I haven’t been doing my part as a parent to fight racism. I’ve told my kids what racism is. I buy books with heroes of all colors. Her school is diverse. But, right now, none of it feels like enough.
And, honestly I don’t know what I ‘should’ do. I honestly felt uncomfortable even writing this post as a privileged white woman. But, the one thing I do know is that we do need to talk about it.
Silence about race reinforces racism by letting children draw their own conclusions,which they do extremely early:
By six months, babies can detect race
By two, toddlers use race to reason about people’s behaviors
By 30 months, most children use race to choose playmates
By 5, children have already to associate some groups with higher status than others
Between 5 and 7, explicit conversations about interracial friendship can dramatically improve racial attitudes in as little as a single week
So today, have a conversation. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just talk about race with your kids no matter their age. (Thanks from the Children’s Community School for these stats.)