pick up some prejudices you don’t like to see in or hear from your child. It is a new balance you want to create in your child, but how can you handle this.
Traditionally it’s baked into our genes to belong to a group or a movement. People who look alike or thinks alike, family and friends first. And we, as parents, show our children in daily life that this is normal. We talk about other beliefs as if they are not right. Talk about poor people (antisocial) as if they don’t count. We often won’t live up to the example, the example your kids need to be objective. So before you are reading my tips, keep in mind in what way you are steering your kid towards some conclusions
I like to give you a few tips on how you can react to this delicate subject.
1. Talk about it, and let your child talk about it.
Do not be tempted to ban the thought of your child.
Ask questions, why your child thinks about another that way.
Try to find out “the Why”, perhaps it is just an innocent reply,
which is applicable to every person, and totally not race-related.
Has it to do with the group your child wants to belong to?
And in what way are you the example in belonging to a group.
2. When the “Why” is clear, take every opportunity to adjust your child
When it is a minor issue on pre-school, ask the mom and the child over to visit sometime.
When your child is older, perhaps you can start some voluntary work together.
3. Give response in child language
Talk to your child in a way they can understand.
4. Be open and honest
Tell them, that there are, among all races, good and bad people. That they can’t trust everyone, whether they are from the west, the east, the south or the north. And if they have questions about who to trust and who not, you will be always there to advise them.
5. Be an example, live on to your words
Sit down, next to the outlander in the park, and give a friendly smile and greeting, rather than walk around them with an air and sit down on the next bench.
Do not make faces or make comments to your children when you pass someone who looks different.
6. Go to a cultural event
Look around if there is a bazaar or a performance in a park provided by a cultural organization. And take your children there to taste some of the food and get familiar with the people.
7. Give some history
Once there were only a handful human beings on the earth. But the group became too large, there was no food enough for the whole group, so they split up. Some went to the North and West, some to the South and East. The people adapted themselves to the conditions where they lived. They went off in a group with their own genetic material, and grow into a specific human race. You can explain it the easiest way to a child to say, when a black man and a white woman are getting a child, the child will not be totally black nor totally white, it will become a mixture of both.
Racism is based on ignorance of the other, so if you want to do something against racism, make sure you understand the other.
Some people are very proud to be part of the specific race they were born into, and try to keep everything separated. One man in particularly wrote his own history page with it. His name was Hitler because he thought that his race was the only one who had the right to exist. So he stirred up the people with slogans as “they are the guilty ones that our economic is going down”. The result was that millions of people from specific races and groups were killed. Not only Jews, but also homosexuals, gypsies and ‘economically unworthy’ as physically and mentally handicapped, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Free Bible Students, trade unionists, Freemasons, Communists, Spanish republicans, Serbs, Quakers, and people who oppose the Nazis, were persecuted and murdered.
Teach your children, you’re not better, you’re different!