Parenting and Race: How Do We Talk to Kids About Race?

By Andy Kohler, Parent Herald November 17, 11:05 am

It is no secret that race is a controversial issue that transcends society until today. Parents should know that race is a very much sensitive topic and that they should be knowledgeable enough to explain to their kids why race is so important or the proper approach when dealing with issues that concern race.

In communities around the United States, people of color face different tribulations and are at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts. Their experiences vary; most often than not, they are looked down upon by people of authority, and that the same individuals would regularly feel surprised if people of color do well.

In a study that highlights the influence of race in parenting, Berger, McDaniel, and Paxson says that parenting varies among races and that most of it have to do with the circumstances these parents have already faced. However, the study seems to point out that race places an important factor on how parents treat their children and answer their questions.

In another study shown by Cheryl Matias, Ph.D., she recalls an experience where teachers did not use the adjectives "clean" or "tidy" when referring to people of color, as these words were only reserved for individuals with a lighter complexion. She then approached her mother and asked the question, "Mommy, is being brown bad?" and ironically, the same question is being asked by her kids to her up in what is called "history repeating itself."

The race is a sensitive issue, and that children knowing about this matter will be formative as there is a relatively high chance for them to stick with these beliefs as they grow up. It is important that parents raise their children to become more sensitive and to be more loving and understanding so as to minimize the causeless hatred, and would bring social justice to these minorities.

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