The Civil Rights website offers specific examples of how to respond to questions or comments children may have about race. You can find the link below or at the end of the module.
We will share a few examples from the report, ‘Talking to our children about racism and diversity.’ Here is one example.
My seven-year-old daughter told a racist joke and couldn’t understand why I didn’t think it was funny. I was angry and embarrassed. We’re not racist. What should I say?
Most seven-year-olds love jokes and riddles. This is a time when their sense of humor is becoming developed and refined. At this age a racist joke is an experiment, not a malicious act. A thoughtful response to hurtful humor will help your child grasp the power of language to evoke both pleasure and pain. Try to explain why the joke could hurt someone’s feelings and let her know that you don’t like humor that makes fun of people. You might want to connect it to how she would feel if someone made fun of her because of the color of her hair or eyes.
This is an example of a situation that may need immediate attention. If your daughter hurt another child’s feelings with this joke, you probably want to encourage her to apologize. Depending on what you and your child decide together, you might want to talk to the other child’s parents, discuss what happened, and let them know how you are handling it.