How to talk to your kids about racism, protests - FOX34 Lubbock

How to talk to your kids about racism, protests

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Amid the demonstrations against racism and police violence across the nation, experts say now is a good time to talk to your children about these difficult topics.

Ann Mastergeorge, an endowed professor of child development and chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech, said it is important to have repeated conversations with children about these issues, while also keeping in mind where they are in their development.

"You wouldn't be talking about this with toddlers, however, they're picking up on all of your cues," Mastergeorge said. "If you're at a park for example, and a person of color comes up to you or a child of color and the parent is very warm and kind...that toddler's going to pick up on those cues."

Parents can start having discussions about race with preschool aged children, using simple language they can understand and words like racism, race, protests, and fairness, she said.

"Preschoolers love to talk about what's fair and unfair. You can use the word fairness. It's unfair to treat people who are black, if someone's white, it's unfair to treat them differently," she said.

Parents can also explain what a protest is and why people are gathering, but Mastergeorge said avoid showing young kids potentially violent protests.

"If they have seen that on TV, it might be best for their parents or caregivers to say to them, 'What made you afraid?' 'Why were you scared?' Let them tell you what they know and have seen. In general, we do recommend for young children not to be observing these things," she said.

Children understand signs, and parents can even make signs with them, she said.

"You could even put 'Black Lives Matter' depending on how old they are, and make the signs at home, and talk about their own protests about what is important, so that the goal is that, in our world, we want everyone to be treated fairly," she said.

Parents are the most important influence in their kids' lives in helping them develop and eradicate racism. There are several resources available such as podcasts and books to help parents have these conversations with their children.

Below are links to resources Mastergeorge recommends for parents and caregivers:

Zerotothree.org

prettygooddesign.org

CNN/Sesame Street racism town hall

hereweeread.com

 

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