With the recent events happening all across our nation, it can be tough to talk to the younger generation about the injustice that the black community is facing. If you are the parent of a non-black child, here are some ways that you can educate them about the racism that still occurs to this day.
Reading and Visual Learning
It can difficult to explain what racism is to your child if you have never experienced it yourself. Now, there are ways to teach your child about what racism and injustice can look like. You can have them read books like Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice and From the Desk of Zoe Washington. As they get older expose them to the harsh reality of racial injustice with movies like 12 Years a Slave, The Hate U Give, and If Beale Street Could Talk. These are perfect examples of the issue that is occurring in our society.
Start a conversation with your kids
When it comes to very touchy topics, like racism, it’s never easy to go straight into a topic and be very honest about it. But it is very necessary to talk about it at an early age because your kids might be faced with bias and injustice as they get older. The best way to go about it is to have a calm and smooth conversation about it. They might not get it at first but there are ways to go about it. You can explain the issue in a way that they can understand and answer any questions they might have.
Use a kid-friendly analogy
As said before, there is always the difficulty of explaining racial injustice to your children. A perfect way to have them understand it better is to use analogies. For those who have forgotten, an analogy is a comparison between two things to explain something or give clarification. It’s a good way to help kids further their understanding of injustice. Here’s an example of an analogy you could use: compare racism to a moving walkway at the airport. Active racist behavior looks like people walking fast on the conveyor belt while people standing still look like passive racist behavior. But those who walk actively in the opposite direction is an example of anti-racism.
Keep the conversation going
When it comes to racism and injustice, this should not be a one-and-done conversation. If you want your kids to keep understanding racism as they get older, continue that talk with them. Once they get to a more mature age it’s best to go deeper into those topics and be honest with them about the realities that are happening. The best way to have a complex conversation with your child is to not “sugarcoat” any details. It is important to have an honest talk with your child about the situation rather than bending the truth. Even if the truth hurts, it needs to be said.
These suggestions are just a few things that you can use to help your child have an idea of the problems we still face.