Parents Ask: How to Speak to Children About Racism?

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What is the best way to speak to children about racism?

In any news station and outlet, one will surely get a reminder that the United States is not really okay, and that they are still struggling with racism

If you are a parent, you may want to know how to speak to children about racism and about how it is affecting the lives of those people being discriminated against. 

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View of an expert

Afiya Mbilishaka, an expert, said that because black families can't afford to wait until they are older to talk about identity. For most black children by the early age of 10, they already have an adult view of social constructs. 

She said that to know how to speak to children about racism, parents should remain consistent to help their children buffer the toxins of mainstream society. 

They need to stage a positive outlook on a culture that allows for a secure ground to unpack systems of white supremacy. 

The view of a mother

Based on a black mother, another way to know how to speak to children about racism is to start talking to them early on. 

She said that she wanted to raise her children the way that she was raised, and that is to be a citizen of the world and not someone who believes in races being superior to another. 

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Things to note

Also, one thing to take note of in learning how to speak to children about racism is the fact that there is no right way to do it. That mistakes are bound to be made, and that children's racial thinking does not begin or end with a single talk. 

Parents need to understand that to know how to speak to children about racism, they need to talk to them about it continuously. They should never stop talking about it, nor should they stop learning about it. It will also help if parents will ask their children if they have seen racist language in YouTube videos or on any other platforms, and make sure to help them understand how following or sharing such racist accounts and contents help spread hate. 

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Speaking to children about racism

Aside from black parents wanting to know how to speak to children about racism, some white parents wanted the same. 

They believe that it is time to speak to their children about racism now more than ever and that they should do this with caution. They also believe that talking about racism should not be taken to not "whitesplain" or when a white person explains something and adds their own bias that is usually in a condescending tone. 

It is never easy to talk and discuss racism no matter your race. But the sooner people begin to communicate, the sooner people will also begin to heal. 

Although nobody feels ready to have such talks, there are times that people should really just take courage in doing so, especially today when a lot of people are being harmed merely because of the color of their skin and their race. 

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