Racism for Kids: Why Young Kids Need To Be Part of Conversations about Racism (Paperback)
While children's observations and questions about racial differences may be straightforward and appear honest, at times children echo harmful biases they have heard elsewhere.
Ms. Verwayne remembered a time; it was afternoon when her class returned from lunch in a state of distress. One of her students, an African American girl, had told another child, "I don't like white people."
At the time, the news at night was peppered with police brutality against African Americans, so Ms. Verwayne suspected that the child was saying it because an adult said it.
Mathematics was the next subject on the roster that afternoon but Ms. Verwayne requested the children to join her in a circle on the rug.
Drawing upon strategies she had learned in Responsive Classroom workshops, she reminded the children of their classroom norms that allow every child to be heard and support the social expression of children.
She reminded the children about accountability in words and conduct where they value their unique views with respect.
As they continue to express themselves during lunch, Ms. Verwayne encouraged them to reflect on the sense of community and friendship they had cultivated together in class.
After the little chit-chat they agreed that some people from any race may "not always be nice," the fact is that experience is not enough to establish a world view about another race and it is wrong to condemn another race on the actions of a few people.
Another lesson teacher introduced a video lesson about celebrating diversity using a coloring crayon analogy. In her explanation, she talks about her excitement before she colors the animal outline.
When she unraveled the first box of crayons, disappointment was written all over her because the crayons were all in blue color. Then she uncovered a box of crayons containing different colors with a dramatic reaction showing that diversity or difference must be celebrated. 'these crayons are symbolic; they represent our friends in this virtual environment," she said.
We are all different. We have unique hair texture and the colors of our eyes are not the same. Our skin is different. Likewise, we come in shapes and sizes. And that is just awesome." Dr. Winkler says that encouraging children to have friends from diverse race is usually sabotaged by the parents who only have friends and associates from a specific race.
Kids are not fully convinced when they notice the disparity in your advice and action, it is an impression that a parent should not have on a kid learning about race and racism. Should racism be discussed with children? Isn't it too sensitive?
Find out why the discussion should be discussed with kids and why it affects them if it is being hidden from them.