These conversations, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable, are so important to have with your children – if we are to make a change in any way at all to our world.
I spoke over the weekend with my little ones (9&10) about what had happened to George Floyd (obviously not graphic detail) and they just couldn’t believe why one human would hurt another simply because of the colour of their skin. There were lots of questions naturally, and it made me realise there must be so many families not knowing exactly what to say about this – so I wanted to write something to help.
There’s no quick tips or foolproof advice when it comes to discussing the complexities of race, so I’m going to share as much information as possible with you – so you can make an informed choice about how you approach the subject with your own children.
As a mum to two young children – I would like to think that the conversations I have at home with my little ones are preparing them to understand, empathise, protect and care for the people around them – but it is also important for them to know that regardless of how much I tell them (that we should treat everyone with the same respect) – these awful atrocities happen regularly.
Recce Witherspoon put similar sentiments into a social media post together with an image created by Dom Roberts.
Opening up the conversation about race and racism.
Here are some great resources for opening up the conversation about race and racism – The CBBC ones are suitable for key stage 2+ age children to read themselves.
- Dr Pragya Agarwal and Freddie Harrel share their tips for older children with CBBC here: How to talk to your children about race and racism
- CBBC also has a great article for primary key stage 2 children to read themselves here: ‘What kinds of racism are there?’
- There’s a great read for parents from National Geographic here: ‘Talking to kids about race’
- More insightful reading here too in USA today: George Floyd. ‘Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. What do we tell our children?’
- NPR’s Michel Martin talks to Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, about ‘how to talk with white kids about racially-charged events.’
Children’s Books That Tackle Race and Ethnicity
If you’re looking for something tactile to use with your children to open up the conversation, this NY Times books list is ideal!
What else can I do?
Finally, if you don’t know what you can do to continue your support of George Floyd or If to support the struggle against police brutality here’s an informative piece in ‘The cut’
If you have any other useful resources to share – please feel free to add in the comments.