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How to talk to kids about Racism

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

25th May 2020, George Floyd's incident has once again brought the world's attention towards injustice and condemned racism. Fifty-seven years after Martin Luther King's Civil Rights Movement, we are still questioning the visions of racial equality and justice in our society today. Which brings us to wonder, how can we encourage our future generation to understand the concept of race and diversity, and how can we instil the importance of acceptance and kindness towards one another. The answer is simple - it all starts from home.

The best way to eradicate racism is to educate children about it. Start them young. Here's how you can talk to kids about racism.

#1 Promote Awareness

Educate children about diversity and culture. Talk to them about racial differences. Teach them how to embrace and respect another person's beliefs and racial practices.

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#2 Be Mindful

We are role models for children. What we say or do is important. When we call out names on people of different racial background, we are setting a wrong example for our kids. When we comment and judge people's skin colour and their culture, our kids are observing and listening. When we approve violence and hate, our kids will learn and follow. This is how bully and racism starts.

#3 Don't Ignore

Resist using "colour-blind" messages. When we see news and stories about other races, phrases like "it won't happen to us", "it doesn't matter" or "they deserve it" are sending children a message that they don't have to acknowledge racial diversity. When we associate skin colour to privileges, we are teaching kids to be bias and judgmental. This can perpetuate violence and hate. That's why don't ignore it. Instead, guide them to recognise, accept, respect and embrace these differences.

#4 Expose Kids to Diversity

You can bring kids to history museums, talk and read stories about diversities, watch movies about freedom fighters, visit historical and cultural sites - these activities help promote kids' understanding about racial diversities.

#5 Be Supportive

Growing in a multiracial community, kids may get curious from time to time. They may ask you questions and give comments about their friends in school. Don't ignore and dismiss them. Instead, be supportive and be there for them. Help them recognise and understand these racial differences.

Spread love, not hate!

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