It’s up to us to raise a generation of enlightened, compassionate kids.
It’s been proven that toddlers pick up on differences between themselves and their little friends long before many parents begin addressing the subject of racial and cultural diversity.
Even as kids grow, we often balk at the idea of discussing something so big and so important in case we say the wrong thing.
Trying to have these conversations though, is critical.
Pretending that issues like racism don’t exist, or aren’t relevant to your family, will only hurt your children in the long run.
By talking about them, we show our children that these issues do exist and do matter, which is the first step in helping to understand their feelings and the feelings of others around them and creates a foundation for empathy.
So where can you start?
Resources for discussing cultural differences, anti-racism and fairness.
- Positive Parenting Solutions has put together a comprehensive list of resources including helpful articles, books for parents and children’s books that help cover issues of race, ethnicity, acceptance and anti-racism.
- This guide from Mashable includes podcasts, books and online resources on how to raise an anti-racist child.
- Baby Center offers lots of helpful tips for broaching these tricky topics with little kids (under 5), while Motherly offers advice for discussions with toddlers, right up to teens.
- For Australian-based information to help children understand racism and how we can tackle it in our own backyard, check out these resource-packed websites: Racism No Way and It Stops With Me.
- ABC News has also compiled some helpful tips on how to talk about race with your children
- Our recent Harmony Day inspired Busy Kids article also includes lots of activities you can do with your children that encourage discussing other cultures and our differences.
All good advice points to the fact that we should discuss difficult issues with our kids early and often.
Having ongoing, open, honest discussions about challenging topics, and validating whatever feelings they may have also encourages kids to continue to open up to you as they grow because they learn that you’re approachable and not afraid to speak about something just because it may seem difficult.
It’s up to us to lead by example and we hope these resources will help you set a positive example for your children that helps us all have a better tomorrow.