Racism – How to Approach a Difficult Conversation With Your Kids
There are many topics when it comes to your children that can seem terrifying to have, or in better terms, quite difficult to approach. Of course, as they get older, it doesn’t become any easier, but sometimes beginning to speak with them about these taboo topics at an earlier age can be beneficial both to them and yourselves in the long run. Whether it be a discussion about obesity, politics, or even the idea of racism, teaching them what is right and wrong, and how to approach the situations in their everyday life can help them to better accept others that they meet in their various social settings.
Of course, when you are first approaching your child with the topic of racism at hand, it is important to go into the conversation with an open mind, and an open heart. Children have a different way of comprehending things, and are often not so willing to listen to their parents if they feel it is something they have already done wrong, as if they are being scolded. Always go into any tough conversation with the mentality of keeping calm, and focusing on how your child is feeling and understanding the words that you are telling him or her. That way, your advice won’t go in one ear and out the other, and hopefully the words that you say will stick with them for the many years to come.
It is also important to have the realization that when it comes to opinionated viewpoints others, such as that of race, ethnicities, or political stance, it is an opinion that is often mimicked and learned from others that they are with day to day. Yes, I am talking about you, parents. Any adult figure that they interact with every day is a person that they admire and look up to, who they want to be just like as they grow up. So, if you are trying to tell them that this behavior is wrong, but then turn around and spout out offensive words in front of them, your conversation you just had will be void, and no good. It comes as a monkey see, monkey do type of approach, and it is so crucial that you and the rest of your family set a good example for your little ones, especially when it comes to these views.
It may be a hard idea to wrap your mind around, but in all honesty, shout the judgements and opinions of the others that surround them, children don’t see the differences between the color of skin, or hair, or anything of that sort. We all begin as innocent, and like minded human beings, and unfortunately, it is our own culture and our own society that puts the harsh and harmful viewpoints into mind and place. Now, I am not saying that the best route is lot shield your child from the world in order to avoid these issues, by any means. However, it is up to you as the parents to make sure that your children grow up into respectable and well-rounded people, and the best way to do this is to lead by example. Your child looks up to you in so many ways. By showing them the best paths to take and choices to make, your child will be just fine with whatever issues and conversations come their way.