Updated: Jan 7
The George Floyd, Brianna Taylor and all the Black Lives Matter protests happening around the country are evidence of the legacy of race and racism in this country. Teaching your children about this legacy is a critical discussion and it isn’t happening early enough. From the womb, black children are seen and treated differently from their white peers. It’s important for black and brown parents along with white parents to teach their children about race by 6 months old, babies start to notice racial differences and by age 4 children start to demonstrate racial bias. It doesn’t help that for many young children, the majority of the shows and characters they look up to largely feature white individuals.
Parents, even from a young age, can encourage their children to share observations and ask questions by introducing them to varied cultural opportunities. Some opportunities include watching films, reading diverse books, and attending local cultural events. As a parent, it’s okay not to be an expert on race. It’s important to recognize your own biases as you start to teach your child about race and also recognize the importance of your child also recognizing their own flaws.
Most importantly, the best way to start teaching your child about race is by knowing and loving who YOU are. Talk about your family history and their identities. Talk about both the good and bad parts. The most important part is to talk with your child and talk early.