The R-word, Racism… Unfortunately, this uncharitable belief continues to remain prevalent, all across the world. Racism continues to set all of us apart, so it’s vital that we, as parents, bring to light the word racism, so we can mold our children into loving every person for who they are (and not their skin color.)
Explain racism to your kids; start by sitting them down and teaching them about their own culture. Proceed to explain that there are many cultures in the world, which means everybody comes in different skin colors. Let them know that whatever culture or skin color a person may be, we’re all the same- human beings living together on earth.
Racism doesn’t need to be a scary topic to explain to kids. And depending on their age- it doesn’t mean you need to explain to them harsh details (at least anytime soon.) It’s vital; The sooner we can teach our children unconditional love, for every human, despite our physical differences, the quicker they’ll shape the future.
Why Talking About Racism to Kids is Important
Many parents don’t talk to their kids about racism. Whether that be because they believe it doesn’t exist, that it would be inappropriate, or they don’t believe in racism themselves.
However, the problem is that if we don’t talk about racism; our children will develop their own beliefs (both positive and negative) from external influences.
The sooner you explain to your kids that every single person looks different; and that’s ok- the more helpful you’ll be for them to shape the future about racism.
If a young child can be taught to love themselves in their own skin unconditionally- the easier it’ll be for them to love others too.
Be Honest or Keep it Kid-Rated?
I believe it’s essential for every parent to discuss racism to their child at one point or another- but choosing the right age may feel confusing at times.
Depending on the age of your child, what they already know about racism, and their comprehension levels- will determine the best course of action to take, i.e., like being completely honest or keeping it kid-rated.
For example, if your child is younger than 7-years old, keeping it kid-rated would be better. If, however, your child is younger/older than 7-years old and is already asking you questions- explaining it in an honest, but also kid-rated manner would be better appropriate.
Don’t be afraid to let your kids know the negatives behind racism, but do it in a way that inspires them to create a change in the world– not continue those beliefs.
4 Benefits for Talking about Racism to Kids
There are significant benefits that can come with talking to your kids about racism. Find a list of these benefits below:
1. Your Child is Less Likely to Judge by Race First
Judging someone by their race first; instead of their personality, experience, or skills continues to remain prevalent, even in this day and age. Even if you haven’t done it to others- a stranger has most likely done it to you. Thus, by talking about racism to your kids first, they’re less likely to judge someone off race and instead judge someone for who they truly are.
2. You Can Inspire Change for Your Child
As a spiritual mommy, I’m continuing to find ways to better my child’s future (more than financially.) When you talk about racism to your child, you’re unknowingly installing a fundamental shift in what they’ll believe as an adult. Therefore, by explaining to them that racism exists but needs to end through informative conversation, they’ll have that core belief installed within themselves as they reach adulthood.
3. This Knowledge Will Transcend
Whether you realize it or not, by sharing the knowledge of racism and how to avoid it, your child will eventually share this information further. It’ll positively influence their judgment about others, spark social conversation, and bring awareness to the need for change.
4. Your Opinion on the Subject Matters to Them (More Than you Realize)
It’s believed that people aren’t born racist, they’re taught it. Whether through parents, extended family, pairs, or external sources- racism is a belief that has been taught. Your explained teachings can reveal why it’s negatively impacting society. And has continued for centuries- inspiring them to make a change in their lives.
Ways to Explain Racism to Kids
If you’re finding it hard to come up with appropriate ways to explain racism to your kid, start by asking yourself these questions first:
- Is my child old enough for me to teach what racism is?
- Should I keep the conversation light-hearted?
- Have you explained to your child what race is, their own culture, or other cultures yet?
- Is your child already asking you questions about skin-color, cultures, or race?
- Can you somehow implement the topic of racism through everyday teachings? (Examples: Through movies, news articles, or different colored dolls)
- Do you completely understand the benefits of talking to your child about racism?
The better you understand the circumstances; the easier it’ll be to naturally find ways that incorporate knowledge of racism and everything it entails.
Why Ignoring Racism is Racist
Ignoring racism can be a racist act, especially if you know what racism is and what it entails.
Understanding racism; What it can mean for others, the implications it has (and continues to have) on the world- but failing to educate your children about it, is just as ignorant as being a racist.
Fear, judgment from others, or lack of information should not be an excuse to ignore teaching your child about the topic.
If you’re enlightened, understand the need for change, and the issue of racism should be a topic in everyday conversation; You’ll naturally find yourself explaining to your child the best way possible (that suits you.)
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