What happened to George Floyd was wrong and horrible. I’m angry and upset and bothered. There’s been a lot of talk on social media about racism and how we can stop it, but the bottom line is that this needs to start at home. We should be talking to our children and actively teaching them to be ANTI-Racist. Racism should bother you. This should bother your children. Saying to your children that they should be colorblind isn’t okay either – children should be raised to treat people fairly, no matter what the color of their skin is, but that’s not the same as colorblind. As a nation, we need to talk about this and keep talking about it so it will stop happening. This post is about how to start talking to your kids about racism, because if the conversation has not started in your home, it needs to start.
But where can you start? What should you say to your kids? Maybe you’re not sure where to start. How about this — take into account the age of your children and do some research for the right ways to initiate this conversation. Just start the conversation. Don’t assume that your children know not to be racist.
Teach your children to not to be racist. You may assume that you’ve been doing that, but make it abundantly clear that Racism should not be tolerated. They should not be racist and they need to speak up when they see other people being racist.
I’m going to keep this as an open list and add good resources that can help you to navigate this.
But start talking about it. Let them know that no one deserves to be killed, hurt, arrested, yelled at (etc) because their skin is a different color than their own. No ones deserves to be treated poorly because their skin is a different color than their own. No one deserves to be discriminated against because their skin is a different color than their own. No one is “Better” than another one because their skin is a different color. Say it often and check in with your kids about it. Don’t be silent. Don’t ignore it. Don’t accept others saying this either.
Want to download this? Click here for the version of this with clickable links.
Good Blog Posts That Discuss Racism
My friend Ravelle at Mommy Brain has an excellent post on how to talk to your kids about Race and being Anti-Racist.
Our friends at Momtrends also wrote an excellent post on how to support the Black Community right now.
There are so many tough issues to talk to kids about — our friends over at Cool Mom Picks have a terrific post to start talking to kids about hard topics (Racism is included in this).
Plus they also have this terrific article on how to talk to kids about how to support Black Lives Matter.
Books to Read to Your Kids about Prejudice and Racism
For younger kids, make sure to add in books that may help them understand more about racism and prejudice.
Just as a note, this post is about teaching your children not to be racist. I am Jewish and I also talk to my children about anti-semitism, homophobia and sexism. I talk to them about a lot of sensitive issues. But this post isn’t about me or my background, it’s about talking about racism so we can teach our children to be compassionate and not be racist. We need to be better allies to the Black Community. We need to do better.
I would hope that you are comfortable enough talking to your children age-appropriately about all these things. My children are 14, 12 and 9 and I have very different conversations with each of them about it. My 14 year old can handle more details and more information than my 12 year old and my 9 year old. But the conversations need to happen.
Make sure to talk to your family members about racism. Your old great uncle who makes jokes about race? Tell him that it’s not funny. Cut off contact if you need to. Talk to your friends about racism. I’ve had to block some people on social media who I’ve heard racist things. I don’t really care if I went to grade school with them, it’s not what I believe and I don’t want to to see it in my feed. I understand that it’s hard to confront people like that and easier to block/unfriend them. Do what you need to, but make sure you can live with yourself.
Contact Your Local, State and Federal Officials
Write to your local, state and federal public officials and ask them what they plan on doing to stop racism? Give them your suggestions, tell them what you think. If we want things to change, work is going to have to be done.
Source: Slam Magazine https://www.slamonline.com/the-magazine/where-to-donate-support-black-lives-matter/
Don’t stop having the conversation. Hopefully real change is coming, but dialogue needs to keep happening.
This link goes to a Google Doc that is being circulated with even more resources.