When talking about race with your children or students, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind.
First, you do not need to have all the answers to have effective “race chats” with children. You only need to be open and willing so you can offer a safe space to talk.
Second, it is important to withhold judgment – from yourself and your child. The purpose of “race chats” isn’t to tell children how they are “wrong.” But instead to invite conversation and encourage them to ask their own questions and to learn—together!
Third, “race chats” are continuous and will keep changing! It won’t be a one-time event. So if you freeze in the moment or don’t know how to respond to a question, you can (and should!) always circle back.
Finally, questions are a good thing – from you and your child! Questions help our children understand themselves, others and the world. They can also prompt us to consider our own beliefs and attitudes.
If you are interested in hearing more about race chats, click the link to listen to one dad puzzle through how to talk about racism with his 4-year-old daughter.