Proper Parenting: Raising an Anti-Racist Child

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Now and then, news of Asian hate crimes is spread all over social media and online news outlets. It’s a glorious reminder that racism in all shapes and sizes is still pretty much alive in urban America. And it’s not a good thing. It shows that many people feel superior over others. That’s the problem. Successful people have come from all races and colors. By the same token, every race and nation on the planet has its fair share of struggles and challenges. Declaring one’s self to be superior is not only myopic; it’s counterproductive.

Teaching your child this early to respect every race is therefore imperative. Take note that the biggest recipient of racism may be no other than black Americans or African Americans. Just a look back at George Floyd’s death, which sent the world scrambling for change, is enough to tell us of the unspeakable dangers of racism.

If you don’t have an idea on how to get going, fret not. Experts who have come before you are sharing their most treasured secrets when it comes to teaching young kids not to be racist. Indeed, it’s for everyone’s benefit that they get started in the right direction.

Model the Behavior

Animals do it best. Look at ducks and a bevy of her ducklings. She has them all in a row. Now, it’s no accident nature has it this way. Science calls the phenomenon imprinting. And it’s a helpful one.

In the first days of the young duckling’s life, there’s a sensitive period when the young animal establishes its mother’s existence. Once born, images of the mother get imprinted into the young duck’s mind. That saves the yearling from trouble. If her ducklings don’t follow the duck, they could be in a lot of trouble and may not grow to adulthood.

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The same should hold true for you. Model the right behavior for your child to follow. To do that, you need to go deep. Identify your biases. Even better, don’t limit your social circle to the color of the skin. As much as possible, show your child you engage in a wide circle that includes people of color and white Americans.

Additionally, you can cater to black-inspired brands. For instance, choosing to wear pieces of jewelry from black-owned jewelry brands sends a powerful message that African Americans can excel in just about any field, too. Seeing how fine the craftsmanship of these stones can go a long way to showing your child to treat everyone with respect.

Talk about It

Don’t be afraid to take up the topic with your child. Whether you like it or not, he’s going to come across some form of racism in the news. Helping him understand these irreverent events should prepare him how to take everything in stride.

Take note that discussions about how racism is bad should not be a one-time event. Instead, make it a topic you touch on now and then. By taking it up actively, you shape the thinking of your child, steering it the right way.

Be aware though that your child may not be ready to tackle everything about racism at once. So proceed with caution. A good way for you to do it right is to give information in small doses. Make sure you monitor his reaction. Watch for signs of anxiety. For instance, he could have sleepless nights which should tell you’ve overstepped your bounds.

Seek Diverse Environments

A good way for your child to accept cultural diversity is to bring him to a culturally diverse environment. Indeed, modeling can provide a huge boost in helping your child come to terms with everyone. Taking him to a cultural festival should be wise. On the other end of the spectrum, you can also enroll your little one in a summer camp that involves a much more diverse crowd. There, he meets other kids from other races and learns to gel with them.

Get Media Boost

Don’t for one moment think that you’re alone in this challenge. No, ma’am. There are tons of resources that you can tap into this journey. Never forget that.

So, introduce the right media to him. With the advent of the internet, this should not be a problem. You can start with books. Then you can explore movies that are culturally sound. Here’s a great resource you can make the most of.

Additionally, you should not hesitate to point out racism when it’s portrayed in popular media. There are a lot of movies that do so. So finding these teachable moments can be a chip off your shoulder. They’ll prove to be a timely boost to show that racism does not pay. And treating everyone with respect, despite the color of the skin or the shape of the eyes, is the way to go. The world will definitely be better for it.

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