A study in 2008 indicates that 3-month-old babies can tell the differences among races.
Then there’s the famous “Doll Test”. Toddlers were given a white doll and a black doll, then they were asked to pick out their favorite. Almost all toddlers (including black children) chose the white doll.
As a parent, you may not realize this or fully understand how it happens, but the moment your children start looking around, they will begin to make sense of all the messages around them. Some of those messages, unfortunately, are about racism.
These two studies above, among many others, have told us that children learn about race much earlier than we may expect. It is very important to explain racism to your children at a young age.
Children of all ethnic backgrounds should learn what racism is and why it’s wrong, in ways that suit their age. Here are a few tips newcomer parents may find helpful:
- Do not avoid talking about the news these days. You cannot protect them from anger and violence forever.
- Make a plan. Encourage them to ask questions and keep the conversation open.
- Focus on “Fair or Not”. It is not fair to treat people differently just because of their skin color.
- Violence and hate are wrong. How to solve problems? By talking, not hitting or pushing.
- Celebrate the “helpers”. Mention to your children about those who are fighting against racism.
Our Family Resources Centre is running a variety of online programs for parents and children during COVID-19. If you are interested, fill out this form and we will get back to you: https://settlementcalgary.com/isc-welcome/
Word of the Day:
Racism: a wrong belief that a particular race is superior (better) or inferior (worse) to another.