In celebration of Disability Pride Month, we’re sharing this guide to help you bring disability inclusion to your home and community.
Tips for How to Talk to Kids About Racism and Social Justice
Every child has the right to grow up healthy, educated and safe – regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status. Systemic change to end racism is essential to achieving this vision.
Save the Children was founded over 100 years ago to fight for universal values and children’s rights. However, we also live in a society that still suffers from a legacy of institutional racism. The past year has been an especially difficult one for America, and for anyone who believes in and is fighting for a more just world.
Save the Children remains committed to fighting for what is right and against injustices. We proudly stand in solidarity with the Black communities, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and all communities targeted by racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of discrimination..
As you seek ways to navigate conversations with children in your life about recent events, including violence, and race in America, we are here for you. We know that talking to kids about racism and social justice are not always easy conversations to have, nor are they a one-time occurrence. There is also no unique individual or organization that holds all the answers to every question that may arise. But we encourage you to use the following tips to start a conversation or as a continuation, aimed at helping children to better understand what is happening around them.
It is important for your child to understand what is happening, but also understand that the images and stories portrayed on the news and social media can cause anxiety and fear in both children and adults. It’s encouraged to limit exposure based on what you feel is right for you and your family.
- For preschoolers: At this age, your child may begin to notice and point out differences in the people around you, like when you’re at the park. If your child asks about someone's skin tone, you might say, "Isn't it wonderful that we are all so different!" You can even hold your arm against theirs to show the differences in skin tones within your family.
- For elementary school children: This is the age that is important to have open talks with your child about race, diversity and racism. Discussing these topics will help your child see you as a trusted source of information on the topic, and he or she can come to you with any questions. Point out stereotypes and racial bias in media and books such as villains or "bad guys" in movies.
- If your child makes comments or asks you questions about race based on school incidents or something they read or watched: Further the discussion with questions such as, "How do you feel about that?" and "Why do you think that?" This is also helpful if your child heard something insensitive or if your child experienced racial bias themselves. Before responding to his or her statement or question, figure out where it came from and what it means from his or her perspective.
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