Teaching kids about race

Parents have to teach their kids about race and racial relations so that they understand and appreciate the many racial backgrounds of people in our country.

Children aren't stupid - they can see that people are physically different, and they are going to notice it when they see people who look different than they do or than their family does. Teaching your children about race is not about teaching them to be colorblind. Rather, it is about teaching them not to judge people on the basis of their skin color. You have to teach your children to respect and accept people of all ethnicities in the same way; you have to educate them about the dangers of stereotyping. Here are some tips for teaching your kids bout race:

The Rich History and Culture of America

America is a country that is inhabited by people of all different races and origins. Teach your children that this rich culture is what makes America so great, and teach them to be proud of the fact that they live in a country that embraces people of all races and backgrounds. Look at this as an opportunity to educate your child about the histories of various races. You can talk to your child about the founding of America - and the fact that it is the Native Americans who have been here the longest. Talk to them about colonialism and exploration. Talk to them about slavery and the horrible oppression that African Americans endured in order to gain their freedom in America. Talk to them about the freedom rights' movement and Martin Luther King, Jr. It is important that your children understand what the history behind our racially-diversified nation is so that they can truly appreciate it and value the fact that everyone has freedom today.

Racism

Racism is defined as discrimination on the basis of race, and unfortunately, it still exists in today's world and in the USA. While society has come a long way, there are still individuals who are hateful and bigoted, and you have to warn your children about these toxic people. Explain that racism is an unfortunate reality, and that it is very wrong and hurtful to use racial slurs. Some kids hear their peers using racial slurs, such as the "n" word, in a joking way, and this is very inappropriate behavior. You want to make sure that you child understands that it is never okay to use racial slurs in any manner. If you ever hear your child making a derogatory comment on the basis of race, you should punish that behavior and you should continue talking to your child about race. Race is a sensitive subject and it is very emotionally-charged for so many people - it is not a joking matter, and it is never something that is to be used as an insult or jab. Tell your children about the terrible things that have happened out of racism, such as the Rodney King beating or various hate crimes that have been committed by white supremacists, such as the Ku Klux Klan, so that they can understand the horrible damage that racism can cause.



Stereotyping

Stereotypes are not real, and as a parent, you have to teach that to your children. While stereotypes aren't even always negative, they encourage labeling and "judging books by their covers." Every person deserves to be treated and respected as an individual, not as a representative of a race. Not all Chinese people are good at math and bad at driving; not all white people are bad dancers; not all black people are either athletes or drug dealers. These stereotypes perpetuate racism, so do your best to educate the next generation not to rely on stereotyping. Since stereotyping is so prevalent, bring it up to your children when you notice it. For example, if you are watching television and a stereotype is made, take the opportunity to talk to your child about how untrue that stereotype is.

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