Talking to My Children About Racism | When I Don’t Have the Answers

Talking to My Kids About Racism

The recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the president’s words and actions (or lack there of), the history of hate that continues to be written in our country is waking up in me the urgency of dialogue and education. I’m realizing there are conversations about race and ethnicity that can no longer wait until my children are older.

While my husband and I have always talked with our children about racism, tried to model and teach tolerance, we haven’t had enough conversations about white supremacy. Seeing the KKK, neo-Nazi and other white nationalist groups last weekend confirmed we need to have these conversations. They can’t wait.

My children don’t know discrimination personally. They have never been made to feel less than because of where they were born, who they love, what they believe, or the color of their skin. This privilege means it is vital my children know their story is not the story, and they must use their voices to speak and act towards love, tolerance, and change.

As parents and teachers, we’re faced with how best to go about explaining the world to our children. Our job is to make sure they are loved, safe, and informed. But how do we explain what is so heavy and hard and in some ways impossible to explain?

I’m realizing the more my children and I speak about racism, the more we dig into their questions, I not only need resources to help them become informed, I need more resources to make sure I am informed. I need to continue to check in with my implicit bias (we all have them) and make sure the way I share information with them and the way I speak and act, doesn’t offer my fears, lack of understanding, or bias.

Maybe you’re looking for resources too.

Here are some of the things I’m using to keep myself informed and create dialogue in our home.

I’d love to know what resources you are using and find helpful. I’ll keep adding to this list as I find more.

There’s much work to be done.

We can begin by looking inside ourselves.

We can begin in the conversations we make sure we have with our children.

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
― Audre LordeOur Dead Behind Us: Poems

About Kelly Sage

A writer, teacher, mother, homeschooler. Seeker of time, space, and resources to help foster the love of learning.

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