Rockford Counselor’s Advice on How to Talk to Kids About Racism
It's tough to be a parent.
During normal times it's tough to be a parent, but in the midst of a worldwide health pandemic and a time of racial tension, the job just got ten times harder. Our children are asking a lot of questions we don't really know how to answer. We want to calm their fears and be honest about what is happening in the world around them, but finding the best way to do all that feels damn near impossible.
Personally, I am torn between being honest with my children, and the strong urge to protect them from all of it. Here's the thing though, turning a blind eye, especially to the subject of racism, will likely hurt our children in the long run. Eventually they will see videos on social media. They will read things. They will hear things, and those "things" should probably come from their parents first.
“Just being open and honest about how people are frustrated, and they’re angry, and they’re upset, and they’re hurting. And so one way to do that is to protest. When you want something to be changed, you can protest.
You should be honest with your kids about how it’s making you feel. I think that’s a great starting point, is that I’m a parent–but I’m also a human and I also feel what’s happening in the world.
As a parent with young children, the wisdom I am taking from that advice is, we might not have to dive into all the ins and outs of racism with our kids, because they likely won't understand it, but being honest about what's happening is what's most important.
We need to teach our children to not see race, color, gender, religion or physical differences. Kids aren't born seeing differences, they learn them from adults. Keep that in mind at all times. We can do better.