How Do I Talk to Kids About Race?
You Should Be Talking to Kids About Race Earlier Than You Think — Here's How to Navigate the Discussion
How and when do you start discussing race with children?
Shawnese Givens, a family and marriage therapist who splits her time between New York City and Philadelphia, believes getting the conversation started at a young age is important.
"I think it should be a constant conversation that you have with them from the time that they're very young and, of course, there's age-appropriate ways to do that," Shawnese said. Parents can get the conversation going by reading their kids books with nonwhite protagonists, for example.
"You can build pride in young kids of color when they're young, talking about their ancestry and their heritage," she explained, adding that, "You can also build a sense of responsibility in young kids who are white about the fact that our country has a long history of not always doing things fairly, and now, we're trying to be better. And you can do those things in age-appropriate ways."
As for some of those more serious conversations about race and racism, like the violent history of slavery in the US? Shawnese suggests holding off until age 11 or 12 to dive into those details.