Kids watching the news or feeling the stress and uncertainty in parents might not understand why adults are anxious. It’s never too early to talk to kids about race, but parents aren’t always sure what to say. These sources help parents start to talk to kids of all ages about tolerance, race and equality.
A site dedicated to teaching teachers helps with webinars, articles and tools to give parents resources to start conversations with their children.
- Teaching about police violence (good resources for grades 6 and older)
- The Let’s Talk series contains webinars to give guidance for conversations about Black Lives Matter, Whiteness and Gender Issues
- Discussing Abuse of Power using teachers as examples of bullying behavior
- Five tips for helping preschoolers understand tolerance
The site rounds up stories from psychologists and psychiatrists to help parents learn about parenting. Teaching tolerance reminds parents:
- Kids copy our actions and words
- To answer questions honestly using words and descriptions appropriate to age level
- Choose media that properly expresses your values
- Treat children with respect and model your respect to others
- Learn about other cultures and traditions
Created and run by parents of color, the space is an educational non-profit to help parents understand and navigate the dilemmas of race, equity and education. There is a membership cost to join the community, or follow The Conscious Kid on Instagram.
Scholastic helps parents teach and understand tolerance with younger children (preschool and kindergarten) by telling stories and helping kids role play. The publisher also recommends using things you know your kids already love – books, music, dolls and blocks – to introduce other cultures and experiences.
The AAP, based in Itasca, recommends several items to monitor a child’s health and well-being as well as open a dialog.
- Place limits on media. Don’t leave the TV on in the background and monitor what websites your child is using. If you do watch the news with your kids, use commercials breaks to talk about what they saw and how they feel.
- Check in. Ask them how they’re doing, how they’re feeling and how you can help them.
- Ask them about their experiences. Has your child been a victim of racism or witnessed it? How did that make him or her feel and how did he or she react in the situation?
- Watch for changes. Stress such as new reports or worry about friends and family will come out in your child’s mood or behavior.
- Are you OK? Monitor how your emotional changes. are impacting your reactions to your children and your family.
- Make this a teachable moment. Discuss racism and discrimination in U.S. history.
The AAP also recommends this article that explains how early children can recognize race and when they will start to latch on to biases. For more resources, check out a 2019 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics about the Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health.