Anti-Racism for Parents

Why, When and How to Talk to Your Child About Racism

Young children and teens will need age-appropriate versions of anti-racism discussions.

Why

  • very young children are aware of racial differences and they are watching you (the parent) and your interactions
  • children as young as five years old are aware of the negative impact of stereotypes, direct, and indirect messages
  • not talking about it maintains white privilege
  • etc. (watch above video for more)

When

  • start early and set the foundation
  • age appropriate
  • children aged 0-5 years: highlight similarities and differences using positive language
  • children aged 6-11 years: introduce the idea that some people are treated unfairly because of skin colour, culture or religion
  • teens can handle more direct, concrete discussions about things going on around them, in the news and on social media.
  • etc. (watch above video for more)

Things Parents Can Do

  • celebrate differences
  • read children’s books with your child that focus on social justice (see links below)
  • watch videos with your child that focus on social justice
  • model positive interactions
  • be open for a discussion – on their timelines (be aware they may not have the language and be gentle if you want to correct their language)
  • talk with your child, ask questions, reflect what they say
  • teach in context, in the moment, provide appropriate counter-messages
  • talk about history: historical events, and historical heroes
  • encourage your child to participate in events such as “Orange Shirt Day” (raise awareness about Indigenous Residential Schools in Canada)
  • teach how to deal with bullying (of all sorts)
  • support children to manage anxiety
  • etc. (watch above video for more)

How to Talk to Children About Racism, Prejudice, and Protests – An Age-by-Age Guide

Read this article on “Hey Sigmund”.

Books to Share With Your Children

Read the books on your own first so that you can judge if the level and content is appropriate for your child.

Videos to Share With Your Children

For Children Who Are Aware of the Demonstrations…

Click image below to watch the videos from the Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism. Please watch them first on your own so that you can judge if the level is appropriate for your child. This will also give you a chance to think through the content and your own feelings so that you will be better prepared for discussions with your children.

Sesame Street Town Hall About Racism

Teens and Anti-Racism

  1. Check in with yourself first
  2. Create a safe space
  3. Listen
  4. Important stuff, in small doses
  5. Cultivate stories of resilience
  6. Commit to action, any action
  7. Watch the video or Read More…

Finding Peace During the Protests: Digital Wellness Tools for Black Girl Activists

Read article here:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/finding-peace-during-the-protests-digital-wellness-tools-for-black-girl-activists-tiera-chante-tanksley

Article by Tiera Chanté Tanksley, Ph.D., a postdoctoral scholar at the UC Irvine Connected Learning Lab. 

Watch the videos on your own first so that you can judge if the level and content is appropriate for your child.

More Resources For Parents