20 Resources to Talk with Your Kids about Protests, Racism, Privilege, and Injustice.

20 Resources to Talk with Your Kids about Protests, Racism, Privilege, and Injustice.

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Tatro®: Hand-Built Magnetic Toys is built on the mission to encourage expression through imagination. In these times, we want to acknowledge current events as many raise their voice in protest. This list provides parents with resources to discuss protests, racism, privilege, and injustice at home. Below we’ve listed 20 resource links with notable quotes from each article to guide you through different topics.


1.) These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids (NYTimes)

In this moment, try to address the killings and protests honestly and in an age appropriate way, said Y. Joy Harris-Smith, Ph.D., a lecturer at Princeton Theological Seminary and the co-author of the forthcoming “The ABCs of Diversity: Helping Kids (and Ourselves!) Embrace Our Differences.”

2.) How to talk to your children about protests and racism (CNN)

“Whether from social media accounts, conversations with peers or caregivers, overheard conversations, or the distress they witness in the faces of those they love, children know what is going on,” Boyd said. “And without the guidance and validation of their caregivers, they may be navigating their feelings alone.”

3.) How to raise kids to be anti-racist and talk to them about racism (CBSNews/Video)

Protests across the nation over the death of George Floyd are forcing parents to have tough conversations with their kids about racism. CBS News contributor Ibram X. Kendi’s upcoming book “Antiracist Baby” is about raising anti-racist kids. He shares how to talk to your kids about racism amid the protests over police brutality.

4.) How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism (Parent Toolkit)

This can make the “conversation about race” even trickier, as what is discussed can change depending on a variety of factors, such as a family’s make up, their socioeconomic class, or the community they live in. Therefore, the context will vary, depending on who is talking and what their personal experiences are with race and racism.

5.) Anti-Racism for Kids: An Age-by-Age Guide to Fighting Hate (Parents.com)

You can counter hate’s insidious reach before it’s too late. We asked experts in child psychology and the fight against bigotry for guidance about putting malevolent events and beliefs into context, dispelling little ones’ misapprehensions, and empowering your kids to be forces for good.

6.) How to talk to kids about racism, protests and injustice (Today)

“Children are looking to their parents to filter the world for them. It’s their parents’ responsibility to make sense of the world — and the world can be a big and scary place without somebody to help,” Dr. Nia Heard-Garris, chair of the AAP section on minority health, equity and inclusion, told TODAY Parents. “To have a long lasting and enduring, nurturing relationship with your kids being honest is really important.”

7.) How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources That Can Help (Brightly)

When race comes up, keep the lines of communication open, even if your child says something embarrassing, insensitive, or outright racist. Don’t simply condemn and shut down conversation. Ask questions to find out why they’re thinking what they’re thinking, and how these ideas developed.

8.) Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice – 31 pages (Tolerance.org/PDF)

I have a child of my own now, and my mother’s words come back to me. And I know this: Teaching tolerance must begin with the Golden Rule, but it certainly does not end there. Too often, simply advising a child to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is insufficient. There are times when we as parents must explain things that are painful and unfair — racism, sexism, stereotypes, hate. Times when we must comfort our children, times I have had to help my 10-year-old son learn that what some would do unto him isn’t always kind or fair.

9.) How to Talk to White Kids about Race & Racism (Dr. Robyn)

“Actions speak louder than words. What sort of behaviors do parents model in their every day lives around race- what decisions do they make around how they set up their children’s social environment?”

10.) How to Talk with Kids About Racism and Racial Violence (Common Sense Media)

While I believe it’s important to talk to our children about the bad things going on in the world, if we are so lucky and privileged, then we can dole out the information to them in safer doses. The images and sounds of pervasive and chronic mass and racialized violence take a toll on our kids. Pick one event, one short clip from a protest, a social media post that resonates, or a YouTube clip of Trevor Noah’s response, and use that as a conversation starter.

11.) Talking to Kids about Race and Ethnicity (Psychology Benefits Society)

Racism, racial bias, and racial discrimination affect children, yielding disparities in educational experiences, discipline, developmental outcomes and overall health and well-being. Many parents wonder what to do in order to help their children to process negative experiences and to develop strong identities and resilience despite these experiences. To that end, APA has launched a series of blog posts regarding racial/ethnic socialization practices, programs, and approaches.

12.) 10 tips for teaching and talking to kids about race (Embrace Race)

Study and talk about the histories and experiences of groups we call African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and whites, among others. Be sure your child understands that every racial and ethnic group includes people who believe different things and behave in different ways . There is as much diversity within racial groups as across them.

13.) “But Daddy, Why Was He Shot?”: How to Talk to Children about Race Today (Psychology Benefits Society)

You may believe that you have said all the things you want to say to your child, especially the things the research indicates most parents of color say to their children—cultural socialization (or pride), preparation for bias, promotion of distrust, and equality—but have you also noticed what you are not saying to them? If the TV is on and you are full of emotion, do you explain to your child what it is that is making you so scared and frustrated? RES is not just the explicit sharing of messages, it is also implicit—what we don’t say is just as important as what we do say. This is true for actions too – what we do and don’t do both provide models for our children. Children are always watching (and parents thought they had eyes in the back of their head!), so be mindful of what they see and how you explain your actions.

14.) How To Talk To Your Kids About Race, Racism And Police Violence (WBUR)

“You start young for one, and you start by exposing your child both, hopefully, in your neighborhood, in your community. … You know, if you’re in a segregated neighborhood, which many of us are, by going out to other communities. To expose them, whether it’s after school or at school, to people who are different from them racially and otherwise. And to make sure that your kids understand that you value difference. And you learn from it. And it’s important to you that they have diverse friends. So maybe you also can model that if it’s possible, again, in your neighborhood, in your part of the country.”

15.) How to talk to kids about racism: An age-by-age guide (Today’s Parent)

They’re never too young, and an ongoing dialogue about race and racism is a really good idea, says Rachel Berman, graduate program director of the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto and a researcher on a project called Can We Talk About Race? Confronting Colour-Blindness in Early Childhood Settings. “Children need adults to help them develop respect for and acceptance of others,” she says. “Not talking about race and racism sends a message to children that this is a taboo topic, no matter what their age.” What’s more, she adds, kids who may be targets of racism may need help negotiating their feelings and figuring out how to respond to what they’re experiencing.

16.) Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families (naeyc.org)

ins quite early (Tatum 2003; Winkler 2009). Multiple studies document the ways that young children take notice of racial differences and note that as early as preschool, children may begin excluding their peers of different races from play and other activities (Winkler 2009). Many argue that creating safe spaces for children to explore these topics is more important than ever, given the current political and cultural climate, where these issues are highly visible (Pitts 2016; Harvey 2017; Poon 2017).

17.) How to Talk to Kids About Race (Parents Map)

An opening statement such as “In our family, we believe…” is a great conversation starter says Castro-Gill. Follow up with: “Do you agree or disagree, and why?” This will lead to more questions. “The more the child is responsible for the ‘cognitive load’ — or doing the work of critical thought — the more deeply they will understand the concept, be engaged in the conversation, and remember and reflect on the conversation,” she explains.

18.) Why White Parents Need to Do More Than Talk to Their Kids About Racism (Time)

How white children learn about racism in America does not only happen during the interactions they have at school, though. Everyday behaviors of white parents also matter: when to lock the car doors, what conversations to have at the dinner table, what books and magazines to have around the house, how to react to news headlines, who to invite over for summer cookouts, whether and how to answer questions posed by kids about race, who parents are friends with themselves, when to roll one’s eyes, what media to consume, how to respond to overtly racist remarks made by Grandpa at a family dinner and where to spend leisure time. (Restaurants, vacation destinations and community events can be deliberately and by-default mostly white — or purposefully not.)

19.) Talking Race with Young Children (NPR)

A few things to remember:

  • Don’t shush or shut them down if they mention race.
  • Don’t wait for kids to bring it up.
  • Be proactive, helping them build a positive awareness of diversity.
  • When a child experiences prejudice, grown-ups need to both address the feelings and fight the prejudices.
  • You don’t have to avoid topics like slavery or the Holocaust. Instead, give the facts and focus on resistance and allies.  

20.) Raising Race Conscious Children (raceconcious.org)

The goals of these conversations are to dismantle the color-blind framework and prepare young people to work toward racial justice. If we commit to collectively trying to talk about race with young children, we can lean on one another for support as we, together, envision a world where we actively challenge racism each and every day. Many of the blog’s posts are geared toward White people but a community of guest bloggers represent diverse backgrounds and the strategies discussed may be helpful for all.

It starts one conversation at a time.