Have you talked with and taught your children about anti-racism?
Racial bias is a huge human rights issue that we as parents need to pay close attention to in raising our children.
One of the main findings of a new report by Sesame Workshop, which surveyed 6,070 parents of children ages 3 to 12 and 1,046 teachers from preschool to fifth grade found that too few parents and educators are talking about racialization.
The Hechinger Report say that experts argue..
..this trend can have serious implications, because when adults don’t talk to kids about these topics, kids learn that identity is a taboo topic. They may also start to believe the stereotypes and biases they’re presented with in everyday life.Sesame Workshop
As a parent here is some guidance on anti-racism to raise our children.
3 WAYS TO TEACH CHILDREN ANTI-RACISM
1. Model anti-racist behaviors and attitudes.
Our kids do what we do. Countless studies show that the old saying, ‘children do as you do, not what you say’ is true.
In the literature this is called modeling. Children replicate behaviors they see around them. This is particularly true in our parental and guardian relationships.
Real talk, I don’t care who you are, we all are raised in this world and we all have racial and other biases by virtue of being raised in this society. Our goal here is to notice the implicit and explicit racially biased behaviors we have.
Apologize and be transparent with your children about this. These are some fundamentally Mindful Parenting techniques, have a look at a FREE Guide here, along with some Mindful Parenting Principles and Mindful Parenting activities.
2. Celebrate diversity.
It’s important that we are not closing the dialogue with our children.
There are lots of ways we, as parents, can do this. One of way parents close off discussions is by only saying surface level things like ‘we are all the same’ to our kids.
What happens with this statement is:
a) factually that’s not true (and kids realise that)
b) it doesn’t allow children the space to explore those differences because they are almost not allowed to view folks as different, and
c) it doesn’t address the main point, which is that differences do not diminish those that are diverse.
Expand that discussion. Here’s what the discussion looks like: yes, we’re different and that’s okay. In fact, those differences are good and should be celebrated. It’s okay to be different. We are all different AND equal.
Celebrating diversity can mean anywhere from celebrating culture, clothing and food with diverse groups to standing in solidarity with them fighting for equality.
3. Socialize your children to be in diverse circles.
Don’t just talk about diversity or check your biases at the door, live by it.
In other words, we can’t expect our children to understand diversity if they never see it. We also can’t expect our children to develop empathy for others that are different from them if they are never exposed to those differences.
I’m not talking about tokenism. Don’t have one friend of color to say you live by what you do. No. If we really want to celebrate diversity, we need to actually understand the value of having friends from many different diversity pockets in society.
There is some much that we can all learn from each other.
SUMMARY OF WAYS TO TEACH CHILDREN ANTI-RACISM
Let’s recap so nothing gets lost in translation.
As parents, it’s our job to care about a) our children’s well-being and b) the world that we are raising them in. Why? Well, inevitably this will impact who they are as people and their actual survival and thriving.
I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on the topic of racial bias in this climate. Drop me a line below.
Be good to yourself,