Children mostly experience racism in school. It can take any form, with the most common being physical threats, name calling,teasing, being excluded, and cyber bullying targeting ethnic/racial differences such as cultural practices. Racism can have long-term effects on a child — thus it’s a necessity for parents to address the issue. Below are some ways parents can help their children cope with racism.
The first step to help your child cope with racism is to teach them not to ignore it. Racism will not fade away because they chose to ignore it. Ignoring it will just leave them feeling helpless. Teach them to be appropriately assertive and always talk about their experiences to someone they trust, preferably a teacher in this case. The likely positive advice they will receive from the teacher will help them deal with the issue. If a child doesn’t seem weak, he or she is less likely to be picked on.
Parents should also talk their children into participating in group activities. The group activities will help the children develop social skills and have a sense of belonging. The ability to have friends will boost the children’s confidence. They are also less likely to be teased by any member of the group and in case they are teased, they will have some backing.
Lastly, as parents, do not ignore the fact that racism exists. Prepare your child for probable racist interactions in school. A prepared child will less likely see their being picked on as a defect on their part but rather the bully. In addition to that, talk to the teachers and the administration and alert them of any racism happening in their school so that they can handle the issue.
Parents intervening when children experience racism goes a long way in helping them not grow up feeling excluded and disliked. The intervention will get them feeling empowered and will work to help other kids survive racism. Go ahead and let’s stop racism together.
— Written by a concerned grandmother of 6 beautiful, multiethnic grandkids