Given the recent tragic and racially-charged events in our country many parents and caregivers may find themselves struggling to talk about the concepts of race, racism and injustice with their children. Now more than ever it is important to have these sometimes-difficult conversations.

Here are a few tips/suggestions to get started. Remember: it is okay not to have all the answers. You can look them up and learn together

  1. Parents/caregivers need to confront their own bias. Educate yourself about race/racism and injustices. If caregivers feel uncomfortable or feel they lack knowledge about a topic, they are more likely to avoid it.
  2. Parents should think about their own racially biased thoughts, feelings, and actions. If you want your children to believe and practice what you preach, you must exhibit those behaviors as well. Be careful with comments you make and what you say regarding ongoing current events. They are watching & listening.
  3. Talk to your children and acknowledge that racial differences and bias exist. Silence about race teaches children that they cannot talk about it and may reinforce racism later on. Discuss stereotypes and remind them that not all people in one group are the same.
  4. Encourage your children to have diverse circles of friends. This lends itself to engagement in multicultural activities and experiences.  As a family consume diverse media such as books, shows, movies, music, and videogames in your home.
  5. Parents who are involved in their children’s school, local community, places of worship etc. are better able to advocate for fair treatment of racially marginalized groups and raise awareness of race issues in other groups.
  6. Talk about historical and institutional racism (e.g., slavery, Jim Crow era, civil rights movement, and the ongoing struggle for social justice). Understanding and discussing our history help explain current events and the need for change.
  7. Discuss impactful ways to bring about change as a family and in your local community.