You Should Be Talking to Kids About Race Earlier Than You Think — Here's How to Navigate the Discussion
Many parents have been there. You're cruising through a grocery store or minding your own business in a waiting room and your kid asks an innocent but utterly embarrassing question within earshot, along the lines of: "Why does that person look different?" or "Mom, why is that man's skin darker than mine?"
But rather than clamming up and standing or sitting there mortified, Sachi Feris — a writer at Raising Race Conscious Children — says that these uncomfortable conversations can make for a positive learning opportunity.
"[We need to teach children] that it's inappropriate to point or talk about other people even if we're pointing about something rather innocuous," Sachi told POPSUGAR. And while it's rude to talk about others within earshot, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the conversation itself. "Just responding with, 'It's OK to talk about this.' It's OK to notice that someone looks different. If they think that it's something negative, then of course, that's a little bit more challenging and uncomfortable for an adult to deal with. But start with something rather innocuous and say, 'We can notice that people are different.'"
Although speaking to kids about race may be unfamiliar to some parents, getting the conversation started at a young age is the best way to go, regardless of your child's ethnicity.